Admire displays of stunning orchids and browse the sale tables for a future prize winner of your own. Helpful growers are on hand to give growing advice on your purchase or those you already own. You can learn how to re-pot your orchids in demonstrations held throughout the show. You'll also have the opportunity to buy all your orchid growing needs at the trade tables. So whether you are an experienced orchid fancier and grower who knows their Cymbidiums from their Dendrobiums, or a relative newbie like me, you will find much to see and do at the Summer Show. Open Saturday 22 June 8.30am to 3.30pm and Sunday 23 June 8.30am to 3.00pm at the Auditorium, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.
A raffle to win a beautiful big box of assorted orchids will be held and drawn at 3pm on Sunday (and winner advised by phone).
Light refreshments for sale, including the ever-popular Devonshire Tea (or coffee).
Outstanding displays of a variety of orchids to view and photograph.
Opportunity to buy a variety of quality orchids and other potted plants.
Purchase potting mixes, fertilisers and pots.
Potting demonstrations during the weekend with expert advice given by a grower.
Art and Craft stall packed with homemade goodies provided by Be Uplifted Breast Cancer support group.
Paph-hung-shen-fox Slipper Orchid (image by writer)
How to Re-pot an Orchid I visited a previous orchid show and attended a free demonstration on re-potting Cattleya Orchids. I'd like to share with you what I learnt. 1. Sit the plant pot in a bucket of water to get rid of the old bark. If it's in a plastic pot, just squeeze the sides and bottom of the pot to remove the plant. If you are going to re-use the plastic pot, wash it in detergent and bleach and dry it in the sun. Clay pots are heavy and often the plant is hard to get out. If it doesn't come out after soaking, simply break the pot. 2. Tease the plant out and get rid of all the potting medium and any choking weeds. Don't break weeds off as they will keep growing. Instead, touch the leaf, VERY CAREFULLY, with a cotton bud dipped in Round-Up. Secateurs should be cleaned in sterilised water (try trisodium phosphate), to prevent the spread of disease. You can then give your plant roots a "hair cut", including all dead roots. Leave about 8cm. 3. The suggested potting mix is a combination of pine bark, perlite and charcoal. This is not an exact science and you can seek advice from friendly orchid growers or experiment for yourself. Just ensure that it is free draining. New roots and a knob on the stem are best facing forward. Give some room at the front of the pot for a good display. Orchids like stability so put a stake in the pot until you are happy where it is sitting. If you poke a hole in the plastic pot (with a soldering iron), you can tie it to the stake with a small cable tie or "twisty". Stakes can be removed after a few months when the plant is stable. 4. A good tip is to write two name tags and put the second one, wrapped in cling film, in the bottom of the pot in case the original is lost or damaged.
Dancing Ladies Orchid (image by writer)
My advice is to get to the show early if you intend to buy plants, as they are very popular and are snapped up early because they are such great value. And believe me, the gorgeous specimens are hard to resist. I have seen queues waiting to get in before opening time to bag the best bargains. Yes, I was an early bird too and have been delighted with my stunners. I'd like to recommend the Orchids Australia website if you are interested in orchid culture. It provides a great source of information and links to Australian and overseas orchid growers, clubs and societies. May I also suggest an excellent booklet: Orchid Growing in Australia: A Basic Guide for All Growers by The Bundaberg Orchid Society. I have found this to be an incredibly useful little publication and you'll be able to pick one up at the Summer Show.
Den-rosie's-delight (image by writer)
Tour buses welcome. Access by public transport available. Free parking onsite at the Botanic Gardens carpark or there is always space across the road. Wheelchair accessible.
Cym-Maluka-Brilliant (image by writer)
Orchids were not made by an ideal engineer; they are jury-rigged from a limited set of available components (Stephen Jay Gould).