Orchids in Bloom, Getting the perfect photograph of them!
Doug Baldwin will be demonstrating how to get those beautiful pictures
of your orchid blooms. Doug is a professional photographer
and will show us some tips for getting good pictures. Bring blooming
plants and your camera so you can get in some practice.
From the President’s Desk
Lou Ann Remeikis
February’s meeting was such a delight! I genuinely feel badly
for those who could not attend due to health problems or scheduling conflicts,
but those who were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed meeting our speaker,
OSA cannot begin to thank Chris for speaking to our group, particularly
in light of his VERY busy schedule. For those of you who do not know,
Chris had an obligation to attend a meeting in Los Angeles during the day
of our meeting, jumped on a plane that afternoon and arriving in time for
our meeting. He got a few hours of sleep after our February meeting
and hopped on a plane at the crack of dawn to meet another commitment -
attending a meeting of the Hawaiian Orchid Grower’s Association in Hawaii.
I sincerely appreciate Chris “squeezing” us into his schedule!
Chris also brought GORGEOUS plants for our raffle table. His
generous donation of plants produced an all-time record for raffle ticket
sales! Those members who were rewarded for their raffle ticket purchases
are enjoying some healthy and showy orchids! Chris also kindly refused
reimbursement for his travel expenses to our meeting and the honorarium
customarily given to our speakers. Chris, you are truly an OSA friend
and we appreciate your generosity!
While I’m on the subject of last month’s meeting, I want to thank Bob
MacLeod for everyone who attended. Janet Jurn, our Refreshment Coordinator,
had become ill and was unable to attend. Obviously that meant we
had no punch bowl, no plates, cups or napkins. I’m happy to report
Janet is now feeling better, but if it were not for Bob going to Janet’s
and retrieving all of the necessities, it may have been difficult for us
to enjoy the wonderful refreshments brought to the meeting.
Wilella Stimmell has generously donated enough plates and napkins to,
according to Janet, will last the rest of the year. She also donated
some holiday tablecloths that we can use during our annual holiday party/auction
in December. Thanks, Willie!
I made a sad announcement of Bob Caldwell’s death during February’s
meeting. Bob’s wife, Nelda, is one of OSA’s board members and has
been faced with a great deal of sorrow these last few months. Bob
lost a long battle with cancer on February 21st at their home. Wilella
Stimmell, Norma Kafer, Bob MacLeod, Jane and Pete Heckel represented OSA
at Bob’s memorial reception. I, unfortunately, was unable to attend,
but I am grateful to those members who did attend on OSA’s behalf.
Bob was a true friend to OSA and will always be remembered with a smile.
OSA is making a contribution to the Hospice of the Valley (Attn: Fund Development)
in his memory. Anyone also wishing to contribute may do so to 1510
E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
It is my understanding that Wilella made a trip to the Arizona State
Veteran’s Home with donations to their gift shop in OSA’s behalf.
Contributions for our members are ALWAYS welcome. You can bring your
donations to any meeting. As I’ve stated before, they can use cans
of soda/juice, individual snack items or candy, and other trinket type
items that can be found in a gift shop.
I’ve not heard a report of their meeting yet, but the Yuma Orchid Society
was to have held their first official meeting on March 3rd, at 1:00 at
the Public Library. OSA is very proud of this effort by the Yuma
group, and we will offer any support we can! I’ll let you know
anything I find out about their first meeting and the organization of this
new orchid society.
I am truly looking forward to April’s meeting! Doug Baldwin will
be teaching us how to capture our favorite orchids for posterity - through
photography! If you are like most of us, snapping a candid shot of
a favorite bloom never comes close to the real thing once the film is developed.
Actually, nothing comes closer to the real thing, but it is nice to have
GOOD photographs to depict the fruits of your labors. Doug has been
a professional photographer for a couple of decades and will be able to
offer assistance to the amateur photographer in all of us, giving us pointers
on backgrounds, lighting, and positioning of the flowers. Doug asks
that you bring blooming orchids to photograph, along with placing
them on the Show and Tell table. Doug also said it was no problem
if you want to bring your camera, 35mm or digital, and have something to
I look forward to seeing everyone at the April meeting, but until then…
Lou Ann Remeikis
This month’s website comes to us from
The site: Cindy’s Catolog of Garden Catologs
The Address: http://www.qnet.com/johnsonj/
This site has a lot of gardening and orchid links, info and catologs.
Easy to navigate and definetly a fun spot to spend some time surfing around.
A plus for all your gardening wishes!
OSA COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator
On March 5, NORMA KAFER, GARY KOOISTRA, JAY MUNN, and I presented orchid
programs for 74 eager Kindergarten students at PARAMOUNT ACADEMY, a new
school located at 11039 W. Olive, in Peoria.
Program team members have learned from experience that when more than
one program will be presented at a school, we need to set up our display
plants and work with the children in a central location.
The various classes rotate in and out of the central location. At Paramount,
we set up our display table in what appeared to be a teacher's lounge.
