Fort Worth and SWROGA show 11-11 to 11-12-22 - Photos and commentary

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Photos and commentary from the Fort Worth and SWROGA Orchid Show November 11-12, 2022.


It was a milestone for me as it was the first show where I was an exhibitor, vendor and AOS (student) Judge. On a personal level, it was a good time to reconnect with many old friends, make new ones and also have some necessary conversations with a couple of good people to gain common understanding and continue on sharing the hobby we love.

As was the case with the Dallas show earlier this year, Fort Worth's first post-COVID show was of significant size compared with my general experiences over the past 10 years, and another sign that orchid growing as hobby is ready for a resurgence that can bolster the position of the current institutional structure as long as we continue to be open to change. Specific to the show circuit, that means being open to the presence of vendors of aroids and other families of plants that are good companions to orchids and bring in a tremendous amount of foot traffic that inevitably leads to even more newcomers trying orchids for the first time.

The exhibits were numerous and very nicely done, with some very clearly reflecting a level of effort and design that one saw regularly 20 years ago. The tabletop format is a good idea in the long run to encourage more entries, but seeing quality exhibits as a priority is a great thing.

After almost 4 decades of clerking at shows, the ribbon judging was not too much of a new experience- but it was so fun to do it as a judge, even if a student. Ribbon judging is my favorite show activity, and to be a full part of the discussion and awarding process was terrific.

On the vendor side, I did very well with my usual tray of Den. Blue Twinkle plants plus blooming mini-Cattleyas in addition to a handful of rarities. While most customers are still heavily focused on blooming plants, I am noticing that is now well outside the bounds of Phalaenopsis. Many customers I spoke to were already growing Phals they got at grocery stores and hardware chains- and were looking for something different, but also still in flower. The real volume movers were Oncidium Alliance intergenerics- specifically plants with tall and showy spikes. Ecuagenera also did a really nice business with a magnificent array of select Cattleya species clones. They certainly sold me a lot of plants!


And for anyone out there looking to boost your show attendance, Fort Worth followed the path we took in Dallas this year by inviting a major aroid vendor to come. Aroids and carnivorous plants are really hot commodities right now, and it drove a lot of traffic to the show. Not all of that audience bought orchids- but some did. And many of the orchid vendors had some more common and less expensive aroids for sale that were a nice alternative to the collector’s items brought by the specialist vendors. A win-win for everyone.

Here are some shots of the Exhibits,

Exhibit 1.JPG

This was the one floral arrangement exhibit and very nicely done. I was kind of wondering what it was at first, until I remembered that the show theme was "The Shocking Beauty of the Orchid World".

Exhibit 2.JPG Exhibit 3.JPG

In the center top of this exhibit you will see a massive plants of Maxillaria picta. It had a wonderful fragrance (to me- some found it rather strong) that filled the entire room and even travelled a good 20 feet down the hall from the exhibition room. And guess who got to count the flowers and pseudobulbs when it got a CCM? Just as I got to count almost 100 blooms on a Pleurothallid that could fit in the palm of my hand my first time as a student judge, so did I get to count this one with a fellow student at the first orchid show where I was a student judge. It was actually good practice. We did the ribbon/string method and were done in less than 20 minutes.

Exhibit 4.JPG Exhibit 5.JPG Exhibit 6.JPG
 
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And now some shots of a few of the Paphs,

Paph bellatulum.JPG

I went CRAZY over this bellatulum. The flower was quite large and the spotting was wonderful- still steeped in tradition but one step in the direction of the blotchy and near-solid red breeding. The petals were not quite uniform and symmetrical on this flowering, but I see very high promise here. Happily the owner is a fellow student judge and incredble grower. So I am sure we will see this again!

Paph gratrixianum.JPG

A very nice clump of gratrixianum with three blossoms. I really liked the color on this- especially the rich purple in the dorsal.

Paph helenae.JPG

A first bloom helenae. This the first time I have seen the species in flower in person. I found the dorsal quite intriguing- a lot of really nice miniature and smaller hybrids could come from this.

Paph henryanum.JPG

A beautifully spotted henryanum that wants a hug!

