Do you know that they are more than 500 species of orchids in South Africa which is more than the United States, Canada and Europe?

Orchid fundi’s Ingrid and Gordon Low have over 1500 orchids at their home in Parkhill, Durban North. The couple’s interest in this field started over 30 years ago.

Speaking to Durban North News during a visit to their premises last week, the Lows said their labour of love and attention to detail had yielded fruits.
According to Gordon, his interest in orchids began when he was in school.

“What attracted me to them was their huge range of flowers, shapes and sizes. I also love the fact that they have different scents,” said Gordon.

The orchid enthusiasts are members of the Natal Orchid Society. Ingrid is the society’s treasurer.

Gordon will be doing a potting demonstration at the society’s bi-annual orchid show this weekend at the Parkhill Bowling Club in Durban North.

Gordon said he has grown the internationally acclaimed Aerachnis Maggie-Ooi orchid.

“Many people don’t know that there are different types of orchids and South Africa has a huge range of species more than the United States, Canada and Europe,”

Talking about their orchid collection, the pair said it has grown too big for them to care for and they want to reduce it to about 1000.
The couple say growing orchids in the Durban climate is wonderful for it.

“It is quite a lot of work. I try to do an hour and a half work everyday with them,” said Gordon.

According to Ingrid, the secret is to buy an orchid every month and by the end of the year, one will have 12 orchids.

“The good thing is that they grow in the bark of a tree. People sometimes over water them and that is not good,” said Ingrid.

If you want to learn about orchids the couple will be at the Parkhil Bowling Club every second Monday of the month at 6pm.

Talking about the weekend show, Melanie van Greunen said there is lots in store for everyone.

“Our show appeals to everyone from avid orchid fans to those who enjoy exquisite beauty. On display for judging will be a fabulous variety of hybrids and species. We anticipate Oncydiums and Dendrobiums to vye for top spot as they are just coming into flower,” said Van Greunen.

The show offers a wide selection of orchids for sale, the raffling of orchids, potting demonstrations with orchid experts offering advice. Refreshments and light lunches will be on sale in the tea garden.

It is open to the public from 10.15am to 4pm on Saturday, 13 October and from 9am to 3pm on Sunday, 14 October. For further information and details on attending the monthly Natal Orchid Society meetings contact Ingrid on 083 716 5954.