Meeting: February 5th, Speaker: Mike Owens Topic: Orchids of the Fakahatchee

Mike Owen has been Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park biologist since 1994. His primary focus is collecting data relating to the survival, distribution and reproductive habits of the native and exotic animals, as well as plants like the ferns, orchids, peperomia and bromeliads (some, such as the ghost orchid, which are extremely rare).  Mike will be sharing his experiences and insights as well as photos of this beautiful and unique environment.

With help from park staff and other supporters, he documents and studies fluctuations of water levels, fire and weather events, the effects of exotic species invasions, topography and the importance of maintaining the biological diversity of this area, which includes the greater Everglades and Big Cypress ecosystems. He continues to contribute greatly to the scientific knowledge of the area, most of which had never been documented before. He offers visitors an introduction to the many wonders of the region and is famous for his guided swamp walks which delight visitors from around the world. Mike Owen photo

Meeting: Wednesday January 8th at 7:00pm

Jim Roberts - Suncoast OrchidsSpeaker: Jim Roberts

Topic: “A Few Encyclias to Enjoy”

  Jim Roberts is probably well known to many of our members, as he’s been our presenter twice before, each time being so well received that members clamored for his return. Jim is the owner of Florida Suncoast Orchids, located near Myakka City where he grows Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Vanda and Encyclia orchids in in his three greenhouses encompassing 10,000 square feet. The greenhouses are open only by appointment, but Jim exhibits at numerous shows throughout the state and his plants can be found at local markets in our area. He specializes in Cattleya and Encyclia hybrids, most in 4-inch and 6-inch pots and baskets, with both larger and smaller sizes usually available. Jim always strives to grow and sell the best quality orchids for his customers and to build a lasting reputation in the industry as one of the very best. Once again, his presentation will be enjoyed by both beginner and intermediate/advanced growers. Jim will bring a great selection of his best orchids for sale and you should check out his website,, for lots of information, beautiful photos and ordering plants online. Jim will be accepting email preorders for orchids on his website which he will then bring to the January meeting and is offering a 10% discount on all purchases.  Don’t wait too long!! Deadline for preorders is Jan. 2, 2014. This is a great opportunity to support one of our few remaining local growers!

Growers Meeting December 12th, 2013

Thursday, December 12th  Growers Clinic:   7:00 PM at the Venice Community Center (room in back of bldg).

Orchid Growing Made Easy – Open discussion about your concerns – watering, light, fertilizer, repotting, pests.

Bring a plant that concerns you for advice from “Dr. Jimmy”.

VAOS Holiday Party

No formal meeting this month – except our Holiday Party!!

Saturday, December 7thPlease reserve by Dec 1st so we have the exact count. 

See info. Below. *****

Come and celebrate our VAOS year! Singles, Friends, Partners and Couples welcome!  Listen to some fine music by our fine musicians.  Bring your cash for our amazing blooming orchids auction.  Dance if you can – or watch others!  Listen to your favorite songs by request!

Time:  5:30 – 9:00+

Cost:  $25 per member; cash bar.   Send your reservation by Dec. 1*****

Where:  Boca Royale Golf and Country Club – in the Fairway Dining Room

1601 Englewood Rd #1, Englewood, FL.  Directions:  From Venice, Take State Rd776 towards Englewood. Go 4.5 miles; See club on the left; Make U-turn at Alameda Grande. Club on the right

          5:30: Happy Hour with Cash Bar

Enjoy talking with your colleagues and listen to wonderful music!

View Palmer’s blooming orchids for auction later in the evening

          6:30 Dinner (Choice of One Entree) See the 2013 VAOS Year-in-Review Slide Show 

Beef – Prime Rib of Beef — with Starch and Veggies

Chicken Marsala – with Starch and Veggies

Salmon with Dill Sauce – with Starch and Veggies

Other options:  Vegetarian Meal or Gluten free (Beef, Chicken, or Salmon Dinner)

Hot Rolls, Butter, Beverage (coffee, tea, iced tea, water) & Chocolate Trilogy Dessert

7:45-8:30  Auction of Blooming Orchids with Bill Timm, Auctioneer

Followed by more music! 

*****Please reserve by Dec 1st so we have the exact count ($25 per person)

Send to:

Ali Hicks, VAOS, P.O. Box 443, Venice, FL 34284  Indicate on your check your entrée choice


Meeting Wednesday November 6th at 7:00 p.m.

  • Speaker: Ted Kellogg
  • Topic: Orchid Names from Lan to Lorenara  

Ted needs no introduction, having contributed to our society for many years and currently serving as Immediate Past President and Webmaster. He is an active AOS judge and has been growing orchids and sharing his knowledge and experience for nearly 50 years.

Recorded orchid names have existed for over 2500 years. Through these years, the names people give orchids have continually changed. Ted will give a brief history of how we got to the names we use today. He’ll define and illustrate the ways names of orchid species and hybrids originate and are changed. Examples of commonly grown genera will be illustrated. Ted will address the reasons for the recent changes in orchid names and what the orchid pot name tag at a big box store really means. The intent of his presentation is to help both new and more experienced orchid growers understand the nature of orchid names.

We had planned to hold a Members’ Market at our monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 6, where members would have the opportunity to sell their orchids and supplies.

Due to a lack of participants, with members perhaps wanting to hold their orchids for the upcoming show season, we reluctantly had to cancel the planned event.

In its place, two of our members and one of our local growers will be selling orchids and orchid-themed items as below:

Carol Marcus will be selling cards, art and other items perfect for holiday giving. Carol created the beautiful poster for our 2014 “Orchid Paradise” Show and Sale which was featured in our November newsletter.

Jane Camarota will have a selection of purses for sale with the proceeds benefitting the Orchid Boutique.

Plantio La Orquidea will be selling orchids for those members who were unable to visit their huge orchid sale last weekend. A number of our members went to the sale and reported that they were dazzled by the quality, huge selection and excellent prices.

Ted Kellogg photo