Paph Nancy DePauw.JPG

A spectacular specimen of Nancy DePauw (50% fairreanum, 25% barbigerum + 10 other species per orchidroots). It is difficult to tell with it sitting among all the other plants, but when we pulled it out- the proportions were just perfect. Six blooms you can see, plus another bloow and a bud hiding in the back. Every leaf was pristine and in every way imaginable it was just right.
 
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And finally, if I may be forgive for being a bit of a proud parent- given my busy schedule and the fact this is a tough time of year for plants in bloom, I teamed up with my very good friend, and fellow Houston Orchid Society wunderkid (we were two of the youngest members in the society's history- Jeff Bradley has me beat by 1 year I think) Cecily Maciejewski- owner of Cedarwood Orchids. We were amazed and thrilled to see all of our plants get ribbons- there was some serious competition.

Exhibit 5.JPG

This is our exhibit after judging was complete. The other shots above I took was before judging started while the hall was empty. I think everything noted in the above posts got a ribbon at the very least.

Slc Fire Magic.JPG

This was my secret weapon- my Slc. (aka C. for AOS purposes) Fire Magic on its third flowering. Very flat, awesome color and more than 1 CM larger than all the other awarded examples on record. Alas two weeks ago the second and third buds broke, and so it was a solo performance yet again. I will be more careful with it next year.

Cycnoches warscewiczii.JPG

This summer, I asked Fred Clark to send me some Catasetums- I have always loved them but never had room plus was nervous about taking on a whole new family of orchids. Well, they really like it here! The plants came in 3 inch pots and half of them budded a few weeks ago. This was the first to flower and the only one ready in time for the show - Cycnoches warsecwiczii. It was so much fun to watch the bloom open in the days before the show. These are so cool.

C kerrii A.JPG C kerrii B.JPG

And last, but not least, with a little interactive challenge for everyone - which kerrii would you take home?

I was so incredibly busy with work leading up to the show, that I did not pay attention when unpacking the box of budded plants that came from SVO a couple of weeks ahead so they would have time to flower. And so last Friday morning as I was finishing setting up our sales table, I was surprised to hear Cecily make a strangled noise- smiling happily at the plant on the right as she held it in her hand. I said, if you want it- all yours- but why are you so keen on it? She asked me if I had read the tags, and I said no. She rolled her eyes as she handed it to me- and boom, Fred had sent me some C. kerrii! There was one other I really liked best, and so I pulled that one for myself.

We then decided to put them both in our exhibit and see how they did in ribbon judging- just an informal contest. Well- we tied for the white ribbon, so time will tell if one cultivar emerges triumphant. They are very similar, but the ones we ended up with were our first picks- even if by a small margin.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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Thanks for all the great photos. You certainly must have been one very busy person to do all that you did. I miss going to quality shows, or any show for that matter. Glad to hear that things may be picking up at the shows.
 
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And finally, if I may be forgive for being a bit of a proud parent- given my busy schedule and the fact this is a tough time of year for plants in bloom, I teamed up with my very good friend, and fellow Houston Orchid Society wunderkid (we were two of the youngest members in the society's history- Jeff Bradley has me beat by 1 year I think) Cecily Maciejewski- owner of Cedarwood Orchids. We were amazed and thrilled to see all of our plants get ribbons- there was some serious competition.

View attachment 36878

This is our exhibit after judging was complete. The other shots above I took was before judging started while the hall was empty. I think everything noted in the above posts got a ribbon at the very least.

View attachment 36879

This was my secret weapon- my Slc. (aka C. for AOS purposes) Fire Magic on its third flowering. Very flat, awesome color and more than 1 CM larger than all the other awarded examples on record. Alas two weeks ago the second and third buds broke, and so it was a solo performance yet again. I will be more careful with it next year.

View attachment 36877

This summer, I asked Fred Clark to send me some Catasetums- I have always loved them but never had room plus was nervous about taking on a whole new family of orchids. Well, they really like it here! The plants came in 3 inch pots and half of them budded a few weeks ago. This was the first to flower and the only one ready in time for the show - Cycnoches warsecwiczii. It was so much fun to watch the bloom open in the days before the show. These are so cool.

