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MailTribune.com
  • Orchids made easy

    Local growers say there's no reason to be intimidated by these 'Timeless Treasures'
  • Orchids hold timeless appeal, but they bloom in their own sweet time, regardless of growers' efforts and expectations.
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    • If you go
      What: Rogue Valley Orchid Society's 48th annual Orchid Show and Sale, featuring competitions, exhibitions, demonstrations and vendors; admission costs $4; free for children under 12.
      When: From...
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      If you go
      What: Rogue Valley Orchid Society's 48th annual Orchid Show and Sale, featuring competitions, exhibitions, demonstrations and vendors; admission costs $4; free for children under 12.

      When: From 12:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22; entries for judging must be submitted between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday, April 20.

      Where: Padgham Pavilion, Jackson County Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.

      More information: See www.roguevalleyorchidsociety.org.
  • Orchids hold timeless appeal, but they bloom in their own sweet time, regardless of growers' efforts and expectations.
    "It just depends on the year, and you never know," says George Brown, treasurer of Rogue Valley Orchid Society and chairman of the society's annual show and sale.
    While orchid enthusiasts optimistically tend plants for show, the society expects entries will vary widely year to year, which keeps interest fresh. Subject to the caprice of late-spring sunlight and a monthlong window for putting on the annual event — this year, dubbed "Timeless Treasures" — experienced growers know they can't count on the readiness of certain specimens.
    "You don't really know until a day or two before," says Phil Weiss, longtime grower and past society president. "The weather through the winter has something to do with it."
    Harboring high hopes for a particularly robust Pholidota chinensis, which won the American Orchid Society's Certificate of Cultural Merit in 2008, Weiss witnessed the plant's myriad cascades of tiny, white flowers fade a week before the show. But the Ashland resident, who designed his hillside home around a 250-square-foot, second-story greenhouse, says he has plenty of unusual plants yet to blossom.
    "I have a number of miniatures I'm going to be showing," says Weiss, honored as "best experienced grower" at last year's show.
    Orchid admirers who attend the weekend event will see plenty of quintessential flowers: lady-slipper species, tropical types from the genus Cattleya and the so-called "moth orchids" native to Asia. Growers enter their best plants — in bloom — for judging by an AOS panel. Winners at last year's event included Jim and Eleanor Brady of Medford, Terri Budesa of Jacksonville, Bev Fuller of Phoenix, Phil Newman of Ashland, Gary Palmer of Medford and Beth Stathos of Eagle Point.
    After earning ribbons, trophies and certificates for best orchids in the country, plants remain on display throughout the weekend. Last year, more than 200 plants were entered, says Brown, and about 500 people toured the show in the Jackson County Expo's Padgham Pavilion in Central Point.
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