Since I last complained about my orchids, I've lost two more (both Potinaras). For those keeping score, that means I've attempted eleven orchids and lost six, with two more deaths likely by May:
Ludisia discolor. (Jun 2007 - Nov 2009; overpotted. There might also have been some problems with the mix I repotted it into.)
Dendrobium 'Karen.' (Oct 2008 - Dec 2011; potting medium likely too water-retentive)
Brassolaeliocattleya Helen Brown. (Oct 2008 - STILL ALIVE!)
Dendrobium "Humphrey Bogart"1 (Oct 2008 - STILL ALIVE!)
Paphiopedilum Supersuk 'Eureka' x Paph. Raisin Pie 'Hsinying' x Sib (Nov 2008 - April or May 20122)
Phalaenopsis NOID (Mar 2009 - STILL ALIVE!)
Oncidium NOID. (May 2009 - Aug 2009; attempted salvage of rootless plant from work that unsurprisingly didn't take)
Sophrolaeliocattleya Hazel Boyd 'Debbie.' (Dec 2010 - May 2011; thrown out due to scale)
Potinara Eye Candy 'Mellow Yellow.' (Dec 2010 - Feb 2012; slow death over a long period for no obvious reason)
Potinara Eye Candy 'Sweet Sensation.' (Dec 2010 - Feb 2012; also a slow death over a long period for no obvious reason)
Oncidium Tsiku Marguerite NN #1 (Dec 2010 - any day now; another long slow decline, and the plant is down to about 1/6 of its original size and number of pseudobulbs)
And the few plants that have survived aren't interesting to look at; the only orchid to ever rebloom for me is dead. So I am getting pretty disgusted with the Orchidaceae, to the point where I was seriously considering skipping the Illowa orchid show this year. It's just going to be all the same plants as last year, I can't afford to buy any of them, if I could buy plants they'd just die on me anyway, the pictures often don't turn out that well and need a lot of after-the-fact manipulation, and maybe I just don't want to look at fucking orchid flowers this year.
But. We're going to go anyway, assuming cooperation from the weather, vehicle, and venue, because:
1) I'll probably be less mad by then. (It's scheduled for March 10, at Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf, IA; see their website for directions.)
2) There will be other plants there too -- probably not very many, but enough. (Last year I saw my first Pinguicula!)
3) I haven't been to Wallace's in forever, and feel bad about it.3
4) I can't really pass up an opportunity to take 30-40 posts' worth of blog photos in a single day, however I may feel about the subjects.
So if you're there and you see a guy taking close-up pictures of the flowers with kind of a sour, contemptuous expression on his face, say hi! Just don't start talking about how wonderful and easy orchids are to cultivate, or I will have to kick you in the shins.
Unsolicited orchid-troubleshooting advice will also result in shin-kicking.
And I will probably be wearing boots.
In fact, you're probably best not to mention the orchids at all. I realize this will be difficult under the circumstances, but do say hi anyway.