To say that this has been an unusual year is a ridiculous understatement. But the following are some observations and unique experiences that have resulted from the pandemic.
Who knew that this would become a globally recognized noun and verb? I have done about six zoom talks now, and I love that I am able to see some of the faces I miss. At the same time, because of my teacher roots, I miss the interaction that comes with in-person meetings. Massachusetts Orchid Society did an amazing job of putting on a virtual SHOW! Multiple speakers from all over the country and from Canada, too. I think everyone is doing an amazing job of thinking outside the box to keep their orchid societies alive and well.
Visitors to the greenhouse
If you can’t go to a show, you might be able to visit a local orchid nursery or even take a little road trip ISO orchids. The nice thing about greenhouses is that they’re well ventilated, so with a mask, you can feel pretty confident that you’re in a safe place. We have had (masked) visitors from Ohio, Indiana, California, Minnesota, Illinois, and (of course) Michigan. I miss the hugs and seeing the smiling faces, but it’s great to talk in person and have people share in the beauty of my greenhouse. If you’d like to come out, please call/text 734-369-1776 or email kristen@newworldorchids to set up an appointment.
I usually get a lot of plants when I see vendors at shows, but this year that was not an option. I do miss that, but I have been able to get new stuff as the foreign vendors find ways of getting their plants to the US. We are all having to change how we do things, but we are getting it done! The difference is that instead of seeing the new plants at shows, I have to get them on the website.
I’m not gonna lie: in March when the first shutdowns came, I foresaw accomplishing all the tasks that have been on my list for years. I think we all felt that way. But like most of you, I found that the combination of new hindrances (i.e., kids at home) and just depression/ennui/inertia meant that I was lucky to accomplish what HAD to get done. While we are not out of the woods (both my kids are back home again full-time), I’m finally adjusting to the new way of life. I have updated the website to put more of my stock up there, added a bunch of pictures, and I even posted my very first video to YouTube. The video has its problems, but like a first loaf of bread, it’s okay and I did it all myself! I hope to do more of them and make them better in the future. (Sidenote: don’t you hate the sound of your own recorded voice? Yikes!)
Looks like show season is going to be virtual, at best. And you know what? Now that we have adjusted somewhat to this “new normal,” I think there could be some real positives. If you’ve taken plants to a show, you know how they suffer while they are being shown off. They get beat up or dried up or partially frozen in transit. Not gonna happen this year! All your plants get to stay home and grow and bloom where they want to be—in your care. Let’s take pictures and share! Repot and watch for bugs and just baby our babies. Think about how no show season means that the plants will be bigger and better in 2022. And how much more are you going to appreciate every show in 2022? I know I look forward to the day I can hug all my friends with reckless abandon.
Maybe because there will be few or no shows in spring of 2021, I’m getting more online orders. I thank you very much for that. I am trying to stay on top of them, so I appreciate your patience, especially now that the boys are home again. As always, I will continue to ship through the winter with the help of heat packs. In the case of extreme cold or big snow, I may delay, but otherwise I will keep plants moving out. If you would like your plants held at your post office, please leave me a note on your order.
Orchid People are the Best
Of course, as an orchid person reading this, you already know this. It’s a hard time for everyone, so try to stay in touch with your friends as the weather turns and it’s harder to get together. The phone still works! And Zoom and email and texting and Instagram and Twitter. Take a deep breath, go look at your orchids, enjoy the beverage of your choice, and order takeout from a local restaurant to give yourself a break and support those people who are having a particularly rough time.