Hi, I'm Sharla, and I have a small acreage in the country just south of Ames, IA in the Midwest US. I share my home with four Pembroke Welsh Corgis which I train in Agility (thus "Corgi Jump"), a cat, a small parrot, and now a (seemingly) exponentially growing number of orchids. Perhaps I am compensating for the FIRM "four dog limit" set by my, relatively (ok exceptionally) tolerant husband.
Orchids are much easier to sneak into the house than dogs, although I'm finding hubby a bit more observant than I thought he was. Fortunately, since we're both avid photographers, he welcomes some colorful subject matter with somewhat less fur.
I've been lurking the boards for a few months and recently joined. What an incredible wealth of information!! I am usually the "research and run" type of person, but what a friendly community I am finding this to be.
Orchids have always fascinated me from a biological standpoint. My first job out of the University was in plant tissue culture, and we had a lot of orchid enthusiasts in our lab.
Someone was always bringing an orchid or two to the many photo shoots our photography club has had over the years, and I've always enjoyed photographing them. When I recently began working from home, I needed to create an "Office Space" in my kitchen where I could actually accomplish something productive. First step was to make it really feel like my own space, so I went out and bought a lovely Phal (Noid of course) with three huge gracefully sweeping spikes filled with blooms and many un-opened buds.
Having kept alive, mostly through benign neglect and dumb luck, a tiny little phal purchased on impulse about three years ago from Lowe's, I figured it would be a no-brainer to take care of this new orchid. (the original tiny Phal had never done much of anything after losing its original spike except produce leaves and lots of aerial roots - in hindsight, I should have looked in the bottom of the pot - moss mush!!!)
After becoming very attached to my new vector for "Peace and Well Being" it lost all the buds that hadn't already opened. About two weeks later, the rest of the open blooms followed and I found the orchid board while searching for answers to what I had done wrong and how to bring my friend back from the brink.
After figuring that out, and realizing it would likely be quite some time before I get another spike, decided to spring for a new friend and ordered "Sharry Baby", in spike, from an ebay retailer. I have been a long time ebay user, it never occurred to me to look for orchids (Hosta....now that's a different problem....) and I was totally impressed with the vendor service and packaging of such a delicate item. Here it had been sitting upside down on my doorstep for hours and not a leaf was bent, spike intact. (thank you Orchid Gallery)
Turns out that Sharry loves my windowsill, is a monster of a plant, and has sent out three more spikes since arriving just before Memorial Day. That first spike is now about three feet tall and filled out with close to 70 blooms and they look like they'll open at any moment!
You all know where the obsession goes from there.... now it's two months and five more orchids later. Got a LOVELY bunch (from Kawamoto this time) last week. All these also arrived healthy, happy and in BLOOM no less. My favorite is a little mounted Tolumina with a two foot spike and the most perfect little burgundy velvet blooms I've ever seen. Also a Burr. 'Swiss Beauty' and Bpl (which I now know should be Pcv.) "Golden Peacock" 'Orange Beauty'.
Another Richard Mueller hybrid joined the ranks today "Yellow Bird".
Right now they are all enjoying bright indirect light in a north window (NOT North you say....) located about 8 feet from my BRIGHT WHITE south facing garage wall which reflects the light back through the window like a giant photographer's reflector. But I have several other places available to move them around to if they need more or less.
So much to learn, thanks for all the great info, and the wonderful forum in which to share.
Sharla and the Iowa Agility Corgi Crew