Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Whether you are a beginning orchid grower or an advanced one, finding someone to share your hobby with will increase your enjoyment and your chances of learning about these wonderful plants.
I was lucky when I started to have a friend at work who shared my addiction and we were able to purchase plants together and share the costs of shipping and handling when we were ordering plants and we both bought books and then shared them when we had finished reading them. We went on trips together to go to shows. We visited several local growers where we learned a great deal about growing in our climate. We shared our knowledge from growing and making mistakes.
Later on I made an acquaintance online through the forum at the American Orchid Society. She was a member of the Houston Orchid Society and invited me to come to one of their meetings. This was a real turning point in my hobby because the society was a wonderful place to learn about what would grow locally. Because I already was acquainted with someone from the organization I didnít feel as overwhelmed as I might have been to attend. We have now done exhibits together, gone to the World Orchid Conference and a number of shows. We have traded plants and information on how they grow and correspond regularly via email.
Having a friend to do these things with will encourage you (or at least it encouraged me) to do more than you would have done by yourself. Itís just more fun to share an experience with a friend than to take the time and effort to do something by yourself. In addition, you will get two different views on what you see or listen to so that you will gather more information. When attending workshops or educational meetings, you can choose different subjects to attend and double the information you can absorb.
And, best of all, is the chance to trade plants. Although they seem to grow very slowly, eventually all orchid plants need to be repotted and divided. With a buddy you will quickly find that your collection will grow as you trade back and forth. Be sure to divide your favorite plant so that if something happens to it, you will always be able to get another piece back if the worst happens and you lose it!