Annual Picnic –Important Update

Due to the weather forecast of a high chance of rain and high temperatures on Sunday July 24th, the President’s Picnic has been postponed to August. Going indoors due to rain or high temperatures is not a very good option due to the COVID virus still circulating strongly. The possible dates are August 14 with a rain date of August 21. A notice for the August date will be sent to members shortly.

Annual Picnic: Sunday July 24, 2022

2013 Picnic

After a two-year hiatus, the Annual OSRBG Picnic/BBQ returns, hosted this year by Gavin and Marie. Members should have received an email with the relevant details. Please contact a member of the Executive if you did not, or if you need clarification on any point. Arrival is any time after 1 pm. Members and their significant others are invited, but please RSVP by July 21. “Basics” (hamburgers and sausages) are being provided by the Society but members are invited to bring salads, desserts etc. to supplement the menu. Plants or other orchid-related items for the raffle are appreciated. Lawn chairs are also a good idea.

AGM and Strawberry Social: Sunday June 26, 2022


We have a charged agenda for our next meeting!

  1. The AGM – Members in good standing (i.e. whose fees are paid for the period June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023) will be asked to approve the revised Constitution for the Society and to elect new Executive officers to some positions. If you need to renew your membership or if you have not previously received a copy of the proposed Constitution and are unsure who to contact, you can use the “Contact Us” feature on this website.
  2. Speaker – We will also have an opportunity to learn more about orchid culture, specifically how “Good roots grow good orchids”. Dave Miller (shown in the photo above) is the featured speaker. Dave has been growing orchids as a hobby for twenty years. He retired from the corporate Information Technology field after thirty-two years in various capacities of software support and development.  He then spent three years in the horticulture industry as a perennial plant specialist at a local regional nursery.  Dave and his wife, Mary Jo, live in Niles, Ohio USA.  He is an active member of the Greater Akron (Ohio) Orchid Society after having been President and Program Chairman.  In addition to GAOS he is also a member of the Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, the Greater Cleveland Orchid Society and the West Shore Orchid Society in Strongsville, Ohio.  Dave is a volunteer orchid advisor for Fellows Riverside Gardens of Mill Creek Metroparks in Youngstown, Ohio.  In addition, he is an accredited American Orchid Society orchid judge with the Great Lakes Judging in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he is currently the Education Coordinator.  He frequently speaks on orchid culture topics to orchid societies and garden groups. 
  3. Strawberry Social – We ask those members who can to bring treats, especially strawberry-themed treats, for us all to enjoy together as we socialize for the first time in ages. Masks are optional for this meeting in order for us to enjoy this aspect of the event. There will also be the possibility of attending the meeting via Zoom but you will have to supply your own treats 🙂 The link for the Zoom meeting will be sent to members in the week preceding the event as usual.
  4. Orchid Sales – With a return to in person meetings, we welcome back vendors who have orchids and orchid growing supplies for sale. OSRBG members are welcome to bring plants for sale or trade as well.
  5. Show Table – Due to time constraints, we will not have the traditional show table commentary. However, you are still encouraged to bring your beauties along for everyone to admire. In addition, we will have a procedure in place for everyone in the room to vote for the best orchid on the table and Pat Vuurman will say a few words about that specimen.
  6. Time and Place – This meeting will be held in Room 5, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but you are welcome to arrive any time after 1:30 to get settled and if attending on Zoom, to check the technology.

General Meeting: Sunday May 15, 2022

Title photo from Sandra Micucci

Good News!! Our May 15th meeting will be a “hybrid” meeting. Members are invited to attend in person at Room 5, RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington. For those who live too far away, or are not yet ready for an in-person event, the speaker’s talk will be streamed via Zoom. (Zoom invitations will be sent in the week preceding, as usual.) Those attending in person will be required to wear a mask and to follow any protocols in place at RBG at that time. (Check rbg.ca for details.) The meeting will start at 2 pm and you may arrive as early as 1:30 to socialize.

Our speaker for this meeting will be Sandra Micucci, an American Orchid Society student judge and a member of the OSRBG Executive Board. Sandra will be speaking about her favourite Laelinae orchid, the Rhynocholaelia digbyana. She will consider the digbyana’s taxonomy, history, habitat, culture and AOS awards. The Rhynocholaelia digbyana has been used extensively in hybridizing, especially with cattleyas. Sandra will discuss the pros and cons of this relationship and the challenge for hybridizers who strive to highlight some attributes and overcome others.

More good news! Plant sales at the meeting will be resuming. We hope that most if not all of our usual local vendors will be in attendance, and any members who wish to bring plants of their own to sell or trade are welcome to do so.

