The Hi-Country Orchid Club is coming together to welcome everyone into the world of their lovely obsession.
As I walked in to my first ever Hi-Country Orchid Club Meeting, I did not know what to expect, but I was delighted at what I experienced. People stood around a diverse spread of blooming orchids and chatted happily as they waited for the meeting to begin. The meeting (which occurs once a month or less during the summer) took place in the vibrant back yard that belongs to John Hamill, an Orchid Club member.
Sylvia, club member, explains that “meetings occur at members’ houses which allows everyone to see the different ways of growing. Meetings include a short business section, followed by show-and-tell of member’s blooming plants, a short program about some orchid topic, and then ends with simple refreshments allowing members to mingle.”
My personal favorite part of the meeting was the show-and-tell! People proudly presented their exquisite plants and discussed their specific variety. The supportive group is made up of diverse people who all have one thing in common: a love for orchids.
“Hi-County Orchid Club connects me with like-minded Orchid folk,” explains Orchid Club member, Vickie. “It has been a great source of information allowing me to sink further into the orchid addiction. Everyone is very helpful with orchid related questions or concerns. We are associated with the American Orchid Society, which is another great resource for growers. We participate in orchid shows, which are a lot of fun and another opportunity to learn more about orchids. One doesn’t have to be an expert or grow specific species in order to participate. Everyone is welcome.”
I was blown away that this group has been able to coordinate and share their passion for orchids with each other. I was filled with a million questions. How did the club begin? What are the member responsibilities? How do people join?
Dennis, a long time Orchid Club member says that the club was started by locals who owned a flower shop and collaborated with people from CSU. When the group began, it was “strident in their desire to share knowledge while keeping the group free of rules and dues common to other more formalized groups,” explains Dennis. “That philosophy continues today with the exception of charging a $5 annual fee to cover the cost of American Orchid Society membership for the club.”
People who join the club have an opportunity to join a passionate and supportive community, but the members don’t just enjoy the comradery. They also receive recognition for the beautiful flowers that result from their collaborative hard work and knowledge.
“The Club has always been a strong supporter of regional orchid shows with displays of members’ plants,” explains Dennis. “The Club and members have been rewarded for their efforts with many awards and prizes for displays and plants given by the American Orchid Society and regionally-based orchid societies.”
Don’t let their competitive success daunt you from joining, though! “Members, then and now, range from brand new orchid purchasers to those with stunning collections that fill small to moderate sized greenhouses,” says Dennis.
All are welcome!
Being among orchids is awe inspiring. From tiny orchids that fairies could put in their hair to mammoth-sized plants, this society has it all! Reach out to the club here for more information!