Our December Pot Luck and Silent Auction will be held Thurs. Dec. 15. This is a change from the normal second Thurs. The main course will be baked ham. Members are asked to bring a side dish or dessert and your own place settings.
FCOS enjoyed having Jim Kotsybar from Chaotic Exotics speak at the October meeting. He did a retro presentation using real slides instead of a PowerPoint presentation. Eric and Christina fortunately still had their Kodak projector. His slides were great and included a wide variety of different species. He began by talking about the epiphytic life of many orchids and their roots' ability to capture water by the velum (outer cells of the root). He also reminded folks about the difference between sepals and petals and how they look different in a wide variety of orchid genera. He also discussed the different statures of some orchid groups related to their pollinators. Orchids appear to use a wide variety of colors, shapes, and smell to attract pollinators that will pick up pollen at one flower and hopefully transfer it to another flower to complete the reproductive process. Jim showed almost two complete trays of slides so everyone in attendance got a see a wide variety of different species.
Paul Gripp from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate will be presenting Keeping up with Orchids. He will also be supplying the plant table.
Located on five acres of beautiful coastal Santa Barbara, the Orchid Estate is just 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean. SBOE was founded by Robert J. Chrisman and managed by Paul Gripp in 1957. Paul purchased SBOE in 1967, retired in 1986, and currently, his two children, Parry and Alice are owners. They are one of the world's foremost collectors and propagators of orchid species and hybrids, specializing in outdoor temperature tolerant varieties. All around the globe they are known for their lovely grounds and friendly service.
James Ph. Kotsybar is an orchid grower, hybridizer and fully accredited judge of the American Orchid Society. He co-owns Chaotic Exotics Nursery outside in the Santa Rita Hills ----Santa Barbara County’s wine region.
He and his partner specialize in a wide array of unusual orchids. Their primary focus is on orchid species and hybrids especially Paphiopedilums. Their hybrid “slippers” have been awarded and are trophy winners. Their approach to business is a loving one. They believe the beauty of the plants in which we deal demands this. “ Our real motivation is a desire to share our true enthusiasm for these wonders of creation.” Jim’s extensive knowledge of orchids and involvement in the orchid world has led him to be certified as an AOS judge.
His slide presentation will focus on Orchid IQ – General Orchid Trivia
Sandy Svoboda was our guest speakers. Her topic was Treasures of the Thunder Dragon: Orchids of Bhutan. Sandy’s presentation left no doubt with her audience of her love for this Himalayan mountain kingdom. Just 18,146 sq. mi with a population of 700,000 it is a wealthy country thanks to plant and hydroelectricity sales. Since people all over Asia are eating a lot of orchids, the focus is on ecological happiness. When it became a constitutional monarchy in 2007, the people needed to learn how to vote. Its national sport is archery.
Sandy had spectacular slides to show us. She had the plants grouped by species which made it easy to follow her talk. Her favorite were Coelogyne but she also had an amazing variety of cymbidiums, dendrobiums, phaps, phals, etc. She noted 369 species in Bhutan with 14 species being endemic to that country.
In this close up photo we can see how the orchid roots love to grow along and cling to the tree bark. Other than terrestrial orchids, this is how orchids grow. Growing in a pot must seem strange to the plant in comparison. This particular tree, with its craggy bark, is a classic spot for a happy orchid. We can see how the roots follow the uneven surface, finding support and water among the crevices. Orchid roots grown in a pot are round but mounted they flatten to grasp the mount.
The classic mount for orchids is cork which is available in plaques of varying sizes. Some orchids, particularly those with thin roots such as Oncidium are fond of tree fern mounts and we see their roots growing all the way through them. A branch from a tree that has been trimmed can make a good mount; we really like to set an orchid in the crook of a branch when possible. Wood slat plaques look something like the flat bottom of a vanda basket and can be used either as a vertical or horizontal mounts.
September is a time of changes. It marks the end of summer growth season and we begin to look forward to the fall blooms. For those orchids that are sensitive to day length, we want to make sure they can notice the shortening days of fall and not be tricked by indoor lighting. If orchids are under supplemental lighting, changing the timer frequently to match the shortening days allows orchids to experience the shortening days.
Although we won't continue feeding orchids at elevated summer levels beyond September, we will be feeding "weakly weekly" going forward.
In preparation for fall repotting, take a look at different mixes. You're sure to find just the right mix for your environment. If you'd like to make your own orchid mix, you can choose the media you want.
Orchids want to be fed "weekly weakly". Essentially, what this means, is that for your orchid to be at its best, it should be fed a small amount of fertilizer about once a week.
The best practice for fertilizing an orchid is to water it first, letting the water run through the bottom of the pot, and then pour your fertilizer mixture over the top of the mix. We want to do this for 3 consecutive weeks, taking the 4th week off from fertilizing. Water your orchid normally on that 4th week to flush out any salts left behind by the fertilizer.
As usual, the Show committee has begun preparations for next year's Orchid Show.
DATE: March 31 - April 2, 2017
We have the Regional Center secured for these dates and were able to keep the rental fee the same as the last several years. The trend for the last few years has been for attendance to be dwindling from our better years, in spite of our efforts to advertise and promote the Show. One problem is the proliferation of events on the Central Coast reduces our appeal. Meanwhile, many of the costs of the Show have been going up. The consensus of the committee is that we are able to absorb relatively small losses each year, due to the reserve we built up during the really good years. We see the Show as a public service that much of the public looks forward to each year, and in the spirit of service we'd like to continue if at all feasible.
We are looking for ways to improve the Show or modify our promotion to increase attendance. Please let us know if you have ideas that might help.
We have an outstanding speaker lined up for our Sept. meeting. Sandra Svoboda was fortunate to travel to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Her presentation will touch on the customs and culture of the magical kingdom and the many beautiful orchid species that are found there.
Sandra Tillisch Svoboda Bio
Growing up in Minnesota, Sandra's only exposure to orchids was that prom corsage. After graduating with a degree in nursing, she moved to California and ended up in Santa Barbara. She began her orchid life as a pot washer for her husband, Al and became fascinated with the history of her husband's complex paph collection which included many of the oldies like Paph. F.C. Puddle. Al's knowledge, love, and enthusiasm for orchids were contagious and when they built a second greenhouse, she decided it would be hers and that was the moment that orchids became an important part of her life. Sandra is the president of the World Orchid Conference Trust, the immediate Past President of the American Orchid Society and chair of the AOS Education Committee. She coordinates the Question and Answer column in ORCHIDS magazine. Sandra is an accredited judge in both the American Orchid Society and the Cymbidium Society of America judging systems and is treasurer of the AOS Pacific South Judging Center. She is the present Editor in Chief of the Orchid Digest. She was president of the Cymbidium Society of American and co-chair of the annual Cymbidium Society Congress. Locally, she has served on the boards and been president of the Orchid Society of Santa Barbara and the local branch of the Cymbidium Society. Sandra served on the board of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show and, for several years, was the show manager of this prestigious show, one of the largest in the nation. Besides the plants themselves and the never-ending opportunity to learn about them, Sandra loves being involved in the orchid world because it offers an opportunity to travel, meet, and work with so many amazing and fascinating people.