Orchids in Bloom!

Hello, sweet peeps!

Since most of you are in dreary, snowy winter mode right now, I thought I’d send you some Florida sunshine from my porch to perk you up. Once in a while the whim takes me to photographing flowers, but with this infernal headache (6 weeks now), I haven’t been able tolerate being out in the sun. It’s frustrating to be missing the best time to be outside in South Florida as you don’t sweat buckets the minute you step out the door. Grr! Ok, enough ranting, sorry!! So, since I had to bring in my orchids from the porch as the temps are to drop below 50 tonight, I took advantage of a mini photo shoot for you… Here are the orchids currently in bloom:

I don’t often have success with cattleya orchids, in fact this one is a little sickly, but it sure gave one stunner of a bloom! The ‘noses’ on the cattleyas make me smile… it’s like they’re surrounded with the daintiest of handkerchiefs!

Phalaenopsis orchids are the most common and I usually get them to re-bloom, from little miniature plants like this one:

To the large ones you find in the supermarket. Sometimes they put food coloring in the water to turn them brighter or unusual colors (like blue), but these are all natural.

I especially like the frilly, cupped shape of this one:

Something I didn’t know until recently… Don’t cut off the bloom stalks until they’re COMPLETELY dried up — they might bloom again! I though it was a fluke when my aunt and my cousin’s wife told me their re-bloomed on the same stalk, but I decided to start leaving mine alone just in case, and….

Yes!! I’m looking forward to these and the other 7 orchid plants with a total of 15 bloom stalks keeping me in bloom for the next several months. That’s another reason why I find orchids are such a value… You can usually get them to bloom again and the blooms usually last for weeks to months… the longest I ever saw one bloom was at my aunt’s in N Florida… she has an amazing pair of green thumbs… this picture is one that had been blooming for over 17 months at the time the picture was taken! Look at how the bloom stalk meanders round as it kept on blooming. I think that bloom stalk put out continuous flowers for nearly two years. Amazing!!

Full disclosure: No, I am not affiliated with the orchid industry or trying to sell anything! Lol! Just a huge fan of orchids!!

I hope that little bit of floral sunshine brightened your day! Have a lovely weekend!!

~D.Ann

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Naples Botanical Garden Flowers

Today I’m happy to be sending you all some lovely flowers to brighten your day! On our way back from Sanibel, we stopped at the Naples Botanical Garden. This lovely garden features plants from the tropics and subtropics between the latitudes of 26 degrees North and 26 degrees South that you can see highlighted on the map:

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The 170 acres include Florida, Asian, Brazilian and Caribbean Gardens, as well as an orchid garden, water garden, children’s garden and butterfly house. The paths are exceptionally ADA friendly and they have the most comfortable scooters I’ve ever tried available for a small rental fee. Ok, it’s time to grab a cuppa, sit back and let your imagination take flight with these floral pieces of eye candy…

Let’s start with some of my favorite flowers – orchids!

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If you’ve been here before you know I have a fondness for these flowers and how they often strike up the imagination’s pareidolia…

Pareidolia  the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.

… like the big ‘noses’ of the Cattleya orchids:

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– that sometimes look like puppies!

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… or the amazing Oncidium orchids, also known as ‘dancing ladies’.:

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What do YOU see in the following orchids?20170129_192023_wm

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For my cat loving friends… do you see what I saw in these next two?

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Another of my favorite flowers is the water lily and there were tons of them.

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I was especially delighted to see the amazing Victoria Regia (Victoria amazona) water lilies in the Brazilian Garden. It reminded me of the ones I saw in the South America.These are the largest waterlilies on earth and can only be found in the wild in the Amazon rain forest. The leaves can grow to some 8′ across and are so buoyant they can support the weight of a small child or an evenly distributed load of nearly 100 lbs!

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The butterfly garden was aflutter with these winged ‘flowers’ and I was happy to see several monarch butterflies.

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Have you ever seen a monarch chrysalis? The little pearls of gold amaze me… Looks like they got a hold of some of my crafting supplies and added some bling!

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Speaking of crafting… we’re always looking for fun and lovely color combinations and there is plenty of inspiration in the Creator’s color palette:

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This one had a sign: Aechmea “Blue Tango”:

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I may have to bookmark this post to use for color inspiration on those days when the brain fog rolls in thick and heavy. lol

Ok, lets close with some interesting and unusual plants and flowers – like this fruit from the Toad Tree (Tabernaemontana elegans Apocynaceae) from Zimbabwe. If you do a Google Search on Toad Tree, you can see a picture of when the fruit bursts open and really looks like a wide mouthed toad!

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I hope you enjoyed the pics! If you did, I highly recommend including this beautiful garden on your next trip to the southwest coast of Florida!

Hopefully I’ll be back to crafting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by today. Ya’ll take care and stay warm!

– D. Ann

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