La Muerta

I’ve never been good at growing plants. As much as I like them, I don’t have the green thumb necessary to keep a nursery or grow a yard full of blooming plants.

Orchids have always been a passion. Once the fever struck, I was lost to the allure of these mysterious and enticing plants that dazzle with their color, scents, and varieties. There are so many species and hybrids of orchids here in South Florida, it’s difficult to determine where they come from or if they are native to the area. Every year, botanical gardens host festivals and shows where vendors from as far as Thailand come to display their rarest blooms. For me, a short drive to Homestead provides enough nursuries and growing farms to indulge my decandent pleasures for this plant.

La Muerta, here picutred, is an oncidium typically known as Dancing Lady. The orchid’s yellow petals resemble a dancer’s long dress that floats on a breeze. The are different colors and types of oncidium, but yellow has always been my favorite because they are sometimes hard to find.

La Muerta, or the Dead One, as I so named this orchid surprised me last week with a stalk full of flowers that bloomed this week after a cold spell. I named her thus after I had given up her and decided to let her perish on her own. Orchids, being the kind of plants that thrive on neglect, took it upon itself to survive and surprised me with the kind of flower I fell for in the first place.

I was so delighted by the plant’s blooms, I went to the nearest garden shop and bought her a new pot as a reward. Given that I’m not too familiar with the oncidium’s needs, I was careful not to buy the store’s lot, and returned home to enjoy the flowers before they wilt and become a fond memory.

This has given me hope that my thumbs are not as hopeless as I thought them to be. Perhaps in the past I smothered my orchids and didn’t give them enough room to grow on their own. This makes me wonder the kind of parent I’d be if I was to have children, but I’m glad I have nothing to worry about in such matters. For now, La Muerta serves as a reminder that no matter the obstacles, Nature always finds a way — even if it’s me the one getting in Nature’s way.