Ornamental and edible gardening adventures.

Floral Friday

After posting the first ever (and last) Floral Thursday last week, I realized there already existed a similar (and better alliteration) of Floral Friday. So see ya Floral Thursday, hello Floral Friday.

Moth orchid in bloom today. 
Today's Floral Friday is also my mom's birthday. My mom always loved plants, particularly houseplants. As a child, I spent more time in plant nurseries instead of clothing stores because of her. On Wednesdays, my grade school would have early dismissal and we would drive the 30 minutes out to Long Island to visit Hicks. I'd get McDonalds, and she'd get a plant. We passed many Wednesdays that way.

Over the years her tastes in plants would change. She'd start out with begonias and eventually move toward orchids. She had better luck with orchids then begonias. I remember one lady slipper orchid that she kept in her bedroom window. One day she discovered, by surprise and accident, that it had bloomed. The window was covered in frost (these were OLD windows) yet the plant was covered in white blossoms. It was beautiful. She called me to her room to show me. She never took a photo, but I remember the pale white flowers dangling daintily on their stems. She just had luck with orchids, simple as that.

My mom passed away 8.5 years ago in the fall, and I took the news very badly. There was a time I constantly searched for her whereever I would go. I often found myself being brought back again and again to plant nurseries, trying to relive the trips that had happened before I "grew up" in high school and became "too cool" to go with her. (I would eventually return for sporadic trips while in college.) One day I missed her so much that I even returned to Long Island to the plant nursery where we would routinely go as I was growing up.

There, on several tables, were dozens of orchids in various shades of colors. I missed her so much that I bought three purple moth orchids and drove them back to Connecticut with me. If I couldn't be with her, I'd at least surround myself with the flowers that reminded me of her.

Then a funny thing happened. In springtime, just around her birthday, one of the three orchids rebloomed. I thought it was a funny coincidence, and left it that.

Now let me be clear that I am not an orchid expert. There are weeks where I even forget to water them. But every year, faithfully, at least one of the three purple orchids will bloom right before the anniversary of her death, or by her birthday.

On March 9, one of the orchids began to bloom. Today, on her birthday, it is almost in full bloom.

Over the years I have joked that the orchids do so well because they have a little heavenly magic. So today, on March 28, which would have been my mom's 69th birthday, I'd like to give her a little shout out during Floral Friday.

Happy birthday, Mom.

My mom, Anne Haggerty, in the 1970s before I knew her.


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