There are lots of blogs about planting, both vegetables and flowers. I hope this one is a bit different since it has a focus on a particular species. Gardening is for anyone—all ages, all creeds, all ethnicities. Anyone, anywhere, at any time.  There is the universal appeal of watching something grow and thrive whether it is in a pot in your office or a bed in your backyard. It is the favorite pastime of millions. But there are fewer people tackling the cultivation of orchids, one of the most challenging plants of them all. It takes patience, a gentle touch, and an absolute avoidance of too much watering. That can be instant death to a delicate plant. It is tempting to treat them like all thirsty stalks, but it is a big mistake. The biggest tip I can give you, although there will be others, is to limit your interaction to a gentle infrequent mist.

You must know what you are doing. Orchids are not for the novice, even if you think you have a natural green thumb. It can turn black in no time if you insist on raising this most difficult of plants. If you do succeed, and it is rare, you will be generously rewarded. A beautiful, long-lasting and vigorous bloom, like no other, will grace your presence. I can stare at them intently when they are in their prime. If a bud falls, I am grief stricken. I am in terror that more will follow.

I work in my garden a lot. When I get started, I can’t seem to stop until everything is done. I have lined several flower beds with potted orchids and the display is simply glorious. The problem is that I suffer from swollen feet if I am crouching to look closely at the plants and all my weight settles down below. I regularly use a foot soak to help relieve fatigue in my legs and feet from kneeling and standing while tending to my beauties, and it also improves swelling/circulation. I got the idea from here:

You can add a scent, like citrus or lavender, to the foot spa, or a bit of essential oil. You don’t want the water to be too hot or you risk scalding your skin. It is best to use nice warm water and refresh it as needed. If you toes start to wrinkle up like prunes, you know you have been in too long. It is heavenly to end a gardening session with a foot soak. It is even better than a massage. A good foot spa can operate like a mini Jacuzzi and provide natural pressure in every part of the immersed foot. Treat yourself after a session at the gym, a long walk, jogging, or any other activity that stresses the feet. Most everything you do ends up causing some ultimate discomfort. A foot soak is the answer to your prayers.