Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

My Memoirs #8 – Garden City Of Orchids

on October 24, 2016

My dad loves to plant orchids and at one time he had a collection of more than 150 pots of orchids nicely shelved in a wooden roofed structure in our garden.

But whatever dad starts, mum finishes ha ha. πŸ˜ƒ

Mum became the real potter of orchids and dad became the weekend gardener as he had to work and bring home the proverbial bacon then.

I would see mum pounding away on charcoal “logs” making them into small chunk sizes to put into the gardening pot.

Other times, mum would be “catching” mealy bugs or spraying pesticide to keep pests away from devouring her precious blooms.

She would spend hours from 3pm to 6pm wearing a sombero like straw hat to shield her from sun rays as she beavered amongst the pots, re-potting once the orchid plants outgrew its current pot.

6pm is her witching time to begin dinner preparations as dad comes home from work by 7pm.

Stakes or wooden structure would be plunged into the centre of the pot for the vines of orchids to cling onto as they strive upwards.

Orchids are spineless plants and their roots will gain foothold onto the charcoal bits as it clings to the wooden pole in the middle where it is tied to for support to stand.

Our national flower is the Orchid Vanda Ms Joachim. It is a petite purple hued or orchid that is simple and nothing much to crow about to me. But I guess the simplicity shows our simple lives without natural resources.

Above: Vanda Ms Joachim

Over the years, our country’s cultivation of the orchid flowers turned it into a bouyant lucrative orchid industry as we export our lovely blooms a across the world.

I believe the Europeans love Orchids vibrant colors. It comes in glorious hues of orange, red, purple, yellow. You name it, our horticulturists will breed it. Soon these orchids are seen in airports of the world in nicely gift wrapped boxes.

With every foreign dignitary that passed through lil red dot as our honored guest, we will name an orchid that is specially bred for him or her or both.

I do remember the late Lady Diana had a type of orchid named after her.

The Botanical Gardens incubates and specially dedicate an area aptly named Orchid Garden.

If you enter this garden, the first thing that greets you is a curtain of yellow flowers called Golden Showers.

Inside this garden you will see all the different hybrids of orchids grafted or bred.

Chicken took her family to visit the gardens recently and she sent me these photos she had taken.

In 2015, our founding father passed and the government dedicated this beautiful Aranda Lee Kuan Yew to commemorate the contributions of this great man. Below is the orchid I took a photo of when I went to pay my last respects at.

Orchids are meant for every or any occasion. Be it a happy one or a memorable one.

It is a dignified flower. Strong and lasting, cut blooms of orchids can last for weeks.

Our local culture believes in standing orchid blooms in vases of water containing dissolved panadol or aspirin. It lasts longer than usual use of water.

Orchids, like the peopling of lil red dot are resilient.

For me, I am an appreciator of irises, lavenders, daffodils, tiger lilies, roses and sunflowers.

I find orchids stiff and “plasticky”😁

Typical of me….grass always greener on other side…πŸ˜‰

So why are orchids featured in my memoirs?

Each time I see orchids it reminds me of how my parents stick together through economic crisis. 

Lehman Brothers, Asian Crisis, Sars and now the tough high unemployment situation which is caused by a slowing world economy and how America votes on November 11 2016…as a family my parents have stood by us.

As parents age, I age.

They cannot be with me forever as they are not immortals, though I wish they are.

But like the circle of life, replacements happen and I am mindful of this eventual day. 

When that time comes, I will be deeply affected and will look at orchids to remember them both.

I am not wealthy to afford to name an orchid after them and will generically see all orchids and think of this oddball couple who take turns bickering and accusing each other for not taking better care of the orchids.

As a child, I watched their weekend ritual with dad as weekend warrior and mum’s daily routine complaining why this or that orchid has not bloomed.

Yes…orchids…you either love them or hate them 😊

 *All photos are courtesy of Chicken


24 responses to “My Memoirs #8 – Garden City Of Orchids

  1. The V Pub says:

    I started growing orchids about 3 years ago. So far, I haven’t lost one. I now have 3 and find them to be among the most beautiful flowers in the world.

  2. Lovely flowers and yes you need to know how to grow them to keep them long and cute. Liked your memories.

  3. Beautiful flowers πŸ™‚ I must confess I like roses best though! πŸ™‚

  4. calmkate says:

    Great post, I remember when Singapore Airlines used to give every female passenger an orchid!

  5. scifihammy says:

    Orchids are amazing and varied, but like you, they are not my favourite flower. Lovely to read of your childhood memories of your parents growing them. πŸ™‚

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