The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966





The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter May 1998




NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING: May 3, 1998, at the home of Suz Cramer, 329 W. Monterosa, Phoenix, at 1 p.m. (Nearest major cross streets to Suz's house are Indian School Rd. and 3rd Ave. Monterosa is north of Indian School.)


ALSO IN MAY: May 31, 1998, board meeting at the home of Peggy Stejskal, 3401 E. Palo Verde Dr., Paradise Valley, at 1 p.m. (Nearest major cross streets are Camelback and 32nd St. Palo Verde is east of 32nd and north of Stanford. Take the second right turn beyond Stanford, which is Camino sin Nombre. CsN turns into 33rd Place. Turn left where 33rd Pl. dead ends and proceed north for two blocks to Palo Verde. Turn right onto Palo Verde. 3401 is the second house on the right.).


The members of OSA extend our deepest sympathy to Jarka Kazda and her family. Jarka's husband, Richard, died on April 4, 1998. OSA sent Jarka a white cattleya with seven blooms. She sent us a thank you note in which she said that she enjoyed looking at the "graceful, beautiful" blooms. Jarka knows that her orchid "family" truly cares about her and wants to help her in any way we can.




Wilella Stimmell


The focus of our program for the April meeting was potting media. Lou Ann, our enthusiastic 1st VP, discussed a variety of commonly used media for orchids, and she arranged examples of media in a very artistic manner. A basic culture program for the entire audience, including "veteran" and newer growers, creates an environment wherein veteran growers can share their experiences. Because both experienced and newer growers benefit from a combined approach to orchid culture, we hope to present more such basic programs.


Plants and orchid-related items on our raffle table were donated by members: Pat Isbell, Phillip Liu, Leith Plunkett, Lou Ann Remeikis, and me. Thanks to all donors and ticket purchasers for continuing to support our monthly raffle.




COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT: On March 20, Bernice Ehrlich, Phillip Liu, and I appeared at the Deer Valley Senior Center , 2001 W. Wahalla, Phoenix. An appreciative audience of active seniors admired our blooming display orchids. They were pleasantly surprised that some of the blooms were scented, and we encouraged them to inhale the intoxicating fragrances. The winner of the doorprize plant was delighted at her good fortune! Although the phal was too large to fit into the mini-greenhouse we always provide for smaller plants, the new plant owner admitted that she had a smaller "sick" plant at home for which the greenhouse would be ideal. When last we saw her she was armed with her new plant, a copy of Bob Gordon's BEGINNERS GUIDE TO GROWING PHALAENOPSIS ORCHIDS, a container of fertilizer, and water-jug "greenhouse". Thanks to Ken Gettys for donating the doorprize plant.


On April 14, Bernice, Phillip, Lou Ann Remeikis, Leith Plunkett, and I presented a "surprise" program at The Centers for Habilitation, 215 W. Lodge, Tempe. The surprise was on us! We thought we would be presenting a program for the 20 school-age children who participate in the Grandpa Charlie's program at TCH, but instead we presented our hands-on repotting program for 30 day-treatment adults at TCH. Scheduling accident aside, we were prepared with ample potting supplies but not enough plants for every person who wanted a plant. Fortunately, we had received an early shipment of bare root phals for use in our community service program scheduled for April 23 at the Montessori school, and Harry Tolen (Chula Orchids) had included "bonus" plants for OSA members who assisted in that program. Two days following the program at TCH, those plants were delivered to Jackie Wilcox, TCH Garden Manager, and she helped the adults who had not received plants on the 14th, to pot the phals. (We left excess fir bark and pots with Jackie so that she could repot plants as needed.)


For our program on the 14th, we had spread newspapers on 4 tables before we started to repot the plants. And when the repotting was done, the only evidence that we had been there was an occasional piece of fir bark on the floor.


Each person who participated in the grand repotting "mess", smiled broadly at the very thought that they were receiving special treatment. Jackie told us that the day-treatment adults "never get anything"! The repotters thanked us at the end of the program, and when I spoke with Jackie the next day, she reported that they could talk of nothing except the repotting program. They told her to thank us again on their behalf because "nobody has ever done anything" for them and our program was "so cool"! OSA briefly brightened the lives of 30 severely handicapped individuals.


TCH also received a bonus from an OSA member! Leith Plunkett donated his idle hydroponic equipment, which delighted Jackie. Leith is also pleased that he found a "worthy home" for the items.


We will reschedule a program for the school-age children at TCH, and as soon as we know the date for that, we will add it to our 1998 Community Service Schedule, announce it at a monthly meeting, and mention it in our newsletter.


(A report on our program at the Montessori Day School at Mountainside will appear in our June newsletter.)


