Maryborough District Orchid Society members Sue Muller and John Terrill can offer advice and information today and tomorrow at the display held at the Maryborough Library.
Maryborough District Orchid Society members Sue Muller and John Terrill can offer advice and information today and tomorrow at the display held at the Maryborough Library. Boni Holmes

Experienced orchid grower to talk tomorrow at Maryborough Library

THE attraction of the exotic nature of the orchid is what first pricked the interest of a gardener who now boast thousands of the ever-changing plant.

Dave Gatfield moved to Maryborough in 1980 and soon after joined the Maryborough District Orchid Society.

The senior and experienced judge will be on hand at the Maryborough Library tomorrow from 2pm to talk about his passion.

Dave said the orchid was a low maintenance plant so they don't need a great deal of looking after.

"You don't need to be a devout green thumb - anyone can grown them its just a matter of how they wish to grow them and where they wish to grow them,” he said.

"No one ever perfects growing the orchid, you are always learning - finding something new you can do better.”

Dave said he would talk about the basic culture of the plant.

"I will speak on the sort of conditions they need to grow in, the various orchids to the most commonly grown, potting mix, mediums to grow in whether in a pot, a slab or on a tree, watering and feeding cycles, dividing plants and various other informative aspects.

"Anyone is welcome to bring in a problem plant.

"Any time we have workshop or display we encourage members of the public, even if they are not already a member, if they are growing or want to grow orchids or have a problem plant - bring it along and we will sort it out for them.

"And we do all of that free of charge.

"Naturally we are always looking for new members and there is no obligation for them to join.”

Dave said he started growing orchids in 1973.

"There was a specific type of orchid that I got attracted to in the first place and it just expanded from there,” he said.

"Some experienced orchid growers, in my earlier days, took me under their wing, showed me the ropes - where I was going wrong and how to correct it.

"It was a Pink Cymbidium - Balkis Luarth.”

He now owns a couple of thousand orchids and after an extensive training course judges competitions.

"You are always learning after that because there are so many hundreds of thousands of orchids being created all the time.

"When judging some of the things I am looking for include clarity of colour, consistency in shape, well displayed and well grown plant and the strength of the flower itself.

"The higher quality of the plant would make it an overall champion.”

The display in the library and in Station Square Shopping Centre on September 11 was to promote the societies annual Spring Show on September 14-16 in the St Paul's Memorial Hall.



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