View attachment 36875 View attachment 36876

And last, but not least, with a little interactive challenge for everyone - which kerrii would you take home?

I was so incredibly busy with work leading up to the show, that I did not pay attention when unpacking the box of budded plants that came from SVO a couple of weeks ahead so they would have time to flower. And so last Friday morning as I was finishing setting up our sales table, I was surprised to hear Cecily make a strangled noise- smiling happily at the plant on the right as she held it in her hand. I said, if you want it- all yours- but why are you so keen on it? She asked me if I had read the tags, and I said no. She rolled her eyes as she handed it to me- and boom, Fred had sent me some C. kerrii! There was one other I really liked best, and so I pulled that one for myself.

We then decided to put them both in our exhibit and see how they did in ribbon judging- just an informal contest. Well- we tied for the white ribbon, so time will tell if one cultivar emerges triumphant. They are very similar, but the ones we ended up with were our first picks- even if by a small margin.
Amazing post!!!!! Thank you! What is this “ribbon and string method?”
 

tomp

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Amazing post!!!!! Thank you! What is this “ribbon and string method?”
Brucher T. Counting flowers on large specimen, highly floriferous, plants can be difficult, so one uses yarn or string etc to partition the plant to help keep track of the inflorescences/ flower count. Here is an example of one I had to do:

8B8E6DA3-9958-4B02-9F26-4FC896FC1429.png
 
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Brucher T. Counting flowers on large specimen, highly floriferous, plants can be difficult, so one uses yarn or string etc to partition the plant to help keep track of the inflorescences/ flower count. Here is an example of one I had to do:

To further elaborate, there are a couple of ways to approach. You can split the plant like a pie with all the strings tied in the center, or you can create a grid or even a free-form shape that conforms to the growth and flowering habit of the plant. The idea is to create a situation in which one or more people can count everything in smaller numbers and write it down as they go. Easier to double check the counts that way too.
 
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Love the pics and stories!

Good job on the display, vendoring and judging!!! Three hats, one show!!

When you say young, what age range are you referring to lol?

I joined the Houston Orchid Society when I was 9. My friend was 16 I think, and Jeff was 8 if memory serves. We all started at different times though, so between us we have decades of "Back in my day..." advice to dish out to anyone who cannot escape in time.
 

DrLeslieEe

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I joined the Houston Orchid Society when I was 9. My friend was 16 I think, and Jeff was 8 if memory serves. We all started at different times though, so between us we have decades of "Back in my day..." advice to dish out to anyone who cannot escape in time.
Wow long haulers !!! Still with the passion of the orchid bug…. Love it!
 
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Thanks for this amazing and inspirational post. The energy is jumping off the page and is infectious. Hearing about successful shows deploying new ideas and being more open is encouraging. Our show season does not start until early next year, but I am looking forward to it, especially now.

Thanks for taking us on a tour of the show!
 

My Green Pets

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Enjoyed reading through that! Thank you for the photos and narrative.

Thanks for the description of the counting method. But you're able to estimate and round the numbers, right? Maybe count the flowers on one inflorescence, then multiply by number of inflorescences? Surely one cannot be expected to count over 16 thousand flowers one by one?

Also, I find the electric chair display to be questionable, did anyone at the show comment?
 

tomp

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Enjoyed reading through that! Thank you for the photos and narrative.

Thanks for the description of the counting method. But you're able to estimate and round the numbers, right? Maybe count the flowers on one inflorescence, then multiply by number of inflorescences? Surely one cannot be expected to count over 16 thousand flowers one by one?

Also, I find the electric chair display to be questionable, did anyone at the show comment?
Yes, estimating/ averaging on large specimen plants with tiny flowers is how it’s done. Since not all inflorescences are the same length one picks several of each ( long and short), counts those carefully, and multiplies etc.
As an aside: when one of these things comes to the table student judges get nervous 🤓
 

KeysGuy

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Also, I find the electric chair display to be questionable, did anyone at the show comment?

Wow Green Pets....wow.
I had to go back and study the photos to find what you were referring to.
Yours is certainly an interesting perspective that I would never have seen in a million years.
Looks like a Phal on a backed stand with a small overhead light to show the colors better to me but what do I know?.
 
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