Annual Picnic: Sunday August 20, 2023

Members are advised to check their recent emails for updated information about the Society Picnic. Contrary to previous information the Barbeque WILL be held. This year it will be at Joe DiCiommo’s home. Rain or Shine! Joe will allow entrance to his greenhouse and will be selling plants. Ben will be at his usual post! Contact him if you have any dietary requirements:

You should bring a chair, and it you wish to bring a salad or dessert, it will be appreciated. Further details are in the email that Linda Will has sent out.

Sunday June 25, 2023: AGM and Strawberry Social

The ever-popular Strawberry Social returns! First we have the AGM at which the Executive for the following two years will be elected. Also on the agenda is a proposed amendment to article 2.1 of our Constitution, adding to our Objects “to help preserve wild orchids in their native habitats, to encourage scientific inquiry into their unique structures and environmental requirements, and to educate people about them and their need for protection”. Following the AGM, Ben Boers will give an illustrated presentation on orchid culture as practised in his greenhouse. Then we indulge in whatever strawberry-themed goodies you, the members, provide (finger-food only, remember, as we have no kitchen facilities). Also bring any orchid-related donations for the raffle table and your wonderful blooming orchids for the Show Table. And be prepared to enjoy!

The formal meeting starts at 2 pm, but you are invited to arrive as early as 1:30 to get settled, socialize, and interact with vendors . The meeting takes place at the RBG headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, probably in rooms 3 and 4 (check upon arrival). Masking or not will be according to personal preference. Members and guests welcome.

General Meeting: Sunday May 28, 2023

The May 28th meeting of the OSRBG will be a follow-up from the March repotting session. This time we will first explain a little bit about flasking orchid seeds. This will be followed by a demonstration of taking the seedlings out of a sterile flask, a process called deflasking. The plantlets in our flask are Phalaenopsis New Horizon which is cross of two species, equestris x deliciosa (See photo above for a sense of the expected results.)

Once out of flask, the plantlets will be available to members to pot up – a hands-on experience for you. $5 per plant will cover the cost of the plant and the supplies to pot it. A list of new plant owners will be kept, as we plan to have a little contest! The plan is to see who can bloom their plant first for a $25 coupon to spend with one of our vendors. Also, at the June 2024 annual business meeting of the society (about a year from now), whoever has the largest plant will also receive a $25 coupon to spend with one of our vendors.

As well during the May meeting, we will have a presentation by fellow member Jocelyn Webber about a possible field trip to see native orchids in their natural habitat – one that’s about an hour’s drive from Burlington. Further details at the meeting.

As usual, the meeting will take place at RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, Ontario (probably in rooms 3 and 4). The formal meeting will begin at 2 pm and you are invited to arrive any time after 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. You are also invited to bring your beautiful orchids for the Show Table. As we hope to hold a raffle as well, if you have any orchids or orchid-related items suitable for raffling off, such donations would be much appreciated. Masking (or not) will depend on personal preferences. Members and guests welcome.

General Meeting: Sunday April 16, 2023

Photo Credit: John Alexander

For our April meeting, the speakers will be John Alexander and Peter Kaellgren. Many OSRBG members will have met them at our Show in February or when they addressed our Society on a previous occasion. In this presentation, John and Peter will discuss some of their many travels from coast to coast to coast in search of Canada’s endemic orchids and some of the conservation issues they have encountered.

John has been photographing his surroundings since his teens. Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, John moved to Toronto in 1978 to study photography at Ryerson. Along with work on corporate brochures and reports, John has exhibited at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and during the CONTACT Festival in Toronto. In addition to local art and craft shows, John has presented his photos in Toronto bars, restaurants and museums. He has received first place and Best in Show awards for his photographs of our native orchids. John’s partner Peter Kaellgren has shared in bird watching and flower hunting. Peter’s interest in nature was inspired by his late father Rev. Andreas K. Kaellgren. Peter served as a curator of European Decorative arts at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1972 to 2009. He earned a PHD in art history from the University of Delaware in 1987. He has lectured extensively and published many articles. A passion for preserving and appreciating nature inspires John and Peter’s search for unusual plants.

The meeting will take place at RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington Ontario (probably in room 5 – to be confirmed). The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but you are invited to arrive any time after 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. For the benefit of those members living at a distance, it will be a hybrid meeting, and Zoom invitations will be sent by email in the week preceding. If you do not receive an invitation, please contact Those attending in person are reminded that masking (or not) will be in accordance with personal preferences. If attending in person, you are also invited to bring your marvellous orchids in bloom for the Show Table.

General Meeting: Sunday March 26, 2023

Repotting made easy (well, easier…)

For our March meeting we always issue a special invitation to orchid enthusiasts who came to the Show a few weeks ago and would like to learn more about repotting their orchids, and of course also to our current members: if you have a plant and are wondering whether or not to repot, bring it to the meeting and our experts, Pat Vuurman and Ben Boers, will give you excellent advice and assistance. If your repotting is up-to-date, congratulations! You can still come and lend a hand and add your wisdom to the discussion.  Orchid media will be provided; you will probably want to bring your secateurs, and gloves and pots if you have them. We’ll also ask our usual vendors to have pots and rhizome clips available at modest cost. The meeting takes place at RBG headquarters, 680 Plains Road W., Burlington Ontario, in room 5 (subject to confirmation). The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but you are invited to come anytime after 1 pm to socialize and interact with vendors. Members and guests welcome. As usual, masking (or not) is according to personal preference.

