September 2018 Newsletter


Wednesday September 12th, 2018 7:00 PM

Social and Culture Questions Time 6:30 PM

Cox Arboretum


Speaker: John OConnell

Topic: Orchid Addiction 10, A Brief Overview of the World of the Orchid Obsessed.


It is amazing how often the words orchid is paired with addiction or obsession. Two of my favorite books are: The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession and Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love Lust, and Lunacy. The titles say it all, orchid people are nuts. John may be nuts, he is certainly nuts about orchids, which makes him qualified to teach Orchid Addiction 101. A brief overview of the world of the orchid obsessed. Topics covered include: orchid culture, and the culture of orchid people,


John blames his addiction on his youngest sister who gave him his first orchid as a house warming present. It would be ten years before that first orchid bloomed again. Along the way that first Cattleya was joined by a Phalaenopsis then, upon discovering the Atlanta Orchid Society Orchid Show, a little Lycaste. He didn't know it at the time, but the Lycaste was the beginning of a fascination, perhaps obsession with orchids.


At first, the whole collection fit quite comfortably on a windowsill. Then his sister in Ohio (Our very own Anne) became obsessed with them and the race was on, fueled by shared interest, and some sibling rivalry, both their collections took off, doubling then doubling again. Fed by plants available at meetings, and an increasing number of shows, John's collection outgrew the windowsill. A 400W metal halide light was obtained, an aquarium was added to give moisture loving, warmer growing orchids a place to grow. Things were getting a little out of hand. The collection outgrew the 400W light, and he couldn't bring himself to buy a second one, the collection was straining his wife's limits. She kept telling him that there was no more room, she didn't understand that there is ALWAYS room for one more orchid. Then they moved to Monterey with it's mild climate, and year around outdoor growing became possible. A simple hoop house greenhouse was bought and quickly filled, a larger, and more expensive, 13' x13' greenhouse followed. The collection reached a steady state, subtractions (deaths and give always) balancing additions, and the comments about not having enough room subsided. The desire to fill every available inch of space with orchids subsided and was replaced by orchid society board duties: newsletter editor (100+ issues), website design/maintenance, President, VP, and even giving presentations for monthly meetings!


We will be meeting for dinner with the speaker at Thai Kitchen at 5:15 prior to the meeting. Please RSVP to Eric-†


MEETING FOOD:†† Francis Jamison and Barry and Jane† Jones have volunteered for food for the evening. We also still need a volunteer(s) for November.

Miami Valley Orchid Society

Daytonís only place for Orchid Expertise