Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
GAUTIER, Miss. —
Dream gardens, magnificent rainforests, beautiful woodland paths overhung with majestic orchids. You don't have to travel far to see the best that nature has to offer.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Society is holding its Thirty-third Annual Orchid Show from Friday, January 25th through Sunday January 27th near Penney’s at the Singing River Mall in Gautier, Miss. The exhibits will be open to the public from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, January 26 and from mall opening until 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 27. The sales area is open from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. on Friday, January 25; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 26th and from mall opening till 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 27th. Admission is free. You’ll visit a slice of serenity in the middle of a mall, in the middle of the winter and it is orchids grown right here on the Gulf Coast.
The Show boasts displays and plants supplied not only by orchid societies and individual growers from Houston to Pensacola and north to Memphis, but also by commercial growers from throughout the South. Around 17 displays, ranging in size from 25 to 200 square feet, are actual scenes, with a touch of imagination, painstakingly arranged to show the beauty of orchids in their actual environments. There are 6 orchid vendors and a supply vendor.
Orchids are the largest family of flowers and are found in every continent except Antarctica. There are approximately 35,000 different species of orchids and over 200,000 registered hybrids. Orchids have been called exotic and mystifying; they have a magnificence that can be considered exquisite.
Today, orchids are the largest selling flowering plant in the world and, the second largest in the United States after poinsettias. It is more than a 10 billion dollar industry worldwide with over $150 million in domestic retail sales. Every Architectural and Design magazine will show orchids in the rooms they feature.
For those who grow orchids, it becomes an obsession that is addictive. One cannot only own two or three orchid plants. This progresses to every windowsill being filled with orchids; to the dining room table that no longer has room for the evening meal; to visions of a greenhouse.
When the Orchid bug bites, get in touch with your local Orchid Society. They will hold your hand. Personal instruction is part of every monthly meeting and best of all, you’ll talk to people that have the same obsession that you do, and love it! Most meetings have outstanding plants on display on the Show and Tell table, raffles and a door prize. Often there are internationally known speakers who bring fabulous plants to sell.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Society’s March 10, 2013 speaker will be Dr. Doug Martin speaking about native orchids. Dr. Martin and his wife, Beth, are from Kansas City, they are both past Presidents of the Mid-America Orchid Congress and the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. He has also served as chairman of the MAOC Conservation Committee. His true orchid passion is the North American native orchids that he loves to find and photograph in the wild as well as grow in containers in the yard. He grows about 75 species and hybrids of Cypripediums and other hardy orchids in an outside growing area.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Society was founded in 1980 by a group of Orchid lovers that grew tired of traveling to Hattiesburg on a monthly basis to learn about orchids. They held their first show in 1981 at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Society meets usually the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Jeff Davis Campus off Debuys and Switzer Rd. in Gulfport. A New Growers meeting, Orchids 101, usually precedes the regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. For more information contact the society President, Becky Jolly-Wood 228-474-2500. Check out our website gcorchids.org.