Awards and Trophies

Pat Vuurman, Head Judge, congratulates Gavin Clark, winner of several awards
including the COC Trophy

At the 40th “Annual” Orchid Show, February 25-26, 2023, awards were given for outstanding displays and orchids in various classes. The Society thanks all those who sponsored awards and congratulates the winners once again.

To see all the relevant details click here:

General Meeting: Sunday February 19, 2023

Rick Rempel

At our February meeting Rick Rempel will give a short presentation on the rare and almost extinct Epidendrum ilense. Rick is an AOS Student Judge from the Niagara area. He has worked all his life in agriculture and horticulture and has been growing orchids since the late 80s.

The balance of our meeting will be devoted to final planning for the Show on February 25/26. Ben Boers, Show Director, will describe how this year’s Show will differ from previous Shows and what this means for volunteers.

The meeting will take place at the headquarters of RBG, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, ON. (Meeting room to be announced.) As usual, the formal meeting will begin at 2 pm but you are invited to arrive any time after 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. Masking (or not) will depend on personal preferences.

General Meeting: Sunday January 15, 2023

Outreach Judging 2015

For the January meeting, a team of AOS Orchid Judges from the Toronto Judging Centre will be on hand to conduct a session of Outreach Judging. They will select a few of the best plants from our Show Table to be judged, and will talk about the process involved. So clean your plants, stake them and bring them in. Who knows? You might be going home with an AOS awarded plant. Because of time constraints, only few plants will be selected for consideration in depth. Also, you should be aware that if a plant is found to merit an award, there is a fee involved in accepting an award.

As usual, the meeting will begin at 2 pm, with time for socializing and talking to vendors from 1:30 pm onwards. Important: if you have a plant or plants to be considered for judging, please come earlier rather than later, to give the judges ample time to look at them. The meeting will take place in Room 5, RBG, 680 Plains Road W., Burlington, Ontario. Guests are welcome. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with provincial and RBG guidelines and personal preferences. Because of the nature of this event, it will not be available via Zoom.

Auction and Holiday Social, December 18, 2022

My Festive Phal.

Our annual orchid auction and holiday social will take the place of the usual meeting format on Sunday December 18, 2022. Members are asked to bring orchids and orchid-related items to be auctioned, finger foods to be enjoyed…and of course, cash to fund your auction wins! (Cheques and e-transfers also accepted.) This is always a good opportunity to pick up something new for your collection, or possibly a gift for someone on your list. Note that there will be no show table at this event but there will be a raffle for those who prefer to try another route for possibly adding an orchid to their collection. The auction takes place in room 5, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, Ontario. It starts at 2 pm, but you are invited to arrive any time after 1 pm to socialize and interact with vendors. Members and guests welcome. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with government and RBG directives and personal preferences.

General Meeting: Sunday, November 20, 2022

Ron Kaufmann – By permission

Our speaker in November will be Ron Kaufmann, chair of the American Orchid Society Conservation Committee, chair of the San Diego County Orchid Society Conservation Committee and a founding director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Ron has been growing orchids for more than 25 years and has travelled extensively to view orchids in the wild in Asia and South America, particularly Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia. His talk titled “Searching for Orchids in Colombia” will present highlights of a trip to look for orchids in the wild and in commercial nurseries in southwestern Colombia.

Ron is a marine biologist by training, and his scientific work includes studies of Antarctic and deep-sea ecosystems as well as marine communities in coastal Southern California. His orchid collection began with a reedstem Epidendrum and progressed to a diverse assemblage that contains mostly species orchids.

Ron has a long-standing interest in conservation and has been a member of the SDCOS Conservation Committee for nearly 25 years and chair since 2004. Since 1991, the Conservation Committee has awarded more than $260,000 to support projects in 23 different countries. Ron also helped to found the Orchid Conservation Alliance and serves on the boards of the OCA, Orchid Digest, and Fundación EcoMinga (an Ecuadorian conservation organization).

Ron grows most of his orchids in a 36 x 24 foot greenhouse and several outdoor shade-covered areas around his house in San Diego. Friends have suggested that he build a second, much larger greenhouse to accommodate the many plants that often make walking through his greenhouse an exercise requiring extensive training in gymnastics and yoga to avoid serious injury. Thus far, this recommendation hasn’t been followed, although the temptation is always there.

As usual, the meeting will take place in Room 5, RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington and will also be available via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. (Zoom invitations will be sent to members in the week preceding the meeting). The formal meeting begins at 2 pm and you are invited to arrive earlier to socialize, interact with vendors and to pick up your Catasetum seedlings if you are participating in the challenge. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with RBG and provincial guidance and personal preference.

We hope that our usual vendors will be in attendance, and we invite members to bring their orchids for the show table.