November 2017

Here we are folks, deep in to the fall season. Our fall foliage is mostly down and Thanksgiving is weeks away. Halloween is behind us, and our seasonal weather loves to come at us inconsistently. Are you reading your orchids this fall, and are you doing your part as their grower? I hope all of you are doing wonderful and hope you’re working with your plants to have them looking their best for our Asheville Orchid Festival early next spring. Many of my phalaenopsis are setting their spikes, species like schilleriana and their hybrids are spiking now. I can only hope I have a few nice things looking fine for the festival. You all have been notified! We will be needing your blooming plants in a big way this year, and you will continue to hear our cry for orchids as we inch toward the festival!

A brief update on recent show activities in our region. I tagged along with show pro, Graham Ramsey as we drove to Knoxville weeks ago to exhibit in the SMOS show in Knoxville. Your VP, Bob Hydzik, met us upon arrival and we worked together to put in our exhibit. Was a neat experience this year in Knoxville as the show was held at Stanley’s Greenhouse. I have already forgotten just how many ribbons we earned, but nearly every single orchid in our exhibit had 1st, 2nd or 3rd place ribbons on them. We won a whole lot of blue!!! We also were pleased to win a few best of class awards, which bring home prizes! Overall, it was another strong showing by the WNCOS and I really need to thank my dear friends Graham and Bob for all of their loyalty and dedication to the society. You guys are the greatest!

This week, we’ve got another exciting show in Durham to exhibit in. November 10-12, 2017 the Triangle Orchid Society and Duke Garden’s are holding their annual ‘Fall For Orchids’ show at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Graham Ramsey will be installing our orchid exhibit on Thursday, Nov 9. These are Orchid Opportunities guys!!! Your past president, current treasurer, and long time WNCOS member Axel Graumann has agreed to drive all the way to Durham on Sunday afternoon to remove our exhibit from the show, and haul everything home. Axel, we all thank both you and Graham for your continued support and service to the society through the years.

These orchid shows are AOS judged events, so please take note and contact Mike or Graham if you’ve got a plant you’d like to consider sending to be on display in the WNCOS exhibit. At this point we would need your bloomer by Wednesday. If you are interested in learning about installing exhibits, WE WANT YOU and we need you!

I would like to encourage all of you to be in attendance this Sunday at our UNC-Asheville meeting location. Our very own, Marc Burchette will be with us to share his program ‘The Biltmore Collection, past and present’. Just in case you do not yet know Marc, I’ll paste in his bio below. But, let me tell you all….Marc is THE MAN! We celebrate all of our internal experience and wisdom in the world of orchids here at the WNCOS, but Marc is a tried and true orchid expert. Marc is probably going to smack me now, but that’s ok….I need you all to understand the caliber of expert we have within our society. Bring your questions and your support this Sunday, I will personally guarantee you all will leave better informed and impressed. Tap in to your resources, become a better grower, come out and talk it up with our resident expert! In addition to all that Marc has to share with us, we will also have our awesome raffle and will be distributing a really nice orchid book collection which we recently received from our friend John McEverett of Etowah Orchids. Plenty of incentives to get all of you to the meeting on Sunday. I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Thank you,

Mike Mims, WNCOS President

This Sunday at UNC-Asheville meeting location,

Marc Burchette, Orchid Collection Specialist at the Conservatory, at Biltmore
The Biltmore Collection, past and present

Currently living in Asheville, NC and a member of the Western North Carolina Orchid Society.  Marc started growing orchids around 1991 in Charlotte NC.  While living in Charlotte my collection was grown under lights for the winter and outside during the summer.  In 2000 moved to South Florida and grew my collection outside year round.  While living in South Florida worked for G.E.M. Orchids in Delray Beach; Mickey’s Orchids in Fort Lauderdale; RF Orchids at regional shows.  Board member of the Fort Lauderdale Society ten years.

In 2010 moved to North Carolina and built a greenhouse to house my collection of about 800 plants.  In 2012 secured a position with Biltmore Estate as their orchid specialist.  My primary responsibility is to maintain the collection and provide blooming plants 365 day a year for the estate’s conservatory

My talk will cover the challenges and rewards of growing orchids for a public garden.


When and where: Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. UNC-Asheville Meeting Location, Rhodes Robinson Hall, room #125. You all should not have any trouble parking on a Sunday afternoon.

2018 Asheville Orchid Festival Update
2018 Asheville Orchid Festival Volunteers
HEADS UP….Less than 5 months before the 2018 Asheville Orchid Festival! Our 20th Festival!!!

We know, we know – it seems like such a long way off, however, the time will go by quickly!  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 underway to determine the caterer for the Judges luncheon and for put-in day lunch.
Vendors –  Vendors have been invited to participate in the 2018 Festival. Several have verbally confirmed, contracts to go out soon. Stay tuned folks!
Display – Clarke will be the display chair for the 2018 Festival. Thank you Clarke!!! If you have an interest in being on the Display Committee, please contact Clarke – she will need an army of folks with a variety of skills.  She will be arranging a kick-off meeting soon to decide on a theme to present to the Board and to discuss the overall process that will be used to design construct and install the display.
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:
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