It would have been a difficult thing to consider how actually I started having orchids in my garden. All of my orchids previously had been mostly rescued.
The Aranchis species which never seemed to bloom. (I had finally decided to pass all of it to my friend -Eddie (the one who I went together for the Bonsai & Orchid Exhibition)
The Necklace Orchid (Cymbidium finlaysoianum) found by the roadside in a bad shape (sliced & diced) Somehow all these had managed to survive well but at the price where they are never seemed to bloom.
Then my friends in my office started to dispose their overgrown orchids - Cattleyas & Dancing Ladies (Oncidium). I found more Oncidiums disposed along the roadside but truly in a very bad shape - all the backbulbs dried up and a 2 - 3 barely surviving water deprived bulbs.
I did finally buy one orchid plant - Leopard Orchid (Grammatophyllum scriptum)
As I can remember - Eddie passed his first 2 specimen for me to start with (both had died due to my lack of skill in caring for them) But that didn't stop him from passing more from his collection.
I guess his motto was: Try until you get it.
And to that result - you now see more & more orchid plants hanging in my garden.
(I'm pretty sure he is laughing out aloud while reading this)
I'm guessing that it is his style of converting gardeners into orchid lovers.
Traditionally I would put all these orchids into a plastic or a clay pot and consider that settled. I must say that these are the ideas & the attribute of having a good orchid gardener friend - where ideas and style somehow gets adopted and exchanged. And so most of these are wrapped with coconut husk around a PVC pipe or a branch. I wanted to press a little further and got one wrapped around a broken pottery.
Somehow it is very difficult to appreciate an orchid when they do not flower.
(Really - now, who would consider a plant with all boring looking leaves on a stick - the whole composition is such that it really an acquired taste in liking them)
And so the means of coming into terms in liking them is actually enjoying them when the do not flower.
(Yes - you heard me right - when they do not flower) That is enjoying the way the orchids trail their cascading roots and they way they descend with their stalks & bulbs and just how natural they tend to be as an epiphyte (plants that grows upon another plant/trees and not based their roots on ground)
The best part of Epiphytes - I realised that it goes very well with my garden theme (Bromeliads, Ferns, Spanish Moss, Creeping Fig & Button orchids)
Its actually taking the chances - in stepping up in courage and try out new things.
If a plant survive - then it is taken as a victory (after all its rescued - doomed to die) and if in any case didn't survive - well, its taken as a lesson learnt in managing the intensive care in reviving the plant.
And basically - one moves on from being lucky (in having an orchid plant) to an expert in handling one to bloom.
One thing for sure - these orchids just ever grow so slowly.
Most times - they just go dormant for months.
So there is a lot of patience that you have to handle.
I'm not sure whether it is true when they say that:
Once you get into the orchid craze - you are "infected" for life.
Personally, I tried not be caught-up with the fever but somehow it just gets into your skin.
Especially something that is exotic such as these - who won't?
My very first Dancing Ladies flower stalk.