June 2016: Newsletter 380

Day Meeting May

The weather for our day meeting at Audrey’s home was fine and warm, and a great crowd of 24 gathered in their tiny garden. Yes, tiny on the outside, but step inside and be amazed at just how many plants, pots, hangers, veges, fruit trees, orchids, bromeliads and tillandsias have squeezed into such a small space.

Everything is tidy and growing so splendidly you just know there is endless attention given to their selection and care. Maurice was telling me that any shrubs that step out of line gets the ‘lopper treatment’ and they promptly grow in the right direction. I think I’ll have to invite him round to deal with some unruly camellias.

Audrey’s tillandsias grow-house is packed with such an array. I loved the recycling of a tall, turning card stand that houses dozens of mounted plants, all so easy to reach and care for. There definitely seems to be more orchids creeping in among the tillandsias and also tucked into the garden areas. You’ll have to be careful to keep those “weeds” under control Audrey!

Evening Meeting May

Present: 32 members.

Our speaker was John Beech, whom we had invited along to explain the Bay of Plenty Garden & ArtFest’s programme for this year and just why we were invited to join in.

John began by telling us a little of the charity’s 20-year history raising funds for Life Education. This year the name has been changed to represent just our area, the Bay of Plenty Garden & Art Festival, and sponsorship from The Lakes means there will again be a Hub at The Lakes.

The 4-day programme will involve Garden Trails, extending from Katikati to Te Puke, with all gardens open for the four days. The Hub will be based in a 35m x 20m marquee beside the water at The Lakes, with artists, concept gardens, topiary, a café, invited horticultural groups, sculpture walk, outdoor furniture, lectures and music. The committee has arranged a wonderful who’s who, to lecture and display, including Jo McCaroll, Robert McGowan, Tony Murrell and others. Two years ago the festival drew 15,000 visitors.

As an invited group, we will be offered a 3m x 3m gazebo where we can set up an orchid display, tell visitors about our society, discuss growing orchids and sell plants.

John also showed a Powerpoint highlighting previous Garden & Art Festival activities and gave everyone the chance to ask questions and clarify information. In previous years the Festival has run for 7 days with each area only open for two days. It was found that 85% of participants only bought a 1 or 2 day ticket, so the decision was made to concentrate the Festival into just 4 days.

The Committee realises we will be involved with our own Show and the Auckland Orchid Expo in September, but feel this is a good opportunity to attract new members and further the growing of orchids in the Bay of Plenty.

Botrytis (Flower Spot)

Read about this fungal disease that marks flowers here (American Orchid Society). A member of the Canterbury Orchid Society notes that he/she uses a Neem oil spray to combat this disease.

International research has shown that it works systemically (ie, inside the plant) as an antifeedant for all chewing and sucking insects. Plus it has potent antiviral and fungicidal properties.

After encountering big problems with spotting on Sarcochilus flowers, the author says it is now his/her standard practice to selectively spray Neem oil on flower spikes as they develop and just before the florets open. This one-off spray is in addition to regular sprays in January, May and September to ward off all insects that directly feed on the sap of a plant. The effects of Neem are not instantaneous, the author warns, as it takes time to build up in the plant’s sap, and needs regular ‘topping up’.

Popular vote May

John Edwards: Calanthe vestita 1st

Conrad Coenen: Den. bigibbum 2nd

B & N Simmonds: Den. Kuniko 3rd=
Trevor & Pam Signal: Odcdm. Autumn Tints 3rd=

Display Plants

(* = Note correct &/or new name. [?] = Not identified.)

Barry Curtis: Zygo. River Murray; Slc. Medley x C. walkeriana; C. City Life [?]; Odcdm. Dorothy Wisnom x City of Birmingham; Rst. Drayton Pearl [?] x Onc. forbesii.

Conrad Coenen: Lyc. bradeorum; Laelia anceps v. alba; Pleurothallis tuerkheimii; Barkeria cyclotella.

Brian & Natalie Simmonds: Laelia rubescens v. aurea; Encyclia glumacea.

Alec Roy: Den. bigibbum compactum hybrid.

John Edwards: Oncidium flexuosum; Colmanara Wildcat.

Wilma Fitzgibbons: S. cernua; Den. crepidiferum ‘Purple Giant’ x ‘Large’; Pleurothallis allenii ‘Eichenfelds’; Pleurothallis grandiflora (?); Stenorrhynchos speciosum ‘CH’ x sib; Angraecum filicornoides (? Jumellea walleri).

Ute Rank: C. Seagulls Pink Panther ‘Britt’; C. intermedia v. alba; Ceratostylus rubra; Masd. veitchiana.

Barbara Nalder: Laelia anceps v. alba; Paph. no name.

Sandra Simpson: Maxillaria picta.

Audrey Hewson: Sl. Ironclad.

Jan Missen: Cym. tracyanum.