I have had a couple of house plants die on me recently. One was a 10 year old Christmas cactus that I had forgotten to water for about a month (well, it is a cactus!) and the other was part of a dragon tree - the large part is fine but the 'baby' died. Oh dear. So today I headed over to Longacres with hubby and the girls to choose a few new plants. I had already decided that I was going to buy an orchid as I seem to be very good with these flowers. I have one that is almost 10 years old in my kitchen and it even grew a baby plant, which is now 5. Perhaps I should get them birthday cards?
So, with the orchid in mind, and ignoring the girls' repeated requests for a big, bouncy ball (they still want one) and pretty much anything else shiny (S is part magpie I'm sure), we headed in. Wow!! I think Longacres has the biggest range of orchids I have ever seen. Tables and tables of them, a huge array of colours and so many varieties. It was even better than Wisley!
I loved that they had different ways of displaying the plants. One oval shaped pot had 3 separate plants in it and looked very effective. Another had a circular wire over it and the orchids had been trained to grow around it. This I found stunning but sadly it was only available in white (and I've already got a white one). I decided on a gorgeous yellow flowering variety called Ambiance Phalaenopsis (£5.99) as I don't yet have yellow in my kitchen.
The girls loved the miniature roses and whilst they looked lovely, I'm sorry to say that I'm not much use with those and once the flowers drop off, the rest of the plant normally follows. Think Whomping Willow in Harry Potter shedding it's leaves all in one go. Yes, that. Normally when a door slams. So, knowing my limitations, I went for a white variety of azalea (£4.99) as my second plant, and something I've not really seen before called Streptocarpus (£7.99) as my final choice.
Azalea are a good plant for me. They grow well indoors and once they have stopped flowering, I tend to put them into the garden in spring where they thrive.
Streptocarpus reminded me somewhat of an orchid but what captured my eye was the information on it saying it flowered for 8-10 months of the year. An ideal kitchen plant for me.
The girls spotted these cute orchid supports and they're only £1.49 each. I have small canes on mine at the moment but I might go back and buy some of these as they certainly look much prettier.
Naturally the girls want them as magic wands but knowing my two, they'd not last too long like that. As we also headed off geocaching yesterday, I popped into a local garden centre chain (who shall remain nameless) and spotted that their orchids were £2 dearer each than the ones I bought in Longacres. Savvy (and just a tiny bit smug) shopper that I am!