May 2015: Newsletter 368

Annual General Meeting,  April 21, 2015

Members present: 28 & 4 visitors.

Last year’s AGM Minutes were read and accepted.  President’s Report: Read & accepted.

Election of Officers: President: Barry Curtis; Vice-President: Conrad Coenen; Secretary: Natalie Simmonds; Minutes Secretary: Iona Wilson; Treasurer: Brian Simmonds.

Committee: Lynley & Alec Roy, Jean Richardson, Noeline Gardner, Sandra Simpson, Bob & Jocelyn Mankelow.

Auditor: George Spiers ; Newsletter editor: Barry Curtis; Library: Evelyn Wills; Supper: Jean Richardson; Raffle Table: Alec Roy.

Sales Table: Sellers to look after their own plants and pay commission to Treasurer after the meeting.

Winner of the Geoff Webster Cup (popular vote): Conrad Coenen.

Many thanks to our two ex-Committee members, Nigel Wilson and Ivy Stovold who have worked so well on our committee over the last few years. Your assistance has been much appreciated.

April Evening Meeting

Guest speaker was Roger Allen who presented an illustrated talk on his recent visit to two outstanding gardens in Singapore – the new Gardens by the Bay and the historic Singapore Botanical Gardens.

Work on the massive Gardens by the Bay began in 2007 after an international design competition saw two British design companies win an area each – the gardens officially opened in June 2012, with the Flower Dome having had a preview opening in November 2011 to coincide with the World Orchid Conference. The Flower Dome is the world’s largest column-less building.

The 101ha site is all reclaimed land and features three main structures – the two cooled domes, that each reach up to 58m high, and the huge metal and concrete ‘supertrees’ that are 25-50m tall. The Flower Dome replicates a Mediterranean and sub-tropical climate and includes displays of flowers and what is thought to be a 1,000-year-old olive tree from Spain, while the Cloud Forest dome houses some 130,000 plants, “islands” of carnivorous plants, planted walls and a three-storey waterfall.

Roger found the domes disconcerting at first as they were “glasshouses” but about 20°C cooler than the outdoor areas which were an energy-sapping 40°C! Some of the energy needed to drive the cooling systems is harvested from solar collectors hidden in the supertrees, the trunks of which are planted like green walls.

Roger couldn’t speak highly enough of the gardens – he’s keen on plants, including bromeliads, and was staggered to find mature baobab and bottle trees inside the domes. “Who needs to go to Madagascar?,” wondered Roger (who has recently spoken to us about his trip to Madagascar). He understands that “planeloads” of plants were flown in from the United States to fill the gardens.

Various areas are given over to particular themes, including a perpetual spring garden (at 1 degree south of the equator!), gardens to represent the various national groups in Singapore such as Indian, Chinese and Malay, and plants used for medicine.

But it wasn’t all fun and games – Judy, who had a bad knee, found the distances too great and resorted to using a wheelchair, obtained from the visitor centre. That went well … until a fire alarm sounded when they were on a skyway (a raised pathway 22m off the ground that links two supertrees) and they could no longer use the lifts hidden inside the supertrees. So, Roger said, it was bump, bump, bump and slowly down the stairs.

He was impressed that all the outdoor areas were free with a $S28 charge to enter the domes and $S5 to access the skyway. The domes are open from 9am-9pm and the outdoor gardens from 5am-2am!

The Botanic Gardens, by contrast, are a “mere” 63ha. Founded in 1859, they have a renowned tree and palm collection and also include the National Orchid Garden, a ginger collection and a rainforest area. Roger noted plenty of Heliconias (not his favourites, apparently) and commented that the gardens were beautifully kept.

One of the reasons Roger wanted to visit the Botanic Gardens was because he had known the late John Ewart*, a commercial carnation grower inTauranga at the time Roger was starting out.

The gardens, open from 5am-midnight daily, are free with the orchid collection costing $S5 to visit.

“I would urge you all to get on a plane and go,” Roger said. “These gardens must be among the best in the world.”

*These details weren’t available at the meeting, but may be of interest. John Ewart went to Kew in 1934 to train and in 1937 was posted with the Colonial Agricultural Service to Singapore as assistant curator of the Botanic Gardens. He was on leave in New Zealand when Singapore fell in 1942 and was posted to Ghana with the task of increasing cocoa production. Two years later he joined the British Army and went to India before returning to Malaya. After demob, John resumed at the gardens as curator and agricultural officer. The gardens, although areas were used for vegetable growing by the Japanese, remained well cared for and largely intact during the occupation, thanks to the Japanese director who was a botanist. John died in Tauranga in 2001.

