Monthly Features > Winter Orchid Extravaganza

Winter Orchid Extravaganza - 2007

The Sutherland Shire Orchid Society's winter show was once again held at Swane's Nursery in Sylvania. The weather leading up to the show was horrendous, including gale force winds and torrential rain, but luckily it fined up on the afternoon of set-up and the good weather continued throughout most of the show. Last year numerous plants were blown off the benches resulting in broken spikes and other damage, but thanks to the efforts of one of our members, Tony Costa, a custom-made tarp was hung up this year to prevent any such mishaps. With only a few moments of panic for our new Show Marshall and Show Secretary, the plants were organised, judged, and ready for public viewing by Thursday morning.

Highlighting the show was a spectacular Oncidium ornithorynchum with its numerous arched, branched panicles covered in tiny ruffled lavender flowers grown by the club's Vice President Neville Roper for which he received an AOC Award of Merit as well as the Winter Show Trifecta (Grand Champion of the Show, Champion Species, and Best Specimen of all classes.) Dennis Wood's Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Anne 'Buckleberry' was awarded both Reserve Show Champion and Champion Other. To the novice eye it looked more like some type of terrestrial pink jellyfish or a flesh-eating plant out of Little Shop of Horrors than an actual orchid with its long, dangling lateral sepals. Sandra Crosby and Tony Costa's Paphiopedilum Satin Smoke, a primary hybrid of Paph primulinum and P aph micranthum with a creamy fat pouch, won Champion Paphiopedilum Hybrid. A pendulous, multi-spiked Fairy Rouge 'Lavender Falls' exhibited by Audrey and Eric Marks was the show's Champion Cymbidium. Looking back through the Club's records from 25 years ago, I found that 'Lavender Falls' won a cymbidium class way back then in the Winter Show, which proves that you don't need to spend big money buying newly-released hybrids to win a show! Champion Cattleya went to Ted Beehag for his Sc. Cosmos 'Laina', sporting two brilliant red flowers on the compact plant. Neville Roper's Sarco. George Colthup x Velvet, a lovely white flower with magenta centre, won Champion Native Species or Hybrid. Neville also won Champion Pleurothallidinae Species or Hybrid with his Restrepia guttulata. For the second year in a row, Champion Orchid Exhibited by an Intermediate, Novice or Junior was won by our club's secretary, Louise Gannon, for her Cymbidium One Tree Hill 'Beenak' which had three towering racemes of beautiful yellow flowers. Congratulations to all the Champion growers as well as to all the members of our club who worked very hard to make the show so successful.

The show was well attended by the public and the sales bench had to be restocked many times to keep the buyers happy. A hearty "Thank You" goes to Swane's Nursery for sponsoring our show. The SSOS hopes to see you at the Spring Show to be held at Swane's Nursery from September 6-9, as well as the Sydney Southern Orchid Spectacular to be held at Cronulla League's Club on October 12 - 14.