Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The 16th IPA Symposium July 9-10, 2010 in Ontario, California

By Tom Harper Reprinted by permission of the IPA Journal

ONTARIO, Calif. -- The International Phalaenopsis Alliance will hold its 16th Symposium July 9-10, 2010 in Ontario, Calif., at the Hilton Ontario Airport Hotel.

Registrants will experience a special event in the rich history of IPA Symposiums for several reasons. First, they will get to hear the big winner at the Taiwan International Orchid Show for the last two years, Kuo-Liang Hong of Tying Shin Orchids, give the keynote address. Second, the format is being changed from a three-day to a two-day event.

Tying Shin Orchids is a small nursery Kuo-Liang and his wife, Jane, own and operate near Cao Tun Township, Nan Tou County, Taiwan. Kuo-Liang won a total of 60 awards from the American Orchid Society and Taiwan Orchid Growers Association at the 2008 and 2009 shows. His colorful hybrids were recognized for superb culture, flower quality and hybridizing excellence. (See a story about how Kuo-Liang became interested in orchids, started Tying Shin Orchids and his breeding goals on Page xx.)

He will focus on his Phalaenopsis breeding program, especially his work with orange and desert tones, in his Symposium presentation. He also will bring plants to sell, including his new and continuing line of unique Phalaenopsis hybrids.

This will be Kuo-Liang’s first visit to the United States, so those who can attend but haven’t met him in Taiwan at the annual show there are in for a very special treat.

Symposium organizers are still developing the speaker and workshop programs. As those plans are finalized, they will be announced in Phalaenopsis and on the IPA Web site,

The meeting will debut a two-day format for IPA’s annual Symposium. Until now, Symposiums have typically been three-day Friday-Sunday events. At some Symposiums, activities began on Thursday with a golf outing designed to further enhance the camaraderie among members.

In the three-day format, Sunday was usually a travel day and people often started leaving while events were in progress so they could make flights or because they had to drive long distances. Harper, in his role as vice president in charge of planning the Symposium, decided to try the new format in hopes it will encourage people to stay for all the events.

Another benefit of the format change is that it should help attendees save on expenses. Although the registration price hasn’t been determined, attendees will definitely save money on meals because of the condensed agenda.

Activities in Ontario will begin Friday morning, July 9 at 9 a.m. with set-up in the sales area and entering of the show plants for ribbon and AOS judging. There will be a preview party Friday evening followed by the first speaker at 7 p.m.

Kuo-Liang will give the keynote program Saturday morning. The rest of the agenda will be filled with other speakers to be announced, workshops, a luncheon and auction. The Saturday agenda and the Symposium will end at 5 p.m. Special plans are being made for a dinner Saturday for those interested in staying over until Sunday or Monday.

Norman Fang will make his Norman’s Orchids in nearby Montclair available for visits during the Symposium. Details about when these visits will be scheduled and other arrangements are being worked out. Fang is the director of IPA’s Southern California Region.

Sunday will be a travel day for IPA members to return home or, for those who might want to stay an extra day, an opportunity to visit other nurseries in Southern California.

The hotel is undergoing a $5 million renovation, expansion and transformation. The changes are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009.

Tom Harper is first vice president of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance and director of its Southeast Region. He also is one of the four founders of the alliance, a past president and is an American Orchid Society judge. 9373 Clovercroft Road, Franklin, Tenn. 37067-8131. 615 771-2755.

IPA Meeting in Montclair California - April 2009

By Tom Harper Reprinted by permission of the IPA Journal
MONTCLAIR, Calif. – Phalaenopsis fanciers who attended the meeting of the Southern California region during the weekend of April 4 were treated to a historical reminder of the birth of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance. Three of the four originating members were on the agenda – Bob Gordon, Carlos Fighetti and Tom Harper.
Gordon, Fighetti, Harper and the late Arnie Linsman met in San Francisco in the early months of 1990 for a Phalaenopsis-buying dream trip. Their plan was to drive to Los Angeles and visit every Phalaenopsis nursery along the way. It did not take them long to discuss the idea of an organization devoted to the genus. By the time they arrived in LA, they had the basics of IPA in their minds. All they had to do was make their dream a reality.
That happened in April 1990 when they joined other Phalaenopsis growers in Mt. Laurel, N.J., for the Delaware Orchid Council’s speaker’s day, which was devoted to Phalaenopsis that year. They shared their vision with some of the other growers, and IPA was born.
Gordon served as an ambassador for the then-young group in speaking engagements to orchid societies around the country and authored a series of books on Phalaenopsis culture. Fighetti served as the alliance’s first president. Harper is also a past-president and currently is first vice president.
The Southern California meeting was held at Norman’s Orchids as part of Norman Fang’s annual open house. Fang recently was appointed regional director.
Fighetti kicked the lecture program off with a PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Other Phalaenopsis Species.” These species are infrequently seen, but add a uniqueness and beauty to any collection.
Gordon livened up the remainder of the morning with his unique brand of enthusiasm. He shared his knowledge about Phalaenopsis culture in his presentation, “Getting The Best From Your Phalaenopsis.” The audience responded with questions.
Harper spoke in the afternoon portion of the program, giving a PowerPoint presentation on the “Development of Red Phalaenopsis.” He began with an in-depth look at those species contributing to red breeding and finished with some speculation about how Harlequin Phalaenopsis potentially can be the breakthrough in red breeding due to the intense color saturation produced from the Phal. Golden Peoker genetics.
Afterward, a roundtable discussion was held to answer questions from the audience. Basic cultural questions were again addressed and advice provided by the panel of experts, which included the speakers for the day, Fang and Carri Raven-Riemann, director of the New England Region and also a past IPA president.
During a brief lunch break, an auction was held to raise funds for Phalaenopsis, the quarterly magazine of IPA. Harper served as auctioneer and led the lively group in raising $1,300.
Barbara Noe, one of a group of founding members and the second vice president of IPA, also attended the meeting to lend support and a helping hand in the festivities.

