• Charli

Oxalis and Orchids

I consider myself quite green fingered and love having plants in my life. Ever since I left home at 18 to got to college I have had plants. In fact one Begonia I have is the off-shoot of  one that Dad had over 30 years ago.

I have had Spider Plants, Wandering Sailors, African Violets, Avocados and currently share our home with a 5ft Weeping Fig, a 4ft Miniature Palm and an Ornamental Fig which I rescued from a primary school over 20 years ago, and various other thriving and not-so-thriving plants.

My favourite flowering plant is an Oxalis which Emma gave me about 10 years ago. She proudly informed me that it would happily bloom if it was ignored. So I duly ignored it – not literally of course, but no matter how much I pretended to be blasé about its growth, it rarely gave me more that 8-10 decent leaves and a brief burst of flowering.

I have the same problem with Orchids – no matter how much I research, ask, cajole friends who have successful flowering Orchids, whenever I am given one it dies once the bloom is over. I have followed every piece of advice in this regard but still with no success.

He bought me Bird of Paradise plants for my 50th last year and they have failed to bloom – they are sheltering in the Den in the hope that once the weather improves we can put them back outside. We spend time and money wrapping up our decking plants – a Fig which produces tasty figs , a Bamboo, a Lemon Tree and something that sounds like a Limoncello – possibly Mexican Mock Orange, and it is always a joy to unwrap them and watch them grow and bloom through the Spring and Summer – if we get a decent one.

Anyway, the Oxalis remained in the guest room after I had emptied it of clutter,  and redesigned it, plonked unceremoniously on the North facing window sill. I swear it has not stopped blooming since shortly after Emma died. I deliberately close the blinds in that room every night just so I can see Emma’s Oxalis every morning when I raise the blinds. It is the simple pleasures in life that can bring so much joy and a reminder that although our hearts heal we never forget.

Oxalis and Orchids – a poem

push down to anchor

reach up for the light

spread out wide and tall

send fragrance into the air.

Calm, green, breathe clean.

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