Orchid Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens Annual Show

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John M

Orchid Addict
Jun 7, 2006
Reaction score
Hamilton, Ontario - Canada
I participated in the Orchid Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens Annual Show this past weekend as an exhibitor and a vendor. My display of 14 plants did well and so did my plants.....especially my Phal Mad Hatter; a very large, old plant with multiple stems that were multi-branching. Flowers are white with a red lip. A friend of mine bought this plant from me when I worked at an orchid nursery about 25 years ago. The plant had grown very large; but, it was not performing well in her very low light conditions. So, she gave it to me a year ago. I tried to sell it at local meetings for $20; but, nobody wanted it. One woman told me it was overpriced. LOL! So, it stuck around in my greenhouse and it clearly showed me this winter what it can do when it's really happy. It's no longer for sale!

I won Best Display: 6 to 15 plants arranged for effect.....Rosette and crystal paper-weight trophy.

Then, my Phal Mad Hatter won Best Phal in Show....Rosette.

It also won the International Phalaenopsis Alliance Perpetual Trophy. My name goes on the trophy that stays on display at the RBG.....plus I got a crystal vase to take home.

Then, it won Best Plant in Show...Rosette and a bottle of wine.....and my name goes on the OSRBG Perpetual Trophy.

....And to top it all off, it won a CCM/AOS (Certificate of Cultural Merit).

Sales were good too; so, I had a good show!

My display photo was taken on Friday night, before the judging. I was too busy to get a photo later on after the ribbons were placed in the display. 'Wish now that I'd made more of an effort. The awards photo was taken without the bottle of wine present. I gave that to my Mom for driving up to my place two days in a row to visit with Charlie and give him a break outside.

Many thanks to my friend Fran who helped me at my sales booth on Saturday and to Wendy who helped on Sunday with sales and tear-down at the end of the day.


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I've been waiting for you to post this. Congratulations John! Your display was spectacular And the Phal was breathtaking! Well done and certainly deserving of all your awards. :clap::clap::clap:

(And thank you for the Paph!) :D
Congratulations on doing so well at the show!!! I really loved your display, it was very beautiful. It wasn't until I was driving home that I realized who you were, lol! Two years in a row I've looked at your sales table and asked you a couple quick questions and it finally dawned on me this year that I "know" you from slippertalk! Hopefully I can come visit your greenhouse one of these days.
A very big congrats again!!!

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Congratulations John! Outstanding display of gorgeous
plants, but the Disa do stand out. The whole display is
simple, elegant and each plant is clearly visible. I find lots
of displays at shows somewhat over-crowded and distracting. Your display isn't. Proud to know ya, my friend. I bet Charlie really missed you.
That is great John,I forgot the show was this weekend or we would of come.
Display is very pleasing to the eye. is that a Don Wimber in your display?

I'd never seen the combination of yellow-variegated and red-variegated leaves, even of geraniums used as fill-in and contrast to an orchid display. It adds light and does really well! Congrats!
Thanks very much, everybody. I appreciate your nice comments!

Congratulations on doing so well at the show!!! I really loved your display, it was very beautiful. It wasn't until I was driving home that I realized who you were, lol! Two years in a row I've looked at your sales table and asked you a couple quick questions and it finally dawned on me this year that I "know" you from slippertalk! Hopefully I can come visit your greenhouse one of these days.
A very big congrats again!!!

LOL! So there we both were, ST friends....face to face and neither of us realized it. Too bad we didn't get a chance to formerly introduce ourselves. Yes, you are welcome to come for a visit sometime. Just e-mail me or p.m. me with a day and time you have in mind and I'll let you know if it works for me. Most of the time I am able to accommodate other people's schedules by simply adjusting my own schedule.

Yes Angela, Charlie had a lo-ooooong weekend! But now I can afford his food and medication; so, even though he doesn't understand, he's benefitting from his lonely/confusing weekend! He loves my Mom; so, I'm sure he was very pleased to have her visit each day. She brought a book and stayed for an hour, or so each day, to give Charlie some company and plenty of time to spend outside attending to "his personal business". Because I work at home, he has me every day. We figured that he'd be very unhappy and confused if suddenly he found himself all alone, all day long, two days in a row!

Russell, too bad you forgot about the show. It's smaller than it used to be; but, it's still a very nice show with a nice variety of vendors. The Phrag is an Acker's Starlight....a very nice one, I think. It got a 2nd place ribbon in the orange/red short-petalled Phrag hybrid category. Perhaps when it's older and has more growths/blooms, it will edge up to a 1st place.

