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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; So, I entered a couple of orchids for the very first time last April (2008). ...

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  1. #1
    Vmax's Avatar
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    Default Curious about orchid shows

    So, I entered a couple of orchids for the very first time last April (2008). Of the three I entered, my S. japonica won 2nd place in it's class. It was such a surprise and I have never really "raised" orchids for show. I schlepped my plants 99 miles south and entered this show that a friend was involved in and I got a little red ribbon!!

    My little ribbon hangs on the wall above this computer in my office. I was looking at it the other day and wondering: how many of us have entered a plant in a show? how did your plant do? will/have you do/done it again? what have/would you do differently to prepare your plant?

    Now, I can't imagine myself trying for an AM or an HCC or anything like that....I enter little road races and triathlons every now and then and I won't qualify for Boston or Kona..... If someone didn't enter then what would the shows be for? Okay....long story to get some reader motivated to answer or think about participating or to tell their story about participating. I would love to know!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jeffrey6115's Avatar
    jeffrey6115 is offline Senior Member
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    You have the fever now. Since I received a ribbon from the first show I try to get plants to as many as I can. My orchid society enters displays in many shows so I have lots of opportunities. I have quite a collection of ribbons and even some Best in Show rosettes.
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    I make sure that any plant with possibility is properly staked if necessary and groomed. I'm working with several now in preparation for the next show in Feb. Hopefully with all the work the flowers open and look nice.

    I have also gone to the monthly AOS judging. The first time to just observe then I took two plants I thought had potential. I was very proud when my baby (a Bulbophyllum) received a CCM of 85 points at the first judging I entered plants.
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    The judges passed on my Cattleya but you have to be prepared for that. Even though all your "chids" are beautiful in your eyes they may not be to the judges. Just remember the worst they can say is "NO". At least you gave it a try. And you never know you just might have the one.
    HAPPY SHOWING

  3. #3
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    dudleyleroux is offline Senior Member
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    I haven't yet, but i certainly intend to enter some shows this year.

  4. #4
    pavel's Avatar
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    Haven't entered much in any shows lately.

    When I lived in another part of the state, I belonged to a really friendly os. Because it was a small os, when it came time for shows, they really made an effort to get everyone to contribute their flowering plants even if the plants weren't "huge/specimen-sized" plants. (In part because sometimes every plant we could get was needed in order to have a well filled out display, but more to the point of trying to get all the members involved.) So I contributed whatever I had at the time, figuring mine would more likely be utilized as "filler" plants as opposed to winning any ribbons or awards. Much to my surprise I won a couple ribbons -- a 2nd and 3rd place -- that first time. I was quite happy about that which of course encouraged me to enter plants at later shows as well.

    Unfortunately, there really isn't a decent os in the area in which I live now. I was quite unimpressed with either of the ones I checked out. Neither was terribly friendly -- if I hadn't made the effort to talk to a few people, I think I would have gone the entire meeting without having a single person speak to me. If my first os had been that way, I never would have gotten involved in shows, nor in all likelihood as heavily involved with orchids. In addition, I still remember offering to contribute on of my plants for the society's display at a then upcoming show. The response wasn't "Oh sure that would be great!" or anything upbeat/interested. Instead the first question was "Well is it a big orchid?" I was quite put out by that comment though I did still enter my plant in their display (got a 1st place ribbon ) but again such a comment did not make a favorable impression. Considering the whole goal, IMO, should be to get as many of your members involved as possible and get new people excited and to want to participate, comments like that imply an attitude that if the plant isn't big, then you are just wasting the society's time. It definitely doesn't inspire you windowsill growing hobbist to get involved.

    As to whether I'll enter any plants this year, that remains to be seen.

  5. #5
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    Jeffrey,
    Gorgeous plants!! Thank you for sharing. Do you do anything to "groom" a plant? How do you select one?
    I entered this little P. grobyii....well, it's not little. I have had it for over 15 years and it puts off a flurry of little tiny blooms....it's getting "hairy" now. I would have expected a specimen award or a mention, but they choose a first bloom on my S. japonica. Maybe it's what you said....I know what I think is stunning, but it may not make muster for judging.
    Dudley,
    If you have a neat orchid society nearby, I would say, go for it. I ended up clerking for the judges that evening. I had a blast and the ribbon was gravy!
    Pavel,
    Yeah, my local os was dominated by this older guy who called my minis weeds, and not so much in a joking way. I had brought in my Den. loddigesii, thrilled with the flush of blossoms. He picked it up, held it over his head to show everyone and started blustering through the old blow hole about his "vast knowledge" of this species .... and promptly dropped the plant At that point, I knew I was done. I had served on the ed committee, as the pres, vp, tried to just be civil to this character....he was pretty prestigious in orchids circles. He would always put the kibash on any idea I had, so the plant crashing to the floor was the last straw. I traveled down to Austin, Texas to one of their shows several years back, met some of the members and had a ball. I wish we lived closer. I would love to attend meetings and meet other junkies .... er .... orchid lovers!

  6. #6
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    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    When I first joined my local OS, I became quite involved. I served on the board for a few years and volunteered wherever I could. I would contribute plants when I could and won some ribbons. I've never won a quality award, but the plants I grow, especially species Phals, don't tend to get awarded. For quite a few years I quit contributing plants after a plant I sent to a show came back infected with scale that spread to other plants before I knew it . I also got busy with other things in life and the OS seemed to change due to changes in the board. It became less friendly and more clique-ish. While I remained a member, I only occaisionally went to meetings and was rarely even acknowledged though have been a member since 1989. About a year ago things started swinging back the other way, so I have become more involved again. I have contributed plants to several shows this year and have won some ribbons and no scale (knock on wood). I am chairing this year's show because nobody else would take the job and I think it is important to members and the community that a show be held.

    I don't show plants for awards or ribbons. My goal is to share my plants and spread the word about the wonders of orchids. A ribbon is only the cherry on top of the sunday .

    Susan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vmax View Post
    Jeffrey,
    Gorgeous plants!! Thank you for sharing. Do you do anything to "groom" a plant? How do you select one?
    Thank you for the compliment on my plants. The Blc. in the first pic was actually in it's second show this year. The other side of the plant was in full bloom a few weeks earler. It ribboned in both shows. When it comes to grooming. Properly stake the inflorescense (if necessary), this has to be done as they develop, well before the flowers start opening. Remove all dried sheaths, brown leaf tips (if any)etc... I like to wipe the plant (leaves and pseudobulbs) with some diluted lemon juice to remove any hard water or fertilizer build up. I also add a bit of neem oil to add some shine the foliage and take care of any critters.
    When it comes to selection I try to have all my plants "show ready". Should they have the potential then I'm ahead of the game. Flowering can be different with each bloom cycle so what is nice the first time might not be the next and vice versa. If they aren't quite showable then I still have a nice display in the greenhouse.

  8. #8
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey6115 View Post
    The judges passed on my Cattleya but you have to be prepared for that. Even though all your "chids" are beautiful in your eyes they may not be to the judges.
    Which does indicate something one should always keep in mind ... judging is subjective. Personal preferences/tastes on the part of the judges DO play a role in determining whether or not a flower is "worthy" of being awarded. So if yours doesn't make it, it may just be that the judges didn't share your viewpoint.

  9. #9
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    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

  10. #10
    Vmax's Avatar
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    You know, Bill, you bring up an excellent point. If I want my OS to be more friendly, I should be the one to start.... I may have to find out if the local group is still in existence, attend and start a revolution!!

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