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Curious about orchid shows

This is a discussion on Curious about orchid shows within the Orchid Shows and Society Meetings forums, part of the TalkTalk category; Originally Posted by gardenguysorchids Why is it so many OS are so unfriendly? The one ...

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  1. #11
    jeffrey6115's Avatar
    jeffrey6115 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gardenguysorchids View Post
    Why is it so many OS are so unfriendly? The one I joined a few months ago is very clique-ish. After attending 3 meetings and and being more or less ignored I joined just to make sure anyother new visitors/potential members would not be ignored. I love orchids more than societies or ribbons. I would hate to think that a potential orchid enthusiast would loose interest in growing orchids just because of a few insecure snobbish people. I think the problem in my society is that the old die-hards that run it are scared to death that someone might join who will take ribbons away from them. Since I joined there have been several new visitors that have become members because of me. We now have our little clique. LOL
    I must have been fortunate to have found such a nice society then. Was it because I was introduced by a long time member, I don't know. I did however show them I could grow and bloom orchids well. Now I'm one of the people they come to to get plants for the shows. I can't imagine a society like you describe.

  2. #12
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gardenguysorchids View Post
    Why is it so many OS are so unfriendly? I would hate to think that a potential orchid enthusiast would loose interest in growing orchids just because of a few insecure snobbish people. I think the problem in my society is that the old die-hards that run it are scared to death that someone might join who will take ribbons away from them.
    I suspect there's a number of issues.

    First and foremost, the size of the os may itself be part of the problem. My first OS was a small group while both of the "cold fish" ones are both large -- 2-3X bigger. Smaller groups, I believe, take notice of new comers more quickly and are more likely to actively engage new folks in conversation. In a large OS, it is easier for new people to be overlooked and ignored -- both accidently and not. In talking to a few other folks from other OS's I've met at shows, this seems to be a very common phenomenon.

    Another difference -- my old os was mainly comprised of folks growing on their window sills or other small grow areas. Very few had greenhouses. The two 'unfriendies', however, were heavily weighted toward greenhouse growers. (Not that I'm trying to knock any of our greenhouse folks here! ) So when show-and-tell time at an OS meeting comes around or plants are needed for shows, small homey OSs appreciate the plants that other home hobbyists are able to grow and need to get as many members involved as possible at showtime to put on a decent display. Greenhouse heavy OSs are more likely to be used to seeing large specimen-sized plants and, for those who have had a greenhouse for many years, to have lost sight of the challenges a small grow area hobbist faces and hence lack appreciation for the small growers triumphs. Whether such an attitude, where it exists, is snobbery or just thoughtlessness could be argued either way.

    The 'oldtimers' factor you mentioned, Bill, I think may also play a role if those follks are the no nonsense types. Some of the oldtimers I have met are terribly serious about orchid discussions. By 'serious' I mean that they don't seem to have time or patience for light-hearted discussions on orchids or even idle chitchat at an OS meeting -- they're pretty much 'all business'. If an OS is predominantly made up of such folks, that OS can very well come across as 'unfriendly'. In contrast, 'oldtimers' who have a more light outlook, can be a great fount of help and information.

  3. #13
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    I'm big chicken. Don't want to my plants to be judged badly so I have yet to enter one into a show. I can barely bring my self to take one to show-and-tell at my orchids society meetings!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by smwboxer View Post
    I'm big chicken. Don't want to my plants to be judged badly so I have yet to enter one into a show. I can barely bring my self to take one to show-and-tell at my orchids society meetings!
    Don't let them intimidate you so. Take your plants proudly and put them in. My first experience was embarassing to me. I was so proud of my Oncidium hybrid with its 2 huge spikes. It went with me to my orchid society meeting. Granted it did take the first place ribbon but the name tag was WRONG. This was pointed out as they went around from plant to plant that took ribbons. I wasn't "scolded" or anything but was insted challenged to find the proper name. It took 2 years of searching but I did in the end find it. It still takes ribbons to this day. I still feel good about having taken it.

