ORCHIDS TO SMILE AT YOU
By Margaret Riley
No matter where you create (spare bedroom, basement, garage, etc.), good lighting is essential. But not everyone can knock a wall out just to have good lighting. This article is not about lighting (but could be a good article in the future!). My mother always grew African violets. I watched every day for those wonderful purple, pink, or white blooms to appear. My sister can grow violets, too. I’m trying but find that orchids grow best for me. And requires little light.
Orchids give you wonderful blooms on a stalk that can last 2-3 months. They are gorgeous!!! I have 19 orchids but mine are all outside as they are wonderful adapting plants for the climate where I live. With most, I bought in a pot and kept it in my studio until the blooming subsided. If you pay $10 for an orchid and it lasts for 3 months, how could you not have an orchid plant sitting on your painting table? The bloom reminds me of a face. Maybe a face with its tongue sticking out.
Orchids come in a variety of colors. They require very little lighting and they like to stay in one place. They don’t like heat or cool air blowing directly on them nor do they like bright sunshine on them. Don’t overwater an orchid. Place your pot into a sink of water up to the top of the pot, let rest for 20 minutes, and remove from the water (room temperature please). Use orchid fertilizer about every 6 weeks but refrain during the non-blooming time to give it a rest.
Take advantage of having those pleasing blooms from an artist’s point of view. Do some sketch work and some paintings while you have a “live” model. Orchids have little to no aroma so it’s perfect for allergy prone people. An orchid is a great gift to give….and to receive!