president's message


June 2019

(NOTE: This column will rotate each month to the board member assigned to lead the previous monthly meeting. May and June’s Acting President is David Dassey.)

May gray this year is stronger than I recall, with overcast cool days one after the other and even several showers to top off the above-average rainfall of the past season. No complaints here, as the added humidity is a boon to spring orchid growth spurts, plus my native wildflowers will last longer. But summer sun and heat are inevitable, so if your greenhouse or shade house is in need of repairs, better get working on that.

Our speaker for May, Peter Lin, never disappoints. He gave a lovely presentation on the wide world of dendrobiums, a varied and fascinating genus with something for everyone’s growing conditions. From miniatures to monster-size, colors ranging across the entire rainbow, and temperature conditions from hot to freezing, you can easily find some dendrobiums for your specific growing conditions. The OSSC library holds several books that can help you with your choices; see the list of books posted in the May newsletter or conduct a search on line at .

The big news for June is, of course, the Annual OSSC Orchid Auction on Saturday, June 22. Volunteers are always needed in the week before, for phone calling and plant pick up. The morning of the auction many of us gather at the meeting hall at 9am to do final cleaning, sorting, registration, and display of the donated auction plants; join us if you can spare the time. If you have some divisions or other orchids to donate, be sure to clean them up NOW and insure they don’t have any bad critters lurking in their pots. And feel free to bring in snacks – finger foods only – for members and guest bidders.

Finally, there is no general meeting in the month of June, so if you can’t make it to the auction, we’ll see you at the July meeting, when we’ll be deflasking and potting up seedlings that OSSC has been raising the past year.

See you at the Auction!


erin's fun fact

Tiffany & Company's longtime design director John Loring once said, ''Nature sells!'' What was he referring to? Orchids of course!!

At the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Tiffany showed 24 jeweled and enameled orchid brooches, “each precisely modeled on a different exotic variety.” The little works of art, decorated with diamonds, emeralds, aquamarines, pearls and rubies, caused quite a stir! They were so faithfully reproduced that onlookers were mesmerized and captains of industry like George Jay Gould and the railroad magnate Henry Walters “scarfed them up.”

Paulding Fardham, the young jewelry designer (29 years old at the time) was launched into international celebrity after the exhibit, singled out for its "fertility of imagination and power of invention." He won the gold medal for his work, the first such award ever achieved by an American firm.

I imagine coming upon Mr. Fardham’s exquisite brooches must have been such an exhilarating experience for both flower- and jewelry lover alike! Well done, sir!

*Thanks to NY Times and the Metropolitan Museum for the information.

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