Woolgoolga District Orchid Society President Brian Newman with an award winning Dendrobium orchid, C.K. Ai 'Oka'
Woolgoolga District Orchid Society President Brian Newman with an award winning Dendrobium orchid, C.K. Ai 'Oka' Belinda Scott

President puts orchids on show

BRIAN Newman has been growing orchids for 50 years and long before that was trailing his father through the bush to look for new specimens.

"I was about 10 when I started picking up orchids for my old man," Brian said.

"Dad and his mates used to go hunting for orchids with the Rev HM Rupp, who is in a lot of books for finding new orchids. I think they were with him when he found the underground orchid at Bulahdelah."

The Woolgoolga District Orchid Society president said it was not true that all orchids were difficult to grow, although some were more challenging than others.

"A cattleya orchid is something you can throw on the ground and it will flower," he said, relating the story of an orchid he left in a plastic bag and forgot, until he realised it was flowering, inside the bag.

He is looking forward to judging another new award introduced to the Woolgoolga Spring Orchid Show this year, the President's Choice Award.

Brian said he could recommend orchid growing as an interest at any age. He cites the example of his friend and colleague, phalaenopsis expert Gordon Clarke, who is 83 and deeply involved in his speciality.

Brian recently bought a glasshouse for some of his 1500-something orchids; and is researching the least expensive way to heat it and is pleased with the progress of his hard cane dendrobiums.

His "pin-up" plant is trychoglotis atropurpurea, which produces a spike of dark purple and burgundy.

The Spring Orchid Show and Garden Expo will be held in the Yeates Hall at Woolgoolga Public School, 24 Scarborough St, Woolgoolga, on Saturday, October 1.


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