Feb 17, 2015 | 2 comments


Martie's Orchid

Martie’s Orchid

Most of us were brought up to believe that showing-off was not the proper way to behave. In fact, the definition in the Merriam Webster Dictionary says to show off is to seek to attract attention by conspicuous behavior. Synonyms for show off are listed as act up, clown (around), fool around, horse around, hotdog, monkey (around), showboat, cut up, skylark.  Definitely not complimentary.

However, that definition is not the first one given. It is the second. The first listing says show off means to display proudly. Now that is simply not what a nice young girl or boy was encouraged to do in my day. We were taught to “keep your light under a bushel.” In other words, “don’t toot your own horn.”



I think of that every time I pass our dining room table and glance at the orchid Martie gave me. She (the orchid, not Martie) is now displaying twelve (count ‘em, 12!) blossoms with three more about to pop and two more stems with buds on the way. If that’s not showboating, I don’t know what is! And she is getting applause and compliments all over the place.

I’m wondering if Definition #1 is for plants and Definition #2 is for the rest of us. I took a look at Fern today – the Deer Foot Fern that usually sits in the north bay window in our bedroom. At Christmas every year she gives up her place to a poinsettia and goes in the dark-back-forty for a month to hibernate. She turns all pouty and brown then and we give her a very severe haircut. And now look at her! Sprouting fronds like anything! Showing off, plain and simple.



Ditto the fuchsias in the hanging baskets on the porch. They’ve been ‘resting’ in the garage since last October. Nyel brought them out yesterday and the minute their sturdy stems felt a hint of sunshine, out popped new leaves. I personally think they are skylarking to the max.

What I say is, if this is a double standard, I’m all for it. Let’s leave the showing off to our garden friends. They seem to do it effortlessly and don’t really care if anyone notices or not – sort of like hotdogging and still keeping their light under a bushel.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Thank you for sharing beauty with us, Sydney. Mother Nature is getting an early start this year.

  2. Nancy Russell stone

    Water, warmth and fertilizer for my favorite mother, Nature…Love you!


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