Those who know me, understand my passion for orchids. I talk about them incessantly. People get cards with these flowers on the front and gift wrap paper strewn with their graceful forms. To me, they are the most beautiful flowers on earth, bar none. I know they are found in any grocery store, but I am sad to say that people don’t know how to grow them and the blooms fall off in no time. You are left with a simple bare plant. Orchids will not thrive if you drench them with water. They like to remain dry or at best experience a loving and gentle mist. I keep my mister close at hand. They are not for those with a black thumb, but you can learn to work with them if you want their stunning beauty in your life.

When they bloom, it should last for a long time, more than most flowering plants. I consider myself somewhat of an expert having grown various kinds for years. You will find me in the garden at least a few hours every day, rain or shine. Being outside with the plants feeds my soul. Try gardening if you suffer from stress and/or burnout. It will cure what ails you.

When you spend a lot of time doing something on your own, it is nice to have some music to accompany the activity. I use portable outdoor speakers from Outdoor Light and Sound to bring me my favorite tunes. I am not into wearing earbuds connected to my iPhone. The sound is muffled and blurry. I want the sound to be all around—rich and full. Orchids make me think of certain types of New Age music that feature natural sounds. This is perfect to keep me focused and on track. Really noisy music is not my preference (no heavy metal rock!), at least while in the garden. I fear it will disturb these delicate flowers. When you have to do some real labor like turning the soil, which isn’t the fun part of gardening, the music makes it a lot easier. Time goes faster and before you now it, the job is done.

Tending the flowerbeds is a frequent chore that must be accomplished at least a few times each year.  I do it myself. No cheating by hiring a gardener. If you do this groundwork, literally, the orchids will be happier and show their appreciation in more blooms. Even when not flowering, they will draw enrichment from the soil and sprout long and thick green tendrils, usually several at once, the source of future buds. It is like a cocoon that opens mysteriously and suddenly when you don’t expect it. In a few days, the plant has come to life. It can grace your kitchen counter, become the centerpiece of the dining table, turn into a gift with a ribbon wrapped around it, or sit politely on your desk at work.