Monday, March 2, 2009

Belonging to an orchid society

Specimen Coelogyne at the San Francisco Show and Tell - Photo by Richard Lindberg

If you live less than two hours away from an orchid society I strongly suggest making the trek. It is only once a month and I have learned so much from the meetings.

Meetings are an hour and a half to two hours long and usually contain five activities: A skill session, a member's sale table, a 'Show and Tell', a speaker and a raffle.

The skill session teaches basic skills such as re-potting, mounting and pest control. I will go if I know the presenter.

The member's sale table is a good place to look for plants. There are sometimes real bargains, sometimes not. I always look as soon as I arrive.

The show and tell is my favorite part. Especially in San Francisco, I see dozens of great plants each month. It lets me know how my plants should be growing and of course I bring plants too.

I do the raffle differently at the two societies I belong to. In Sonoma (my home group) I have settled on buying $6 no matter what I think of the plants on the table. Not because they are unhealthy but of how they fit in my collection. In San Francisco I buy from $0 to $20 depending on the table and if I bought anything from the member sale table.

Being an orchid society member has really enriched the experience of orchid growing. And the AOS magazine is still great even after the recent downsizing.

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