I have always loved the French word “pantoufle”. There is no rhyme or reason to this. I have no particular affection for slippers. I simply like how that word feels in my mouth. I also like the words “syllable” and “estuary” and I’m entirely not sure why.
Today, after the Craft Council’s Annual General Meeting, John, Katherine and I headed to the Botanical Gardens to breathe the fresh air, relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
The Lady’s Slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule) are blooming now. They can be found, growing wild, up on Trail #3, amongst the blueberry bushes nearing the top of the hill. If you find The Lookout and walk west from there, you’ll see them everywhere.
They grow throughout the Pippy Park Barrens and elsewhere in Newfoundland, but you’ll have to search for those on your own. They are so delicate and beautiful that the unsupervised locations of which I am aware, I guard quite jealously for fear that the plants will be damaged or destroyed.
If you do find them, don’t dig them up or damage them. Slipper orchids do not transplant easily to home gardens. The roots of these wild-growing orchids are intimately linked to the chemistry and biology of the soil in which they are found. if you remove them from the symbiotic nooks that they have formed for themselves, they are likely to perish. Leave them to grow in the wild and come back for your annual visits.