Thursday, February 14, 2008

You Want Flowers For Valentine's Day?
Here's Your &%#!n Flowers

Sargon awakens A couple of weeks ago, the two phalenopsis plants Hammurabi arisesI rescued from a dark museum corridor last year decided that it was time to unleash their genitalia on an expectant sunroom.Ashurbanipal animates What better day than The Feast of Saint Valentine to share with you the wonders of orchid culture...Soddin' Gilgamesh
I've been dousing them with potassium-rich formulae, carefully tending their flower spikes, encouraging the buds, and now both plants have inaugurated a "bursting forth" process of so-called "moth orchid" blooms. If you've ever watched a june bug or similar Volkswagen-like insect open its wings, you'll have an idea of what that miracle is like when an orchid does it. Only much more slowerly. The three pics you see here took a whole day. Which is why I stopped. Orchids take their own sweet time, which is why I admire them, and I'm sure Doctor MacFlask (who taught me much about these things) will take one look and scream, "There's too much light and not enough water and it must be too cold and why is there a jacket hanging on the door and is that red thing a mezuzah ?" (No it's not. Stop with the inside-lintel Judaica. See what I did there? See how I brought you in? And still no comments.)
These are not typical Winter-blooming orchids. They're currently Nearly-Spring blooming orchids and I didn't force them this go-round. My guess is that they are actually Summer bloomers that got viciously forced by some swishy interiorizer for some FABULOUS effect two seasons ago and will revert to their Summer blooming ways. In a few years. If I don't stuff them in the new composter I'm installing come Spring. I have no idea what their background or nomenclature is. "Phal." is as close as I get. As close as one needs. Again, MacFlask will probably know every patented and non-patented hybridization denomination of its genus, and he probably knows the guy who registered it and has some bitchy things to say about him. "From a florist? A FLORIST?" he'll snarl. "What the %#&! does A FLORIST know about ORCHIDS!?!"
Someday, when we're all a little older and Homeland Security learns to appreciate the art of driving when you're high, I'll have everybody over and we can banana about the wacky comments made by the guy who was moving the WNBC anchorman's stuff the day I opened up Doctor MacFlask's big van in Midtown, revealing cattleyas and paphiopedilum for sale to a NooYawk City boot-and-curio shop. At the time, I didn't think there were that many ways to equate orchids and genitals. (Enjoy the Monologues, BTW. If anyone's doing them anymore.)
And if I didn't wreck The Feast of Saint Valentine for you enough, here's what happens when it rains around here:

That'll learn ya to build a road anywhere! Saith Apponogansett Bay.

That used to be a backyard. (Yes, the road experienced brief pitching and yawing.) Which is why I'm lovin' the exotic flowers in my own home thing. Just wait for the cereus...


bitterandrew said...

Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, and their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.

I bet you haven't had that line quoted at you about a million times already, right? Gorgeous flowers, though a bit too high maintenance for my meager botanical skills. I envy you there.

We got hit pretty hard with the rain up north, too. I could have used your nautical skills when I tried to traverse the small lake that formed underneath the train trestle down the street from my house.

ThirdMate said...

Unfortunately for Faulkner (or was that Chandler?), he must've been sniffing dead ones. Except for the ones they're breeding now to smell like apple pie or chocolate chip cookies, few smell like anything.(Although vanilla -- yes, that vanilla -- does smell like a chick candle.)

Which is another reason to like them -- without stinky blow-around pollen, they rarely cause allergic reactions.

The greatest nautical advice I can impart -- besides "One hand for the boat" -- is "Learn to enjoy getting wet."

Oh, and never drive into a puddle. But if you do, the harbormnaster is usually monitoring Channel 9. Or 16.