Why has it taken me so long to plant an orchid in my garden?
This spring, I found Bletilla striata, a hardy orchid, at one of the local garden centers. Tucked away in a corner in black one-gallon plastic containers, these orchids just looked like some lily leaves with a small flower stalk.
But they drew my attention and I couldn’t put one in my cart fast enough, even though I didn’t know much about them, other than what was on the tag.
“Hardy orchid with shiny green foliage and hot pink flowers in summer. Prefers dappled shade.”
That’s enough info for me to buy an orchid!
Now that they are blooming, I think anyone who saw them, whether or not they were a gardener, would say, ‘Hey, is that an orchid?’
Indeed, it is an orchid! A very pretty little orchid. And since most people think of orchids as growing in the jungles and Florida and other warm places, it will be a nice surprise to see it growing outside in Indiana, just like it is a surprise to see prickly pear cactus blooming in my garden.
I was surprised by another unexpected flower in my garden this morning.
You would think with my constant posting and harping about keeping a garden journal or some kind of record of what gets planted in your garden, I wouldn’t find my self staring down at a flower in my own garden thinking, “Who or what are you?”
The foliage on this plant is odd, too. It’s sort of blue green and straplike.
I think this made an appearance last year, but at some point I must have cut it off. Perhaps it is a bulb I planted and forgot about? I just know I have no recollection of it. If anyone could help identify this plant, be it a weed or a cultivated flower, I’d be forever grateful.
What’s unexpected in your garden?
(By the way, back in her day, Elizabeth Lawrence spent quite a bit of time helping others identify flowers, but without the aid of the Internet or other garden bloggers. She knew and corresponded with gardeners across the country and would look to them, her own library and knowledge, and plant experts at local universities to help identify flowers she didn’t know the name of. And she kept meticulous notes on 3 x 5 cards, as I understand it, so I feel certain if she had planted this yellow flower in her garden she would have written it down and known what it was!)