March 1998

Milton Carpenter’s Visit -

Last month, Milton Carpenter Executive Vice President of the American Orchid Society was our speaker. Since he was in town for three days Ben Machado made arrangements for Milton and his wife Nancy to visit the orchid collection at the San Diego Zoo. After a day of soaking rain, I wasn’t sure it was such a great idea at the time to volunteer to accompany them, but I wanted to see the new orchid greenhouse area. It has just recently been renovated, enlarged and made wheelchair accessible, new benches, some excellent murals, new fans etc.

Actually when we arrived at the Zoo Wednesday morning it was bright and sunny, not a cloud, and a slight breeze. The day before it was raining so hard, I thought to myself if my own greenhouse washes away I can always raise trout back here. It was wet!! And fast!! And deep!!

Mike Bostwick, of the Horticulture Department at the San Diego Zoo met us at the main gate, and escorted us to the orchid greenhouses. On the way we walked through the area north of the flamingos where many orchid plants are mounted in the trees. Just a couple weeks before a nice plant of Laelia superbiens was rescued from going out the gate with a visitor to the zoo. They had climbed a wall and a large tree trunk to reach it and snatched off about a five bulb piece!

On to the greenhouses we went, where we met Janette Gerrity, Senior Gardener and Panda “Expert”. Janette has the enviable job of taking care of the Zoo’s Orchid Collection. And the plants are looking great. She is assigned only 14 hours a week, and a zoo volunteer Monty Brice puts in about a day a week there repotting and the like. Monty has been doing this for at least the last four years that I can remember, and the collection would not be the same without his excellent volunteer efforts.

Another 16 hours a week of Janettes time is taking care of and monitoring the two Chinese Pandas. Now that the female is suspected of being pregnant, Janette has to collect all the Panda dodo, weigh it and record all those momentous events!! All in all, keeping track of the recycling of bamboo by the Pandas, both wet and dry cycles made the tending to the Pandas seem a lot less attractive to me.

If you get time, you must stop by on the third Friday of any month for a look at the orchid collection. Also in the month or April we will have two days a week to view the orchid houses, they will be open special every Friday and Sunday during Balboa Parks “Buds and Bloom” event. This is a great time for all of you to visit. 10 AM to 4 PM each Friday and Sunday. And you will probably meet some of our society members volunteering time there to talk about the collection with visitors and also to keep an eye on the plants themselves. If you would like to help in this event, contact Fred Weber who will coordinate our volunteers for all month long with the Zoo Group.

Total sturdy new benches and supports , a very non slip, wheelchair accessible walk throughout the greenhouse, new fans etc. really made the area a dream come true for Janette. All this up date was from a grant donated specifically for the orchid area by an anonymous lady donor. I don’t know who she is but thanks a million for the assistance to the zoo. I think the total grant was around a $20,000 donation.

She also commissioned two new murals for the orchid houses. These were painted by one of the zoo employees, Lorena Walton, who shows considerable talent. If I could paint like that there is no telling what the inside of my house would look like!!! And when you visit, see if you can find the surprise visitor in the mural with the two large parrots! A little something you would not ordinarily find in a tropical jungle!!

There were probably 300 species Paphiopedilums in full bloom. Janette shares them with the rest of the world by locating blooming orchids around the Zoo. If you decide to dine at Albert’s Restaurant at the Zoo you will find lots of large orchid plants there in full bloom, and a nice sign to explain what they are and where the zoo got them. This month there were lots of Paph. wardii blooming. These were all plants that were confiscated somewhere and sent to the Zoo for safekeeping. 200 Paph., wardii in bloom all at the same time is quite spectacular.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Show Programs - Jungle Gems - 1998

Bud Close has some of the new programs for the coming show. If you would like to have one to plan your plant exhibits, get a hold of Bud and he will see that you get one. Thirty six pages of information about the show, maps of both the show area and the sales areas, and a list of show officials, society officers, as well as ads from all our faithful newsletter advertisers. etc. are all contained.