Even more good news! We’ll also be attempting a “hybrid” Show Table. Those members attending in person may bring plants in bloom to the meeting to be admired by all present. Those planning to attend via Zoom can still mail photos of their prized plants to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday May 13 to be included in the power point portion of the Show Table. One orchid per email, please, and include its name, parentage if known, and your own name.

See you there!

General Meeting: Sunday April 24, 2022

Photo courtesy of AWZ Orchids

At our April meeting we will once again go travelling (virtually) to South America. This time we will penetrate the jungles of the Amazon region of Brazil in search of orchids such as Cattleya violacea and Cattleya eldorado. Both species live close together in Amazonas State, but in rather distinct conditions. Our guide on this trip will be Alek Zaslawski, from AWZ Orchids. He will talk about the habitat, climate, tips for growing both species, and their existing colour forms.

Alek introduces himself as follows: “I was born and still live in Vitória, a coastal city and capital of Espírito Santo State. When I was young, I was surrounded by orchids at my parents’ home and they always caught my eye, but the trips with my father to see orchids in nature were what attracted me most. I simply enjoy photographing orchids in the wild. In Brazil, as well as in many other countries, it’s getting harder and harder to see them in their natural habitat. Around 1990, my father retired, and I quit my job as a mechanical engineer to start an orchid business with him. We noticed that most of the plants that were collected in the past had simply disappeared from collections. Over the years, we have built a collection with around 20,000 plants from all over the world and that now includes some of the best varieties found within many species, especially those belonging to the Cattleya alliance. AWZ produces and cultivates their orchids in two nurseries, including 5,795 square metres (just over 62,000 square feet) of greenhouses.”

Our meeting will be conducted via Zoom and invitations will be sent to OSRBG members in the week preceding the meeting. If you do not receive your invitation because of some glitch, or if you are not a member yet but would like to attend as a guest, please contact orchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but the site will be available from around 1:30 pm to allow everyone to get settled and socialize a bit beforehand.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Members with orchids in bloom may send photos to ochidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday April 22 to be included in the powerpoint. Please send only one plant per email and include its name and parentage (if known) as well as any relevant details (and your own name of course). If necessary, we may limit the number of submissions per member.

General Meeting: Sunday March 20, 2022

Sobralia: The Exotic Ephemeral

Sobralias are beautiful reed-like plants with exquisite flowers, yet they are not common in many orchid collections. At our March meeting, Deb Boersma will enlighten the hobbyist about this genera, the species and hybrids, where they are from and how to grow them. Don’t be surprised if you feel the need to have a few in your collection after seeing an array of these stunning plants and how easy they are to culture.

Deb Boersma is a recently retired Chemistry teacher from St. Clair College in Windsor. She has been growing orchids for 30 years, first under lights, then in a sunroom, and in 2014 she built a greenhouse to hold her growing collection. She has about 500 orchids including Cattleyas, Sobralias, Paphiopedilums, Tolumnias and several other miscellaneous genera. She is the President of the Windsor Orchid Society and is a second year student in the AOS Judging program at the Great Lakes Judging Center, Ann Arbour.

As has become the norm, our meeting will be held via Zoom and invitations will be sent to members in the week preceding the meeting. If you do not receive your invitation or if you are not a member and would like to attend as a guest, please contact OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but the Zoom site will be open from around 1:30 to allow members to get settled and to socialize, somewhat as we would at an in-person meeting.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Members may send photos of their orchids in bloom to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday March 18 to be included in the powerpoint. Please send one plant per email and provide the name of the plant and its parentage if known and any relevant culture details, as well as your own name of course.

General Meeting: Sunday February 20, 2022

Phragmipedium besseae in Ecuador – Photo credit Pat Vuurman

For our February meeting, we escape our Ontario winter (via Zoom) and travel to sunny Ecuador. Our speaker, José “Pepe” Portilla Andrade is the President of Ecuagenera, a family-owned and operated business that grows and exports more than 8000 varieties of orchids. His topic is entitled “Ecuadorean orchids in situ, ex situ.”

This is a joint meeting for OSRBG and COOS members. Zoom invitations will be sent out about a week in advance to members of both Societies. If you don’t receive yours or if you are not a member but would like to attend as a guest, please contact OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but the site will be available around 1:30 approximately for those who would like to get settled and socialize a bit before the meeting.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Members with special orchids in bloom may email photos to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. Please send them by 6 pm on Friday February 18 to be included in the power point. Include the name of the orchid and its parentage (if known) and any other salient details, as well as your own name of course.

