The Mount Baker Orchid Society

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Mt. Baker Orchid Society Meeting Information

January 22, 2019  


  1. Happy New Year!
  2. Dues are due as of December 31, 2018 If you haven't renewed, please send your renewal to Susan Wood or Betsy Pernotto. Don't miss out on upcoming newsletters!
Our regular meeting place is at The Breazeale Interpretive Center, Padilla Bay.
10440 Bayview-Edison Road
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273-9668
For more information and directions, see The Padilla Bay website Map

Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month except for July and December. Doors generally open about 6:30 or so, and the meeting starts at 7:00pm, with society business, announcements, etc. We take a short break, there's time to socialize, talk orchids and have a snack or coffee. Then plant table results are discussed, and the door prize and a small raffle are drawn.

After the general meeting, we usually have an educational program, either a guest speaker, slide show, or instructional session. Since there are a number of commercial growers in the society, they sometimes give seminars on repotting, deflasking, mounting, etc. These programs are informative and fun

There will be a plant show table, where members bring in blooming orchid plants, competing for ribbons and points. Besides being judged by a team, all members get to vote for their favorite. At the end of the year, the member with the most points gets a prize. There's a little friendly competition each year, but mostly we just enjoy sharing our orchids with others, and getting to see new things and ask questions about how to grow the variety of different species and hybrids available.  The only rule is that the member must have grown the plant for 6 months or more.  But if you have a new acquisition that you just can't wait to share, please bring it in and list it as "Show and Tell."

Sometimes there are plants for sale by members. Extra seedlings, divisions, or just something that the owner thinks would be better off with someone else.

We are generally finished about 9:00 pm

Topics for discussion:
See the current Newsletter for monthly information.

There are several shows in our region this spring, and we have stated our intention to participate. But there is no single person to handle coordination and to take responsibility for getting this done. Solutions and volunteers welcome.


Past Programs:

November 27, 2018

For the final regular meeting of the year, we elected officers for next year. The board held a quick meeting beforehand, and named Kendra as a Trustee, to replace Kim, who moved into the treasurer's slot when Mo resigned the position.

As a program, we had a slideshow of American Orchid Society Cultural Awards. These are given in recognition of exceptionally well grown and bloomed plants, and are technically awarded to the grower, and not the plant. Many of the characteristics looked for by the judges are also habits that will keep the orchid looking good, and growing at its best. Discussion covered what makes an award-worthy entry, and some of the things any grower can do to improve the appearance and the health of their orchids.

October 23, 2018

Calvin Wong of Vancouver, BC gave a very interesting presentation on Coelogynes. This is a varied genus, with around 205 species growing in all climates, ranging from lowland to high montane. They are mostly found in Asia, Indonesia, and Fiji. In general, the flowers are showy, fragrant, and long-lasting. Colors range from white to green to light brown, with dark, sometimes almost black markings on the lips. Some will re-flower from the same spike. Plant and flower sizes range from miniature to very large.

The major divisions are by culture

  • Warm growing
  • Cool Growing
  • General Culture

    In other news:

    November 22, 2016

    Grant Rampton of the Vancouver Orchid Society (he's known as the "Orchid Doctor") presented an excellent program on orchid pests and how to deal with them.  It's not as simple as spraying bug killer, especially if you're growing indoors!  Each pest has their own biology, and treatment should be tuned to take advantage of that.  Temperature and humidity also affect how quickly a small colony can transition to a full-blown infestation.

    Elections were also held for the 2017 Board of Directors.  Unfortunately, we lost two of our continuing Trustees, so we will also be appointing replacements for Judy and Debra.

    October 25, 2016

    David Edgley [gave] a program on trends in Phalaenopsis hybridization, his long-time specialty.  I asked for something more definite for the newsletter and all he would say was “Expect the unexpected.”  Well, that kind of talk, this close to Halloween….

    May 27, 2008

    Susan Wood gave a very interesting presentation on some of the historical figures in the orchid world.  Over the past two centuries, orchid collecting as been the purview of the rich and the restless.  Cattleyas were discovered when plants were shipped to England from South America, as packing material for something else!  When they bloomed, they caused such a sensation that orchids became the obsession of wealthy families, scientific study and adventurers.  Hundreds of thousands of plants were stripped from their natural habitats, which were sometimes then destroyed to prevent others from finding what would be "exclusive" plants for the collectors and their employers.  Countless species disappeared, as their growing habits were not well known, and many imported plants perished wholesale in England and Europe.

    Hopefully, we've matured since then, and grow responsibly from non-wild populations, or lab-grown hybrids.  Also, by observing the natural habitats, we understand better how to keep them alive and happy in our greenhouses or homes. Today, to grow orchids, you don't have to be rich, just smart.

    Look-ahead to future meetings

    January 24, 2017  [TBD]

    February 14, 2017   -- NOTE THE DATE CHANGE, and we will probably be in the theater instead of the usual meeting room.

    Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids will be giving a talk on Australian Dendrobiums.  This group of the widely varied genus is well suited for the Northwest, so it should be an interesting and informative night.  Fred is an excellent speaker, and this is sure to be an enjoyable event.  See the NWOS site (link below) for more information on Fred.

    For those of you who are not averse to travelling a bit, Fred will be in Seattle on Monday, February 13th, at the Northwest Orchid Society.  See here for more info. He will be talking on "Culture of Catasetums,"  which are a passion of his.