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The Cymbidium Challenge

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It started innocently enough. Six years ago.

Year 1. Someone gave me a Cymbidium plant. Outdoor orchid. Pretty flowers. I'm no dummy. Bought more Cymbidiums. Get more flowers that way. Didn't get more flowers. In fact, no flowers. Back to the flower mart. "Use this fertilizer in the winter, this in the summer." I did. Still no flowers.

Year 2. Kissed off flower mart. "You don't have enough sunlight," the nursery man said. Got more sun. Still no flowers. I don't quit easily. Did the obvious thing. Bought more Cymbidiums. Lots more. No flowers.

Year 3. Frustration mounting. Used earlier recommendations. Decided to use new soil, made by me. My own recipe. Really stupid. Re-planted. No flowers.

Year 4. Anger building. "You should use this kind of fertilizer," expert said. "It'll work much better." Continued with homemade soil, right sun and right fertilizer No flowers.

Year 5. Anger filled the air. And me. So much for Karma. Built lattice. Beautiful lattice atrium. Lovely home from Cymbidiums. Lots of green plants. No flowers. Beginning to hate Cymbidiums.

Year 6. I had sworn to myself at the end of years 4, then 5, and then 6 that if there were no flowers at the end of that year, Cymbidiums were out of here. During year, roots from neighboring tree grew into some pots. Last minute reprieve because of tree roots. Thought of killing tree. Or Cymbidiums. Or me. Changed my mind. No dead tree. No dead Cymbidiums. No dead me. I'm a Wimp. No backbone. Three years of not following oath. Obvious now they were toying with me. Mocking me.

Now. No more wimp. No more spineless nice guy. There is this neighbor. Really obnoxious and lots of obnoxious advice. Thinks he can grow anything. Cymbidiums. Into his yard. At night. They'll eat him alive. I hate Cymbidiums. Adios Cymbidiums.

Heard of Nasturtiums?

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