president's message


September 2019

(NOTE: This column will rotate each month to the board member assigned to lead the previous monthly meeting. September’s Acting President is Carol Beule.)

August has come and it will go without a formal meeting of the OSSC….. but we all did have a chance to see each other at the July 12-14th weekend of open houses in Santa Barbara. I spent most of my time at Cal-Orchids, but many of you were at the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and then stopped over to Cal-Orchids as well. And there was a meeting of sorts at the 10th annual Japanese Style Fuukiran Judging that was held that weekend at Cal-Orchids. It was a primer on Vanda (Neofinetia) falcata: the four AOS judges who know the most about these plants in Southern California were all in attendance that Saturday. Any questions you might have could be asked and answered.

Several of us are already in the planning process for the Huntington Show in October. The “down” time we have in August has always been used to think and discuss ideas for the upcoming show, and to start planning the designs based on the theme. This year the theme is “Orchid Safari.” Any ideas or thoughts on our display and its theme presentation are welcomed and we will gladly add you to the list of volunteers who are the backbone of the display. Without volunteers we would never get a display up and running. And without everyone’s beautiful blooming plants we would also never be able to put up a display.

Personally I will use this month to build a small greenhouse and then learn what else needs to be added to what I have already purchased to finish the job. But so far, I have already been rewarded with more blooms than I have ever had previously with my smaller plants, due to making their environment much more humid. That is the challenge to growing in Southern California, and even with a greenhouse I will have issues of extreme heat and air circulation.

 Twenty-three people turned in surveys at the July meeting and there will be a brief report in September meeting before the AOS Outreach Judging (see more in this newsletter). Bring in your blooming plants for them to be discussed and maybe awarded! It is truly a learning experience. Hope to see you all there with magnificently grown plants for the judges to see. Till then, keep cool.

My best.


erin's fun fact

We all know and appreciate the American Orchid Society but have you ever wondered about its history?

Wikipedia tells us: “The American Orchid Society was formed in 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. At the first meeting a group of 35 men and one woman set goals of organizing orchid shows in various cities, establishing a plant register, and selecting a group of experienced growers to judge plants and recognize the ones with superior quality.” From there the judging system that we know today was slowly developed. Author John D Stubbings reports that “during the formative years of the society, judging was informal and only done at the quarterly Trustees' meetings. These early awards were made by teams of judges appointed by the AOS President at each quarterly meeting. There were no formal rules or regulations. Instead, the awards were made on the basis of a consensus of the judging team in a system reminiscent of the "appreciation method" employed by the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Committee in England.”

In 1938 the judging system began to formalize. In 1949 our own Orchid Society of Southern California was instrumental in developing the point scoring system! Many fine orchid enthusiasts have had a hand in developing the AOS judging protocol. Our September meeting will offer a wonderful opportunity to see how accredited judges use the AOS system to screen and award the finest orchids.

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