Some plants just seem to grow well despite what you do or don’t do to them. The zygocactus or schlumbergera is one such hardy plant. Everybody seems to have magnificent specimens during flowering season. But have you ever been good at growing a plant that others may have less success with? And what’s more, you have no idea why? This has been the case for me with cymbidium orchids.
A friend remarked on my apparent talents in this regard when she visited my tiny courtyard recently. I confess I was tempted to take credit, but had to admit I really had no idea why. Before you award me moral points for honesty, it was simply fear of being found out. She would have been onto my little deception immediately. She is no slouch in the garden either, being the queen of phalenopsis orchids, but professes success with cymbidiums eludes her. So why do we get different results? I really have no idea.
Comparing our methods there appears to be little difference in our regimes. We live in the same climate zones although she is closer to the beach. We are both avid gardeners although she is far more methodical than I am. Oh all right! That’s two important differences.
My mother would have explained the mystery by saying:
‘It’s all in the way you hold your tongue.’
I considered this advice carefully as a child when my chest remained stubbornly flat but realised after some serious lingual gymnastics that she was being facetious.
This morning my green-thumbed buddy and I joined another friend for breakfast after an early morning walk. Discussions are wide ranging during these lovely interludes. We share so much history and many common interests, including gardening. Despite a shaky start, I came away feeling uplifted just for being in their company. They have amazing emotional barometers but I feel sure they didn’t notice the positive effect they had on me.
So what is this serendipitous confluence of elements that results in successful nurturing, whether it be plants or friends?
If you’re expecting answers I’m afraid I have none. It remains a mystery to me.
Maybe I’m not holding my tongue quite right?
Perhaps the importance is in just holding it?
Or maybe this is a case of tongue in cheek?