Hello fair ones, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

September is a great month, don’t you think? Cooler temps, the kids are back in school, the leaves start changing colors, the smell of roasting green chile is in the air, hot air balloons dot the sky, football’s back, the skies are ever blue, sunflowers brighten the landscape.

I just love it.

I hope you do, too.

We’re burning through these September Fridays, here we are at another one.

On Fridays on this blog, I gather my beloved Panel of Experts. They are like Rock Stars without the money.

After the panel, I’m going to have an answer for the somewhat controversial puzzler from last Friday, in which I asked if these Blue Orchids were real or fake:

I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after the panel. I’ll also have a new puzzler for you, too.

Let’s get our Friday Funday started by saying hi to our Panel. Hi guys!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You guys are so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy, Thack, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q. The New Mexico State Fair is winding down. What houseplant do you think would’ve enjoyed the fair the most?

A. When I think of fairs, I think of pineapple whip ice cream (it’s a Shelbyville, IN Thornburg family kinda thing), chocolate covered everythings, grilled corn on the cob, elephant ears, lemon shake-ups, kettle corn, & peoples’ grimy kids dropping all that stuff on the ground and wearing it on their nasty cute faces.  That draws ants and flies.

Or I think of the livestock barns full of robust 4H animals ready for show and then the unfortunate inevitable conclusion.  And barns naturally stink.  Oooh ooh that smell.  Can’t you smell that smell?  Smells like home to me.  Still, stuff in barns draw flies.
Therefore, the only logical conclusion is the venus fly trap.  Not only would it thrive at fairs around the country, it just may be a natural cure and predator for flies and mosquitos.  That would beat the hell out of those fogging machines, OFF, and citronella candles now wouldn’t it?
And these things is smart (as we say back home) and here’s why:

The Venus Flytrap (also Venus’s Flytrap or Venus’ Flytrap), Dionaea muscipula, is acarnivorous plant that catches and digests animal prey—mostly insects and arachnids. Its trapping structure is formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant’s leaves and is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap closes if a different hair is contacted within twenty seconds of the first strike. The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a safeguard against a waste of energy in trapping objects with no nutritional value.  (ref.  Wikipedia)

A. Since a big part of the fair is eating mystery meats on a stick, I’m going with the Venus Flytrap. Plus it seems like it could handle itself in a crowd and wouldn’t be scared of roller coasters.

A. I don’t know about a houseplant, but I know a watermelon that had a great time. My friend Beth ( and Indiana Hoosier) grew an award-winning melon. A great celebration will be had — just don’t tell the guest of honor what’s on the menu.

A. (Dottie’s unavailable this week – waaaaaaahhhhh!!!)

A. State  Fair plants winners would be the Strawberry/rhubarb pies nothing better well maybe with a scoop of ice cream. Ashbury Cafe is a non profit church based treasure where great ladies bake hundreds of absolutely fantastic delicious pies of all kinds and then sell them only at the NM State Fair. They have been doing this for over 30 year and have raised over $1,000,000 that has went to  charitable organizations helping good causes. Thank you good people of Ashbury Cafe you give honor to good fruits and vegetables.
Now I don’t want to brag but I won 1st place with my (largest NM Melon) , two 3rd place wins with my herbs (Sage and Tansy/Comfory) displays and four Thanks for showing up displays of chiles, Royal purple beans, mixed garden  and  other herbs. So I want to encourage everyone keep reaching for the sun the moon the stars sometimes they grow in the dirt.

Wow, you guys are impressive. The overlap is crazy – two of you nominating Venus Fly Traps, two of you talking melons. Talk about being on the same wavelength!

You’re all winners, and you’re all interesting! Thanks for being here.

For playing this week, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Six raspberry dreams, four butterfly kisses, garlic mashed apples, one award-winning award, a tray of marinated bees, 14 bragging rights, a coupon good for two stories, a barnyard full of cheer, a pretend trip to the watermelon capital of the world, and one exuberant congratulations.

In addition, I’d like each of you to use the following epithet for the weekend: Fairest of Them All. So for example, Lewis if you go to the NM State Fair this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Lewis Casey Fairest of Them All. It can lead to a lifelong friendship.

Congrats to all of you, and thank you again for being here!

That does it for this week’s Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly One Week. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler.

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these Orchids were real or fake:

Let’s see how you answered:

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Oh no. Dethroned. What am I gonna tell the kids?!?!?! Even the cat just left the room. Congratulations Ivy! This week.. uhhhh… Fake! (But they Want to be real…)”

Lauren from The Beauty Is in the Dirt, wrote, “They’re real. Unfortunately real. (I don’t like dyed orchids.)”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Both real and fake. (Real plants, fake color.)”

gray.com (my Mom) wrote, “Fantastic Experts this week….excellent.

I first saw those dyed orchids about a year ago, and my heart broke. Who would do that? Who would buy such a travesty? Let the carnations have that field: keep orchids honest.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Plants – real. Colour – fake.
Now, excuse me while I go claw my eyes out.”

Shirley from Red Oak Deer wrote, “The orchids are artificially dyed the same way we get green carnations at St. Patrick’s Day and will revert back to white when reblooming.”

Ginny Burton, Optician to the Stars wrote, “Real(ly) hideous! But what about the lemon tree next to them? Is that real? That looks mighty fake.”

That’s five votes real, one vote fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take another look:

Ok, you can’t really tell from that photo, but the Orchids are in fact real. (The Lemon tree next to them is very fake.)

The Orchids are dyed blue. Shirley’s correct that when they rebloom, they’ll come out white.

As for why would someone do that, it’s because they sell. Pure and simple – people pay for blue. Even if it’s a trick because they’re not *really* blue.

I think they are hideous. My personal belief is that flowers are pretty enough without us having to go dye them unnatural colors. The world doesn’t need blue Orchids.

But obviously, plenty of people think the world does need them, because there they are. Blecccch.


Lauren, you were first with a correct answer, so you’re the best answerer. You’ve earned the title of Premierest, Initial, Most Humane and Feminine, Overall Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Then Some. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by gum.

Everyone’s a winner in my book. For playing today, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Three fair scents, 16 extra credit points, an invisible journey, two halos, four diamond shaped circles, delicious cereal, one influential pigeon and a gallon of orange juice. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler for you:

???Real or Fake???

Is this plant real or fake?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight next Thursday, September 27th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.