Joining an orchid society is an excellent way to learn about growing orchids. You can get expert advice from members with many years experience in growing many different types of orchids in conditions similar to your own. You can watch potting demonstrations of various orchids in culture classes. You can learn about orchids that will grow in your conditions, what to do and what not to do to get them to flower and flourish.
Members bring in their plants for “benching”, where they are judged in competition. Points are earned in both Novice and Open classes toward prizes at the end of the year. A superb display of orchids is guaranteed at every meeting. You’ll see orchids you’ve never seen before!
The culture class begins at 7:15pm. Topics include dividing and repotting of overgrown orchids; the culture of different varieties of orchids; materials for building a greenhouse or bush house and preparing it for winter; and preparing your orchids for benching.
The main meeting begins at 8pm. Most meetings have a guest speaker on a topic of interest to orchid growers. Topics include culture of the different variety of orchids; the different growing media and the advantages and disadvantages of each; slide shows of travels to see international orchid shows and orchids growing in the wild. Speakers are always informative and entertaining.
At the end of the meeting the Raffle is drawn. It’s a great way to acquire new and different plants that you may not have tried to grow, and it is always satisfying to be able to bring in a flowering plant for benching that you won in a raffle.
The Sales Table sells orchid-growing supplies at cost. Pots, stakes, labels, fertiliser, snail baits and more are available every month. The Society regularly orders bark and other potting media in bulk to pass the cost savings on to members. Members also sell plants here, so the Table is always worth checking for a bargain.
The Annual General Meeting is held in October. There is no speaker at this meeting; members are encouraged to bring in their plants for sale for the yearly Auction. There are always great bargains to be found! The December meeting is set aside for the Christmas Party, with more food than you can poke a stick at.
The Society has an extensive library of orchid books and journals for loan, or just to look through at the meeting. Books range from instructions for absolute beginners and inspirational picture books to specialised books on specific orchid genera or location of origin.
Whether you attend the meetings regularly or only rarely the bulletin is worth the cost of membership alone, with descriptions and photographs of the winners of last month’s benching, general Society news, coming events, and articles of interest to orchid growers.
The Society participates in orchid shows with other societies where members bring their plants in for individual judging and for the society display. The displays of the societies and commercial growers are always spectacular and well worth a visit. Plants from members and commercial growers are usually available for sale at these events. Ku-Ring-Gai Orchid Society is one of the four Societies who organise the running of St Ives Fair, and combine with Berowra Orchid Society to put on a show at Westfield Hornsby.
The Society regularly has dinners and trivia nights for members. Occasionally members host Open Days at their homes – wonderful opportunities to see experienced orchid growers in their natural element. There are regular bushwalks to see orchids growing in their natural state, and occasional weekends away to visit orchid nurseries and National Parks.
Why wait! The membership year runs from 1st January to 31st December. Annual Membership fees: