The How Come of Orchid Growing

We have all pondered the what, the where and the why when it comes to orchid growing, sometimes we may be lucky enough to work out some answers. Lately I have been wondering about the following list of questions, each of which should be prefixed with “How come”

  1. your car keys are always in the wrong pocket when you have the other arm full of plants?
  2. you only hit flower busting potholes on the way to a meeting or show and never on the way home?
  3. bugs only nibble the flowers on your best plants?
  4. (in light of the above) .. bugs and orchid judges are on the same branch of the evolutionary tree?
  5. if it rains it always happens in the afternoon after you have just watered?
  6. the week before a show is dull, cool and cloudy only when you are trying to get buds open?
  7. the best flowers open up just after each show?
  8. a missing tag is never on the bench or ground in the vicinity of the plant?
  9. you always run out of fertilizer with only one bench to go?
  10. dendrobium beetles become invisible the moment that they hit the ground?
  11. some sprays need to be applied to both sides of the leaves – don’t scientists know how difficult this is?
  12. orchid fairs and shows always coincide with your club show or a family event?
  13. the hose always kinks in the same place?
  14. you always leave behind one plant, invariably a good one, when you leave home for a meeting?
  15. the pen you keep handy to write on tags is always dry when you go to use it?
  16. bugs never eat a whole flower but prefer to graze on several?
  17. the seedling that you let go is always better than the ones you keep?
  18. seed pods that form naturally always have more seed than those created with a toothpick?
  19. scientific descriptions are still done in Latin – do old Roman orchid growers in heaven still need to read stuff?
  20. the botanist who does a good job of describing a ‘new’ species loses out to an earlier botanist who did such a lousy description that no one can identify it until they look at the type specimen?
  21. scorching hot summer days only happen when you are away?
  22. someone inside the house turns on a tap just when you are trying to water a plant at the very back of the bench and when you give up waiting and start to aim at a small plant right in front of you they turn the tap off (think water pressure) ?
  23. your neighbour to the north-east decides to grow large trees while your neighbours to the south and west never grow trees?
  24. people from the public ask for orchid growing advice and then immediately argue with you?
  25. bacteria, fungi, virus and bugs are never attacked by orchids?

I wonder how come?

Neville Roper
ENAR, June 2007

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