Friday, May 14, 2010

Weekend Reflection: North Borneo Orchid


This beautiful white orchid is the orchid of my youth. My dad received a baby plant from friends who got it from North Borneo, now known as Sabah, a state in East Malaysia. This is the state where Mt Kinabalu is.

It was a very difficult plant to grow, and for a long time, it wouldn't bloom. Mum frequenly told dad to give it up. She rationed that Mt Kinabalu was quite high, and the weather was cooler than Sibu. Dad didn't give it up. Together, they would use a toothbrush to remove the aphids.

When it did show signs of blooming, with a spray of buds, we kids and our visiting cousins got ourselves into mischief. We broke off the spray of buds accidentally and even to this day almost 45 years on, we still talk about this incident with great passion.

North Borneo is prized for it's rarity and it's bloom for more than 3 months. Dad so loved our eldest sister Rose, that he presented the florist his North Borneo orchid for her wedding bouquet.

These days, I think you can get hybrids. Even then, at Dad's funeral, for nostalgic reasons, Margaret ordered North Borneo orchids. The florist scoured the whole of Kuching City. Sadly, she couldn't find a single bloom.


Chef E said...

Hey Ann! That 'troft' looking round things is a cement fire hole for building open fires on private properties. Usually in open forest or parks they have them, or an open dirt area, otherwise you are right trofts are used to water or feed farm animals- similar...

Love the flowers! I am only up because I feel asleep from a long day, and losing weight. I set a goal for August to lose 40 lbs, since we are going to Spain and I am sick of getting so tired when we travel. I have let myself go do to depression, but I think I finally hit my bottom!

Hope all is well in your part of the world...

rainfield61 said...

I saw an parasitic orchid at Cerok Tokun this morning. It looks beautiful, in the wild, but in a different way from yours.

Jama said...

The orchids are so lovely.
Those plastic chains are mine, I bought them to use in my pre-schooler maths enrichment class. Over here, most shops do not allow photography, and I dare not take out my big camera in the shop.

Ah Ngao said...

yes,Borneo orchids are very difficult to keep or take care.they're very choosy with their new enviroment(if you transfer them from the old place).if you spray the right flowering agent,it'll bloom non stop.not too much manure or else...sayonara .they're sometimes called butterfly orchids.damn expensive over here in Kuching.can fetch up to a few hundred ringgits for much rarer species.i did tried to keep them but all mati kok kok.if you managed to keep one in full bloom...that's is something very satisfying.

Sylvia K said...

Exquisite flowers, Ann, and such wonderful reflections! Terrific capture for the day! Hope you're enjoying a beautiful weekend!


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Ann, I can understand why you like those North Borneo Orchids so much. I love them... And they have to be even more special to you since your father loved them so much. That makes them even more special.

Beautiful orchids and beautiful reflection.

Gattina said...

What a beautiful flower and also the reflection in the table !
Thanks for the cute cat story ! I suppose your friend is happy with her new Tom cat :) !

Lorac said...

A lovely story to go with an equally lovely photo!

Glennis said...

These look so special and lovely.
I am sure the mischievous children who broke off the flower branch were never allowed to forget.
I grow some orchids but not this kind,

Regina said...

Love orchids! This is gorgeous Ann.

Clytie said...

Beautiful orchids, with such soft reflections. Such wonderful memories to go along with them as well.