Thursday, September 3, 2009

State Fair Orchid Show 2009

Every year the horticulture department participates with the Orchid Society of Minnesota in an orchid show at the State Fair. This year people can see some of our beautiful specimans on Friday and Saturday September 4th and 5th in the Horticulture building at the fair.

Each year the planning starts well in advance of the actual event. We start to pull together orchids that are beginning to bloom about two months ahead of the actual show. We move orchids to different parts of our greenhouses to either speed up or slow down the blooming.

Every year there is a theme to the show and this year it is "In Your Garden" It will be fun to see what the other exhibits come up with for this. We are planning to create a scene that is in our garden; the conservatory. With the help of our creative orchid team we think we have come up with a nice plan. You will need to visit us at the fair to see the actual final set up!

We need to track and list the plants we enter so that we can make labels and get all the results into our database afterwards. This is a ribbon show which means that our plants are judged against all the other plants entered in this event. This is a bit different than the orchid show that you would see during the Winter Carnival here at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in January. That is typically an American Orchid Society judged show that brings in trained AOS judges who evaluate our orchids in comparison to all previously judged plants of that type. An AOS award is very hard to come by.

We have about 50 orchids in the show this year. After we have all our props and plants loaded into our vehicles we drive everything over to the fair and typically start setting up at 10:00pm After this is completed the judging starts and ribbons are in place by around 2:00am. It is an exciting and fun evening for everyone!