Thursday, April 18, 2024

Push to make flower plan blossom


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KEEN TO SEE a majority of Barbadians become interested in growing orchids, the Barbados Orchid Society wants to reach out to children.
President Michael “Dick”?Marshall said after the opening of the biennial flower exhibition entitled Orchid Celebration at Balls Plantation, Christ Church, Friday evening that there was a need for a programme in the schools.
“I have been to Venezuela and saw many 11- and 12-year-old children involved in the growing of orchids.
“This is one of the objectives for us this year. We have got to work with the schools and generate some interest. We have got to look and see how best as a society we can reach out to the schools and provide knowledge about orchids and start from there,” he said.
According to Marshall, they were not as difficult to grow as some might think.
“It is all about having patience. Orchids are not difficult. It is all about the joyof seeing the results and enjoying the aroma of orchids. There is pleasure at having an orchid in your house that can last up to six weeks. Not many plants can flower for that length of time in our conditions,” he said.
At the opening ceremony, acting Chief Agricultural Officer Ralph Farnum, deputizing for Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick who was unable to attend, congratulated organizers for the production of “yet another memorable orchid show”.
During yesterday’s second day, both Marshall and his vice-president Michael Waithe admitted that the crowd response had been generally lower this year than in the past. They were hoping patronage would pick up as more families came to visit.
“We have had a constant flow but at present the number is not as high as before. I guess a couple functions may be on now which may contribute to the slowdown but the crowd usually picks up on evenings,” Waithe said, adding they were still satisfied with orchid sales.
Chairman of the American Orchid Society’s judging committee, chief judge Robert Fuchs, said the quality in Barbados could easily rival that in the United States.
“I have been coming here for more than ten years and the quality has been improving constantly; it is amazing. I enjoyed working with the Barbados Orchid Society and letting them know how other orchid societies operate,” he said.
In all, 12 awards were given out, 11 for orchids and one for a flower arrangement, which Waithe said was a “fantastic” achievement.
The one flower award was a rare one – the Certificate Of Meritorious Arrangement – which Fuchs said he had given out only twice in his more than 30-year career. It was awarded to Jacqueline Ferdinand. (MK/CA)

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