Well, here we are again….with an epic Orchid Festival hangover! Kidding guys, but holy cow what a festival we put on, wouldn’t you say? I’d like to thank each and every one of you who contributed to the 19th annual, Asheville Orchid Festival. I was thrilled to see how many of you all stepped up and played significant roles this year.
Several of you newer members really stepped up, and I cannot tell you how great that was to see and how much I appreciate you! We’ve created a lot of buzz, attracted some new potential members and orchid lovers, helped raise awareness here locally, and achieved all our goals this year. I believe we had 11 AOS awards in the festival this year, 2 of which were in our AOS GOLD CERTIFICATE exhibit. In all our years, we have NEVER earned a Gold Certificate by the American Orchid Society for our exhibit. Not only did we earn a 91 point Gold Cert, but we also won the Show Trophy for best exhibit.
In addition to this exciting achievement, I’d like to personally thank my dear friend, and long time friend & supporter of the WNCOS, Frank Smith of Krull-Smith Orchids in Florida. Frank is the most recent past President of the American Orchid Society and has helped us raise the bar year after year here in Asheville. Frank always installs an outstanding exhibit, filled to the brim with outstanding plants which earn awards in our festival every year. This year, he earned 9 AOS awards, along with a 90 point Gold Certificate for his exhibit. Yes, you read that right…we had TWO exhibits earn an AOS Gold Certificate this year. Krull-Smith’s Paphiopedilum Saint Low was our Grand Champion this year, which was over the top incredible. I hope all of you took the time to admire these special plants and all of the incredible exhibits.
I’d also like to recognize the plant quality we had from all of you, we clearly have some outstanding growers here within the WNCOS. Our orchids we had on display in our exhibit this year were amongst the best we’ve ever had. Great, great job to all of you for a very strong showing!
A final CONGRATULATIONS to our display committee and design team. You guys are absolutely amazing and outdid yourselves this year, we are all proud and in awe of your hard work and achievement! I’m confident you guys are still smiling, I know I am!
Mike Mims, WNCOS President
Tom Harper, another long time friend of the WNCOS and a major player in the orchid industry will be with us this Sunday. 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 a world renowned orchid grower from just south of Nashville, Tn. and was last here in 2013 when he brought lots of energy, experience and outstanding orchids for us to admire and purchase. He’s got a brand new program entitled “Big Lip-Big Show” which introduces us to the very latest breeding efforts that have been emerging with the broad lip Phalaenopsis. Lots of new photos and info will be shared with us, which none of us have ever seen. Tom will also bring plants for us for our raffle table, and will be selling some of these latest hybrids at our meeting. See below for his bio.
Tom began growing orchids on a windowsill in 1967. By 1975, he had registered his first orchid hybrid and founded Stones River Orchids as a business. A long-time supporter of the Mid-America Orchid Congress, Tom served as its President, Vice-President and Mid-American Editor (the MAOC newsletter).
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 Journalcontributor on many occasions. He has been an active member in the Orchid Society of Middle Tennessee since 1967 serving as President, Vice President, and Trustee. Tom assisted in writing and editing the Phalaenopsis species section of the soft cover Ortho book entitled Complete Guide to Orchids. He has written several articles on Phalaenopsis for Orchids, Orchid Digest and the IPA Journal.
Tom has traveled coast to coast and internationally speaking on various aspects of Phalaenopsis. Tom lectured at the 16th World Orchid Conference in 1996 in Brazil, and the 19th WOC in January 2008 in Miami. Additionally, he was invited to speak in March 2005 and again in 2007 at the Taiwan International Orchid Show and Symposium in Hsinying, Taiwan, Republic of China. He returned to Taiwan in 2010 and plans to travel there again soon. More recently, he spoke at the 15th Annual International Phalaenopsis Alliance meeting in the United Kingdom in June 2009.
In 2008, he received his first FCC/AOS on Dtps. Brother Success, ‘Laura’ (The highest award given by the American Orchid Society) at the Heart of Dixie Show in Huntsville, Alabama and has earned lots of AOS awards through the years. He has been an accredited American Orchid Society judge since 1984 and is based in the Atlanta Judging Center.