Tuesday, August 14, 2012

EPOS Annual Show 2012

The Eastern Province Orchid Society is having its Annual Show this weekend, 17-19th August 2012, at the Sherwood Garden Centre in Port Elizabeth. Entry to see the show costs just R10 a person; entering plants is free.

Here's a map for your convenience:

View Larger Map

Show opening times are:
Friday 17th : 13:00-17:00
Saturday 18th : 09:00-17:00
Sunday 19th: 09:00-16:00

Judging takes place from 09:00 to 13:00 on Friday; during this time, only the judging team and their assistants will be permitted into the exhibition.

As well as the various show entries, there will also be plants and orchid supplies for sale, a tea room and various talks and presentation. As one of South Africa's biggest orchid societies (in terms of member numbers) we can expect quite a lot of fantastic entries.

If you would like to enter the show, with a chance to have your plants judged and possibly awarded by the South African Orchid Council, please note that entries have to be delivered to the centre on Thursday 16th August from 09:00 to 18:00, and must be accompanied by a Exhibitor Entry Form. There is a NOID category, so don't be afraid of entering orchids whose exact identity is a mystery, and there is a category for novices too! Plants can be collected after 4PM on Sunday.

Sadly, my own orchid collection is not in a showy mood - being some distance inland, winter is longer and colder than at the coast, so it's a bit early for OOAB to score any great glory! (We had the same problem last year).

If you'd like a look at last year's show, or need some inspiration to get in your car and go, have a look at these posts. I imagine this year will be quite similar!

If you'd like some tips on entering plants into shows, here is what EPOS' August 2012 newsletter has to say:
 Even if you are a small grower with only a few plants, your blooming orchids will enhance the orchid show and add to your enjoyment of the hobby. Don't hesitate to enter them. Here's how to exhibit them at their best.

Make sure there are no insects or diseases lurking about. Spray your plants with a broad spectrum pesticide / fungicide well before the buds open. Carefully examine under the leaves and remove all signs of scale or other stationary pests.

Remove moss or weeds from the potting medium. Remember no other plants except orchids may be displayed and weeds are “other plants”.

For the Cattleya alliance and similar orchids, wet the pseudobulbs under a tap or spray with clean water and remove all dead bulb sheaths and other dead tissue.

Remove yellow or dead leaves or leaf tips. Also remove any flowers that are starting to go off or probably will not last through the show. Use a separate new, disposable razor blade for each plant or sterilise your cutters between plants.

If your plant shows salt residue from hard water, go over it with a solution of detergent and water with 10% household bleach. Thick leaved orchids like Phalaenopsis and Cattleyas can take some light washing with a washcloth. Rinse with plain water and dry immediately with a soft cloth. The cleaner and healthier your plant appears, the better impression it will make on the judges.

Staking is extremely important. Don't expect the show committee to do this for you. If you don't have a stake, make one from a piece of fence wire or a coat hanger. Long inflorescences, such as on Phalaenopsis, should not be staked in a rigid upright position, nor should they be allowed to flop down. They should be staked just below the first blossom, and the upper stem should be allowed to curve gracefully. Do this as soon as the first buds reach a noticeable size. Keep the buds facing the light until they open. On a plant with multiple flower stems, arrange them in an orderly way. They should radiate outward as naturally as possible, not all facing front.

Buds in the Cattleya alliance often need some help. There is much controversy over what is ethically permissible  to do, but minor manipulation seems to be acceptable  as long as all the “helps” are removed (and all evidence thereof) before the show. If the buds tend to crowd together, push them apart with spacers made from Styrofoam pieces or cotton wool.

Cotton wool, tissue paper or bubble wrap can be used to protect flowers on the way to the show.

Make sure the plant is identified and labelled accurately. Much embarrassment can be caused if your plant is named incorrectly and is thereby disqualified.  If you don't have the plant's name, it can  still be entered in the NOID (No identification) class. A beautiful unnamed orchid can still win you an award.

If you have at least part of the name, or only the parents, consult the Orchid Wiz programme or similar source for the correct name or ask someone with access thereto to assist you.

Make sure the plant label is stuck firmly down in the pot or attached to the pot so it is visible. 

Complete the entry list with your name and the names of your plants beforehand. All this will make life much easier for the setup people and the show committee, as well as those taking down the show. Make sure the setup people mark all your plants with your unique number before they are placed in the exhibitors area.

Keep a copy of your plant list and make a note of the identifier number allocated to you. This will make it so much easier when you collect your plants after the show. 
I'll be sure to take some pictures over the weekend - we plan to go on Sunday.  Hope to see you there!