Thank you Secundino. Those plants are Geraniums, Coleus and on the far left, a very robust, variegated Spider Plant. The plants with plain green "feathery" foliage are miniature roses with all the flowers and buds cut off. They do a great job of hiding the orchid pots while at the same time, because of the multitude of tiny leaves, they create an open "feel" to the display. Plus, because they are not variegated, they don't make the whole thing too "busy" to the eye. Too much variegation in the foliage filler plants takes away from the orchid flowers. After all, it's an orchid display with foliage accents, not a variegated foliage plant display with orchid accents. I tend to love lots of foliage plants; so, I have to be careful to not over-indulge and use too much in an orchid display. Also of note; this was the first display where I did not use any driftwood, branches or rocks and it still worked well. Sometimes less is more.

Thanks again, everyone!
I know!!...I was kicking myself when I realized who you were. I would be surprised if you remember me, I was there at probably the busiest time on Saturday, and I find that your a popular guy, lol, hard to get a chance to talk to you! But I asked you about a Fritz Schomburg or any kovachii crosses and you were very kind and invited me to your greenhouse. I asked for a card but you didn't have any so you mentioned your website, that's when I should have clued in! I'm a tall half Japanese girl, if that rings any bells. Anyway, I'll email you sometime and look forward to seeing your greenhouse! Your plant are always so healthy and well grown, I always am so impressed with the quality at your table.
I fell in love with your Paph. Freckles 'Pink Agate' on display!!

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Oh that's funny! I remember someone asking about Fritz Schomburg and kovachii crosses; but, I just can't picture who asked. Obviously that was you. To be honest....and it's a bit embarrassing; but, when it gets busy at a show and I'm trying to serve customers and answer everyone's questions, etc., etc., my eyes seem to glaze over because it is very typical for me to not recall someone's face when they come back later when things are more quiet. I realize this when they start talking again about something we talked about earlier; but, they will be continuing the conversation and it can take me a moment to realize that we talked earlier; but, I have no memory of what they looked like.

Yes, please do contact me when you think you could make a trip out and we'll arrange a day/time.

That Freckles is really lovely, isn't it? I thought it could get pulled for AOS judging. Maybe it will win something in the future? It was in such nice shape and of such good quality, I included it in my display, even though it was purchased by a ST member a few weeks ago and we're just waiting for the warm weather for me to ship. I'm sure the new owner wouldn't have minded if it won anything. :) Even so, it did get a first in the white/yellow/green, Complex Paph class. I think it will get an award one day. The new owner is a great grower....they will be able to squeeze out every last drop of quality from this plant.
I don't blame you for getting glazed over and going into a zone there!! It was real zoo in both rooms on Saturday. Also, I noticed that a lot of people want to chit chat with the vendors, which I don't think is fair to them, when they are trying to man their tables and keep an eye on their plants, so I try to keep my questions short and to the point. But it was nice to be able to put a face to your name, you're younger than I had pictured in my mind, with your growing experience I thought you would be a lot older, lol!
I'm glad to hear the the Freckles is going to a good home, now I'm just super jealous of the new owner! It was the one Paph that I was lusting after from the show. Oh, well, at least I've got a nice pic of it on my phone!

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A super busy Saturday is what we all hope for of course; but, then it is VERY hard to give every person the time that they may need or want. It is very considerate of you to try to keep your questions short and to the point. Dealing with people who just want to Chit Chat, or window shop (ask a lot of questions with NO intension to buy anything), is part of the territory. But, doing a show is a lot of work and effort and it costs a lot too, especially for the vendors who must travel. So, it's important that you don't ignore a customer who wants to buy something; but, can't because you're answering the far too many questions from someone who bought a Phal from Costco 3 years ago. LOL! And yes, unfortunately, security is an issue and we need to keep our eyes on all the plants at the same time as well. I have many times been the victim of "plants that grew legs" and disappeared while there was a crush of people at my table.

Believe me, at the end of the show, I felt like I was 95 years old! LOL! I got up at 8 a.m. on Friday, worked in my greenhouse and then worked at the show hall. In the evening I came home and went back to my greenhouse and worked until 6 a.m. I laid down for an hour, fully dressed, and then got up at 7 a.m. to begin my busy day on Saturday. Had 6 hours sleep on Saturday night and came home on Sunday feeling "woozy". Did a lot of catching up with my sleep on Monday and today. ALL I did on Monday was unpack the plants and water the greenhouse. Plan to be feeling "normal" again tomorrow, after another good night's sleep.

I've had other people lust after the Freckles. I wish I had more of them! The flowers are thick and hard and wonderfully long lasting, not to mention, BEAUTIFUL!
Whoa, that sounds exhausting!! I wish I hung around your table longer and bought something from you. I just couldn't get close enough for a leisure look...and I'm a slow shopper, lol. I was trying not to buy anything other than kovachii hybrids, but I broke down and bought a couple other tiny plants.
Nothing as gorgeous as your Freckles though, lol.
Glad you had a good show, especially for all that effort you put in!!

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