MAY 2014 SHOW
The 2014 show went smoothly thanks to the efforts of a good many members and with 136 paying visitors through the door it was a great success. Several of the visitors commented on the range of orchids on show and had questions about them and on their culture which was encouraging. Most shows seem to peter out in the early afternoon but this time people kept coming in almost to closing time.
The two visiting Societies were Norwich and the Lincolnshire Orchid Group and both created excellent displays with some superb plants including some rarely seen species and hybrids.
As usual our own display was on the stage. There was a good selection of plants of both species and hybrids provided by our members and our display team led by Roger made a
superb job of displaying them. The award for the Best Species deservedly went to Robin’s delightful mounted plant of Leptotes bicolour which had been placed centre stage.
The two traders were Lawrence Hobbs and Orchid Alchemy and both brought along a good selection of plants and both seemed to have a successful show, doing brisk business from time to time throughout the day.
Of course a successful show depends on the effort put into it and many members helped on the day from manning the door to talking to visitors. The ladies in the kitchen were kept very busy throughout the day and did a sterling job keeping members and visitors supplied with food and drinks. The Tombola was ably managed by the Secretary’s granddaughter and she is not even a member yet!
All in all an enjoyable and successful show.
The May Meeting 2014
The May meeting followed hard on our annual show and was ably managed by Fran our Treasurer in the absence on holiday of our chairman. We had 16 visitors from the Christchurch Garden Club, many of whom had visited our show on the previous Sunday, and our chairman had invited them to come along to this monthly meeting.
The speaker for the evening was Ray Creek, a familiar figure in the orchid world, and he was introduced by Fran. Having been told there were several non-orchid growers in the audience Ray pitched his talk on beginners to orchid growing and showed and talked about the various genera and hybrids that are suitable for growing in the house. He then went on to discuss their cultivation and general management, spending some time explaining the watering requirements, the feeding, light levels compost and re-potting.
There were several questions from the floor which Ray dealt with in his usual competent way, and Fran then thanked him on behalf of the Society.
Ray had brought with him a good selection of plants both hybrids and species and all reasonably priced, and several members availed themselves of the opportunity to purchase some. By Brian Redman.
Fran our chairman for the night gave a warm welcome to Ray Creek our speaker for the evening also a welcome to the Christchurch garden club members. Ray started by saying don’t be afraid of the vast amount of orchids you can grow as houseplants with over 50% grown in Britain for every to enjoy. Always ask for details of the orchid you are thinking of buying so you can avoid any problems.
Back to basic was his theme talk unlike most other plants we grow on soil etc. Orchids need an open compost to allow to flush through as orchid roots must not remain in water, could result in ROOT ROT. As orchids grow on trees, rocks etc. from around the world they do not require any compost.
So with watering, water carefully, let the plants dry out a little before you water again, the weather has some say in when you water, use rain water whenever possible. Ray said, and I quote; because he has a vast amount of orchids to water he turns the cold water tap on and uses a hosepipe,
don’t be afraid to use tap water (but if it is too cold to drink) then add from the hot tap.
Baby bio for orchids, Champak, or his own he recommends, Dilute a son pack, feed every 3rd or 4th watering with a good flush of water next time water is needed.
Every plant needs light to stay alive to improve growth and to encourage plants to flower. Spring and Summer sun, to avoid burning of the leaves shading is required. Autumn and Winter they need plenty of light, due care and attention at all times.
If pot bound, but don’t be in a hurry to re-pot, pot size, one size larger to allow for 2 or 3 years growth, there are a number of composts you can use but stick to what you know and like best, make sure all the pots are well scrubbed and clean.
What orchids to start with try Phalaenopsis, with so many available now getting them right they will flower for ever, once your first orchid under way you will buy more and look to enlarge your collection.
Thanks to Ray for a grand evening.
By Dennis Self
August 2014 abridged newsletter
Little big horn