Who said orchids are for nannas?
Chelsea Ryan, 7, fell in love with the flowers on show at the Beaudesert Districts Orchid and Foliage Society autumn show at Canungra School of Arts Hall on the weekend.
“They’re all so pretty. I love the colours and the smells,’’ she said.
“Chelsea just loves flowers. That’s one of the reasons why we’re here today,’’ said her grandma Janette McKeon.
“We love to get out in the sunshine and work in garden together.’’
About 600 people attended the weekend show that featured more than 100 orchids and 200-plus foliage plants. Attendees included members of a friendship group visiting from the United States.
“I’ve been to plenty of flower shows at home, but I’ve never seen such colour and variety,’’ said Louanne King, from Dallas, Texas.
The show’s grand prize winner Jimmy Zimmerman, 88, of Southport, has been growing orchids for 50 years.
“I got my first in 1964 and had to learn how to care for it. I suppose I’ve got 6-800 out in my bush house now,’’ he said.
“A dear friend once told me he’s rather grow orchids than lettuce. ‘I can go away for a month and leave them without water and they’re still OK. If I did the same to a lettuce they’d all be dead’. I’ve found his advice to be spot on,’’ he laughed.
Beaudesert Districts Orchid and Foliage Society holds two shows a year at Canungra. Members hail from Beaudesert, Jimboomba, Tamborine, Redlands and the Gold Coast. Their blooms range from the exotic to those that can be found in local bushland.
Show secretary Peter Rice calls himself a ‘a fern man’ but can understand why so many people love orchids.
“Just look around you,” he said.
“There are so many colours and varieties from those with massive blooms others with flowers so small you need a magnifying glass to see them.
“People who grow orchids tend to know their flowers as well as they might know a friend. They know exactly how much water to give them, when to fertilise and when it’s best to move them into the bush house.’’
Mr Rice, who is also treasurer of Jimboomba Garden Society, said though orchid growers were were growing older, indications were that a new generation would take up the torch.
Emily Kinnish, 11, of Mt Tamborine, won a swag of prizes for entries in fern and orchid categories.
Her ‘Big Ben’ orchid, with complete with massive purple blooms placed in a category that was won by her mum Karen and in which her grandmother, Pam, placed third.
“I have 62 plants here in the show and won three seconds and four third places,’’ she said.
Emily’s parents run Windemere Orchids at Mt Tamborine.
“Emily’s a fourth-generation orchid grower so there’s not a lot she doesn’t know,’’ said her proud mum Karen.
“She can tell you almost anything you want to know about propagation and she’s even doing some work for us in the lab.
“Her grandmother’s father Norman Morely was also an orchid grower.’’