I have completely been procrastinating on this post.
I mean… when it comes to writing about yourself who is really ready or up for that challenge?
How much is enough? How much is too much?
So while this may be a little disconnected, I truly just want to share with you that I’m just an ordinary person with an ordinary obsession… or addiction… whichever you want to call it… for orchids.
My addiction is relatively new, but my story with orchids goes back about 12 years to my first orchid.
It really wasn’t anything exciting. Just a grocery store orchid that found its way into my home and with information I received from a lady at the local garden center I took off to care for my orchid and thankfully it re-bloomed every year.
I had no idea that it was supposed to be difficult and frustrating. I just went on the little info I had and grew my orchid. I don’t think I ever even re-potted it. EVER.
Then life happened and I moved and was without my orchid for a few years (my mom ended up killing it although I’m not sure how).
In the fall of 2016, I found myself freshly moved to Atlanta.
While unpacking and going about familiarizing myself with the property I stepped out my front door to see that the neighbors (that I knew were on vacation for several weeks) had thrown an orchid out on the ground near the house.
How could they do that???
I had no idea that people thought they were “disposable” and when I did learn that, I was completely perplexed at the idea. I mean… IT’S A PLANT!!! THEY CONTINUE TO GROW!
Anyway… I picked the little guy up off the ground, took him in the house and put him to soak for about an hour in a bowl of water.
Quite frankly… that was where the reality of my story started.
A few short months later I had acquired 3 more “rescue” orchids by dumpster diving at Lowe’s, and my husband actually purchased one for me from Ikea.
That, my friends, was the beginning of the end.
I wanted to know how to nurture my little friends and help them to grow and thrive and bloom once more.
So being the research freak that I am… I headed to the internet.
I managed to pull my head out of the complete overwhelm after a few hours and found something that resembled all of the orchids I had.
My hope was that I could find enough info to care for them and figure out everything else later.
Keep in mind, I figured “later” would be at least 4 or 5 years down the road.
I did find a bunch of info and made a decision on how to care for them and started to work.
It didn’t take long and I was rewarded with new root tips and new leaves… yes, even from the little guy that I found laying by the house.
During that time, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens put out their announcement about the annual Orchid Days celebration they have in the spring. Needless to say, it went on my calendar with a quickness!
The day finally arrived for everything to open at the Botanical Gardens and I had my ticket.
In the meantime, most of my little rescues managed to bloom and I was elated at their long spikes laden with bright blooms. This only fueled my excitement for the time at the Botanical Gardens
After hours spent in their dedicated orchid house… looking… sniffing… taking pics of tags with names on them… sighing… gasping… sniffing a little more… and finally giving into my husband’s need to step out of the hot and humid greenhouse for fresh air…
I was sufficiently saturated with the burning desire to learn more about this crazy world of orchids and the THOUSANDS of varieties available for in-home cultivation.
Oh… and I left that day with a season membership that I’m happy to say we use at least every two weeks and sometimes more.
Over the next 3 months, I attended orchid shows, joined the Atlanta Orchid Society, and made several really wonderful “orchid-ing” friends.
I also managed to grow my collection from 4 little rescue Phalaenopsis orchids to nearly 40 plants that included oncidiums, dendrobiums, miltoniopsis, vandas, paphiopedilums, and a few others.
My need to learn became insatiable and with every new plant I acquired, my thirst became more intense and my eyes brightened with eagerness.
Problems on the horizon…
There was only one major problem that I could see… I mean… aside from the fact that my home was looking like it could quickly become overrun with orchids…
The problem is that there is SO much information available. Much of it is in pieces and parts. And a lot of it falls in one of two camps… the purists and the lovers. Those are my terms no one else’s.
What I mean by that is, it FEELS like there are those who are all about the genealogy of the plant and “breeding” or cultivating the perfect specimen whether it is some sort of specific hybrid or a pure species original.
Then there is the other side… those who are essentially backyard growers who may or may not even have names, labels, or ID’s for their plants but happily go along with doing their best to grow beautiful plants full of blooms.
For lack of a better way of describing it… it feels like The Royal’s versus the “white trash”.
While I know that is not exactly the case, that is how it appears.
My problem is that I have found an abundance of wonderful information from both sides that have worked for my plants.
And… to make matters more complicated… I have made friends on both sides.
So why does all of that bring me to this post and the creation of iKillOrchids.com?
Because really what I want to do is to tap into the best of both worlds and use this platform to offer a central place for people to learn new things in a fun atmosphere designed to inspire and inform rather than to intimidate.
I want to use my own journey as an example and an inspiration for anyone stepping into this wonderful world.
I want all of you to know that I DO know what it’s like to kill an orchid and have to muster up the strength to admit it and embrace the lesson behind it.
Like… how NOT to kill one next time.
But I also know what it’s like to step back and look at a beautiful healthy plant that is laden with unique blooms, feel the pride of know it is that way because of the time and love I have put into it…
And then to stand back and say… “BAM… I KILLED it” and show off the most amazing orchid display yet!
So I’m asking you to join me on a journey of learning and experimenting.
A journey of learning from mistakes and discovering what works for our own situations and how to recognize it.
A journey of choosing our level of involvement from hobbyist to the purist or wherever in-between. Or even back and forth.
A journey of love for the obsession. Passion for pursuit. And the craziness we embrace in our endeavor to reach or next orchid-ing goal.
So… Hi. My name is Jeremie and I want to welcome you to a labor of love and one of my three passions… the world of orchids.
Jeremie Carroll: My passions include life (living it fully), marketing (my chosen career), and ORCHIDS (my addiction and hobby)!