It was the late 1950s. I was, maybe, 14 or 15. I didn't have a drivers license yet. I walked about a mile and a half to the big, block-sized nursery on National and Barrington. (It's long gone and built up now.) I found a cymbidium orchid plant with three blooming spikes. It was spectacular. It was stretching my budget - I have no idea any more how much it was - but I had enough money and bought it.
And that's just one spike.
The one above was also from February. My mom had cut the spike and brought it inside.
That trek back from the nursery was at least 50 years ago. My mom has separated the plant a number of times over the years, plus she's received others. But whatever month - this year it bloomed in February, not May - my mom lets me know 'your cymbidium' has a spike. Then it's budding. And finally, it's blooming.
I have to give my mom a lot of the credit for the longevity of these plants. Plus the fact that her L.A. near-the-beach location provides perfect moderate, damp weather. This is probably is the best gift I've ever given in terms of its longevity and its role in the relationship between my mother and me.
I did send my cards out early last week and when I spoke to my Mom this morning she said she'd gotten it. But you can't wish your mom "Happy Mother's Day" too often.
Happy Mother's Day