Tauranga Orchid Show 2022

Part of the series of displays at the Tauranga Orchid Show. Photo: Sandra Simpson

People flooded through the doors of this year’s Tauranga Orchid Show, a wonderful sight for the organisers who no doubt breathed a sigh of relief (I’m a society member but not an organiser, only one of the many volunteers who help out). Plant sales tables were stripped bare over the course of the two days, which means everyone is happy – purchasers and the out-of-town vendors, some of who had travelled from Whangarei and Auckland.

There was a happy buzz in the room, the sort that happens when old friends get together again after a while apart. Food 101 ran a great little cafe during the show and the Racecourse venue was great, as always. Visitors this year though turned left instead of right to find the show and the new room, which is shaped differently to the other, gave the display a fresh look.

Grand Champion orchid was Paphiopedilum Fleuret Isles, grown by Cliff Goodchild, president of the BOP Orchid Society who lives in Whakatane. This plant also won Best Paphiopedilum and Best Specimen Plant. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Reserve Champion was Dendrobium Fortune Lady ‘Muse’ shown by Ninox Orchids of Whangarei. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Tania Langen of Ninox Orchids receives the Reserve Champion trophy from Tauranga Orchid Society president Conrad Coenen. Photo: Sandra Simpson

There were several new trophies awarded this year and the club was delighted that Susan Enticott, daughter of the late Brian Enticott, a Life Member, was present to award the cup donated in Brian’s name.

Susan Enticott (left) with Lee Neale, grower of Laelia jongheana ‘Heart’s Desire’, winner of the Brian Enticott Cup for Best Cattleya. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Odontioda Anna Clare, grown by Pam Signal of the Tauranga society, won the new Barry Curtis bowl for Best Oncidium Alliance. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Jo Dawkins (left) and Deborah Parkinson admire Dendrobium Limelight, grown by Cliff Goodchild, winner of the new Best Australian Dendrobium trophy. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Best Cymbidium was Cym. Fury Land ‘Fortius’ grown by Ninox Orchids.

Me? Well, I got a second place for my Dendrobium Berry x (Aussie Hero x Yondi) but that wasn’t the only warm moment. Turns out a remark I made about the colour of one of Leroy’s gorgeous plants being ‘cheerful’ at a previous show somewhere stuck with Lee Neale and that’s what she’s called the orchid. Talk about honoured!

Rhyncattleyanthe Leroy’s Sunset ‘Cheerful’. Photo: Sandra Simpson
One side of the Tauranga Orchid Society stand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Orchid evaporation

Tauranga has this weekend played host to a national seminar for orchid judges, which culminates this afternoon in the annual meeting of the Orchid Council of New Zealand. The Tauranga Orchid Society has organised not only a premises and display plants for the seminar, but also last night organised a dinner at the race-course for seminar registrants, as well as members of both the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty orchid societies, and it was a chance for the Tauranga group to mark its 35th birthday. (The seasoned members of the committee know what they’re about and it’s run like clockwork with very little input from committee newbies needed.)

Judges had come from all over the country – from the Bay of Islands to Otago and all points in between – for the seminar.

Guest speaker was Roy Walker who talked about “evaporation” as it applies to orchid society memberships throughout the country. Too many snowy tops in the room, he reckoned, and went on to challenge the Auckland region societies to increase their membership – having fewer than 1000 combined membership across four societies wasn’t good enough in an area with a population of more than 1 million – and the incoming national councillors to do something about making membership more attractive to younger people.

Roy’s talk caused cheers and, occasionally, jeers and one non-orchid person present commented that “some people in the room were not impressed”. I didn’t think I was hearing anything I hadn’t worked out for myself so maybe it was Roy’s somewhat idiosyncratic approach. Anyway, he did what a guest speaker should do – offered some laughs and was thought-provoking. Here is the evening in a few photos.

Roy Neale introduces guest speaker Roy Walker. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The New Zealand branch of the Cymbidium Society of America (CSA) took the opportunity to hand out awards from the parent organisation.

Joe Vance (left), president of the New Zealand CSA branch, presents an award to Conrad Coenen of Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Yvonne and Allan Rae of Palmerston North with their CSA awards. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Susan Tucker accepts two CSA awards from Joe Vance. Ross Tucker was in the audience but told to sit down and let Susan take the limelight for a change! Photo: Sandra Simpson

Betty Vance kisses away the tear that rolled down Joe’s cheek when the couple’s three CSA awards were announced – for orchids they bred themselves. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Lee Neale receives a CSA Award for Leroy Orchids from Joe Vance. Photo: Sandra Simpson

After a delicious roast meal, the Tauranga Orchid Society marked its 35th birthday with the cutting of an enormous carrot cake (in fact, there were two of the delicious things to make sure we had enough to go round) – founding president Ron Maunder did the honours.

Founding president of the Tauranga Orchid Society Ron Maunder (left) with current president Barry Curtis just before the cake cutting. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The final presentation was somewhat spontaneous as the recipient couldn’t be there until just as the evening was ending, but the surprise and delight on his face was lovely to see. Bill Pepperell of the Waikato Orchid Society has grown the bloom named as the New Zealand Orchid of the Year – Fredclarkeara After Dark ‘Toulmx’, a black orchid. See a photo here.

Bill Pepperell with his framed certificate and photo of his orchid, presented by Margaret Lomas of the Orchid Council of New Zealand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

And why were we all there, whether judges or not? For the love of these extraordinary plants and flowers …

Dracula wallisii grown by Audrey Hewson of Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Calanthe vestita, a terrestrial orchid that is deciduous, grown by Dennis Chuah of Auckland. Photo: Sandra Simpson

An orchid that looks more like a bromeliad or a hosta – Stenorrhynchos speciosum is native to Mexico and Central America. Photo: Sandra Simpson

This ball of Epidendrum porpax was transported carefully from and to New Plymouth by Joy Wray. Photo: Sandra Simpson

To find out where your nearest orchid society is in New Zealand, click here.