These are not from the grocery store.

Chances are good that many reading this are experiencing what I like to call winter, complete with uncomfortably cold temps and maybe some kind of white coating outside. It’s not a time for gardening for a lot of us and there probably aren’t flowers available for gathering. Solution: buy lovely bouquets and spread them around the house, right? Maybe. That would work, but after a week, at best, it’s time to toss the stems and pour out their stinky water. And then you need to buy more.

I think it was Rant cofounder Michele Owens who posted once that she bought grocery store orchids for this purpose, and found that the successive blooms went for weeks longer than any cut flowers. When finished (which could take a month), she was happy to toss (i.e., compost) these plants with the same abandon she would with dead bouquets. Like me, Michele is not exactly an orchid whisperer; we’ve both tried to keep them going for rebloom indoors and have failed. My issue is the same one I have outside in many spots: dry and not enough light.

But everybody can look like an orchid expert for at least a month, which isn’t bad, considering that the average grocery store Phal can cost as little as $15, which is par with many bouquets, including those crappy musty-smelling roses (which generally give out after 4 days).

I must be honest and say I don’t really have this problem now: my house is stuffed with hippeastrum, hyacinths, tazettas, and tulips in some phase of bud or bloom (as seen above). But if I didn’t have them, I would buy an orchid for every room. Orchids just seem right for winter. Maybe I’ll still get some.