Our original schedule set the first program to begin at 9:00 AM,
the second to begin at 10:00 AM, and the third program to begin at 11:00
AM. Half-way through the first program, with 30 children already repotting
their seedlings, the door opened and in came 30 more excited children carrying
their milk jugs. Although we were unsure whether these students were supposed
to be in the first class, we accommodated them. In a relatively small room,
there were 60 children all clamoring "help me next!" Our program team members
took the situation in their stride and exhibited a minimum of stress.
And none of us apparently suffered hearing loss from the din made by
60 happy children. However, since our scheduled program times were
preempted in the confusion, all of us were glad that there were only
14 children in the next and last class. (OSA member, Meaghan Socaciu, is
a Kindergarten student at Paramount and participated in the last orchid
program presented on the 5th.)
Only one of the students hesitated removing the old potting medium
from his seedling. When he discovered that he had to actually touch the
medium and roots in order to remove the old fir bark, he intoned, "that's
gross!" This was the same young man who had no objection to stroking the
tip of the inflorescence of a display plant, Megaclinium maximum,
because it looked like a rattle snake's rattles.
This was the first time Gary Kooistra participated in our school programs,
and he so enjoyed working with the children that he volunteered to
help with future programs. Thanks, Gary!
Special thanks to OSA member, JEANETTE SOCACIU, for providing lunch
for our program team members.
(A report on our next program, scheduled for March 20 at Spirit of
Hope Montessori School, 14403 N. 75th Ave., Peoria, will appear in our
Community Service in APRIL: OSA has been invited to participate
in "A Gathering of Key Players" working with Arizona's youth. The focus
group will meet at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension, 4341 E. Broadway,
Phoenix, on April 18 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon. OSA will be represented
at this meeting.
On Saturday, April 21, two classes of adults will repot orchid
seedlings, at the SOUTHWEST GARDENER store, 2809 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix.
The first class begins at 10:30 AM, and the second class begins at 1:00
PM. If you can assist by providing blooming plants for a display table
and/or helping with the presentations, feel free to volunteer!
Growing Orchids Hydroponically
By Jen Busch
I have been experimenting with various methods of torturing and killing
orchids for a few years now, so when I came across an ad for hydroponic
orchid systems, I had to try it. “STOP KILLING YOUR ORCHIDS,” the
ad promised-and I was ready to prove them wrong!
The basic premise is this: the pot is designed so that only a
small amount of the media (porous fired clay pellets) is exposed to the
reservoir of nutrient solution (basically a weak balanced fertilizer solution).
The capillary action of the clay pellets draws the nutrients via the moisture
to the entire root zone. The clay pellets are never wet, just barely
moist, so the roots are not ever sitting in water. The clay pellets
provide support, air movement and consistent moisture to the root zone.
In addition, the clay has a neutral pH factor and a smooth surface, which
makes repotting much easier.
The benefits of the hydroponic system include: knowing when to
water and how much (just watch the handy indicator), not having to replace
medium that has broken down, being able to repot without drastically disturbing
the root zone, watering less frequently, vacationing without having someone
else water the plants and, of course, not losing plants due to loss of
roots from improper watering practices. I have also noticed
that the hydroponic system provides higher humidity for the plant, which
works well for plants growing in the home (as opposed to the greenhouse)
here in Arizona.
Overall, the hydroponic system has worked great for me. I have
been experimenting with more economical, build-it-myself systems that are
working as well as the expensive “pretty” ones. I have had good luck
with all the plants I have grown hydroponically, including a huge phalanopsis
that has 31 buds (12 of which are open) on 4 branches! I will bring
this plant to the April meeting, at which time I will be happy to answer
anyone’s questions on hydroponics. For more information on hydroculture,
OSA’s MARCH PROGRAM
by Jane Heckel
For those of you who were unable to attend the March OSA meeting,
you missed a real treat. Our guest speaker was Chris Gubler.
Although it is wel l known that he does not accept many speaking engagements,
he let it be known that we are one of the very few groups he will present
to. Even so, the last time he spoke to us was 15 years ago!!
He did promise that he wouldn’t wait as long till his next visit.
His program was very informative and included a 5 page color handout which
chronicled the history of three generations of Gubler orchid growers
starting with his grandfather way back in 1902 in Switzerland. Although
there have been hardships along the way as evidenced by the photo depicting
the total devastation of the nursery by an earthquake, they were undaunted
and have rebuilt the business and continue to expand.
There are two distinct operations: the lab for propagation and
hybridization, and the sale of blooming plants. Some of the
photos depicted rows upon rows of blooming plants in the staging area where
plants are first pulled for shipping, then groomed and packed.
The Gubler operation is dedicated to new innovations which will
help provide more healthy plants to the increasing number of orchid growers.
One such innovation is a process where he can stimulate phals to mature
and spike much more quickly. Another is an impressive new shrink
wrap he is using to pack his plants before shipment. He gave an impressive
demonstration of this as he unpacked a large box of specimen sized
plants in bloom - which he then placed on our raffle table - thank you
so much, Chris. Our raffle sales were hot and heavy!!! Some
other developments for the orchid market will be plants potted in decorator
pots and bark and fertilizer mixes. His goal is to appeal to new
orchid growers to get people started (hooked!!).
