As many of you know, I’m an avid gardener and love spending time with my perennial flowers. It’s truly relaxing and when I’m digging in the dirt, it’s one of the best ways for me to think about my stories. I love a good plant “challenge” and I’ve encountered several over the years, but the biggest one was from “the orchid.” For years, I limited my indoor flowers to African violets and Christmas cacti. (I’m talking twenty-five violets right now and nine cacti.) Do they bloom? Of course. They’re beautiful. I understand exactly what they need and I’m vigilant.
And then there’s the orchid. Apparently, I give it too much attention and the flowers shrivel. Too much attention? I’m a nurturer—there is no such thing as too much attention. When the last orchid lost all of its flowers, friends gave me advice. Leave it alone. Don’t give it too much attention. Don’t water too much. Be patient. I took my inability to make the darn thing bloom personally. But I listened to the advice and moved the “stick” to an empty bedroom and left it alone. I visited once a week, watered…waited. One year later and ta-da! I’ve got blooms! Patience and persistence, the mantra I use in writing seems to work with orchid growing, too!