January 2018

Happy New Year!!! 

I wish you all a very happy new year and hope that your holiday season has been one to remember. 2017 was another strong year for the WNCOS, and we did all we could to go out with a bang! I am just so sorry we were all snowed in and forced to cancel our holiday social at Axel and Kathryn’s home. But, in case you were traveling or not paying attention, we were able to regroup and gather for a drink and some snacks at Post 25 in Arden. I was impressed with the turnout on such short notice, thanks to all of you who were able to come by. Everyone left with a lovely slipper orchid from our friends at Lehua Orchids in Hawaii.

I am happy to say that we have a couple trays of these beautiful plants left, and will have them at our meeting in February where we’ll be able to really talk about them and maybe even do some repotting. Next month we will not have a rock star special guest in town, but that’s ok as we’re going to have a great culture talk, Q&A, and answer everyone’s orchid questions. So, it’s a perfect time to bring in your family, friends and neighbors who have general orchid questions. I’ll encourage you all now to be thinking about your show and tell plants in February, let’s all take a look at what’s in bloom next month and bring them in to discuss. Good, bad, etc. The living examples are what really provides us all with opportunities to cuss and discuss what’s going on with our plants, provides great conversation and learning opportunities.

To kick off a sure to be incredible 2018, i’m happy to announce a first time visit from John Stubbings of Clown Alley Orchids in Pasadena, Texas. John will be here NEXT Sunday, January 14th, 2018 (not this upcoming Sunday) to give us a program on Oncidiums. John is another orchid expert and brings much value to our society, so you’ll want to be sure to be in attendance.  John is offering WNCOS members a 10% discount on pre-orders, and will be bringing plants for sale. He will also bring us plants for our raffle table. It’s now up to you to capitalize on these opportunities that we work so hard on. But time is running out, this is “last call” as John needs to hear from you now. Be sure to go ahead and check out his offerings on his website, https://www.clownalleyorchids.com/. You may also give him a call at 1-832-693-8140, or shoot him an email at clownalleyorchids@abcglobal.net. Please know that your deadline for pre-orders is 1/11/18.

I feel it is important to know that there’s not many folks in the industry traveling on the speaking circuit, as it is certainly challenging. Two ways you can really be supportive is by attending our programs by visiting guests, and by giving them your business when they’re here. It is imperative that every orchid grower try and support their local growers and nurseries as the industry continues to be saturated by the big box stores who are mainly offering Phalaenopsis and gimmicky culture tips.

I offer you all this information to consider, not to be pushy and induce sales, but to be better informed. We have a strong desire to continue to offer an array of speakers, but it is not easy to accomplish. It is incredibly helpful to the WNCOS, to our guest speaker and everyone in attendance at our monthly meetings when you all make the effort to show up. I just cannot stress this enough and wanted to take a minute to share some things with you.

Thank you, and I wish for you all prosperity and good health in 2018!

Mike Mims, WNCOS President

More about our special guest, John Stubbings:

John has been growing orchids starting indoors under lights and in windowsills in 1979. He built his first lean-to greenhouse in 1986 and then a larger freestanding greenhouse in 1996. Clown Alley Orchids is the family business started in 1986 near Chicago. In September 2005 he re-opened the orchid business with a full time retail shop in Pasadena, Texas where the greenhouse space is much larger. John is the chief grower. Clown Alley Orchids attends many shows and fairs each year exhibiting and selling orchids suitable for the south.

John is currently immediate past President of the Southwest Regional Orchid Growers Association (SWROGA). John is a fully accredited American Orchid Society (AOS) judge (since 1991). He has attended and judged shows all over the US and international shows in Canada, Scotland, England, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Ecuador. John was President of the Illinois Orchid Society, the International Phalaenopsis Alliance and the Houston Orchid Society. John has won many AOS awards for flower quality as well as cultural excellence.

John gives lectures or presentations throughout the world to various orchid and botanical or garden groups. These talks are usually about growing orchids more effectively. John as lectured in Tainan, Taiwan; Peterborough, England; Calgary and Edmonton, Canada. He also has lectured in many states.


2018 Asheville Orchid Festival Update
2018 Asheville Orchid Festival Volunteers
HEADS UP….Less than 3 short months before our 2018 Asheville Orchid Festival!
Our 20th Festival!!!

We’re getting closer and closer everyone. Good progress has been made on the underpinnings of the 2018 Asheville Orchid Festival and we wanted to update the membership on these efforts and provide an outline of volunteer opportunities. We need our volunteers, so please step up and ask questions. We will get you involved in one way or another.We cannot stress to you all the importance of our 20th Asheville Orchid Festival Committee, and all that we are up to. We need support in many different ways. One BIG example of something still looming for us is our need to secure a “work space” for construction of our display. Have a garage, know of a useful space, know someone who’d donate or rent us out a workshop or garage for a couple of months?

Pre-Festival Activities Underway:

  • Festival Dates – March 21-22 put in/installation. March 23 Ribbon and AOS Judging, NC Arboretum/WNCOS Private Member Preview Party. March 24-25 Festival open to the public.
  • Venue – The NC Arboretum has been secured as the venue for the 2018 Festival, and Mike has got us under contract!
  • Catering – Work is about done and we’ve determined the caterer for the Judges luncheon and for put-in day lunch.
  • Vendors –  Vendors are mostly under contract to participate in the 2018 Festival. We have a strong slate of vendors, once again for our 20th festival!
  • Display – Clarke is our display chair for the 2018 Festival. Thank you Clarke!!! If you have an interest in assisting the Display Committee, please contact Clarke.

*Advertising and Promotion – Graham Ramsey along with Bill Fore will again be heading up our advertising and promotions. If you have ideas or want to volunteer to help with this effort, speak with Graham or Bill.

We have a need for a space large enough to construct the display during February and March. Please let us know if you have, or know of, a space we can rent for this purpose.

Clarke’s Contact information is as follows:
email: cmerrill@ads-architects.com
Ofc:  828-252-0355
Cell: 828-290-9983

Festival Volunteer Opportunities:
Every year, you all step up and make the Asheville Orchid Festival the premier orchid festival in the southeast. We have one of the finest events in the country now, so come and be a part of something special!
We wanted to provide an outline of some of the different areas that will need volunteers so that you could start thinking of where you would like to be involved for the 2018 Festival.  You may have an area where you especially enjoy volunteering, but you may want to add a new volunteer activity. Remember that it takes all of us to pull this caliber of orchid festival off. This is our 20th annual festival, and we intend to make it our best ever!

Volunteer Areas:
Wed, March 21 – WNCOS display construction at the Arboretum
Thurs, March 22 – Put-In Day

  • Vendor Support – assist vendors with orchid transport
  • Orchid Registration – assist us register all plant entries
  • Orchid Prep – cover orchid pots, stage orchids by color
  • Arrange orchids, foliage plants and moss in the display

Hospitality – during the entirety of the festival

  • Judges lunch
  • Breakroom monitoring
  • Contribute food

Friday – Judging day

  • Clerking and support for AOS judging
  • Arboretum preview party! DO NOT MISS!

Sat/Sunday – General festival support

  • Taking entry fees
  • Check hand stamps for festival entry
  • Monitor displays and answer questions as necessary
  • Vendor support – assist vendors during display removal
  • Dismantling the WNCOS display and disposition of the props
  • Re-tagging and return of BB Barns foliage plants