Over the past few years orchids have become very popular for indoor plants. You can find them in almost every supermarket nowadays at various prices and in many different colours. The orchid below was given to me about 4 years ago when we just moved into our first house. It is still going strong by following a few a tips on how to care for your orchid.
Due to the popularity of my previous hints and tips posts (book reviewsphotography and caring for cacti) I have decided to continue the series, so here is another set of 7 hints and tips, this time on how to care for your orchids.
  1. Watering instructions – Water every 5-12 days depending on the temperature of the room, the type of orchid and the time of year. More frequent watering is required during summer months. Always check the watering instructions when you buy the orchid. Orchids prefer soft water.
  2. Support – When your orchid is in bloom support the stems with clips and sticks, which you can pick up from any good garden centres.
  3. Sunlight conditions – Orchids prefer bright indirect sunlight. North or east facing windows during summer and south facing in winter months.
  4. Trimming – Orchids have little nodes (triangular bumps) on the stem and each one is a potential flower bud. So when all the flowers die and fall off, trim the stem down to the lowest node and cut diagonally to stimulate new growth.
  5. Growing media – Orchids prefer moist well drained conditions. There are several types of growing media that can be used: fir bark, rocks, cork, sand and potting soil. Most of the orchids you buy at the supermarkets are grown on bark. Re potting should be done every other year to encourage growth. Remember to remove any dead roots and old compost.
  6. Leaf health – You can tell how healthy your orchid is by looking at the colour of the leaves and checking to see if they are getting enough light. They should be bright green rather than dark green, which tells you that the orchid is not getting enough sunlight if it’s too dark. Reddish green leaves is too much light. If the leaves develop black blotches it most likely has sunburn, through being in a hot sunny window. So move to a north facing window.
  7. Pests and disease – Orchids can be affected by mealybugs, scale and aphids. These can be washed off and treated with insecticidal soap, which again can be found at all good garden centres.

 

This stunning pink orchid I picked up at M&S at a reduced price.
I love how perfectly formed the flower heads are. The orchid is one of the most highly coveted ornamental plants, and in ancient Greece the orchid represents fertility, because in the ancient Greek language, orchid actually means testicles!
It’s also associated with beauty, love, luxury, strength and wisdom. They have very delicate and graceful flowers which shows perfect symmetry.
Different coloured orchids have different meanings:
  • Pink, like the one above represent happiness, innocence and joy.
  • Blue represents spirituality and meditation. They are also very rare.
  • White stand for beauty, elegance and innocence.
  • Yellow orchids represent friendship and new beginnings.
  • Purple symbolises royalty and respect.
  • Lavender coloured orchids represent grace and feminine beauty.
  • Green orchids represent health, nature, life and longevity.
  • Orange coloured orchids stand for boldness, pride and enthusiasm.
My favourite colour orchids are the pink ones and they represent happiness which is how I feel at the moment in my life. What would be your favourite colour orchid?
Rachel xx
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Reflection
Last week I loved joining up with thereadingresidence fantastic Word of the Week linky for the first time so I have decided to join in again. I love the idea of summing up your week with just one word, its like a little diary of your week!

So my word of the week is Reflection. I have decided to use this word as I have been looking back over my blog this week and reflecting on how much I have achieved over the past couple of months in starting up my new blog. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve worked hard to build it to where I want it to go and what I want to achieve from it. My husband said to me a while ago why don’t I go for it and become a blogger, I always have something to say! So I took his advice and went for it!

I think one of my main decisions for starting up was due to my work situation. I have recently been demoted due to management restructure changes and wanted something else outside of work to focus my brain on. I have always been a huge book lover, (this came from my mum) and love to potter around outside in the garden, so why not write about things I love? I cannot really pinpoint exactly when I started entering competitions, although it was a few years ago! but I do know it started through Twitter. Retweeting a competition tweet was so easy and once my first win came I have never stopped! 

On Sundays my husband and I always take the dog for a walk down to Malpas by the river in Truro. Its one of my favourite places and I always like to reflect on the previous week on what we have been up to. 
A couple of weeks back I took this photo of the cement works down there as the sky was so clear and the water so still that it showed the most perfect reflection in the water, so very appropriate for my word of the week: Reflection. #WotW
Rachel xx

The Reading Residence

While I was off work last week I had more time to comp and therefore won a few more bits than usual. I do believe in putting in lots of effort entering comps will eventually bring rewards. My little belief is that comping is 90% effort and 10% luck! I say it all to my friends who think I’m lucky, and tell them I put the hours in entering and enter 100’s a day so luck isn’t a huge deal to do with it. The odds will be in your favour if you enter loads and loads!
So last week I had these bits and bobs arrive!  A gorgeous recipe book stand for the kitchen, a book called The Pointless Book 2, my cute little chocolate Easter egg, a football from Budweiser, So…..? body spray from their instagram comp (which is my first instagram win!), and a bottle of cherry Pepsi with my profile pic on!  

 

The recipe book holder came from a competition with @CranksFood on Twitter. It is a gorgeous teal colour and with it being made of metal very sturdy.

The holder also came with three metal page markers with Starter, Main and Dessert written on them.
I won The Pointless Book 2 from a comp with WHSmith on Twitter. Its a great fun looking book full of dares, challenges, jokes and crazy activities! 

It is written by Alfie Deyes and is the second book from his brand of nothingness! It looks great fun I can’t wait to have a read and attempt the hilarious activities! A perfect time wasting book!
Thanks for having a read of my wins, I hope you are enjoying my blog. You can also find me on bloglovin 
Rachel xx

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

A while back on TV, I was totally hooked on the The White Queen television series based on The Cousin’s War series by Philippa Gregory. I don’t normally watch a TV series or film before I read the book, actually I try not to as I don’t want to spoil the book! But this TV series I really got into and learned to love the characters, so I went out to and find all the books in the series. These are the one’s I have at the moment in the series. They are shown in chronological order not by publication date. I am yet to read the next book in the series which is The King’s Curse. That is another one for my must read list!.
I have recently finished reading The White Princess and so wanted to do a giveaway to give you all a chance to win a copy of it. 
The White Princess tells us the story of Elizabeth of York and her marriage to Henry Tudor who is from the rivial house of Tudor. Henry Tudor had to marry Elizabeth to help unify the country which had been divided for more than 20 years, but she still loves his enemy Richard III. 
To enter the competition to win a paperback copy of The White Princess, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. UK only.

Good Luck to everyone!
Rachel xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions


There is 1 prize of a copy of The White Princess – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered. The winner will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter and email. The winner will have 7 days to respond before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. 

Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 

Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. 


Competitions at ThePrizeFinder

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

I really enjoyed sharing my first Sunday photo with you last week, so have decided to make it a regular thing. Each Sunday I will post a photo of something or some place that means a lot to me.  
Today’s photo is of Truro Cathedral. It is a very beautiful building with lots of intricate detail built into the stone work. There are lots of pointed arches all around the cathedral which are of a Gothic Revival style designed by John Loughborough Pearson. The cathedral itself was built between 1880 and 1910 on the site of the parish church of St Mary, although they did decide to keep the south- east side of St Mary’s church and it is still used today as the city’s parish church.
I have chosen the cathedral as my Sundy photo, because it holds lots of memories for me. It used to be one my late Aunt’s favourite places, and my sister and I love to go inside and have a look around. Last summer while my sister was home from Canada we took a little guided tour around the cathedral learning lots of the history of the building and all about the little church on the side.
Rachel xx