OSA'S DONATION OF A GENEROUS ASSORTMENT OF ORCHID BLOOMS ACKNOWLEDGED: Due to a conflict of activities scheduled for March 28, we could not actively participate in the Arizona Federation of Garden Club's Annual Major Fund-raisingevent - Food and Fun. However, we elected to furnish orchid blooms to be used for table decorations. Following the successful fund-raiser, we received a thank you note from Juanita Harelson, organizer of Food and Fun, and she expressed gratitude on behalf of AFGC for our generous donation.





We scheduled so many events for 1998 that we couldn't list all of them on one sheet of paper without resorting to micro-print! After the "Language of Flowers" event at Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Feb. 14 and 15, and after the conclusion of the Annual Garden Club Fair on March 14, (for reports on those events, see the February and March issues of "The Arizona Orchidist"), we were then able to list all of the remaining special events on our schedule. From New York to California, the consensus of opinion of all those who were aware of our schedule of Special Events AND our community service programs, was that "just reading about them" made some orchidists "dizzy"! One grower who is a member of an east coast orchid society asked that we keep her informed of our activities because she needs "more nourishment than is available" from the orchid society of which she is a member. It's gratifying to know that orchid growers in other areas of the country think that OSA has its "priorities straight arrow".


Desert Bloom '98 - March 26 - 29: This year the event, sponsored by PHOENIX HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE could have accurately been retitled, "Desert Storm 2"! On the afternoon of the 25th, storm clouds swirled above while Bob MacLeod, Phillip Liu, and I set up the framework for our display/sales. Our booth was located in a tent which PHG had provided for us. There were to be six displays in the tent, but by the time we arrived, only the booth of the Desert Botanical Garden had been set up. Strong gusts of wind blew nearly all the plants off the DBG table, and DBG's display more! We picked up their cacti and stowed them safely under their table. A few brave Master Gardeners arrived after the event opened to the public, and set up the third display in "our" tent. (The other three groups were "no shows".) We who participated in this event have a new respect for Mother Nature! She may have decided that we had become too accustomed to "friendly" weather conditions in the low desert. First, gusting winds turned into nearly gale-force winds. Then the temperature dropped, and we shivered and huddled together. This was a MAJOR bonding experience!) Next came the pelting rain AND HAIL, which was followed by mud everywhere on the Greyhawk site in north Scottsdale. But through it all, we who braved the elements in order to fulfill OSA's commitment to participate in Desert Bloom, sold lots of plants to shorts-clad visitors, and discovered that we are made of hardier stuff than we had imagined! We had selected the most protected area of the tent for setting up our booth, and our display and sale orchids did NOT suffer from their brief exposure to the elements. Also, we made the acquaintance of a fellow orchid grower who invited OSA to participate in an event she is organizing for next year.


Thanks to the following OSA members who performed a "labor of love" by participating in Desert Bloom '98: Ann Cherny (left the next day on a trip to Kuwait and other foreign points East, but took time out from packing to work at our booth), Bernice Ehrlich, Ken Gettys, Jane and Peter Heckel, Pat Isbell (the only worker appropriately dressed for the weather - wearing a coat she said she thought she'd never have use for after she left London!), Alan Ladd, Marga Lemaire, Phillip Liu, Bob MacLeod (never appears without his well-stocked tool box - could easily replace Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor on television - and can perfectly construct and later dismantle any display in MINUTES!), Keith Mead, Cathy Nelson, Maura Roberts, and Bonnie and Roger Scott. Natalie Warford also deserves our thanks for transporting our sale plants from the airport to Bernice's greenhouse and for assisting with unwrapping the plants.


Special thanks to Bernice for once again allowing OSA to stow our sale plants in her greenhouse. She also waters and otherwise tends the plants while they are in her custody. A few years ago, Bernice stated that she reserved one-third of her greenhouse for OSA plants. But...little by little and plant by plant, we have commandeered at least half of her greenhouse for OSA plants. We want you to know, Bernice, that we ARE aware of our "squatter" actions, and we greatly appreciate your tolerance. Members might like to know how our encroachment of Bernice's greenhouse, evolved. After our November, 1996 show, when all our sale plants had been removed from their temporary home, Bernice repositioned her own plants in her greenhouse. But a few weeks later, we received a telephone call from a grower who had many plants he wanted to donate to OSA. The only greenhouse with the necessary space to store the plants was...Bernice's. With nary a word of complaint, she once again shoved all her orchids to one end of the greenhouse and accepted the donated plants. After those plants were placed in our December, 1996 auction, Bernice once again repositioned her plants on the benches in her greenhouse. Our events in the Spring of 1997 were spaced far enough apart, that Bernice continued to reposition her plants after each "load" of OSA plants was removed from her greenhouse. However, last summer, another donation of plants was received so soon after the sale plants for Desert Bloom were removed from her greenhouse, that Bernice decided that her plants were suffering from whiplash and that she would no longer reposition her plants - she would leave her plants at one end of the greenhouse. For each event, we order more plants than we ordered for the previous event because...there is all that unfilled space in her greenhouse! As long as Bernice has been a member of our OSA family, she has been extremely generous with her time and talents. She would be the first to admit that she allows OSA to use her greenhouse because we are welcome to do so, but it never hurts for members to say thank you for the privilege. THANK YOU, BERNICE! We truly appreciate everything you do for us!


