Overheard Orchid Conversation

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Once upon a time, an orchid was rescued from a big box store. She was lovingly placed on the edge of a tub in front of a glass block window. Before being placed, she noticed an artificial orchid was whisked away. Real is always better than fake, she mused to only herself. Every week she welcomed the ice cubes placed at her base. Slowly they melted and trickled down to feed her roots. Life was good until . . .

Orchid 2 showed up. It shocked orchid 1! For a while they stood side by side, but  one day they were each assigned a corner. Both lunged for the light, but they stole glances to the opposite corner occasionally conversing. One day someone eavesdropped on their conversation.

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Two orchid plants stare at each other day after day. Each one thinks it is the most beautiful.

IMG_2004Orchid 1: I don’t know why you are here. I was doing a perfectly fine job of being the center of attention in this room.


IMG_1994Orchid 2: Really, a fine job? I hear you were dropping blossoms left and right. Your days were numbered, so they brought in someone fresh, full of blossoms to fill the void that you were leaving.


IMG_2004Orchid 1: Obviously, you are wrong. Have you not noticed that my current flowers are gorgeous, full of color, not pale and pasty white like you? I even have a couple of buds, just waiting for the right time to pop open.

IMG_1994Orchid 2: Excuse me, I am not pasty white! I believe alabaster or eggshell or vanilla are better words to describe my color. If you bothered to look closely, you would see vivid colors at the center. stripes of magenta and a pool of soft yellow that builds in intensity.

IMG_2004Orchid 1: Blah, blah, blah! I still I win on the color front. My petals began as a creamy, dreamy yellow, but then a rosy blush began at the center and spread to the outed edges. Now –


IMG_1994Orchid 2: So you are embarrassed by your color.



IMG_2004Orchid 1: Definitely not! Before you so rudely interrupted me I was going to say now if you look closely at my center you will see I too have the magenta stripes. However, I have orange where you have yellow, brighter is better. You did hear me mention buds, right?  There are two rather large buds and one smaller bud What do you have?

IMG_1994Orchid 2: I’m glad you brought up the buds. Actually I have six, although they are still rather small. Give them time, they will grow. Did you happen to notice that I have two stems. You only have one measly stem. So sad.


IMG_2004Orchid 1: Don’t get too carried away by your stems, you know one could be cut off rather easily or maybe something will brush by and break that precious stem in two. By the way, I noticed that two of your blossoms are in their final stage of life. Guess you better get those buds to grow a little quicker.

Stony silence has reigned over the edge of the tub since this conversation. Do you suppose a little competition for best bloom has spurred them to survive longer? I wonder. . .





31 thoughts on “Overheard Orchid Conversation

  1. Dueling orchids? Unexpected! I thought only their owners were competitive! This is so playful and funny. The dialogue is top-notch. At first you threw me with where this piece was going and then when it turned to orchid-avatars in a funtime bickering play, I was dying. This is smart and make me think of their blooms a little differently now. I kill them all within a month. I don’t mean to, I LOVE orchids, but my thumbs are pale and white. I wonder if they are weary of me at the store? Great slice!

  2. This is hysterical – a commentary between plants – I felt a little graphic novel brewing. I can’t take either plants side because I think you are the winner with such blooms.

  3. I have long thought that plants were sentient, and now I know it’s true. Elsie told me of an overheard conversation! Ha! This is hilarious, and I really do think that somehow they “hear” things. The plants I talk to and love the best, grow the best.

  4. Oh my is this ever entertaining, and as fun to read as I’m sure it was to write! The pictures of the two squabbling sealed the creativity! I always thought of orchids a little bit like swans, lovely but aloof. This also brought my mind right to the flower garden in Alice in Wonderland.

  5. This was awesome! I was thinking about what my orchid would say to another orchid because the puppy just attacked it and knocked it out of it’s dish! I had to repot and put in a higher spot. Now I am just praying that it will survive. This is the only orchid that has survived in my house so far!

  6. I often wondered what two plants vying for attention would say to each other. Now I know. We have never had luck with orchids even though I hear that they are fairly easy to maintain.

  7. I bet you haven’t been enjoying the tub lately with all that conversing going on! You need to tell them to hush up, or their days will be numbered. 🙂 Love how your brain works and you took two simple objects and created a story around them. Brilliant!

  8. LSquared says:

    Ha ha! I loved their catty conversation. All I ever hear are recriminating murmurings about abuse and neglect from the orchids in my living room. I never realized some are gregarious enough to speak to each other. 🙂 Fun writing piece. Thank you.

  9. I’m on Team Orchid 2! I love the vanilla blooms!!! This is so creative, Elsie. I tend to personify just about everything; so I would not be able to relax in the tub until I solved the squabble between the orchids. Ha!

  10. So, Lily wants to know, do orchids ever make friends? Are they naturally loners? Lily was thinking she wanted a friend, but is wondering if maybe she should talk to a daffodil.

  11. Tam says:

    Enjoyed the conversation!! A little competition never hurt anyone. I wish I had a good place for orchids in my home. Wonderful post, Elsie.

  12. I love this piece as well. Imagine the commentary if you had some drawfs and/or some that have a scent (such as Ocinidium Sharry Baby–blooms smell like chocolate. You can get your chocolate sandwich aroma without the added calories!). I find that orchids easy. If they bloom, you know you have the right spot for them! Have never used ice cubes before, but know plenty of people who have. We currently have 4 phalaenopsis and 2 dwarf phalaenopsis in bloom. They are gorgeous. Do you have success with bromeliads?

    • I have the worst luck with plants, so these two are lucky to have survived. Never tried bromeliads. My husband would probably be a sneezing mess if we had any with a scent. I’m going to Keukenhof Gardens in two weeks, I will have to look for the chocolate smelling orchid.

  13. rosecappelli says:

    What a great piece! You were able to give information through an entertaining dialogue – so creative. I have never had much luck with orchids, but I think I gathered from your piece that I gave up too soon. I will have to try again because they are so beautiful. Thanks for the great pictures, too!

  14. Terje says:

    You must have had fun writing this. It was certainly entertaining to read. You are my orchid expert. I usually kill plants but thanks to your advice about the three ice cubes I have managed to keep an orchid alive. (This is the only flower I am allowed to take care of in our household)

  15. I have always wanted to grow orchids but I killed one long ago. Maybe I should try again and buy two so they can talk to each other. The trees chat you know. (So tell me about ice cubes to water them? )

  16. This is hilarious and so creative! I couldn’t wait to read how each orchid would respond to the other’s retort. I think I’m the biggest fan of Orchid 2. Her comment “so you are embarrassed by your color” won me over. I think you should send this to a botanic gardens or a local orchid nursery for more orchid lovers to appreciate…it’s that good! Now I’m wondering what my plants are saying to each other! I’ll be coming back to this one for sure.

  17. I was given my first orchid in November, at the passing of my dog Fiona. The last blossom dropped off this week. I did a little research about what to do, then cut the stems back in the hope that it will bloom again. They are demanding prima donnas, aren’t they.

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