Get close to orchids this weekend

11/03/2012 6:39 AM

11/03/2012 7:01 AM

How about a flower show this weekend to chase away those standard-time blues? I will love the extra hour of sleep Saturday but will be looking for that lost hour of light every day until we get it back.

The Kansas Orchid Society thoughtfully plans a distraction with a fall show and sale Saturday and Sunday at Botanica. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the show is free. (Botanica admission will be charged if you want to go out into the gardens.)

If you went to the orchid extravaganza in the spring, when the society hosted a national meeting and regional show at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, you will get a more focused look at the flowers this weekend.

“This is a good place to get up close and personal with them,” said Sarah Pratt of the orchid society and owner of Timbucktoo Orchids of Sedgwick. Most of the growers will be local, and most of the plants for sale were grown locally.

“This is a tabletop show which, rather than having the big exhibits or displays, which are lovely and mixed up, will be in classes – the purple cats (cattleyas) and phalaenopsis will be together. It’s probably a little easier for the general public to get a feel for what judges think are pretty,” Pratt said. The general public also will get to vote on its favorite orchid, and that, too, will probably be easier, she said.

“There’s very little artistry – it’s the plants themselves.”

Bird’s Botanicals from Kansas City, Prairie Orchids from El Dorado and Timbucktoo will have plants for sale, including those in bud and bloom that should flower through Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as seedlings for those who want to try orchids and don’t want to spend a lot, Pratt said. There also will be supplies, fertilizer, some pots – and “weird stuff” for sale.

Pratt pointed out that after the poinsettia, phalaenopsis orchids are the most popular blooming potted plant.

“It’s great if you like to grow them,” she said. “And if you kill them, we’ll make more.”

The weather also is stellar for gardening outside, for planting bulbs and watering and mulch-mowing leaves and starting a compost pile. This also is a good time to clean up tropicals and annuals that have succumbed to frosty nights, perhaps adding them to that compost pile.

I’ve been surprised, though, that annuals that I thought were goners – including some of my vinca – have somehow revived in this week’s warmer weather. I love them even more for that and will use them as a lifeline as long as I can.

About Annie Calovich

Annie writes about home and garden, including her Bit of Earth column on Saturdays. She has been at The Eagle since 1985, working as a copy editor, a nation/world editor and a reporter. She’s a KU graduate who started out at The Coffeyville Journal.

Contact Annie at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com

Follow Annie on Twitter: @AnnieCalovich

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