Saturday, January 17, 2009

The darkest/coldest hour is just before the dawn: literally and metaphorically: It will be much warmer for the Inauguration

As a GPA, 4.0 is great, but as a temperature (F) it's pretty much not so good. I hate to sound like a whiner when so many others are dealing with so much colder temperatures, but this is Washington DC and we're not used to this! Yesterday when it was 12F overnight, meteorologists told us that we hadn't experienced such weather for 5 years. I'm thinking we've got to go back a lot farther to match 4F. The good news is that this morning the wind is supposed to shift to the SW then the S and bring warmer temperatures for the remainder of the Inaugural. On a personal note, I am happy that sub-freezing temperatures did not reach the Florida garden and house with the unprotected plumbing!

I just took this picture of Stenorrynchus speciosus, an orchid that I bought as the NCOS show/sale at the Arboretum this past October. Sitting in the window, lit warmly by the morning sun, it stands in optimistic contrast to the grey bleak garden behind it. I am not familiar with the plant at all. Research tells me it is South American, goes dormant after flowering, blooms around the winter solstice, and is purportedly easily grown in the house. I have been misled before by this last assertion but so far so good. I can see it has abundant thick roots and it has been flowering since Thanksgiving. That's good. And it doesn't take up a lot of space. Again good.

We actually do a good job of reflowering orchids. There are 6 others blooming now that have lived here a year or more. There are about 20 total; another 5 are in spike and 4 have just finished flowering. I am trying to shift the collection towards smaller plants so this will be a great addition if it works. No more mini-cymbidiums. I have planted some of them in Florida where they cheerfully fight their way through the drought. The only question about them is whether they get enough cooling to set flower buds. They aren't that great foliage plants!

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