Tom Harper is first vice president of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance and director of its Southeast Region. He also is one of the four founders of the alliance, a past president and is an American Orchid Society judge. 9373 Clovercroft Road, Franklin, Tenn. 37067-8131. 615 771-2755.

Friday, September 4, 2009

American Orchid Society Members’ Meeting October 18, 2009

Norman’s Orchids is pleased to announce that the next American Orchid Society Members’ Meeting, in conjunction with the Southlands Orchid Show Committee – celebrating its 50th anniversary - will be held at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA. Open to the public from October 16-18, this show promises elaborate orchid displays by commercial and amateur growers from around the world. General Admission to the Huntington includes admission to the Show. For further information on this event, including hours.

For those wishing to attend the lectures and special events, including the Preview Party, an AOS fund-raising auction and a Saturday Night Banquet, all of which are planned for the AOS Members’ Meeting, the official Schedule of Events and detailed Registration information, including One-Day Registrations, can be found at this link. In addition to the AOS events, many of the AOS affiliated special interest groups will also be holding their semi-annual meetings in conjunction with the show: the International Phalaenopsis Alliance, the Slipper Orchid Alliance, the Cymbidium Society of America and the Pleurothallid Alliance.

As a sponsor of the AOS and in celebration of this upcoming event, Norman’s Orchids will host an “AOS Sunday” on Sunday, October 18, from 10 AM – 4 PM. It will be a great opportunity for those who visit the nursery to spend some time with other AOS orchid hobbyists who have come from all corners of the globe to attend the AOS/Southlands Meeting.

As a special treat for all our AOS friends, our sales area will be stocked with many brand new introductions. In addition, we are planning a special offer for AOS members only. We are just a short drive from the Huntington and look forward to welcoming everyone for what promises to be a very special orchid day.

Friday, January 30, 2009

IPA - International Phalaenopsis Alliance Regional Meeting April 4, 2009

The International Phalaenopsis Alliance (IPA) is a worldwide group of hobby and professional growers devoted to sharing cultural and hybridizing information. Southern California will be hosting an IPA Regional Get-Together for the first time in years. And it will bring together 4 of the original Founding Fathers of the IPA in 1990: Carlos Fighetti, Bob Gordon, Tom Harper and Carri Raven-Riemann. Details of the day are as follows - we're looking forward to seeing many of our "phal phriends" from Southern California for what promises to be an informative and fun day.

IPA Regional Director: Norman Fang

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 4 at Norman's Orchids in Montclair, CA for what promises to be a great Regional get-together - our first in this area in many years! Guest speakers will include three of our original founding fathers: Carlos Fighetti, former IPA President & current AOS President, who will speak on "The "other" Phalaenopsis Species"; Tom Harper, of Stone's River Orchids, former IPA President & current 1st Vice President, on the newest developments in breeding for Reds; and Bob Gordon, famed author of several books on Phal culture, to update us on the latest and best ways to help your phals thrive. In addition, we'll have a workshop and/or roundtable discussion - an opportunity to share with other phal enthusiasts, meet new - and renew old - friendships.Since this will also be the first day of Norman's Annual Spring Open House, you'll have the added advantage of first crack at his sales plants in the sales greenhouse, which at this time of the year is overflowing with brilliant blooming colors from many different genera in addition to our favorite phals.
This is an open get-together so all phal lovers are invited to join us, IPA members and non-members alike. But please call Norman's Orchids (909.627.9515) ahead o f time to let us know you're planning to attend- we want to be sure we have enough chairs and food for everyone. Details of the speaker schedule will be posted soon. Click>>

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cycnoches Jumbo Puff (Swan Orchids)

Ah, the swan orchids are flowering again. For a short period of time during November, our greenhouse is filled with jasmine like fragrance of MC1301 Cynoches Jumbo Puff, a primary hybrid of two specie warscewiczii and Mor. badia.These plants grow vigorsly during spring and summer. As soon as the weather cools off, its elongated leaves started to die back. The grower would stripe off its leaves to show off its newly developed robust pseudo bulb. Each bulb can carry 2-3 spikes. They are grown in a pot at Norman’s Orchids, but they can be grown successfully mounted on cork. The common name of this genus arose because the slender column and down turned apex resemble a swan.