Here are two more of Pat’s photos from his trip to Ecuador some years ago. They show the same Phragmipedium besseae from a greater and greater distance to give a better idea of what “in situ” really means!

Can you spot the orchid in this picture?

General Meeting: Sunday, January 16, 2022

Catatante

At our first meeting of the new year, you will hear about Oncidium fuscatum and its hybrids: this is a cinderella story of an uninspiring species that went on to become a wonderful parent to such greats as Debutante and Pupukea Sunset, and grandparent of Wildcat, unmatched for awards to a hybrid in the Oncidium alliance, and the ever popular Catatante, shown above. Expect to see RED!!!

Our speaker for this session, Jean Allen-Ikeson is a judge in the Toronto Judging Centre. She was newsletter editor for more than five years for OSRBG, has written numerous articles for Orchids magazine and webinars for the AOS besides being National Education Coordinator for AOS Judges and Chair of the Editorial Board of the AOS. Jean grows in a greenhouse and sunroom ‘up the escarpment’ from Dundas. 

As has become the norm, the meeting will be held via Zoom. OSRBG members will receive a link via email in the week preceding the meeting. If you do not receive the email or if you are not a member and would like to attend as a guest, please contact OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but the doors will open, so to speak, about 1:30 to allow everyone to get settled and to socialize a bit.

There will also be a virtual show table. Members with orchids to brag about should send photos to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday January 14 in order to have them included in the powerpoint. Please include your name, the name of the plant (and its parentage if known) and any relevant culture information.

General Meeting: Sunday December 19, 2021

Jeanne Kaeding with Encyclia and Cymbidium

The December 19th program will be about the genus Tolumnea. Our speaker, Jeanne Kaeding, made the transition from tropical fish to growing orchids as her main hobby in her mid-twenties. Since then she has progressed from growing in a windowsill, under lights in an enclosed room in the basement, and finally in a 9.5 by 24 foot greenhouse in her backyard. One of the things she has always liked about the orchid hobby is its complexity, all the different things you can learn about and do with orchids. Currently, as well as growing, she is an AOS Orchid Judge and does her own hybridizing and flasking. She loves to bloom out several plants of a cross and see the differences among the clones. One of her beautiful hybrids is Tolumnia Northern Lights. Jeanne defines an orchid expert as one who has managed to kill more plants than most. 😀

This meeting will follow the same format as previous meetings this year: Jeanne will be joining us via ZOOM, and invitations will be sent out to OSRBG members via email in the week preceding the event. If you do not receive your invitation or if you are not a member and would like to join as a guest, please contact OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but the doors will be open, so to speak, about 1:30 so that everyone can get settled and socialize a bit before the meeting.

Members who have orchid photos for the Virtual Show Table should send them to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday December 17 to be included in the slideshow. Be sure to include in the email your name, the name of the orchid, it’s parentage if known and any other relevant details.

General Meeting: Monday November 22, 2021 at 7 pm

Please note that the November meeting, held jointly with COOS, will be held on their usual meeting date and time instead of the usual OSRBG date. Details below.

Our speaker for the November meeting is Tom Mirenda. The title of his talk is Phalaenopsis species! Ecology informs Culture. Prepared for the IPA, this talk covers most of the Phalaenopsis species currently in cultivation and some of the nuances of their culture based on where they came from.

Tom has addressed our two Societies before. Headquartered in Hawaii, he has been growing orchids professionally for over 3 decades and has travelled the world to find both wild and cultivated orchids. He curated the orchid collection at the Smithsonian for 17 years, producing annual educational exhibits for millions of visitors. Currently he is a columnist for the American Orchid Society (AOS Orchids) and a leader of the OGCN (Orchid Garden Conservation Network) He recently co-authored “The Book of Orchids” with collaborators from Kew.

This will be a Zoom meeting. The formal meeting starts at 7 pm with the doors open, so to speak, at 6:30 pm to allow everyone to get settled and socialize a bit beforehand. OSRBG and COOS members will receive an e-Mail invitation in the week preceding the meeting. If you do not receive your invitation, or if you are not a member of either Society and would like to attend as a guest, please contact COOSinfo@gmail.com.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Members with orchid blooms to brag about should send their photos to Jeff.grows.plants@gmail.com by Saturday November 20 at 9 am. Please include the name of the orchid, its parentage (if known) as well as your own name and any brief pertinent remarks about the plant and its culture. To make it easier for Jeff to assemble the powerpoint, please include pictures of one orchid only per email message with the ID for that orchid.