Te Puke Orchid Show, April 10-11

Thanks to the Bay of Plenty Society for running another successful show, ably organised by Elizabeth Bailey. The theme ‘Autumn Show Time’ certainly gave us a focus for organising our display. Using Conrad’s idea that highlighted a current popular book and movie, we presented ‘Fifty Shades of Autumn’. Many thanks to those who assisted over the weekend and to those who brought along their orchids. We had just the right number of plants to fill our stand and make a lovely presentation. Brian was pleased to report that table sales were very good.

Bay of Plenty Orchid Show Results 2015

Class 1 Sarcochilus: 1st Sarco. Cindy E. Bailey; 2nd Sarco. Cindy T & P Signal; 3rd Sarco. Cindy E. Bailey.

Class 2 Vandaceous: 1st Ascda. Blue Dream D. Hintz; 2nd Ascda. Sumon Gold x Kultana Gems D. Hintz; 3rd Neofinetia Thong Chai H. MacDonald.

Class 3 Dendrobium Species: 1st Den. subclausum K. Murray; 2nd Den. johnsoniae D. Hintz; 3rd Den. dichaeoides K. Murray. Class 4 Dendrobium hybrids: 1st Princess Sharon B & N Simmonds; 2nd Den. Sand Cay D. Hintz; 3rd Den. (no name) C. Christensen. Class 5 Dendrobium cuthbertsoniae: 1st E. Bailey; 2nd B. Liddy; 3rd E. Bailey.

Class 6 Standard Cattleyas: 1st C. Mrs J W Whitely D. Hintz; 2nd C. Empress x intermedia (=C. Louis Rabinowitz) D. Hintz; 3rd C. Rosemary Upton x C. Betty Webb. G. Leafberg. Class 7 Novelty Cattleyas: 1st Rth. Lee’s Ruby Leroy Orchids; 2nd C. Coastal Gold S. Simpson; 3rd C. Katherine Clarkson Leroy Orchids. Class 8 Miniature Cattleyas: 1st Rth. Free Spirit x C. Jungle Gem (=Rth. WOC Jungle Spirit) C. Christensen; 2nd C. Quantum Leap D. Hintz; 3rd C. Mini Beau D. Hintz.

Class 9 Paphiopedilum & Phragripedium: 1st Paph. maudiae C. Christensen; 2nd Phrag. Sedenii; 3rd Paph. (no name) B. Liddy.

Class 10 Masdevallias:  1st Masd. Funky Leopard B. Liddy; 2nd Pths. podoglossa C. Coenen; 3rd Masd. Paul Martinod T & P Signal.

Class 11 Phalaenopsis: 1st Phal. Ching Her Goddess x Don-dii B. Enticott; 2nd Phal. Golden Buddha x psilanntha B. Enticott;  3rd Phal. Barbara Moler x Dpts. Melba D. Hintz.

Class 12 Epidendrum: 1st Epic. Volcano Trick C. Christensen; 2nd Epi. Pacific Sunset E. Bailey; 3rd Epi (short type) D. Hintz.

Class 13 Brazilian Miltonias: 1st Milt. May Moir x Godale Moir E. Bailey; 2nd Milt. Aztec Evergreen x clowesii B. Curtis; 3rd Milt. bluntii J. Gilchrist.

Class 14 Oncidium & Intergenerics: 1st Onc. Sweet Sugar B. Curtis; 2nd Onc. Gower Ramsey C. Christensen; 3rd Onc. McKenzie Mountains E. Bailey.

Class 15 Small Flowered Species: 1st Onc. trilliferum C. Christensen; 2nd Stenoglottis C. Coenen; 3rd Gomesa crispa E. Bailey. Class 16 Large Flowered Species: 1st Cym. erythrostylum E. Bailey; 2nd C. dayana G. Leafberg; 3rd Paph. flavum S. Hatrick.

Class 17 Specimen Plant: 1st Milt. Moirmoir E. Bailey; 2nd C. Mrs. J W Whitely D. Hintz; 3rd Milt. bluntii J. Gilchrist.

Class 18 Any Other Genera: 1st W. amazonica Leroy Orchids; 2nd W. amazonica Leroy Orchids; 3rd W. amazonica Leroy Orchids.

Class 20 Tabletop Display: 1st Leroy Orchids; 2nd C. Christensen; 3rd G. Leafberg. Class 21 Large Display: 1st Bay of Plenty Orchid Society; 2nd Tauranga Orchid Society.

Champion Plant: Cattleya Lee’s Ruby Leroy Orchids. Reserve Champion: Onc. trilliferum C. Christensen.