All of us remember when we bought our first orchid - and look where
that has led us!! I have a feeling that Chris will make it possible
for many future orchid growers to purchase their first plant and spread
the orchid ‘fever’.
BOTANICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF TEXAS: Distinguished Lecturer Series
by Wilella Stimmell
Internationally known scientists share their views on the urgent issues
involving biodiversity conservation, in the spring 2001 BRIT lectures series,
the Sixth Extinction.
Dr. Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania presented the first
lecture, "How to Grow a Wetland", in the series.
Dr. Stuart Pimm, Professor of Conservation Biology at Columbia University,
New York, presented the second lecture, "On the Risk of Extinction - the
Fragility of Life in a Human-controlled Planet", at the Fort Worth Botanic
Garden Auditorium, on March 8th. During his presentation, Dr. Pimm noted
that scientists have named only 1.5 of the earth's million species
and that two-thirds of the species are in tropical forests which are disappearing
at an alarming rate. He stated that initially earth had 7 to 9 million
square miles of tropical forests, half of which disappeared in the past
50 years, and that about 750,000 square miles is lost each decade. If this
loss continues at its present pace, Dr. Pimm predicts that half the earth's
species could disappear in 20-30 years. "They are not burning on the edge
of the forest, but in the middle, and the area burned is two-thirds larger
than the area cleared. It all could be gone in 20 to 30 years, and with
that, a lot of species."*
On April 12, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Auditorium, the lecture
series continues with Dr. Gordon Orians of the University of Washington.
The title of his presentation will be "The Impact of Human Behavior
on the Diversity of Life".
On May 10th, at Texas Christian University, Dr. Robert Johns of the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will present "New Guinea - The Last Unknown".
The spring lecture series concludes on June 14th at Texas Christian
University with the presentation, "Best Hope for Conserving Biological
Diversity", given by His Excellency, Jose Maria Figueres, Former President
of Costa Rica.
There is no charge for admission to the lectures, and reservations
are not required. If any OSA members are in the Fort Worth area on the
dates of any of the above lectures, you are welcome to attend.
For more information, phone BRIT at (817)332-4441.
The mission of BRIT "is to conserve our natural heritage by deepening
our knowledge of the plant world and achieving public understanding of
the value plants bring to life". BRIT was incorporated in 1987 as a non-profit
organization to house the Southern Methodist University Herbarium and botanical
library. Over 500,000 specimens comprise the collections and represent
"the lifetime work of Lloyd Shinners, one of the most influential Texas
botanists of the 20th century. The core of the library (about 75,000 volumes)
is made up of the personal collections of Lloyd Shinners and Eula Whitehouse
and is rich in literature on botany and horticulture from the 19th century
and the latter half of the 18th century. ... In October, 1997, Vanderbilt
University donated its herbarium of over 360,000 specimens to BRIT, and
continuing additions to the collection will soon bring the total number
of specimens housed at the institute to nearly one million." (http://www.brit.org/)
*ARIZONA REPUBLIC, March 10, 2001, page A19
SPECIAL THANKS TO PACIFIC ORCHID EXPOSITION VENDORS:
The outstanding variety of plants found on our March 1 silent auction
tables was the result of significant price reductions of plants sold to
OSA by the following vendors:
Bill and Dorris Bergstrom
BERGSTROM ORCHIDS NURSERY
P.O. BOX 1502
KAORU OKA ORCHIDS
P.O. Box 255
Mt. View, Hawaii
Bill and Dorris, John, and Steve continue to support our community service
agenda through their generosity on plant pricing. We greatly appreciate
their support! ADDITIONAL Generosity of Pacific Orchid
Exposition Vendors: Our APRIL 5 RAFFLE TABLE will feature DONATIONS of
blooming and/or blooming size plants from:
D & D FLOWERS
221 Netherby Pl.
Pasadena, TX 77504
(Since last we saw Sam, at the Santa Barbara Orchid Fair in July, 2000,
he suffered a myocardial infarction. Sam was moving in slow motion at Orchid
Expo, but he seems to have recovered. We wish him continued good health!)
Many thanks to Dennis and Sam for the donated plants for our April
FIRST MEETING OF THE YUMA ORCHID SOCIETY!!
On March 3, approximately 15 growers attended the organizational
meeting that was held at the Yuma Main Library, 350 Third Ave. Sally Griffith
was elected President pro tem.
Val Colvin, AFGC Western District Director, attended the meeting and
gave the group organizational guidance.
Sally stated that during the first meeting, each person present
reported some aspect of their orchid growing experiences. For example,
one grower said that last summer she left one of her orchids in the care
of a neighbor who proceeded to place the plant "outside in a flower bed
with other plants." Her plant now has 10-15 flowers!
Another member stated that she never mists her flowers; another reported
that she always mists her flowers. One member reported poor success with
phals; another reported great success with that genus.
This month’s website comes to us from
The Eden Project
The $150 million Eden Project in Cornwall, England is now open!
Check out this website for some interesting info on the project.
An easy site to navigate.
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