Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- Bollock Worts in January 2018

At this time of year there's not much blooming in my garden. There's not a lot for sale at nurseries, either, although they are beginning to stock up again after the holidays. Many have houseplant sales at this time of year, including very showy, fancy orchids -- splashy, colorful creatures that never fail to attract my eye and my camera, but unfailingly, when I buy them, they die.

In medieval times, orchids were known as bollock worts. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), literally meaning "testicle," because of the shape of the root. Wort, of course, simply meant plant.

A lot of flowers -- the Narcissus perhaps most famously -- figure in Greek myths. The orchid does as well. Orchis was the son of a nymph and a satyr, who during a Bacchanalia, raped a priestess and was torn apart as punishment. His father prayed for him to be restored, but instead the gods turned him into a flower, the orchid.

Instead of showing you yet another photo of the Mahonia x media 'Charity' that is blooming in my garden, I thought I'd post some pictures I've taken of orchids. I prefer not to associate them with a rapist, although I really do get a kick out of calling them bollock worts.

















Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Check out her blog post here and see loads of other flowers from around the world.

12 comments:

  1. Orchids are seductive and beautiful, my favorite is the one in front of me at that moment. They last so much longer then a bouquet of flowers that it may be worth the expense, occasionally. Getting them to re-bloom is tricky.

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  2. So are we to believe that you didn't buy a single one? Thankfully I've never been gripped by orchid lust. It seems like it could get very expensive to become addicted.

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  3. Bollock worts??? Hahahaaaa - I think that name has forever etched itself into my brain, now. Love the mythological stories behind them too. But, if I were a god, I would have made Orchid a lot less attractive. Being that beautiful really isn't quite so penalizing - especially not for a rape!

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  4. I love the back-story, one I've never heard before despite my teenage love of Greek and Roman mythology. I've always neglected my orchids terribly but most have survived - in fact, I think they prefer benign neglect. Of course some, like those in your first 3 photos (Miltonia?), are harder to grow than others. Cymbidiums are the easiest to grow here and would probably enjoy your greenhouse but they're big plants and take up considerable room for what's usually a once-a-year show. If you ever decide to try orchids again, I suggest Oncidiums - they're pretty easy in my experience, bloom repeatedly from relatively small plants, and some hybrids look like alien insects.

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  5. Your orchids are devine. Mine are in a pout this year. I repotted them right before bringing them inside and they haven't forgiven me. We have had quite a dark dreary winter so far. Happy GBBD.

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  6. Beautiful! Cameras love orchids. Warts and all.

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  7. One never knows what one will learn over here at Bonney Lassie !

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  8. That plum-colored orchid on the long truss is fabulous! I like orchids and always find them lovely, but we have only had a few over the years. Sometimes they have re-bloomed, especially the little oncidiums, but Ben gets all the credit for any blossoms. He knows how to leave them alone!

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  9. What an array of beauties...A lovely treat for winter weary senses.

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  10. Orchids are so photogenic. I received one as a gift and dragged another couple home but they never rebloomed and the foliage is a bit dull. Last fall, they stayed outside for the winter. Interesting story and new to me. I'll think "testicle plant" whenever I see those colorful blooms from now on.

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  11. Bollock worts....that is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing the back story :) I've fallen for orchids. Dammit. After my visit to the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens..I got hooked. Then, the kids begged for orchids at home so we went out and bought several. I'm happy to report I have 1 reblooming and another has sent up shoots. 2/4..not too shabby. Happy GBBD!

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  12. The orchids are really beautiful! I especially like the pink and purple ones. I've never been tempted to buy any orchids, not even from the grocery store, because I don't think I could possibly get them to rebloom.

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