The common gardener or houseplant enthusiast may have an orchid in their collection and think they are familiar with the plant family. However, look up orchids on the internet and be astounded by the number of species around the world.
This weekend's Fraser Valley Orchid Society Show and Sale strives to educate gardeners and green thumbs of all walks as well as offer them an opportunity to view and possibly buy some of the unique varieties of orchids available.
"At Home with Orchids" is the theme of the show and includes an obvious focus on orchids along with other flowering plants and even some flower arrangements.
"There's several entries of floral arrangements in this year's show," said the show's chair, Wayne Louie. "It adds a nice addition to the dimensions of our orchid show."
Formed in 1978, the orchid society has been putting on the show for more than 20 years, with Louie at the helm for the last three. It's a big event and a big deal for those who are passionate about the plants.
"If you go to a society show, you get a whole different type of selection," Louie noted. "It's a whole different array and different varieties as well."
Orchids are described as "easy to care for" by many enthusiasts, but even Louie agrees there are occasional deaths along the way.
"There's some casualties," he said. "But you're going to remember those. That's how we learn."
Learning is key at the Fraser Valley show. Louie invites visitors to ask questions about the plants.
"A lot of information is provided to visitors," he commented. "Culture questions, care and pest control. [The show] a good
place to go and become acquainted with types of orchids."
For those more interested in the display and arrangement aspect of flowers there will be several floral art classes held on the Saturday of the event. Dinner table arrangements, abstract design, and corsage creation will all be covered in the classes.
Die-hard orchid lovers will want to attend the Friday night dinner as according to Louie, this is the best way to get "first dibs" on the plants on sale at the market.
"An avid orchid person wants to be first to get those plants," he noted. Orchid lovers, gardeners and flower enthusiasts all come together at this show where nine local vendors, three international vendors, and five orchid societies from around the province will be on hand.
Funds raised at Friday night's silent auction will be donated to the Langley Hospice Society.
The Fraser Valley Orchid Society Show and Sale is at the George Preston Recreation Centre, 20699 42 Ave. Oct. 1921. Admission is $7 for adults, and $6 for students and seniors. Children under 12 get in free. It's open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more, go to www.fraservalleyorchidsociety.ca.