Arizona Mills - April 5: OSA served as the host of Grandpa Charlie's Garden. We shared a booth with The Centers for Habilitation, "parent" of the Grandpa Charlie's program for school-age children. Arizona Mills recreated the garden inside the mall and hired Don Doyle, Professor Emeritus at ASU, to tell stories to children visiting the mall. We used our sale plants as our display plants due to space limitations. Susan Vega, staff member of TCH, sent OSA a letter in which she expressed, on behalf of TCH, her appreciation for OSA's efforts. "Thanks to Orchid Society [of Arizona] members, TCH had warm and friendly representation, and an elegant orchid display." The mall event afforded TCH "an opportunity for enormous and positive exposure". Susan was overwhelmed at the number of OSA members who appeared to serve as hosts: Jane and Peter Heckel, Keith Mead, Lou Ann Remeikis, Peggy Stejskal, and myself. Thanks is also due Leith Plunkett, who transported plants from the airport to...Bernice's greenhouse, and to Phillip Liu for helping us unwrap all the sale plants.


A.J.'s Fine Foods/HomeBase Mini-Displays &Orchid Information Centers - April 10 and 11:

Assisting Suz Cramer at A.J.'s were: Norma Kafer, Keith Mead, Lou Ann Remeikis and Sarah Heberling. OSA members who furnished HomeBase customers with orchid culture information were: Bernice Ehrlich, Jane Heckel, Phillip Liu, and me. We provided a valuable service to orchid shoppers at both locations. Becky Paulson, Floral Manager at A.J.'s, and Don Yanito, Garden Shop Manager at HomeBase, are both looking forward to our return. These were relaxing, FUN events, and we thoroughly enjoyed being helpful and...talking about our favorite subject: orchids!


Upcoming Event: Mother's Day Display/Sale at the Valley Garden Center - May 10 - from noon to 5 p.m. Other groups that hold monthly meetings at the Valley Garden Center will also have displays on May 10. This event is a part of the Encanto/Palmcroft Home Tour. We need workers to set up our display and to man our sales booth. We will also need display plants, and we will ask for volunteers at our May 7 meeting.


OSA EXCLUSIVES!! For those who attended our April meeting, you know that we now have an official t-shirt available! They will also be available at the May meeting but thereafter will be sold only at our November show and special events. The price of the shirts is $15.00 for OSA members and $20.00 for non-members.


Another exclusive: orchid greeting card! OSA member, Natalie Warford has generously donated one of her magnificent botanical illustrations for use on a greeting card. She has also transferred the copyright on her illustration to OSA. We are in the process of obtaining prices for printing the cards, and we will keep you posted when the cards will become available for sale. We have not yet decided whether we will offer some cards imprinted with "Holiday Greetings", all cards blank inside, or a combination of both. (For newer growers who might not be familiar with Natalie's world-class botanical illustrations, consult copies of ORCHID DIGEST, found in OSA's library. Natalie's illustrations and technical plant data are found in various issues of the "Digest", as well as in other scientific journals.) Natalie's gift to OSA is a MAJOR honor!



MEMBER NEWS: From Santa Fe, Deacon Bell reports that the plants in his indoor greenhouse are continuing to thrive, and his phal species in water culture has produced yet another bloom spike! Vic Polk donated a flask of dendrobium seedlings to OSA. The seedlings will be used for a program at one of our meetings this summer. Vic is also having success growing two unlikely candidates for windowsill culture in this area - masdevallias. The healthy plants live in an aquarium, and three of us who saw the plants can testify that they look exceedingly robust. They haven't bloomed, step at a time. They were rescued from the trash bin at a flower shop. Vic reports that he scours every issue of our newsletter in search of a new member who might live close enough to him to give him a ride to our meetings. Pat Isbell is recuperating from surgery. Rumor is that her surgeon is also an orchid grower! A suggestion was made to Pat that she lay an OSA application form on her chest before she underwent "the knife". (The surgeon has more than one patient who is an OSA member!) Norma Kafer, OSA's Director on the Valley Garden Center's Board of Directors, has consented to run for 2nd Vice President on the VGC Board. This bodes well for the future of the Valley Garden Center and...also tells us that Norma has a high threshold for pain!




SLIPPER SYMPOSIUM: Location - A World of Orchids, Kissimmee, Florida; Date - June 27 and 28, 1998. If anyone is interested in attending this symposium, several registration forms will be available at our May meeting. The cost of registration for the symposium is $100.00 Among the symposium lecturers are: Dr. Guido Braem and Dr. Eric Christenson. Some lectures are open to the public.



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