WNCOS Calendar of Events

All orchid lovers are welcome to attend our meetings the second Sunday of each month. Normal meetings begin at 2pm at the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, located at 36 Montford Ave., Asheville, NC 28801. Please click here for full directions.


Upcoming Meetings

April 9

Tom Harper, an AOS judge and owner of Stones River Orchids in Franklin, Tennessee will present “Big Lip – Big Show,” a cutting edge, brand new program that focuses on the evolution of the new broad lip phalaenopsis.

Tom is another long time friend of the WNCOS and a major player in the orchid industry, and he will be with us this Sunday, April 9. So, 2:00 pm, downtown at the Asheville Visitor’s Center on Montford Ave. Come in the building and take the elevator up to the 3rd floor. They’ve moved us upstairs this month and we are not meeting in the usual room on floor 2. We will have a physical presence to make sure nobody gets lost or confused! If you have got something new in bloom that wasn’t in the festival, bring it for show and tell. We’ll bring that portion of our meeting back but will be efficient so we have ample time for Tom’s program, Q&A with him, and of course time for shopping!

Tom is also a founding member of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance (IPA) in 1989 and has served in many responsible positions including Vice President, President, and IPA Journal contributor on many occasions. He has been an accredited American Orchid Society judge since 1984 and is based in the Atlanta Judging Center. In the fall of 2014, he moved to Senior Judge after 30 years as an active judge.





August 13

Michael Coronado

Michael Coronado, Vice President of R.F. Orchids, located in Homestead, Florida will be our speaker. Michael literally grew up at R. F. Orchids, having been with the firm since he was 13 years old. He started out working in the greenhouses, repotting, staking, fertilizing, packing & shipping, later getting involved with exhibiting orchids and other facets of the business. In 1985, the firm incorporated and Michael became its Vice President. He is now Vice President in charge of growing and hybridizing. Mike has traveled extensively around the world to keep abreast of the newest trends in orchid hybridizing, including the nursery’s specialty, vandaceous orchids. He has spent several months at the R. F. Orchids’ growing facility in Thailand learning techniques for the propagation and production of orchids for the international market. In his career with R. F. Orchids, Mike has also participated in many domestic and international orchid shows including several World Orchid Conferences and the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, and is an accredited American Orchid Society Judge. He has served on the Board of Directors of the South Florida Orchid Society, and is a Life Member of the American Orchid Society.

One of Mike’s favorite activities is the design of private orchid gardens. He has designed orchid gardens for many important South Florida properties, including the outdoor façade of the Christian Louboutin boutique in the Miami Design District. Mike has also designed interior orchid arrangements for South Florida notables including Cristina Saralegui, and he is manager of our flower shop at the Ocean Reef Club. He was also instrumental in developing R.F. Orchids’ “Orchid Camp”, a series of educational classes about orchid growing in South Florida.

September 10

Our good friend Tom Mirenda, the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection Specialist, will return to Asheville to share his orchid knowledge with us. An orchid grower himself since 1980, Tom Mirenda has been the Smithsonian Gardens’ orchid collection specialist for more than 15 years. Along with his duties maintaining and curating the Smithsonian’s collection of 9,000 orchids, Tom helps to develop educational displays for Smithsonian Garden exhibits visited by hundreds of thousands of museum patrons. He frequently travels around the U.S. and internationally, giving talks and presentations to scientists as well as the general public about orchid ecology, pollination biology, and strategies for orchid conservation.Originally trained as a marine biologist, Tom could no longer resist the lure of the flower and made the switch to plants and orchids while living in Hawaii in his 20s. He has worked with orchids at the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and with the extensive private collection at the Greentree Estate in Long Island. He also served as floor manager at the New York International Orchid Show for several years.

The author of numerous articles on orchids, Tom’s contributions have appeared in the magazine of the American Orchid Society, the Orchid Review (UK), Orchid Digest and the Dutch publication, Orchideeën. He is passionate about building partnerships between the overlapping circles of botanic gardens, hobby and commercial growers, and scientists to work toward the goal of protecting orchids and their habitats. In his free time, Tom sings with the Victorian Lyric Opera Company, recently as Oswald from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Haddon Hall.




Stay tuned for more details – as information becomes available for upcoming WNCOS Meetings, the updates will be posted here and on the WNCOS Facebook Page.