General Meeting: Sunday November 26, 2023

Note change of date!

Our speaker for the November 26th meeting is Joe Di Ciommo. Joe has been a member of OSRBG from the outset. He recounts that he attended the first ever Orchid show at RBG 40 years ago with his wife, Patricia, and her mother, Marie. When he heard that an Orchid society was being organized by Dr. Brasch and others, he decided to join. Over the years he served as President, Show Director, and was a member of various committees. His own orchid collection started under lights in the basement, then moved to a 250 sq. ft. greenhouse, then a 1,000 sq. ft. greenhouse. He started selling orchids 30 years ago, “to pay for the expenses”, he says. Joe has done his own hybidizing and has made hundreds of crosses such as “Di Ciommo Patricia, the orchid in the centre of the photo below. These days he works with his friend and colleague, Joe Barnes, who does the flasking, but in the past Joe also did this part of the process of orchid growing. He has won many AOS awards such as the CCM (Certificate of Cultural Merit) for the plant shown in the photo above. He will give us some tips on how to perhaps achieve a CCM for one of your orchids.

The meeting will take place at RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W. Burlington, Ontario, probably in rooms 3 and 4. The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but you are invited to arrive any time after 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. Please bring your beautiful orchids in bloom for the show table and any orchids or orchid-related items you may have for the raffle. Masking (or not) according to personal preferences.

General Meeting: Sunday October 22, 2023

For our October meeting we travel, in our imagination, to Costa Rica with Dan Doucette.

Even though Dan has been to Costa Rica 7 times, he still manages to find new and exciting orchids to photograph. In his talk, Wild Orchids of Costa Rica, Dan shares his experiences from dense rainforests on the Caribbean coast all the way south to the orchid rich, high altitude cloudforests on the border with Panama. 

Dan is a Seasonal Gardener and World Traveler.  He has been traveling for over 25 years and has photographed over 600 orchid species in the wild.

The meeting will take place at the Headquarters of Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W. Burlington, in rooms 3 and 4. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but you are invited to arrive any time after 1:30 pm to socialize and interact with vendors. Please bring along your beautiful orchids in bloom for the Show Table, and any orchids or orchid-related items that you may have for the raffle. Masking (or not) according to personal preference. Members and guests welcome.

General Meeting: Sunday September 17, 2023

Panel from 2019 meeting: Drew Goddard, Chris Varady and Rob Vanderheyden

The September meeting will be a reprise of a favourite format: a question and answer session where you, the members, can bring your questions and concerns about your orchids to a panel of local growers including Ben Boers and Joe DiCiommo among others. Not a good idea to bring along plants that may be diseased or suffering from insect pests. Instead, you can send photos in advance to bmboers@hotmail.com. [You can also send photos if you think a picture is “worth a thousand words” in trying to describe an issue that you would like someone to comment on or if you just want to remain anonymous.] The meeting will be held in rooms 3 and 4, Royal Botanical Gardens Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, Ontario. 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 and, as well, if you have any orchids or orchid-related items suitable for raffling off, such donations are always appreciated. Masking or not will depend on personal preferences. Members and guests welcome.

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: bmboers@hotmail.com

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 OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. 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: http://osrbg.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Award-Winners-.pdf

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.