Puttering around…

It’s a bright sunny day – the rain clouds are gathering for our afternoon showers, but right now it’s beautiful outside. And it’s Saturday. Even though I’m retired, weekends still have that ‘oh, it’s the weekend’ feeling.

This morning I visited the pet store and brought home a companion. Meet Henry Thomas Fish, Mr. Fish for short. Or Henry. He’s a crown-tail betta, and he seems very happy in his new digs. I love bettas, they’re very social and good pets 🙂

Henry’s bowl is actually the vase from my Mother’s Day orchid gift from David. Sweet son – he’s been gifting me with orchids for my birthday and Mother’s Day for years. And he gets me orchid plants, not the blossoms. This vase held two plants with about 30 blooms. Wowser.

And this morning I potted them. Under all that lovely composition in the vase, orchid plants from a florist are usually crammed into a plastic pot or bag, with their roots wrapped around and stuffed with sphagnum moss.  And they’ll be very wet, in the interest of maintaining the bloom, not the plant. But all that wetness will rot the plant pretty quickly.

So – out of the vase, and time for a clean and trim.

I pulled out all that wet moss and released the roots. Can you believe all of these roots were in that little plastic container?!

Next, I pruned all the dead/rotting roots.

And here’s this baby being potted…

My favorite orchid potting mix – it’s fir bark, charcoal, and coarse perlite (not those pesky perlite beads you see in potting soil). Although it can be used for almost all types of orchids, I use a mix without the perlite for anything outside. In a pinch, one could pick out the perlite! 

While I was at it, I re-potted my other two porch orchids, and now all of them are resting on the bench while they acclimate. 
These are phalaenopsis orchids, which do well in pots and love a north exposure, either inside or on a porch. They don’t grow well in the trees because they don’t like water in their crowns. In the wild, they actually grow with their leaves pointing down or sideways. A tough lesson – I lost a couple, thinking I could grow them outside with my vandas and cattleyas.
I also took on a little maintenance work in the loft this afternoon – I think of this as ‘call back’ sewing. I needed to run triple-zigzag stitching around the waistbands of 5 pairs of pull-on pants, to keep the elastic from rolling. And add buttons on the front so I stop putting them on backwards! 
Parting shot: Zebra butterflies roosting in the guava tree ahead of a rainstorm on Thursday. By the time the rain came, there were about fifty zebras in these low-hanging branches. Lovely and a little rare – they usually shelter higher up in the tree.
Bye for now! Coco

11 thoughts on “Puttering around…

  1. Thanks for your lovely nature photos. It's a treat to someone from the cold North. Thanks also for the orchid info. I have always liked them but am wary of taking one on, as they seemed difficult.

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  2. Well, what a handsome fish! And it doesn't bark. 😉
    I mark the back of pull-ons if I need to with a Sharpie dot. Far to lazy for sewing buttons on.
    Such beautiful orchids Coco.

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  3. Hi girl! Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one 🙂 I was driven to get to the buttons because I walked all around the grocery store this week with my britches on backwards…

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  4. What a lovely day! I have one orchid plant that probably desperately needs repotting — I will refer to your tutorial on this:) And I have the same problem with my pull-on pants — I should add a button!

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