President’s Message: Show Prep at the May 5 Meeting

I know many Houston Orchid Society members are old hands at participating in shows such as the one coming up on May 7–8. At the risk of boring those folks, I’m making a general description of things I learned when I was first involved—things novices might need to know about participating in our Orchid Show. To our new members, I say, “Welcome! And I encourage you to talk with any of the show organizers if you have questions.”

If you have a blooming orchid, please groom it and bring it to the meeting at Memorial City Mall on Thursday, May 5. Holly Miller’s article gives lots of specifics on getting your orchid ready for the show. Then, be sure your orchid is labeled so you’ll be sure to get it back. I put my name with an indelible marker on a scrap of masking tape and stick it on the bottom of the pot.

Make a list of the plants you are bringing with as much information as you can furnish about each one’s scientific name and parentage. This is a great help for the folks who are setting up the exhibit, and it ensures you get all your plants back at the end of the weekend.

At the plant registration table, you will find entry tags that are required for each plant to be judged in each classification. You need to fill in the exhibit number as it is assigned at the table, and your assigned ID letter if you are entering plants in a group exhibit. This allows anonymous judging.

The third item at the top of the Entry Form is “Class.” This number is to be found in the Show Schedule. The Show Schedule codifies the classes that are being judged. It sorts the entries by alliance, and within the alliances it sorts by species and hybrids. Pay special attention to further sorting by size and colors.

When your entry form is filled in, present the top copy to the registration desk. The carbon copy stays with the plant.

You are allowed to purchase blooming plants from vendors and enter them in the show. If you have a special talent for floral arrangement or corsage making, you can participate by creating such a design as listed in the Show Schedule under “Orchids in Use.”

There are myriad opportunities to help throughout the weekend—setting up the exhibit on Thursday evening and Friday morning, then clerking for the judges on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, volunteers can help at the HOS information table or just chat with visitors.

I am looking forward to a great fellowship and learning experience. See you Thursday evening!

—Sarah Bentley, President