Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 – 7:00 pm

Ted Kellogg:  Ribbon Judging – Putting Your Best Plant Forward

I’ve enclosed a picture of a ‘blue ribbon’ Cypripedium acule growing in Rhode Island.  Of cypacule1course, any orchid plant surviving in the wild and reproducing is a winner in Nature’s Show.  This plant, blooming in 2011, in a forest cemetery was among many others of the same genus.  No other species of orchid was in bloom at that time. It was the only one with the very dark colored pouch.  If a team of orchid judges had been asked to place blue, red and yellow ribbons on the best Cypripedium acule growing in this natural setting, the plant pictured would have received the blue ribbon.

But what if those judges were looking at an orchid show with many exhibits.  If they had been at the Venice 2016 show, they would have seen 214 plants entered for ribbon judging.  The registration committee had placed each of these plants into one of 90 groups (classes).  The classes held from 1 to 13 plants each.  A team of orchid judges looked at each class and awarded blue-1st, red-2nd, or yellow-3rd ribbons as they wished.  What criteria did they use?  Sometimes a class with 1 entry got a red or yellow ribbon, or maybe didn’t get a ribbon.  Why?  Sometimes the judges decided two plants in a class each deserved a blue ribbon.

What did the judges look at?  Why was one plant awarded higher than another?  I’ll try to explain what the judges consider in ribbon judging.  I’ll give suggestions for you to impress the judges that you have put your best plants forward.

Orchid Envy, one of our own local growers here in Venice, will have a great selection of quality plants for sale.

Venice Community Center.  Doors open at 6:30.

Meeting Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 — 7:00 pm

Fred Clarke – Sunset Valley Orchids

“Today’s Mini and Compact Cattleyas”

Fred Clarke has been growing orchids for 33 years and has been hybridizing for 25 of those years. With over 25 years as a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry, Fred applies these skills at his orchid nursery: Sunset Valley Orchids, located in San Diego, California.


Cattleyas come in many colors and shapes and the mini and compact cattleyas dazzle and sparkle with their diminutive size, robust growth and presentation. Fred will discuss the most important breeding plants and their influence on the present day hybrids available to the orchid enthusiast.  He’ll identify those most suited for our growing conditions and cover the ‘best growing practices’ for growing these little gems.

He is a passionate orchid grower whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied.  Although developing Cattleya hybrids has been his sustaining interest, he is also actively creating new Bulbophyllum and Paphiopedilum hybrids. His pioneering work in Catasetum intergeneric hybrids led to the development of several notable hybrids, most recently the grex, Fredclarkeara After Dark, which produced “the blackest flower ever witnessed”. This grex has received eight FCC’s, four AM’s and the coveted ‘Award of Distinction’ on the first flowers shown for judging!

Fred is an Accredited Judge in the Pacific South Judging Region. His plants have received hundreds of quality awards from the American Orchid Society. He’s a renowned international speaker and always has great tips for novices and experienced growers alike. He’ll be happy to answer your questions and will have a fine selection of his quality orchids for sale.

Venice Community Center.  Doors open at 6:30.

Pre- Orders for November 2, 2016 Meeting

Pre-order information

Fred Clarke, Sunset Valley Orchids, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

We‘re all looking forward to Fred’s return visit to Venice at our monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. He will be speaking on Mini-Catts and will be bringing his best orchids for sale and will also be accepting pre-orders. Pre-orders may be placed from his website at

Place your order via:  Email: Fred

Mail: Fred Clarke, 1255 Navel Place, Vista, CA 92081


 By preordering, you will avoid the packing/shipping costs and still qualify for the Discount Schedule (See website…Ordering Information)

Preorders must be received by October 26 and payment in full (cash, check, Visa/MC) is due at time of pick-up at the meeting.