Showtime for orchids

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on July 19, 2018

A STRANGE winter with unusual conditions has slowed down regular flowering patterns of orchids this season, but that hasn’t slowed the Albany Orchid Society’s efforts in putting together a blooming good display.

The group’s annual winter show opens today at North Road Shopping Centre and will be available for public viewing every day until 12.30pm on Saturday.

The green thumb experts will be on location throughout the four-day extravaganza to hand out gardening tips and sell some of their orchids.

Ahead of the display, society members Gail Brodziak, Carol and Neville White, and Barbara Hawes gave The Weekender a sneak peek at some of their best plants.

Among the collection of colour were phalaenopsis orchids, red, white and yellow cymbidiums, dark pink dendrobiums and a native Australian dockrillia.

The orchidists agreed the colder and darker winter this year had slowed down the flowering of their orchids, particularly the hot weather phalaenopsis orchids that require a lot of sun.

To care for their orchids a little better, the group had all chosen to relocate their plants to their respective kitchen benches near a window.

When asked whether it was difficult to care for and manoeuvre such delicate looking flowers, Mrs White said only transport was difficult.

“Most people think orchids are delicate, but they are tough as nails,” she said.

“They don’t need much water, you might water them twice a week.

“I’ve got a little moisturemeter that my husband got for me and I use that to check how much moisture there is in the pot.”

Her husband, Neville laughed and agreed, but said they were still a nightmare to get from point A to B and that you have to be very careful not to knock anything while transporting them, if you want to qualify for judging.

“There are lots of criteria for the show,” Mr White said.

“The leaves have to be pristine, 60 per cent of the flowers have to be open and there has to be a certain number of flowers.”

Mrs Brodziak said prizes would be raffled during the show, and a judge from Bunbury was travelling especially for the event.