September 2015

Hello Everyone,

September Annual Auction
We will not be holding a regular meeting this month as we have our Annual Auction instead! Please note that this is on Sunday 20 September and NOT our regular 2nd Sunday of the month.

Paul Johnson is busy placing orders now for the auction with plants from some new vendors we have not purchased from previously so I am quite excited that we’ll see some new and different orchids up for auction that we’ve not seen before. The main growers Paul is ordering from are Hausermann Orchids from Chicago, Andy’s Orchids in California, and we’ll get some great specimen plants from Owens Orchids locally to round out the auction!

We will try to get a preview list and, if we’re lucky, a slideshow of the plants available out to the membership in advance of the auction so you can plan your strategy.

It has come to my attention that our member, Steven Frowine, is writing a blog called “Orchid Sense” for the Sylvie’s Orchids website. In this Blog, Steve will do his best to address all of your orchid question and concerns so be sure to check it out, as well as Sylvie’s website in general. The blog can be found at http://sylviesorchids.com/wp/

About this Month’s Native Orchid Feature
This month’s native orchid feature is the lovely Spiranthes cernua, or Nodding Ladies Tresses orchid. This orchid is one of the dwindling number of blooming orchids to be found locally as we enter fall. Typically about a foot tall with the blooms spiraling up the bloom spike (hence the Spiranthes genus name), They are generally spotted in low lying meadows and ditches that remain wet. They also form large colonies that can often number in the hundreds of plants. In total population this orchid species is second only to Goodyera pubescens (Rattlesnake plantain) as the largest population of orchid species in the Southern Appalachians so you should be able to find these easily with a bit of looking. Look for them in the roadside ditches especially at higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway throughout September and October.

(The above information was excerpted from my favorite book on local orchids, Stanley L. Bentley’s Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains)

Asheville Orchid Festival Planning Updates
April 14-17, 2016

I am pleased to report that progress continues at a strong pace for next years Asheville Orchid Festival. We have a negotiated contract in place with the Hilton Biltmore Park and we were able to get agreement on all the points we needed to insure our financial success with them. They have been great to work with so if you know someone coming to the area please suggest they stay with them!

Mike continues to progress on vendors and speakers. All the contracts have gone out to vendors and we’re seeing the first payment checks coming if to secure their sales areas.Due to the cost of planning this event, all vendors need to be paid in full by October 1.

Graham has been hard at work securing sponsorship of the event and has delivered some big results. Orchiata has stepped up as our flagship sponsor with a $5000 dollar sponsorship! Right on the heels of that announcement, Graham secured a sponsorship from Appalachian Tropicals out of Fairview, NC at the $2500 level! BB Barns, Biltmore Estate, and an anonymous donor have also committed to significant sponsorship levels as well. This is a fantastic start for sponsorship funding and will enable us to pay early bills as well as organize a first rate advertising plan to maximize attendance next April!

Plans for the event are moving fast…But I suggest planning now to take time off work, tell family you are out of contact, and make sure you are available for every second of the week’s activities.

A reminder that the board for this event consists of:
Brett Hopkins, Chair of the board
Mike Mims, Vendors and Speakers
Graham Ramsey, Fundraising and Promotions
Ralph Coffey, Hospitality and Transportation
Bob Hydzik, Registration
Stan Hutto, AOS Judging
Frank Smith, AOS Liaison
Beth Johnson, NC Arboretum Liaison

If you have have any questions about the event or if you wish to get involved (believe me there is PLENTY of opportunity) and help out get in touch with one of the board members listed above. Also, we’re actively seeking sponsors to help make this event a success so let us know if you know someone who wishes to support this event in any way!

I hope to see all of you at the Meeting!

Brett Hopkins
WNCOS President

Consider WNCOS for your next Charitable Donation
WNCOS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. As such, 100% of your donation to the Society is tax deductible. Please consider WNCOS in your charitable giving and help us continue to deliver the highest quality speakers, orchid education, and community outreach so that we can continue to prosper and spread the joy of orchids for many years to come.

Grace Ide