AN inaugural member of a local orchid enthusiasts’ group is gearing up for the annual Spring Orchid Show in Warrnambool this weekend.
Ron Bishop has been a member of the Warrnambool and District Orchid Society Inc since its inception about 25 years ago.
Mr Bishop first became involved with orchids 30 years ago when his mother convinced him to look after hers when she went into care.
“The ones she had that were before WWII were quite plainly coloured ... but I went to the Royal Melbourne Show once and got a pretty pink one,” Mr Bishop recalled.
“There’s nothing like getting something a little bit different.”
Along with a few friends, he decided to start a club.
Mr Bishop grows predominantly cymbidium orchids, which are the most commonly found in Victoria due to the climate.
“They’re easy to grow, comparatively,” he said.
He has about 130 cymbidiums and 150 others of mixed genera.
Mr Bishop and fellow society member Paul Horsnell said it was always a nervous time leading up to a show, not knowing what orchids would be at display quality. “It depends on the season,” Mr Horsnell said.
“It’s a bit of work and everyone is always worried in the society that people are going to come in and say ‘where’s the orchids?’”
In the past Mr Bishop has received accolades including champion cymbidium and champion display. “Every year I get something,” he joked.
Mr Horsnell said the society was always keen to welcome new members.
“There’s a challenge involved and (we cater for) learners ... you become more interested as you learn,” he said.
Society secretary Helen Gower said the show would display many different genera of orchids with beautiful perfumes.
The show, which will be held at Warrnambool College on Grafton Road, will include a sales table, raffles, and morning and afternoon tea.
Entry is $3 and the doors are open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on the Sunday. For more information contact Ms Gower on 0408 613 181.