"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Worth Waiting For

Oh, my goat! What is this??? Looks yummy...uhhh...beautiful, don't you think? So what is it, you ask? Well, this is a picture of the goatmother's Epiphyllum. You see, as I have said before, the goatmother views herself as somewhat of a 'gardener'. Now, this doesn't mean she is all that good at it really, but she tries very hard and that has to count for something ... I guess.

Anyway, as you may or may not know, the goatmother used to live in California (waaaay too hot for me) and moved here 5 years ago. This was in her pre-goat era. Now when she resided in California, one thing she always liked to do was go to the annual cactus show in a place called San Juan Bautista. So some 7 years ago, or so, she purchased one little limb of an Epiphyllum (or Orchid Cactus) and decided to bring it to Washington with her even though it had never bloomed (hope springs eternal and all that...).

Just in case you were wondering (you were, weren't you???) Epiphyllums in the wild live in the branches of trees. To me this sort of makes them like birds, or monkeys. Why don't they call them Bird Cactus or Monkey Cactus? At any rate, Epiphyllums don't really like the sun and they sure don't like a lot of rain. ( Uh, oh. Doesn't sound like a Washington sort of plant to me, but then what do I know?) With that in mind, the goatmother hung it out under the eave of the 'doggie' house nee potting shed in the summer, and put it inside the potting shed in the winter under fluorescent lights. One might wonder why she didn't bring it inside the house, but it turns out that Epiphyllums must have cold in order to bloom (again with the hope springing eternal thing ...).

So the Epiphyllum grew from a sprig to a many-branched sprig, but still it had no blooms. Then the goatmother read that the thing to do was not to water it in the winter. At all. Whoa. Harsh. This was an extremely hard idea for the goatmother to consider, but she gave it a try. Amazingly, last year, in the spring, the annoyingly-unadorned managed to put out two small buds. The goatmother, being the goatmother, thought, 'Oh! I must give it some water!'... at which point the buds promptly fell off. Oy. Way to go Mother Teresa.

So this year, the goatmother stepped on her compassion and DID NOT water the Epiphyllum. It set on two buds and still she persevered. 'Oy', she thought, 'this plant has not had any water since October.' But she held her hand and waited...and waited...and waited... The buds grew larger and every day the goatmother would go to the potting shed and think...'any day now, any day now'. Then last night, the goatmother went out to the potting shed and lo and behold the eagle had landed! And as you can see, it was very well worth the wait.

And just so you can see how large this bloom actually is, below is a shot with the whole plant.

I, myself, like to think that it finally opened in honor of my dear friend, Baby Belle. "Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again."


H.A. Turbofire, Sibertarian said...

That is a very cool flower. And I bet it is for Baby Belle!

goatgirl said...

That macrame hanger is marvelous! I know what the goatmother was doing in the 70's. And the bloom was well worth the wait.

Marigold said...

Dear Goatgirl,
Don't be silly. The goatmother couldn't possibly be that old. :)

Danni said...


Life With Dogs said...

Can I still appreciate that which I cannot pronounce? ;)

Kathryn and Ari said...

Please put the goatmother on a plane and send her to Maine so she can teach us how not to kill our plants.

We love the name "monkey cactus." That's gold.