  5. #15
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    We have a summer show next weekend 200 miles away, but it is allways worth it as there are plants you do not see during the spring shows. Last year I got a HCC for one that I was not expecting. I will be taking plants but but with the same expectation, also they run a great boot sale of plants you do not see very often. I will post the plants I am taking later when they are fully out.

  6. #16
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    I'm big chicken. Don't want to my plants to be judged badly so I have yet to enter one into a show.
    It's a great learning experience and not one to be afraid of. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your own orchids on display and other people admiring them. The trick is to go with no expectations of winning anything so you won't be disappointed if you don't . What I have found is the ones I think might win something don't and the ones I don't think are as nice are the ones that do win.

    Susan

  7. #17
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    Just from reading the posts here, something slowly started materializing correct me on this. If I were to choose a plant for a show, the planning would start a year to several years in advance, in that it seems that showing a plant is more of a reflection of my overall skills in plant husbandry. This begs another question: can you "encourage" a plant to bloom at a time when a show is planned, instead of waiting for it's natural season? I would assume that the show and the orchid's blooming season wouldn't be far apart, but, then I really don't know. When I went to the WOC in Miami, there were plants blooming that I wouldn't have anticipated seeing at that time of year. So, that's why I ask.

  8. #18
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    Vanessa, at least IME, there is not THAT much planning ahead. You are at the mercy of the plant and the show schedule.

    Some plants are very regular in their blooming season(s). With those plants you can "plan" to some extent as to what show your plant will be ready for. However, just because plant Y is usually in bloom for you the last week of March, that doesn't mean that the plant will cooperate when showtime rolls around and will be in bloom then. It might decided to bloom early that year or later that year. (You may find that some plants, spiteful buggers that they can be will bloom immediately after a show just to thumb their pollinia at you.)

    Other plants, such as some of the minicatts, have a variable blooming season making it difficult to impossible to 'count on' it being in bloom for a particular show.

    So particularly for the home grower, I think there is less in the way of options for encouraging a plant to be in bloom at a particular time. Instead it is a bit of a "crap shoot" -- sometimes you luck out, sometimes you don't. This being the case, there is little point in you planning "years" in advance. Rather, if you know of a show that is coming up in the near future, peruse your collection and see what looks like it might be in bloom by that time. Other than taking a little extra care that you don't accidently knock some developing buds off and perhaps guiding the developing buds, there isn't a ton of things you can do.

    Yes, if you have a totally fabulous plant people will assume you have awesome husbandry skills. If instead you feel it was just blind luck, simply smile and say "thank you". LOL! Either way, don't worry about "mastering" your orchid growing skills before you show a plant. Show and have fun! (That's what it should be and the point I was hoping would come across.)

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    V(You may find that some plants, spiteful buggers that they can be will bloom immediately after a show just to thumb their pollinia at you.)

    Honestly, I could almost see myself in the gh with my clip board, demanding more from a plant and giving out demerits....sometimes I get too excited about competition, even when it's not a competition
    Well, I will look through the show schedule and casually stroll around my gh, looking for volunteers! Orchids have been the one hobby that has saved my sanity in the last couple of years. I will be defending my PhD thesis, soon. Most of my other hobbies I have cut back on or let drop, altogether. Orchids, not so much. In fact, I got the greenhouse, established two little terraria and won the ribbon during this degree thing.
    I confess, I love just about anything that has to do with my plants and helping me be a better nursery-person!
    Last edited by Vmax; January 10th, 2010 at 04:58 PM. Reason: spelling goof

  10. #20
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    My plant prep really starts when the inflorescense is developing. I stake them to best show off the flower. Oncidium types are straight and tall. Phalaenopsis get staked to the second or third node so they have a graceful arch. Cattleyas so the flowers are seperated so the flowers open as full as possible. Large multifloral Cattleyas I turn daily so the flowers open evenly around the inflorescense. This may sound a bit time consuming but it is well worth it to me. I have never tried to force a plant to bloom before it wanted to. I do take my chances that way. I have however placed plants in a cooler area to slow the flower opening or in a warmer area to speed the opening a bit. I have missed many a judging because a flower opened in between. Plants I have taken all that time with open upside down or just not right. Then it back to the drawing board and wait till next time.

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