March 2019

This is it folks! This Sunday is our last meeting before the Asheville Orchid Festival and we have a lot to cover with you. Found out all the details at the meeting and sign up for your place to volunteer. We do have a treat for you by way of a brand new program presented by none other than our most recent WNCOS Vice President, Bob Hydzik. Bob has put together a wonderful and educational presentation on awarded cattleya orchids.

We do have one major announcement in that Appalachian Tropicals has unfortunately had to pull out from participating as a vendor in this year’s festival. However, we have been lucky enough to find a replacement vendor in Carter and Holmes Orchids out of Newberry, South Carolina. Carter and Holmes are long time friends of WNCOS and we are thrilled to have them to return to Asheville for the festival!

Additionally, we are VERY in need of at least one volunteer for Thursday, March 14 to bring plants from Asheville to the Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina. It’s an easy two hour drive to the show where you’ll meet Graham Ramsey who be will be installing the plants in the exhibit for the show. Whoever volunteers is welcome to simply drop the plants off with Graham or can stay and help install the plants. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about how shows run!

This is shaping up to be an incredible festival this year. We have one hell of a team and everyone is working very, very hard. We need your help though, folks, we count on you to pull it off properly. As I’ve been telling you, PLEASE be grooming and staking your plants and flower spikes. We need each and every one of your blooming orchids. We’ll talk about plants on Sunday and answer all your questions, just please be in attendance.

At the meeting this Sunday, we will have our show and tell table, however I would like to rip through this as fast as possible. Maybe limit yourselves to bringing just one plant to share with us, and consider leaving the others at home as they rest up for the BIG SHOWING April 5th-7th at the 2019 Asheville Orchid Festival. 

Monthly Recap:

Greetings everyone! I’m well behind schedule with getting the March newsletter out, primarily due to being absolutely swamped but also due to the busy show season. Yes, it is orchid show season and we’ve kicked it off in strong fashion if I may say so. Recently as I have already mentioned we installed an exhibit in SC at the SCOS 2019 annual orchid show which is held at the Riverbanks Zoo. If you’ve not been to this show before, put it down on your schedule for 2020. They do a wonderful job. We had a strong showing, capturing an AOS award and a couple best of class awards, in addition to many ribbons. Here this past weekend, we had an exhibit installed at the Triad Orchid Society annual show outside Greensboro, NC. Here we did exceptionally well, bringing home lots of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons. Additionally, we had 2 best of class awards for the Phalaenopsis section and for Paphiopedilums.

I was very happy to see my plant of Phalaenopsis Pylo’s Giga Eagle ‘Blue Ridge’ earn an 81 point AM/AOS award, one of my favorite plants I’ve been growing for years to reach show status! To top it all off, your VP, Graham Ramsey earned a 91 point FCC to his Phragmipedium Ivan Portilla ‘Memoria Katherine Norton’FCC/AOS. Congratulations to Graham, earning an FCC is something to celebrate forever, the highest possible award for flower quality by the American Orchid Society! Not only is this a special orchid, but he named it after the late Katherine Norton of Orchidview, in Moncks Corner, SC. I’ll get back to her recent passing here shortly. As you can see, we have been very busy with these events and logistics, show season is hard but rewarding. We’ve got one more show for the Piedmont Orchid Society coming up in 2 weeks, and then we’ll end the season with our big event, the 2019 Asheville Orchid Festival ‘An Orchid Expedition’. I would like to personally thank members Graham Ramsey, Cristie Suprina, Bob Hydzik, and Paul & Joanne Johnson who all have made big efforts in assisting the society install and take out these exhibits and bring our beautiful plants back home to Asheville.

We have just recently heard of very sad news regarding the passing of 2 friends of the WNCOS. Katherine Norton of Orchidview passed away last week and has devastated everyone who knew her and loved her in the industry. We’ve all heard of the famous H.P. Norton, however not everyone had the opportunity to really get to know his better half, Katherine. Katherine was like another grandmother to me for many years, she was an exceptional southern lady. She and H.P. were just the most amazing folks anyone could dream of having a friendship with. They were long-time friends of the WNCOS and were exhibitors and vendors in our orchid show annually for many years. I am thrilled today to have wonderful memories that will last me a lifetime, and to have some nice orchids in my collection which came from them. We are all going to miss Katherine dearly, and we will celebrate her accomplishments and all that she offered to the world of orchids for years to come. 

Sadly, we have also just lost another great orchid ambassador. Tom Nasser of Carolina Orchids has just passed due to an illness. Tom was another friend of the WNCOS, and exhibited and sold their orchids at our annual shows. Tom was a super guy and had quite a personality, was beloved by many and he was a man who absolutely loved orchids. His wonderful wife Shan is a sweetheart and they were always entertaining at shows here in Asheville. I’ll never forget Tom running his sales booth, while providing entertainment to the room and poking fun at me for my love of fragrant Phalaenopsis. Tom loved his Bulbophyllums and Lycastes from what I remember. Tom will be missed by many.

Moving onward to other things I’d like to be sure to congratulate WNCOS longtime member, Bill Bauman who recently earned his first AOS award. His Phragmipedium Giganteum ‘Namaste’ AM/AOS just earned an AM at the Carolina’s Judging Center. I have yet to speak with Bill about his trip to judging and how things went, but I have heard how exciting it was and this serves as yet another reminder that all of us are capable of growing award quality orchids. You just might need to join the society and attend more meetings to learn how better to grow your orchids. Show season is here now and provides opportunities to all members to exhibit your plants. Should you have any questions or comments, please come speak with me, Graham, a board member, etc. We have a burning desire to provide as many opportunities and as much value to our membership as we can. 

Thank you all,