It was another successful year for The Huntington at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show. With Orchidelic being the theme this year, we won first place for best display for our category and took home 13 ribbons. With seven 1st places, two 2nd places, and four 3rd places, we got ribbons for 13 of the 15 plants we entered. We won more ribbons than anybody else except for one person, David H. Murdock, who puts in the largest exhibit in the show each year. Murdock is the chairman of the Dole Food Company and always awes everybody. In addition to winning 13 ribbons, we won bronze from the Cymbidium Society of America for Paphiopedilum Shin Yi Dragon.
Another thing that set our exhibit apart was our use of iPads to show visitors 360-degree views of 12 of our best orchids. Visitors were able to get a different perspective of the orchids, with background information on the parentage of a specific hybrid or even the culture of a specific species. We got a lot of positive feedback from the public with some commenting that it was a breath of fresh air to find nature meeting technology.
We also met up with Holger Perner, who is the owner of Hengduan Mountains Biotechnology from China. He brought some very expensive and rare species of Paphiopedilums. We were able to trade a Paphiopedilum hybrid for two Paphiopedilum emersonii, which will make a great addition to our current collection. The great thing about these shows is that they give you the opportunity to establish connections with other orchid growers and find new additions for your collection.
With a victorious year, we already look forward to participating again next year!
Brandon Tam is The Huntington’s orchid specialist.