Back when I was in architecture school, I loved to study the detailing of traditional building methods from around the world. While this did nothing but annoy my instructors, all of whom were white-box modernists, it was very educational and rich to see how the world has been built for ages. Through my studies, I became especially enamored of Japanese wood structure building techniques, especially the use of natural (rather than heavily machined) materials and the very delicate appearance of the structures.
The gardens were also fabulous, and years before I was able to visit Japan, I would pore over the images of those elaborate landscapes in books. Many of those gardens featured gorgeous little teahouses, all beautifully made, sometimes gently weathered, tucked in so beautifully to the manicured landscape.
For those of you who I have unintentionally led to my webpage to read about something OTHER THAN food, here are links to images of lovely Japanese-style teahouses from around the world.
I don't consider myself a materialistic person by nature. I'm sure most of us don't. But if I have a weakness, it's for living plants. Gorgeous living plants. Gorgeous living plants from one of the largest plant families in the world. Orchids.
No, they're not that hard to grow. You don't need a greenhouse, or the skulls of exotic animals, expensive pots, or fancy lights. A good west or south facing window, some pebbles and big plastic trays to hold water, an attention span, and some inexpensive baby plants are all you need to get started.
There's something very satisfying about caring for these delicate, exotic little leafy things, which will reward your attention with scents and blossoms that last for MONTHS. Once you succeed in making a few plants happy, it's hard to stop wanting to try out more demanding types. Which is why I now have about 30 plants, and am now having a hard time keeping track of them.
Orchid websites I like include:
last updated january 4, 2005
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