This years program has been completely revised and put in a new format. Recently reviewed by Paul Bechtel, head of the AOS West Coast Judges and updated with his suggestions, it carries several more categories than previous years. The Specimen Plant and the Species will be handled slightly different this year so get your program and read.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

SDCOC Board of Directors Meeting

February 10, 1998

Present: Fred Weber, Leno Galvan, Edith Galvan, Christopher Herndon, Ben Machado, Esther Sivila, Alma Marosz, Bud Close and Siv Garrod.

Meeting called to order by Ben Machado at 7:15 P.M.


1. Last meetings minutes were read and approved.

2. Treasurer report was read, accepted and filed for audit. Our auditor, Patricia Warren estimated our sales tax to be $735.

3. First Vice President - Marguerite Webb from J&L will be the speaker at the March meeting. J&L will provide the plants for the raffle.

4. Second Vice President - Dave Reid will talk about Cattleya culture at the Novice class.

5. Show Chairman - Heying and Associated billed us for half of the cost for advertising and tickets. Most vendors have submitted their fees for the boots. A fire permit request was submitted. The Saturday dinner plans have been formalized. Photographers will be permitted between 8 and 9 A.M. on Saturday.


1. A bus trip to Zuma Canyon is being considered. Fred Weber and Ben Machado are working on the details.


1. Byron Geer has offered to donate a projector to the SDCOS. The meeting was adjourned 7:50 P.M.Submitted by Siv Garrod (I, Harry, really want to thank Siv for being so reliable with these board minutes, it really helps get the info. out in a timely manner.)


by Cindy Hill, SDCOS Show Display Coordinator

We will need to display at least 100 blooming orchids to show off the society's "Jungle Gems" exhibit at its best. Any kind is fine; especially would like some Cattleyas and Paphiopedilums.

a. Plants should be cleaned up (leaves clean and dead backbulbs removed) and flowers open.

b. Be sure the plants are fully watered when you bring them.

c. Mark the pot clearly with Your Name on masking tape.

d. Plants in the display are also eligible for ribbon judging.

e. Bring your plants to the Scottish Rite exhibit area by 8PM Thursday, or 9AM Friday at the latest.

f. Plants can be picked up after the show closes at 5PM on Sunday (If you can't pick them up then, let us know and we'll make sure they are cared for until you can.)

Your beautiful orchids will make the SDCOS display outstanding. Thank you for your help, and your plants! Cindy

Jungle Gems -

There is still time and space for you to sign up as a volunteer at our annual show, Jungle Gems. Don’t forget, all the Perks you get as a member of our club come from the money we make at these shows. There is some talk of a bus trip to Zuma Canyon Orchids although I think we need someone to take the reins here and with the Board’s approval, get the thing organized. Many would go, few will organize.

Bus trips are a great form of entertainment for society members. But it takes a person well organized to make all the arrangements for trips like this. Anyone volunteer to set one or more trips up??? Contact Fred Weber if you can. Let’s get something going!!!

Get your orchids in shape for the show now. Clean them up and make sure there are no bugs or your plant will be screened even before the show starts. No bugs is a must so look them over carefully. A light application of Sun Ultra Fine Spray Oil would be good about now! We are trying to find decorated pots to loan out during the show, but the best advice here is to get your own and sit your plants in them during the show. A little sphagnum moss around the top will make a nice looking entry for the show.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Conservation Committee -

by Harry, Editor

We will have a booth run by members at the show. These people are all interested in orchid conservation and work this booth to raise money that is ear marked for various projects around the world. To do this, they need donated orchid plants or divisions and related items. No tomato plants for this one, just orchids.

If you have plants and can’t get them to the area, call either Peter Tobias 276-0605 or Ron Kaufmann 270-7584 and they will come pick up the plants or divisions anytime you want from now to just before the show. They will groom them and grow them until show time and then they will haul them down to the show and sell them.

The last project for the group was money donated in our society name to a project in New England that is growing Cypripediums from seed and reintroducing them into the wild. So Ron and Peter have made it about as painless as possible, see what you can do to assist in this booth.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Our Society Display at the Annual Show -

by Harry, Editor

Cindy Hill made a request to all members at the last meeting in January. We will have a ten foot x ten foot display in the show featuring plants from any of our members who will take the time to bring them down to the show. We would naturally like to have a lot of plants for showing, and if you can’t pick them up after the show we will take them home until you can come by and pick them up from one of the members of our society. They will be watched at all times, we have a good security force to see that none of them wander out the doors. (and we can always use more help there!)

There is no particular plant we need, just blooming orchids, and they don’t have to be show stoppers either. A mass display looks great overflowing with plants, and after all, we are the San Diego County Orchid Society, we should have a big display. See if you can round up at least one plant for this display, and leave instructions as to how you want it handled after the show to get it back to you.

Contact Cindy at 481 5782 to make arrangements or for further information.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Speaking of Show Time! - (Running this again this month because it was obvious to me some of you didn’t read it last month!!!) by Harry, Editor Now that we know the show’s are coming, we should be preparing our plants, grooming if you want, to show them in the best manner possible. It’s really tacky to bring a plant that has pests on it like scale of mealy bug, and you will probably find that plant pulled from the show, so don’t bring any buggy stuff ok?

I have already started staking new growths on plants that might make it at show time. How can we really tell, not possible, but a clue would be “what time did it bloom last year?” That will get you off so you are not working on plants that bloom in November (yet!). By staking them with strong sticks or stakes, you can separate the growths so the flowers will have more room to spread. Put the stake where you want the plant growth to be and wire it with a plant tie or a piece of phone wire. You can actually tug the new growth a bit to divert it’s growth, and if you don’t get it where you want it the first time, try a couple days later and you can pull it a bit more.

Staking the buds as soon as they show is also handy. If left until after the flowers are open they don’t have as natural a look, the flowers are generally turned or twisted a bit, where flowers staked in advance will have a more natural appearance.

Clean the leaves. Wipe them with a solution of a tablespoon of skim milk in a glass of water. This will get the dust and debris off of the leaf and leave a nice appearance, slightly shiny, or you can use Sun Ultra Fine Spray Oil which will not only make sure there are no live pests, but shine the leaves as well. Trim brown ends.

Strip off the old sheaves that are brown and “papery”, and clip off brown leaf tips or old brown growths. Pull ALL the weeds, or at least clip them off at mix level so they won’t show during the show. Sometimes a fresh top dressing of new mix will help. If the old mix is loose enough to take of a half inch or so, put some new stuff on top to make it look nice and fresh, (we won’t tell).

If your pot is old and shows signs of mineral buildup around the drain holes or top edge either clean it with a solution of Epsom Salts, about a tablespoon to a gallon of water, or put that pot in a bigger clean pot. That can either be a decorative clay pot or a large wicker basket of some kind that will cover the actual pot the plant is in.

If you choose a new plain or decorative clay pot make it a couple of inches larger in diameter so you can fill that area between the pot the plant is in and the newer one with a new bark mix. When you get it home you can remove all of this and use the bark to repot this plant or others. You can also use Sphagnum Moss to fill these areas instead. Both the new moss and the new bark make your presentation look much nicer, hence the show in general will improve.

Costco has some ceramic pots, very large, very heavy and they were there this month, January, as I’m writing this. There were three sizes in a stack, and they were very decorative, $9 gets you all three, seemed like a steal to me.

Another method is to use the wicker baskets. There are many decorative or plain kinds of these available all over town. Floral supply places carry them, Pier 1 Imports, etc. and they are really handy at home for showing off your blooming plants when you bring them in the house. Sit your plant in the middle and fill the surrounding area with Sphagnum Moss and presto a great display.

If you have a little short plant that will be in flower, look around from now till show time for a nice riser you might put your plant on to get it up in the judges eye line. Anything to attract attention to a small plant will help, but no Christmas lights please!

Some wrap their pots in decorative foil, or decorative wrapping paper, it’s not a very natural look but it will help the overall picture. So now’s the time to start on this kind of grooming, and the best part is you may get to shop around a little, whoopie!

Novice Class Meeting, March 3rd, 1998, Case del Prado, Balboa Park
6:30 P.M. Room 104 - by Chris Herndon, 2nd VP

Dave Reid will do a talk on Cattleyas, culture and repotting of same.

