I have been a gardener all of my adult life, so I am no stranger to the messages plants send. However, this message was hard to miss as I am now far removed from my gardens, living in an apartment in Colorado.
Feeling terribly lonely for my plant friends, I bought an orchid at Trader Joe’s last October. You know how they are all crammed together, blooming their little hearts out near the entrance door? Well, this one orchid caught my attention as she was so different from the others. A brown and yellow orchid without all of the decadence of most commonly sold orchids, there was something in her humility and generosity (she was covered in subtle blooms) that made me put her in my shopping cart.
Once home, I set her on the counter where I would see her as soon as I walked in the door, and when cooking and washing dishes. Every time I looked her way I would think how beautiful she was and how happy I was to have a plant in my life in that sterile environment.
One day, when I was washing dishes and thinking again how pretty the orchid was, I was literally enveloped in the most exquisite perfume. My first thought was that it had to be the orchid. After swooning for a moment in my bubble of fragrance, I walked over to the plant (3 feet away) and took a sniff. There it was, but faint as a whisper. Nothing like the bowl-you-over bucket of scent I had just experienced.
Wow, I thought. That was amazing.
Several days later, the same thing happened. Again, just the barest trace of the scent at the plant itself. The third time this happened, I became convinced the orchid was sending me perfumed hugs, wrapped in a scent envelope. I feel certain the plant was responding to my admiration and appreciation of it.
Author: Dana Ecelberger. Dana Ecelberger is a passionate lover of plants and a lifelong gardener. She is also a published poet and landscape designer.