Hello Lover, Won’t You Be Mine?

February 13th, 2013 § Comments Off on Hello Lover, Won’t You Be Mine? § permalink

Luna-Guzmania-â“’-Michaela-at-thegardenerseden.com_Express Your Heartfelt Passion with Some Pizazz: Guzmania ‘Luna’ (Read More About Beautiful Bromeliads Here)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and everything, everywhere, is coming up roses. Yes, a rose is a rose is a rose, and by any other name it would certainly smell as sweet. But when it comes to expressing your love with flowers, there’s no need to be hemmed in by thorns. Why not turn the dial up a notch this year and reach for something a little more seductive. . . Dare I suggest that you select something a bit wilder, more exotic or even a little suggestive? Hey, it’s all for love!

Paphiopedilum-at-Lyman-Conservatory-prim-â“’-michaela-thegardenersedenJust Because You’re Hot, It Doesn’t Mean You’re High Maintenance. The Paphiopedilum Orchids, Like This Beauty, are Relatively Easy Care, and Come in Every Color You Could Possibly Desire. (Learn More About Easy-Care Orchids Here)

Purest-White-Moth-Orchid ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden.com_1Say Something Innocent, But a Little Bit Sexy,  with a White Moth (Phalenopsis Orchid). (Read More About Easy-Care Orchids, Here)

Paphiopedilum-Orchid-at-Lyman-Conservatory-â“’-michaela-thegardenerseden.comPaphiopedilum Orchid Speaks to the Fiery Side of Romance (Read More About Orchids Here)

Orchids are undoubtably the way to my heart —and many of them easy care, which I featured previously here— but there are plenty of other beauties in the hot house harem. Looking to woo your lover with something unusual? Check out the gorgeous Cape Primrose  (Streptocarpus) family. My long-standing favorite is the dark, handsome Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’, pictured below; which I also featured previously here and here, among my many mentions of this unusual beauty. Other exciting tropical flowers include the bold Bromeliads and the beguiling Begonias, among the many beyond-the-rose-bush choices. And isn’t there something to be said for giving a living plant, instead of just a cut flower? Why not step out to your local florist or greenhouse and invest in a little, out-of-the-ordinary, recurring love this Valentine’s Day . . .

Begonia-Royal-Lustre-Leaf-Close-Up-â“’-2011-Michaela-at-The-Gardeners-Eden-WMWhy Not Give a Seductive, Silvery Goddess Like Begonia ‘Royal Lustre’ (Read More About This Starlet Here)

Streptocarpus-Black-Panther-â“’-Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.comjpgOr a Darkly Handsome Charmer, Like Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’ (Read More About This Sexy Specimen Here)

Peperomia-caperata-Raspberry-Ripple-l-©-2010 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.com Or a Sweet, Heart-Shaped Beauty, Like Peperomia caperata ‘Raspberry Ripple’ (Hello, I Love You, Find More About Me Here)

Guzmania-Passion-â“’-Michaela-at-thegardenerseden.com_Send a Sexier Message with a Bromeliad, Like Guzmania ‘Passion’ (Read More Here)

Garden-Room-â“’-Michaela-at-TGE-1Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’ is a Generous Lover… It Just Keeps on Giving. And Isn’t That the Message You Want to Send?

Photography and Text â“’ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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What’s Love Got to Do With It ? Confessions of Lust, Longing & Orchid Obsession…

February 14th, 2011 § Comments Off on What’s Love Got to Do With It ? Confessions of Lust, Longing & Orchid Obsession… § permalink

It Always Starts so Innocently… Water Droplets on a Pure White Phalenopsis

When I say ‘Valentine’s Day’, do you think red, long stemmed roses? Many people do. After all, roses certainly are lovely and romantic. But sexy? When I think about Valentine’s Day —and that naughty, naked, imp Cupid: flitting about and firing off poison darts laced with love potion number nine— I think about lust, longing, and mind-melting passion. And roses? Well, they seem just a little bit too buttoned-up for all that.

Now the orchid —there is a sexy flower! Exotic, fashionable and elusive; if orchids could speak, they would whisper blush-inducing phrases in breathy, foreign accents. Suggestive looking? Oh yes. And to the insatiable orchidophile, this seductive flower is a much more accurate symbol of passion and desire than a prim-and-proper rose…

Paphiopedilum orchilla ‘Chilton’ at Lyman Conservatory

Phalenopsis Beside the Bath

Paphiopedilum primulinum at Lyman Conservatory

My long-standing love affair with orchids began rather innocently —sparked some years ago, by a pure-white Phalenopsis— and slowly, it has morphed into something I can only describe as obsession. The barely-restrained desire I feel for these plants is most evident on visits to the local conservatory, where —instead of relaxing and enjoying the warm, tropical environment— I find myself breaking out in a cold sweat; mentally-mortgaging my home in mad pursuit of the ultimate orchid house. From the common, easy-to-grow Cymbidiums, Oncidiums, Phalenopsis and Paphiopedilums, to the luminous-violet, musky-scented Bollea coelestis and the fiercely-fantastic Draculas: I love them all.

A Lusty-Looking Cymbidium (C. ‘Tiny Tiger’ ) at Lyman Conservatory

Orchids have a reputation for being difficult to grow. And while it’s true that some of them are indeed, quite challenging —even for experts— the degree of difficulty varies by species. Choose your love wisely, and you won’t be disappointed! Phaelenopsis are not only inexpensive as orchids go, but they are among the easiest to care for and grow —there’s a reason you find them at Home Depot— and they also offer some of the most seductive, beautifully colored flowers. Phalenopsis are tolerant of low-light conditions, which makes them a good choice for those of us living up north. This Asian tropical does like moist air, so place her on a bathroom vanity or in a steamy, humidifier-enhanced boudoir and watch her glow. The roots of this plant should be kept moist, but never soggy —bark mixtures are a good growing medium— and a liquid fertilizer (one intended for orchids and other ephiphytes is best) applied weekly will result in enhanced vigor, and healthy growth. Cool fall temperatures trigger Phalenopsis’ bloom (50 F or so), and recreating these conditions will increase the likelihood of repeat flowering.

Of course, not everyone loves epiphytes the way I do, but they certainly are sexy. So, if you are looking to inspire a bit of passion in your Valentine, consider a trip to the orchid room of your local conservatory later today. Or better yet, why not wrap up an exotic Paphiopedilum or Phalenopsis, and send a message that’s just a bit more racy than a rose-is-a-rose-is-a-rose….

Happy Valentine’s Day xo Michaela

Now Here’s a Come-Hither Glance, If I Ever Saw One!

And for the true Orchidophile, consider giving the one and only ‘little black book’: William Cullina’s Understanding Orchids

Article and photos are â“’ Michaela at TGE

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