My grandfather was a brilliant man; he graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, spoke 6 languages, and was a top-level executive for the Motion Picture Association. He was sophisticated and worldly, well-spoken and very well-read. And, according to my dad, he also had a little secret, about which my dad and grandmother would tease him mercilessly.
My grandparents lived in Manhattan, in a gorgeous apartment with a small balcony that had a great view. If you stuck your head out and looked to the right, you could see Central Park. But what made the balcony unusual was its ability to grow potted geraniums. Every winter, my grandfather would eagerly await the coming spring, so he could put out his beloved flowers. And every year, he managed to get that cheerful burst of color long before anybody else on the block.
How did he do it? The same way I grow orchids.
They were fakes! He'd put the fake ones out a few weeks early, until the real ones got a chance to get started. As for me, my orchid plants are real, but darned if I can get them to bloom again. So a short trip to Michaels and ta-da! Ever-blooming orchids, no matter what the weather! No sun? No problem! And since the leaves of the plant are real, and orchid flowers have that waxy, fake look anyway, no one is the wiser! Except, of course, if you look closely. Or, if you know anything about orchids - which will make you wonder how a Phalaenopsis can possibly be blooming out of Oncydium leaves! That's because I haven't the foggiest clue what kind of orchids I actually own. If they'd just BLOOM, for heaven's sake, it would be easy to tell.
You won't tell my secret, will you? ;)