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.
Rick is happy to talk about his passion for slipper orchids: “Five years into my orchid hobby, I wrote an article for the Slipper Orchid Alliance Newsletter (Spring, 2006) “Try A Bit of Everything”. In that article I detailed what I had learned about slipper orchid culture (and orchid culture in general), and announced the achievement of a personal orchid growing milestone: blooming at least one species from each subgenera or section of Paphiopedilum. Actually at that time I had bloomed 29 of the 50 species I had obtained, and as of to date, I’ve bloomed 54 of the 82 recognized species in Harold Koopowitz’s Paphiopedilum checklist in Orchid Digest 4th quarter 2000 issue.
Technically that goal has been overturned with the exciting discovery of two new species placed in their own new sections (P. canhii, and P. rungsuriyanum). So as long as new species are found, I may never realize my early goal without creating a caveat of referencing the taxonomy of the day!! But I really look forward to the day when I will have the opportunity to grow these new species.”
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.
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.