The Wonderful World Of Orchids

About 5 years ago I knew nothing about plants except that they’re meant to be green and maybe have flowers on them if they are so inclined. I was the type of person who had to touch a plant to figure out if it was real or plastic. This all changed when I got my own home and suddenly I was house-proud. The transformation of getting green fingers didn’t come overnight. The first three plants I bought were plastic ones that to my inexpert eye looked real. I was quite proud of them really.

Then one fine day I decided to go a step further and got myself a real plant and spent the rest of the day calling and sending text messages to people I knew that I had bought a new plant as though I was announcing the arrival of a new baby. When I moved into my new home, Avinash and Tej gifted me a beautiful palm plant and you may NOT ask me what type it is. I just know it hasn’t died and it’s doing really well. They also gifted me my first orchid plant and that has actually been my favourite plant to date because it has the most beautiful flowers and also because it hasn’t died. This couple knows their orchids well, and have a special greenhouse for their fantastic collection.

I always thought orchids were high maintenance plants that required you to probably sell a body part to invest in but I was ever so wrong. My friend Salima belongs to the Orchid Society of Kenya and has orchids at her place like I have weed in my garden. They’re beautiful plants from all over the world and the local ones are gorgeous. She insisted that it’s not an expensive hobby at all. She even pointed out that some orchids didn’t even need a fancy pot to grow in – you just hang one on a tree and it just starts growing and flowering there!

Then I asked her about owning a greenhouse since these exotic plants need humidity to thrive in and she said just put the plants in your bathroom and they’ll thrive there. True to her word, my orchids that I subsequently bought from a roadside florist actually have done really well and are seriously low-maintenance. I did have to go online to get a bit of know-how to look after them and have decided that if I can manage to look after an orchid plant, anyone can. You don’t have to be Shrek to have green thumbs, if you catch my drift.

Earlier this week I popped by to have a look at the Orchid Show which is going on and was totally dazzled with the gorgeous blooms I saw. The entire Society gets together annually and puts up this show with a different theme every year and this year’s theme is ‘Something Different’. Tej & Avinash are also exhibiting their fantastic collection and most of the members have teamed up to have different themes.

I also adored the art exhibition that was the entire work of school children with a lesson in conservation intending to introduce the world of orchids to children. The entire effort put in by these kids is simply amazing and I feel it’s a fantastic hobby to get kids into rather than staying stuck to their TV screens during the half term or otherwise. Nurturing life is the best way to teach kids to respect the environment, I feel.

Do drop by at the Sarit Centre this weekend if you can. That’s where the exhibition is being held and be prepared to be transported into the most beautiful aspect of nature. The orchid species are many and colourful and even if you’re a novice like I am, you too can own an orchid plant and not murder it within days because these plants are quite easy to look after and maintain if you put your mind to it. Believe me, gardening is really very therapeutic and while I’m not suggesting you get the trowels and rake out, you could start off by owning a beautiful orchid plant to look after and nurture and take pride when they flower and make you feel absolutely fantastic. I know I do…

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