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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Butterfly Orchids :: A Father's Day Gift For Me

When my dad shared his *tree orchids* with me several years ago, I had no idea the significance they would hold at this point in time. Of course I was thrilled and honored at the time. To have a piece of anything from my dad's yard meant a great deal to me. It was like taking a part of him home with me every time he shared a bromeliad or iris or fern or a cutting.
Florida Butterfly Orchid, A Florida Native Orchid found growing naturally on trees, Encyclia tampensis
Each flower of this native orchid is only about 1-1.5" in total size. The panicle of flowers cascades from stems that reach out from the leaves; roots connect to tree bark and small bulbs sprout the leaves. These plants are an epiphyte living off air and water and requiring nothing additional from me except patience to wait for one bloom period each year.

From Central Florida southward you may have seen them latched onto trees when you were out and about in one of our many hammocks or swamps. If they weren't blooming at the time they could easily go unnoticed as the fine strappy leaves are fairly insignificant.
Butterfly orchids bloom anytime from May through summer. They peak in June. Always on Father's Day they are looking their best. It's my gift on Father's Day. Airy and quirky. Colorful and charming. Intricate and simple. Tender and sturdy. Playful and charismatic. They are a reminder to me of all my dad was to me. I miss him every. single. day. Especially today. I have so many treasured memorials of him in my garden to warm my heart and comfort me as I see them flourishing long after he cared for them. The best gifts keep on giving. Some of them even breathe life into our very soul.

Happy Father's Day to all good dads everywhere. Have a beautiful day celebrating one of the most honorable positions you could have been gifted with in this life.

All material © 2007-2014 by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


  1. You have so many amazingly unique plants. I'm sure your dad is enjoying them right along with you. ;0)

  2. Thank you for posting this. I have one of these attached to my coconut palm and I didn't know what it was. Perfect timing!

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad you have those beautiful plants and special memories.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway