The George Preston Recreation Centre in Brookswood smelled of fresh blooms all weekend thanks to the Fraser Valley Orchid Society fall show.
The event titled, ‘An Orchid is Born’ brought in vendors throughout British Columbia, including an international vendor from Taiwan, who displayed their plants on Saturday and Sunday at the Langley facility for orchid-lovers old and new to admire and purchase.
Frances Raphael, show chairperson for the society, said the annual event takes all year to plan.
“The members of the various societies will bring the plants that they probably cultured for the last year and are lucky enough to have in bloom at the right time for the show,” she laughed.
On Saturday expert judges from the American Orchid Society (AOS) scored all the plants.
“To grow an orchid really well it takes a fair bit of knowledge and a lot of attention and time,” said Raphael, adding that the vendors are just pleased to have been recognized for their work.
But Raphael said you don’t need to be an expert to grow an orchid, and depending on the type of plant it will be in bloom at different times during the year.
“You look at what you have as an environment to grow your plant… you’re going to live in your house, your own way. You make the plant fit your house not the other way around,” she said. “Although a lot of orchid-lovers do start working the other way around.”
The event drew about 500 people, according to organizers, and every person who attended walked out with a plant, some with multiple plants.
“Anybody can grow almost anything here,” she said.
Raphael emphasized the importance of events like the fall show to support local vendors so orchids remain accessible to the public.
“Part of the reason we grow these plants is so we can share them because we love them, they’re beautiful and we want other people to see them,” she said.
For more information about the society and tips about growing orchids visit www.fraservalleyorchidsociety.com.