The off-and-on-again blog of Ron Mohring, whose plate is almost always overfilled. CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE MIGRATING (gradually) to my new blog, The Boy Who Reads in the Trees. See top post for URL.
Friday, March 17, 2006
About a month ago, on one of those unbelievably warm, fake-you-out-that-Spring's-about-to-arrive February days, I asked Randy if we could stop over at the Kountry Kupboard. The KK is one of those Old Folks Buffets: soft, overcooked veggies, kitschy PA "Dutch" decor, busloads of octogenarians shuffling in to dine and then browse through the gift shop and--and--the greenhouse.
I love the greenhouse. I love any greenhouse, at any time of the year. For one summer in my youth, I worked in the greenhouses at King's Island (a theme park) in Cincinnati. Before we sold our house in Houston, I told Randy that the only way I'd ever move north again was if our place had a greenhouse. We don't have one. But the President's house, right next to the Poetry Center, has one, a modest walk-in greenhouse attached to the side of their Victorian home, and through five years and two university presidents, not once--not once--have I seen a single plant growing in their greenhouse. I have to squelch the urge to throw on some coveralls, knock on their front door, and say "Kids, let's make a deal."
On this particular day, lots of orchids were blooming on the back bench: oncidiums, phalaenopsis, lots of hybrids of hybrids--plants I'd never heard of (Randy was the orchid grower in our garden back in Houston). But the one thing I wanted to take home was a small-leafed passion vine. They had a dozen or so, some in bud, in little 4-inch pots. Sure, R said, then about gagged when it rang up at nine bucks. I brought it home, repotted it in a glazed bowl, and strung it up in the bathroom window with some heavy fishing twine. I've been checking vigilantly for spider mites--which defoliated the impatiens cuttings on the dining room sill--and watching the first bud slowly grow to the size of a swollen thumb. And today it finally opened.