Babysitting is Hard Work

I was in California recently, working remotely and enjoying the beautiful communities in Monterey County.

While I was there, I offered to pick up some plants for a fundraiser for the Treasure Valley Orchid Society. It’ll be our club’s first in-person get-together in more than a year.

For help finding some intriguing species, I reached out to the Carmel Orchid Society, where I was welcomed like a long-lost cousin!

These kindred spirits gave me the insider scoop, and the club president even accompanied me on my trek to Hanging Gardens in Pacifica.

Seen here with a passel of Masdevallias, I could have spent days roaming in Dan Newman’s jam-packed greenhouse – but there were decisions to be made. I selected about two dozen orchid plants, which Dan carefully packed and shipped to Boise.

They all arrived in perfect shape, and it’s been my job to keep them thriving for the two weeks until the TVOS event. This means the poor things have gone from heaven (ideal temperature, airflow and humidity) to my less-than-celestial, real-world greenhouse.

Yes, babysitting is stressful. When the plants are my own, it’s “survival of the fittest” – I do my best with them, but not everything thrives. When they’ll soon belong to other club members, however, I can’t afford to screw up.

Even a swamp cooler running nonstop didn’t do a good enough job moderating the daytime greenhouse temperatures in Boise’s heat wave last week. So, I’ve hauled all the plants indoors, watered more frequently and put them under grow lights.

In short, I've watched and fussed over them like a first-time parent. And I can’t wait to hand them to their new owners, so I can get some rest!