Posters and Tickets for the Annual Show -

by Harry, Editor

These are available now! Come to the next meeting and you can pick up Presale Discount Tickets to pass out for your friends, regular show tickets and posters.

We have $1 discount tickets available free for your friends. You may take whatever you want and distribute them to your friends, or ask one of your favorite businesses to put them on their counter so their customers can pick up some. When they bring those coupons to the show in Mission Valley, that coupon and $4 will pay for the $5 ticket price, they save a buck!

We also have regular tickets available for all society members who wish to participate. Buy four at $5 each and get a free one to give to friends or use it yourself if you can sell the others to friends and associates.

And to help you “sell” we have free posters for you. Take up to three and you may keep them if you wish, but it would help if you can get your business or your favorite business to hang the beautiful full color poster up where their customers can see it. That poster, and a handful of discount coupons for them should really help out our show attendance.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Species Group Meetings - March 7th

by Harry, Editor

The meeting will be held at Paul & Ann Tuskes, 3808 Sioux Avenue, San Diego, CA 92117 Phone (619) 274 5829 For more information. 9 A.M. Sharp, Saturday March 7th. Bring some kind of breakfast goodie to share with the rest of the folks. Always good eats, good friends and good orchid talk. Hope to see you there.

February 7th we all met at Sima Perkins beautiful home in La Mesa. A joint order for plants from a new nursery in Brazil was discussed. Anyone wishing to order some species from there contact Peter Tobias. He had the catalog which showed some excellent prices, and if 100 plants are ordered there is a considerable discount. Enough to pay the postage anyway!!

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!

Sorry, Couldn’t Let This Pass! -

by Harry, Editor

Here's one for you! I was told by a member of the Board that someone voiced an opinion that it was a real coincidence that the mini show was moved to a new date, and Tolen, Kenner, Close, Galvan and Pierwola had a sale on that date. I don't know who it was, but here's your answer. You're dead wrong in your assumptions!

The sale was planned and held on the second weekend of the month! It is no coincidence that the sale was on the day it was held, the week BEFORE the mini show is usually held! That was planned that way because just about all of us will be working at the mini show (will you?)

The Park Department saw fit to move the mini show from the normal third weekend in the month to the fourth week end of the month, without asking our society. Sounds like this guy is about as bright as Alaska in December! By the way, the park department CANCELLED our July mini show too without asking!! Some of us are looking for an alternate place to have the July mini show. If anyone has any suggestions or friends with central location that would let our society hold such a thing let Fred Weber know.

Jungle Gems - March 13th, 14th and 15th - Bring plants to show!!!


By Ben Machado, 1st VP

In spite of those torrential El Niņo rains SDCOS still had a good turn out for the monthly general meeting. Plus there was a generous supply of “Show and Tell” orchids on display. The Show and Tell is sure a nice way to share with all the other orchid enthusiasts the ultimate of each individual growers effort; orchids in full bloom. Share, share, share, that’s what we’re all about, sharing those blossoms or sharing cultural techniques, as a society we’re all about sharing with each other. What better way than to share those new booms! This is where everyone in the SDCOS has the opportunity to show other members the fruit of their labor and extend a helping hand to fellow members. Keep bringing in those bloomers, swell your chest with pride and share a little something with your fellow enthusiasts.

Milton Carpenter, our guest speaker, turned out to be quite the entertainer. Apparently, not only is he able to conduct himself with the duties of the Executive Vice President for the American Orchid Society, he also remains straightforward at the grass roots level. Maybe it’s a carryover from his past life as an insurance salesman or maybe it was just some of his down to earth country upbringing coming through. He said both he and Mel Tellis were born and raised in Pahoki, Fl. Pahoki doesn’t even show up in the CD reference library because it’s a city of less than 25,000 population!

His presentation first stared out with something about himself and how he ended up as an AOS judge for the last 20 years. He claims to be just another involved orchid hobbyist who had to move from one home to another because he needed more room for his orchids. The present home has enough property to include 8,000 square feet of greenhouses. This is what he referred to as the house the orchids built. His business, Everglades Orchids, is located on the property in Belle Gardens, FL.

