In the pull of the moon
and the weight of the stars,
you anchor me with all that you are
Like the stemming of the tide,
the moon’s attraction to the sea,
you are, you are all these things.
~ Jodie Manross
Well, I can’t believe it’s the full moon again already. Is it me, or do they just come faster and faster as you get older? In my mind, they are becoming like the flighty images on a ‘View-Master’ I had as a kid – click – click – click.
Despite the feeling of being rushed through time, and no matter what’s happening in my life, I never fail to step outside and stand in the light of the full moon late at night when it’s high in the sky (unless it’s cloudy). Whatever the events of the day were, I stop on the full moon and take inventory. What have I accomplished since the New Moon? What’s coming full circle, or still unfinished? What’s different than it was the last full moon when I stood barefoot in the damp grass and held hands quietly with Tom in the moonlight? Sometimes I light a candle or burn some incense, throw some sage on the fire…whatever it takes to make me mindful of the issues that came and went and the milestones that I managed to pass, even if ‘passing’ was only a limp or a crawl.
The happiest additions to my growing jungle since the last full moon were both gifts from Tom (yes, he is wonderful):
The first one, a baby phalaenopsis, which can only be described as precious or dainty. It’s the cotton candy of orchids and it’s adorable!
* Keep in mind that I’m five feet tall and have tiny little munchkin thumbs!
The other one is a new breed for me – cymbidium.
When Tom brought it home, I set it in the living room with the other orchids. Late last night, I got an email from my local Walter Anderson Nursery about a free class on the care of cymbidium orchids. Serendipitous no? So off I went this morning and this is what I learned:
These orchids NEED SUNSHINE! It will be an outdoor orchid and prefers filtered sunlight. I may leave it under the lemon tree or the grape vines, or maybe on the patio…we’ll see what it likes. They don’t need as much water as the indoor relatives and like to be ‘slightly dry’ before you water again. Also, they like to be left alone. Maybe this is why I love orchids so much, they’re mildly anti-social and bloom best when not fussed with.
I learned more about the food thing too: In September or October you start feeding the next bloom. In spring, until fall, you feed to promote plant growth. Apparently, orchids have a pretty good appetite and need to be fed if you want them to bloom again – even though you sometimes have to wait a couple years between blooming cycles. This wait will be longer after you re-pot, which should happen every few years as your plant grows out of its home. Anyway, back to the food…
While feeding for plant growth (from spring through fall) use a 30-10-10 food, which is higher in nitrogen. When feeding for blooms (from fall to spring) use a 10-30-20 mix. The plant food number codes aren’t complicated…the first number is always the nitrogen content, the second – phosphorous, the third – potassium. Plants can produce their own food, but need these minerals in differing quantities to do so. This guy Jack explains it pretty well I think. If you have an orchid that has refused to re-bloom, try a food boost!
Of course they had some outrageously priced food for me to buy while I was there, but I’m waiting another couple weeks because of a vow I made with Inky, a blogging friend who seduced me into a “no spender bender” commitment. When I go back for the food or another freebie class, there’s a dark purple slipper orchid with my name on it! and some more seed starting mix, and perhaps a new…..
Happy Full Moon everybody, and while you’re out there howling at it, don’t forget to say hello to Mars. It’s especially close to the earth now and right up there next to the moon, shining bright red in the silvery night.