On Generosity in Gardening

Overall, gardeners are happy and generous people. It might have something to do with the fact that we're constantly nurturing, the tendency of plants to multiply, or maybe we just get our nature fix on a regular basis. I have been blessed with passalongs from neighbors, local growers and other bloggers over the last year that I've been working on The Rainforest Garden, and the generosity hasn't been limited to plants.

 First of all, let me show you what I came home to yesterday evening.

This box was so massive that stood all the way up to my chest and blocked entry to my door! If you're wondering what was inside, you'll have to stick with me while I share the generosity of others over the last year. Resist the urge to scroll all the way down! On Twitter there is a meme called #followfriday where everyone pays it forward, listing the names of people to follow. This is my Follow Friday. Please visit these wonderful people and say 'hi' for me.

If I have missed anyone, please forgive me! There are so many that I'll have to thank in the future and you are all very appreciated.

I'm amazed that my first friends are still the most supportive ones. Florida bloggers Floridagirl, NanaK, Kimberly, Meems, Simply Susan, and Danger Garden (actually from Oregon) reliably leave friendly comments on my blog even when I'm often too busy to return the favor! Though I don't comment very often they are still among my favorite blogs to visit when I want some happiness in the morning.

Since I've started using Facebook and Twitter I've also made many new friends. Fern Richardson, Ivette Soler, Jenny Nybro Peterson, Katie Elzer-Peters, Debra Lee Baldwin and Gayla Trail have showered me an overwhelming amount of their very best advice and assistance. These ladies know a thing or two about the world of garden writing and have gone out of their way to assist a newbie like me with even the most inane questions.

Dracaena cutting from Plantgasm!
Some gardeners have even given me plants! Some of these kind souls are just friendly neighbors, and others such as Grower Jim and Derek (of Plantgasm) have actually sent them in the mail! I've recently received arrowroot tubers and a cold hardy dendrobium from Grower Jim, and Derek just sent me a big cutting of his Dracaena Fragrans along with a letter with detailed instructions for rooting! He was forced to hack his down to the ground and sent cuttings out to lucky folks such as myself.

Okay, you've all waited patiently to see what was in that big box, so here goes!

Okay, I guess the first picture of this post gave it away, but just try to imagine the rush I felt when I was greeted by these healthy blooming phalaenopsis orchids! I was told that I won something after participating on Twitter's #GardenChat, which was hosted by Costa Farms and all about orchids! I've mostly focused on the oncidiums and encyclias lately, but "phals" are exceptionally suited to the lower light often found indoors, making them perfect houseplants. I'll keep my cattleyas and epidendrums outside, and let the graceful arching flowerspikes of the moth orchids add some color and elegance to the living room!

These are included in Costa Farms' Orchids Are Easy collection, which are easy to find at local retailers of any size. I'm a big fan of their informative plant tags and Orchids Are Easy website, which offer tips and guidelines for indoor growing that anyone can understand. As much as I love to find the more unusual varieties of orchids, they rarely come equipped with such helpful information.

Its also worth mentioning that @CostaFarms has been intensely involved on Twitter and Facebook with one of the most admirable social media campaigns I've seen to date. They'll go out of their way to offer support in a timely manner, and they also happen to be engaging enough to follow for the entertainment value alone!

You can plan on seeing my own blog post offering orchid growing advice in the near future! I'm just trying to decide which article to do first: My Vampire Theme Garden, Jurassic Theme Garden, Or Orchids for Complete and Total Imbeciles. Decisions, decisions.


  1. That's a fabulous gift from Costa give-away. I've resisted using Twitter but you're luring me now. Thanks so much for the mention. I love that there are so many more Florida bloggers now than when I first started. It makes it so much more fun.

  2. What a nice surprise gift! I would be just as thrilled if I opened a box full of Z 7b agaves, yuccas and dasylirions...of course, I might just go out and buy them very soon, anyway.

  3. What a great prize! You are so right about gardeners being generous. It's fun to look at plants in the garden and remember a friend, virtual or otherwise. Thanks for the mention! Your blog always inspires and informs.

  4. Wow...lucky you, what a nice thing to come home too! Thank you for the shout out, and as a recipient of your generosity (3 out of 4 of which are still doing fabulous...you know about the one unfortunate death) and that of many others I have to agree!!!

  5. What a fantastic surprise! I'll bet your heart was racing when you saw that big box. Thanks for the mention too!

  6. Steve, you've definitely been blessed! AWESOME!!!!
    Additionally, I've given you a blogger award and linked to your blog on my latest post, "A Gift". I hope you'll accept...I sincerely enjoy your blog and think you deserve it.

  7. Oooh, Steve. What fun! And how lovely!

    -- Penny

  8. Oh how lovely! You would have to pick me up from the floor from a dead faint if I received a box like that! and I definitely vote for the orchid post next! Maybe you can pass on some of costa's tips on how to get the darned things to flower!

  9. What a fantastic surprise! Lucky you! What a fun thing to come home to Steve!

  10. WOW, that is super awesome!! It must have been so much fun to open. I agree about the generosity of gardeners. When I first started out, so many of my neighbors and family members gave me tons of plants for my house and gardens. Now that I have an established collection myself, I try to give and give as often as I can. Pay it forward! :-)


  11. One of the best things, to me, about being a serious gardener is the sharing. Knowledge or plants it is all good.

    I call my home garden "Chris's Castaways" because many of the plants were unwanted by customers and I got to take them home.

  12. That is an amazing gift. Meeting so many amazing gardeners online is one of my favorite reasons for having a blog. Is great how much you can learn

  13. Hi Steve...You know I'm drooling over those orchids. WOW, what a fantastic gift! I know you will enjoy those beautiful flowers. How right you are about the generosity of gardeners. It's nice to have such a nice community of Florida gardeners sharing plants and tips. Thanks for including me in your list.

  14. truly its heart warming to receive such beauties as these moth orchids. They look superb!


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