Flowering Thailand

Orchids are everywhere

The first photo is at the airport just before our son headed for the States. All the flowers are orchids. The second is a tree near our house. The third is one of my orchids and the fourth is Julee in a hedge of white Christmas– that’s the Thai name– at our little farm. She’s holding a flower that last for months after it is cut. Look like it’s made of plastic, but beautiful. The last is an Angel’s trumpet tree outside my front patio.

I’ve been away for a few weeks and I apologize for that. Have a number of excuses: Rains, flooding, son’s visit, bad internet… Oh, and preparing a new book to be published soon.

I’m once again at the farm and doing farm things in my spare time, but sometimes I just sit by our pond and look at the flowers. Just about everything that grows in Thailand makes beautiful flowers. What surprised me the most is many of the flowers are eatable. My wife asked me once when she was new to the States, “Why are there so many trees but you can’t eat them?” I thought it a strange question until I moved here.

When trees along the roadways are flowering it looks like a market place as everyone stops to pick a large bag of flowers to take home to eat. I’m not talking about the myriad of fruit trees, but the ordinary trees. They come is every color too.

I must say I’m not a big eater of trees. Most flowers have a bitter taste and the Thai’s love them. My wife always tells me they are good for the heart and I tell her I don’t eat medicine as a regular part of my meal. I do my part by helping to collect the flowers but in truth I would rather sit and admire them.

I grow orchids and here it is so easy. I’ve tried a few times in the States only to watch them die because I couldn’t figure out what to do and when. In Thailand I buy these beauties and just hang them from a limb of a mango tree that grows outside my front door. I even give them food once in a while—whenever I want—and they grow and flower and ease my mind as I look upon them.

Orchids fascinate me because they thrive on the rain and air and very little else. And their flowers last for weeks. Some I have even have a fragrance—most don’t. Orchids grow in the forest high in the trees and there are a number of orchid farms that ship these wonderful flowers all over the world. Almost every home has several orchids hanging on the porch.

I think I became interested in orchids when I learned, as a child, that vanilla beans come from orchids. I haven’t found any of that variety yet but I’m still looking.

If you love flowers of every shape, size and color then Thailand is a place you will enjoy visiting. Lush gardens or just driving down the road is a source of beauty everywhere I’ve visited here.

I hope you enjoy my little stories and I will try to give you one at least once a week.