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Orchid growers host ‘stunning’ show

  • Beth Graham of Northampton smells an orchid at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Beth Graham of Northampton smells an orchid at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Phal. Baldan's Kaleidoscope "Golden Treasure" took first place out of the  Connecticut Orchid Society's entry during the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Phal. Baldan's Kaleidoscope "Golden Treasure" took first place out of the Connecticut Orchid Society's entry during the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Vanda Alamco's "Blue Magic" took first place out of the Frosty Hollow Orchid's section at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Vanda Alamco's "Blue Magic" took first place out of the Frosty Hollow Orchid's section at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • A Miltoniopsis Prayoon orchid places second at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    A Miltoniopsis Prayoon orchid places second at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Maurianne Adams of Amherst photographs orchids at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. "I adore orchids and it is so fragrant in here," Adams said.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Maurianne Adams of Amherst photographs orchids at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. "I adore orchids and it is so fragrant in here," Adams said.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brenda Bushouse points out an orchid to Max Schweik, 11, of Amherst at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.  "We came out for a breath of Spring and to see something colorful," Bushouse said.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Brenda Bushouse points out an orchid to Max Schweik, 11, of Amherst at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. "We came out for a breath of Spring and to see something colorful," Bushouse said.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • William and Sandy Preye of East Longmeadow admire the orchid displays at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Feb. 23.<br/>. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    William and Sandy Preye of East Longmeadow admire the orchid displays at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Feb. 23.
    .

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Proprietor William A. Hutchinson of Larch Hill Greenhouse in Amherst, left, discusses the qualities of different orchids with Beth Graham of Northampton, center, and Kristen Iverson of Northampton at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Proprietor William A. Hutchinson of Larch Hill Greenhouse in Amherst, left, discusses the qualities of different orchids with Beth Graham of Northampton, center, and Kristen Iverson of Northampton at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Beth Graham of Northampton smells an orchid at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Phal. Baldan's Kaleidoscope "Golden Treasure" took first place out of the  Connecticut Orchid Society's entry during the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Vanda Alamco's "Blue Magic" took first place out of the Frosty Hollow Orchid's section at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • A Miltoniopsis Prayoon orchid places second at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Maurianne Adams of Amherst photographs orchids at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. "I adore orchids and it is so fragrant in here," Adams said.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Brenda Bushouse points out an orchid to Max Schweik, 11, of Amherst at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013.  "We came out for a breath of Spring and to see something colorful," Bushouse said.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • William and Sandy Preye of East Longmeadow admire the orchid displays at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Feb. 23.<br/>. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Proprietor William A. Hutchinson of Larch Hill Greenhouse in Amherst, left, discusses the qualities of different orchids with Beth Graham of Northampton, center, and Kristen Iverson of Northampton at the Amherst Orchid SocietyÕs annual orchid show held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

— From professional growers to enthusiasts and aficionados, orchid fans from across the region gathered at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School last weekend for the annual Amherst Orchid Society show.

Although this year’s show wasn’t the biggest the club has ever hosted, outgoing Amherst Orchid Society president Ellen Kennedy said it managed to be a spectacular show.

“It’s been an odd year,” said Kennedy. “We had such a dry and overcast summer, so people had a little less this year, but what we do have is extraordinary,” she said. “There’s been some really stunning orchids.”

The plants were displayed across a series of exhibits set up by the various growers and clubs that attended the show, some with themes based on specific types of orchids.

The orchids were judged in ribbon contests, in which all the members of the club vote for winners, and by professional judges of the American Orchid Society.

“You have to describe the plant in one big run-on sentence, based on the American Orchid Society standards,” said Kennedy.

Sophie and Peter Rogers of Amherst say they both learned a lot more about orchids by visiting the show, which they also attended last year.

“I think it’s really good that you can leave here having learned something, instead of going home and saying I can never grow an orchid,” said Sophie Rogers. “And even if you don’t grow them, you can still appreciate them.”

“Orchids are like architecture,” said Peter Rogers. “Everyone can enjoy them and have opinions about them, even if you don’t know a lot about them.”

The Amherst society was founded in 1981 and held its first show about four or five years after the club was formed, according to William A. Hutchinson of Larch Hill Greenhouse in Amherst. Orchid lovers, he said, are dedcated. “Our first show was held in the middle of a blizzard, and we still got 200 people to come,” said Hutchinson.

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