HOBBY BLOOMS: Carole Davis started her love affair with orchids when she retired in 2009 and says the plants are actually tougher than you think.
HOBBY BLOOMS: Carole Davis started her love affair with orchids when she retired in 2009 and says the plants are actually tougher than you think. Trevor Veale

Growing orchids in Coffs is easier than you think

AFTER living on acreage for more than 30 years, Carole and Larry Davis recently moved themselves, and their many orchids, to a small suburban block.

"We left behind a 10m by 4m chook house which was used for my orchids and ferns,” Carole said.

"Our new garden is devoid of trees, so plants have been living under the lilly-pilly hedge while Larry has been building a much smaller 2.5m by 4m shade house.

"Quite a difference in size, so there are now plants hanging all around the fence under small shade-cloth covers waiting for him to engineer an extension - or two or three.”

Carole started her love affair with orchids when she retired in 2009.

"I started playing golf - badly - then moved on to growing orchids - also badly.”

She persevered with the orchids after being drawn to the larger varieties and now has quite a collection.

"It is surprising how quickly they multiply, especially with all the space I once had.

"Unfortunately, my favourites are the large pendulous genres - Brassia, Miltassia, Oncidiums, Zygopetalums - so perhaps now I'll need to concentrate on the smaller varieties as I have so much less bench space.”

Carole is a member of the Coffs Harbour Orchid Society, which is holding its annual Autumn Orchid Show on April29-30 at the botanic garden in Hardaker St from 9am to 5pm daily.

Members of the orchid society will be there, happy to share their passion and knowledge about orchids with visitors.

"Over the years, members have been extraordinarily helpful with hints and advice on good growing techniques, and the displays at the monthly meetings have certainly opened my eyes to the vast array of colours and sizes in each species,” Carole said.

"Plus there have been a number of workshops for beginners, which helped remove some of the mystique which tends to surround orchids.”



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