Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Freebie: BHG's Orchid Manual

Brassia Rex Christine ~ my most 'exotic' orchid
Do you grow Orchids? I avoided them for years. Thinking they were too high maintenance. The only person I knew who grew them kept all of hers on a kitchen counter, near a north facing window.

When they're not in bloom, they're the ugliest things. Or, so I thought. 

Gangly stems stretch to the sun as new buds begin to take shape.
Once I embraced the challenge of getting orchids to re-bloom, I totally changed my tune. These days, I'm as excited with the green shoots and buds as I am with the stunning flowers.

Orchids keep me company while I'm washing dishes.
This is my kitchen window. It faces west. Whatever orchids are currently in bloom take up residence here. No sunlight reasons behind that. Simple selfishness! Inspecting those intricate blossoms takes my mind off the fact that I'm standing there, washing dishes.

Lady Slipper Orchid

Which brings me to this week's Freebie  ~ a book I absolutely positively DO NOT want to give away. (I promised I would give it away, therefore I have to.) I learned a few new tricks by reading this book.

BH&G's Orchid Gardening book is everything you've ever wanted to know about Orchids.

From basic care to DIY orchid soils to creating an orchid hospital when some of them require life support. (Plus, some hand holding when it's time to throw that baby into the compost pile and start all over again. :)

I have one copy of this book to give away. Please leave a comment if you'd like to be in the drawing.

* Better Homes & Gardens gave me a collection of plant-related books to read, review and give away.

Hence, the 'Friday Freebie' thing, which will continue with something new for the next few weeks. If you're not big Orchids, pop over next Friday to yak about Herbs.

** To be completely fair in selecting a winner, I have my neighbor draw names out of a hat. (Gives me a fine excuse to hang out over at her place and eat all of her cookies.)

CONGRATULATIONS TO LAST WEEK'S WINNER: Melospiza. I'll be mailing you the Yes! You Can! canning and preserving book. Just as soon as you send me your address. :))


Carly said...

*bouncing up and down* Pick me! Pick me! I absolutely adore orchids and some knowledge would help me brave up and try varieties other than the moth orchid.

I don't blame you for not wanting to let these treasures go. You are a stronger woman than I :)

Melospiza said...

Yay! And yum. (And also, I take myself out of the drawing for this week's book. I love orchids, but I hate overwinning even by accident).

Thank you!

Hydro Pros said...

Love Orchids! Mine never seen to bloom just right... but then my plants tend to die under my care. A green thumb i do not have.

Anonymous said...

Please don't enter me in the contest -- I just wanted to say that the photos are truly magnificent.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am always impressed when someone says they can make orchids bloom. I can keep them alive but they never b loom for me. Love your photos. That first one looks so exotic. Not your typical. Better give the book to someone that has a chance at blooms. :0

ProfessorRoush said...

I used to grow orchids. Had a friend who gave me them as up to 25 at one time. Then, one year while away in the winter for a week the thermostat got turned of....there were no survivors. And I never missed them. Well, maybe a fragrant cattleya or two.

JD said...

Hi, I remember Brenda Starr and her lover(?) who traveled the world looking for the elusive Black orchid. Only the rich could afford orchids!jd

Lona said...

What beauties your orchids are Kate. I kill the poor things somehow even if I try not to drown them.I do not want in the drawing but had to tell you how pretty your orchids are. Have a great weekend!

RURAL said...

Oh that sounds good, both a chance to win the book, and having orchids near you when you are washing up the dishes. I am going to get some for my kitchen sink. It faces north, when we get in there.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Marguerite said...

oh goodie another book! and I could use this one too. I bought a moth orchid last year and just spent some time looking up repotting on the internet. Next step, trying to get it to bloom again. If I can keep this one alive for a while longer I just might be tempted to try one of the fancy varieties. Yours are gorgeous.

joey said...

How fun, Kate ... I adore orchids and have had fairly good success in their re-blooming. Even if they don't make it, they are divine and give me great pleasure. I love how, once so pricey and many like slipper orchids still are, easy growers like the moth orchids are now so readily available at reasonable prices. Count me in! (I have oodles of orchid images on my blog!)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kate girl I absolutely REALLY did try my best with some easy orchids .. but girl ... I murdered the poor thing .. so I think it is best for me not to take another toll on these gorgeous plants and yours are amazing !
Hey ... how many days until Halloween girl ?? hahaha
Joy : ) wink wink

sweetbay said...

Your orchids are gorgeous! You always have the most beautiful houseplants.

gagasgarden said...

Kate, I went to the Missouri Botanic Gardens Orchid Show in St. Louis this past week-end, and the display was wonderful but your pictures certainly rival theirs! I grow roses but find orchids so intimidating. Your pictures are beyond beautiful.

gagasgarden said...

Your pictures are absolutely amazing. I find orchids so intimidating. Thank-you for your encouraging words about the ease of growing them.

Melanie J Watts said...

Hi kate, I absolutely do not want this book although your photos are gorgeous and I admire your skill getting the orchids to flower again. :)

Unknown said...

I hope I'm not too late. I am sooooooo bad with orchids but I love them. I have a whole lighted table in my greenhouse full of nonblooming orchids. I am the worst at watering for long periods of time but the big issue is Fear of Repotting. I don't know why I am so intimidated by repotting, but I procrastinate and stall and walk by the plant, humming and whistling (so they won't see me me) and tell myself I will read an orchid book to find out how to do it. The poor dears don't die, but they sure look sad.