Last Friday The Pink Cucumber team ventured out once again – this time to the Autumn Orchid Show in The Johannesburg Botanic Garden, an absolutely beautiful venue for this event.As I myself found about the show quite late, I didn’t expect to see many people there but boy, was I wrong! It was packed with people curious and people totally fanatic about orchids. I myself have jumped from the ‘I-hate-them’ category into ‘Oh-my-goodness-I-WANT-THAT-PLANT’ very quickly. I think Dr Pink Cucumber is really asking himself what has he done to deserve this.
Anyways, back to the show. It was UN-BE-LIE-VAB-LE! I am so glad we went – the room you enter seems kind of small and there are a few display tables with orchids that won all sorts of trophies for their owners/breeders. One would think you’d just walk by fast, but that’s not true – I got stuck there taking tons of pictures and just admiring in awe of how incredible each one of them is! I took so many pictures and it was so difficult to pick which ones I wanted to add into this post!
The second room was full of breeders selling their plants – from babies to big grown ups and all sorts of equipment and orchid food.
My favourite part was definitely the potting demo, which I just sucked in like a little sponge and have been carrying all the information in just so I could share it here with you! Being showed how to handle orchids and touch all the planting mediums that exist on this planet basically was a great learning experience. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned:
1. Repot your plant every year, or every two years – depending on the state of growing medium. Keep air going through the pot by making holes in it – remember orchids in their natural habitat live freely on trees, they do not like being stuck in a pot of soil.
2. When you take out orchid you just bought and you see that the potting medium is rotten, take as much away as possible – you want bare roots! Roots which are not strong and white or green have to be cut off. Trust me, the presenter butchered the little orchid, it was left with a few roots only (and this is what I did to my Bob too as we got home) – that’s what makes them happy.
3. One thing I will remember for all times – how to pick the right spot where to put orchids in your house? Think of it like this – where do you like to rest and sit? At the window, with cold draft? In a dark room where you can’t even read your newspaper or in the sunniest spot where your eyes hurt? No! That’s why my Bobs sit where we do! That also makes you enjoy them more.
4. As to potting mediums – pick what is available to you and what you feel best with – clay balls, bark or moss. Be careful with organic ones – they may rot, you want to keep an eye on that.
I really liked the fact that other events were promoted – like the 21st World Orchid Conference and Show, which will take place in Johannesburg in September. I also found contact information on a local orchid nursery very useful (I am already working on a master plan how to persuade Dr Pickled Pink Cucumber so we could go on one of their open days!).
Of course when it came to making a decision on which of these beautiful plants of various kinds, shapes, types and colours will be our next Bob, we got stuck there and I was walking around like a little lost child picking up pots, showing them to Dr Cucumber, putting them down and walking around again. In the end I managed to pick one, and here is Bob number 4.
And that’s it! Another event that is already on my 2015 mind calendar! It was definitely a very exciting event and a great learning experience, and I want more of it! I love how each hobby community has their events that keep them updated and keep on inspiring their passion more and more.