This year we have held our Annual Orchid Spring Show in a new location – Valentines Mansion in Ilford.
There had been no similar shows in the area previously, so the Mansion management was very excited that our orchid show was to take place there and be open to the public.
They got engaged in the planning and have helped us greatly in promoting the event.
We were delighted that the Cambridge Orchid Society (COS) and the Lea Valley Orchid Society (LVOS) supported the show with their very attractive and interesting displays. We give them our grateful thanks.
Valentine's Mansion was decorated with photos of orchids provided by Dr Henry Oakeley.
The Cambridge Orchid Societies display was masterminded by Huw Richards who took up the role with admirable dedication. A month before the show, he had organised a test run for the
display. The Chairman of the COS, Graham Clark, also supported the show with an exhibit of his air plants. He has a fantastic collection, which proved a magnet for visitors.
(see the video by Paul Knight on the right)
The Chairman of the Lea Valley Orchid Society, Michael Radley (who is also the OSGB Programme Secretary) and his wife Gillian led the build-up of an elaborate display, and also entered plants for judging.
Several OSGB members put on separate
displays of orchids that they specialise in.
Paul Knight showed his splendid masdevallias and Martin Rendall’s cattleyas delighted visitors with their blousy and scented bloom display.
(picture on the left)
One of the society’s newest members, Diana Petrokaite, set up a mini-display of her orchids grown in terrariums, providing extra interest by showing some of her praying mantis species alongside the plants;
we hope to see more of her work in the future (picture on the left)
We are really grateful to all members who entered plants in the competitive classes.
The full list of judging results and trophies awarded will be presented at the OSGB Annual General Meeting in June and published in the next journal.
Helen Millner supported the show with an elaborate educational display, which ensured our visitors were able to learn more about orchids, their habitats and how to grow them. On a side note, we are happy to report that the day after the Spring Show, Helen Millner was elected the Chairman of the British Orchid Council.
During the show, we were on hand to offer cultural advice to all visitors – a separate table with various composts, pots and other material was skilfully minded by Catarina Anjos, Kristine Baker, Laurence Baghdadi, and Anil Induruwana. They took only a short break during lunchtime and continued to advise the public all day, thank you for the dedication.
All our visitors were offered a variety of plants for sale: flowering and baby orchids, both species and hybrids ranging from tropical to winter hardy, as well as some attractive spring bulbs, all provided by these fantastic sellers from Spicesotic plants, Roy Barrow, Jacques Amand and Orchid Alchemy.
Despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 the show was very well attended, with more than 400 people there, and around 250 of them were general members of the public, who bought the ticket to get in and were not associated with any of the Orchid Societies. This allowed us to raise the funds to cover the cost of hiring the Mansion and we made sure to influence and attract a lot of them to grow orchids at home. Members of the local community were very pleased with the event and expressed their hope that we would return in the coming years.
The OSGB would like to send their deepest thanks to everyone who made it possible.
There will be more pictures of the event to follow in the gallery.