Belle Gardens gets hot and stays hot for 5 months of the year. Temperatures routinely reach 105° to 110° in his greenhouses during the day in spite of using shade cloth material and fans and wet walls. That’s why his interest in warmth tolerant Oncidiinae which is exactly what his presentation was all about. Selecting the warmth tolerant Oncidiums for cross pollinization with other less heat tolerant species of Odontoglossum, Brassia and Miltonia. The results have been spectacular to say theleast. He showed slide after slide of hybrids flourishing in the Florida heat that would normally be attributed in appearance to the cooler growing Odontoglossum varieties.

Of course the San Diego weather no where near approaches the severity of Florida conditions but San Diego is still a long way from being known as a cool growing climate. So we all have an appreciation for the value of these fine heat tolerant Oncidiinae alliance. To satisfy that insatiable urge you can reach Orchidglades Orchids through their address in Orchids the Magazine of the American Orchid Society or look up their web site at Another way to satisfy that Orchid urge is to contact some of the advertisers in our bulletin. They may not have the same exact articles Milton showed and spoke about but they would surely be available to provide advice on similar heat tolerant Oncidiinae that would do well in our area.

Partaking of his AOS duties, Milton also gave us a very warm “Thank You” for our donation to the AOS building fund. He showed several perspective drawings of proposals for the new headquarters building. He said emphasis was being placed on providing a suitable facility that will be of value to all the AOS membership.

March 3, 1998 - 7:30 PM - Casa Del Prado - Room 101
By Ben Machado, 1st VP

It’s time for something different and this month it’s going to be different. We’re having one of the nations leading authorities of miniatures as our guest speaker. Plus there is the added advantage of interest since this speaker is coming all the way from Easton Connecticut and will of course have the “Eastern perspective” on cool growing miniatures. Check in the January edition of Orchids the Magazine of the American Orchid Society on page 10 for the “Back to Basics, Masdevallia” article written by Marguerite Webb of J&L Orchids. She is our guest speaker and will make a presentation titled “Miniature Orchids”.

Here’s what Marguerite has to say about herself: “I have been growing orchids for nearly 25 years and have been one of three partners in J&L Orchids for the past 19 years. At J&L we specialize in miniatures and compact growing orchids and my particular interest is with Masdevallias and related genera. I lecture on those subjects and enjoy writing articles for Orchids the Magazine of the American Orchid Society. I am married and have two sons age 12 and 15”.

Marguerite will also provide plants for our Plant Opportunity table, a variety of plants from their regular catalog stock with special emphasis on warm growers to include Oncidiums, Dendrobiums, African species, Masdevallias, Encyclias and others. Everyone will also have the added advantage of a sampling of her stock before the General Meeting between 7 and 7:30.

If you have a particular interest and want Marguerite to bring something for you, you can reach her by E-mail at

Don’t forget to bring those bloomers for “Show and Tell”.

Entry To The Show Sales Area -

by Harry, Editor

The Show Chairman has warned me to warn you, there will be NO unauthorized entry into the sales area before the show opens. There will be security posted at all doors. No sales booth, no entry into the sales area. There also will be no entry into the sales area during the show without a show ticket this year. There will be security posted to see to that also. So if you plan to buy plants, you better have a ticket. Why? This is to make sure everyone has an equal chance at the plants being offered for sale. Please those of you working the show, do not bring friends in early to the sales area, we expect everyone who takes advantage of having these vendors here to purchase a ticket.

Here’s The Scoop On Scoops!!

by Harry,

An easy way to get lots of scoops you can use for bark, planter mix, perlite, or other such media as you might be using, is to cut up some of the big plastic bottles you have left over from whatever.

Here are shown Clorox bottles, in a couple of different versions. The one at right is used to scoop stryofoam peanuts, the version shown at left is for bark or perlite etc. With the pictures I think you can do it yourself. A pair of scissors is all that is needed! Great Clorox ad eh?

stryofoam peanuts scoop

bark or perlite etc