The Orchid Whisperer

July 27th, 2012

Wanna know something?  When it comes to indoor plants, I’ve never met an orchid I couldn’t kill.  It isn’t for lack of wanting to keep an orchid alive or an affection for the species.  In fact, I like to buy orchids from time to time and display them in my home, but truth is, I lack both the talent and patience to successfully care for them.  Yes that’s me, I fully admit I am an Orchid Killer.  I should start a new series called “things I suck at” because let me tell you “orchid grower” is super high on that list.

As we all know, orchids are so pretty displayed indoors – some designers label the mass produced Phalaenopsis as “ubiquitous” but I think all varieties are beautiful.  We acquired a few orchids earlier this year, and as with the two dozen other orchids I’ve ever purchased and owned over the course of my life, they look pretty for two weeks, the blooms fall off, and then the stem turns wooden and petrified, death results, and that’s the end of the story.

So here’s how things changed in our house and someone (not me) became The Orchid Whisperer.

Matt was on a real estate inspection a few months ago, and the woman who lived in the home he was appraising had an impressive collection of orchids that had rebloomed year after year.  Knowing his wife to be a notorious Orchid Killer, he inquired how he might take it upon himself to learn a few tricks – perhaps spare the lives of a few of the species – and asked this knowledgeable woman what really was the secret formula for orchids that rebloom?  And she spilled it.

So we he tested out these key pieces of advice over the course of the last few months, and hey guess what, they worked.

Exhibit A:  I brought home a moth Phalaenopsis orchid pictured here at my kids’ public school auction (mixed with curly willow) way back in early March and after the blooms fell off, I pretty much ignored it.  It sat there dormant, but Matt followed all the tips suggested, and look at it now, five months later.

 

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White + Wood Chest

July 26th, 2012

It’s a habit that can never be broken, and that is my constant need to visit to thrift stores in search of cool pieces.  Four out of five times I walk away empty handed after seeing a lot of junk, but last week was a gold mine at my local St. Vincent de Paul.  On the floor were no less than five pieces I would have loved to buy, including a beautiful French buffet plus a few fab armoires.  At one point, I heard two college girls discussing a six drawer dresser and they said “We can prime and paint this, I saw it on a blog” which made me feel proud of us DIY bloggers!  I departed with my favorite find, a fab little mid century style chest, and since it was 50% off day, it cost me $20 bucks.

I thought this little chest of drawers would be absolute perfection for my hub’s office – for storing extra office supplies.  Matt has his own small real estate office and all of the furniture is dark wood, but he’s a dude and he likes it that way so I don’t mess with that preference.  But I couldn’t pass up this perfectly sized piece that screamed “make me wonderful” so I brought it home and gave it a facelift.

He used to give me the hand pinching the top of the nose plus creased forehead combo when I brought beat up stuff home years ago – but no more.  I snuck this revamped piece into his office while he was out on an inspection and then got an email three hours later when he returned that read “LOVE it.”   Mission totally accomplished.

I’m a big big fan of the wood + white combo (hello, these tables and these shelves) so again I’m up to my old tricks.  I was inspired by this mod Austin Dresser by DucDuc and all the wood/white combinations – check out the reverse too!  The real wood drawers on this particular piece were just too amazing to cover up, but the laminate faux wood grain top?  Um, no.  Goodbye and good riddance.

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