The sight and scents of thousands of orchids will fill the Greenhouse Galleries in the Regenstein Building at the Chicago Botanic Garden for the Illinois Orchid Society Fall Show & Sale on Oct. 9-10. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days, with a special photographers' hour at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
"The display is going to be the highlight," said Rachel Lockett, coordinator of visitor events and programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. "There's going to be a wide variety of orchids from rare species to cultivated to hybrids. There's going to be many different colors and arrangements."
Orchids will compete for ribbons and other honors. "The individual blooms are going to be judged in 128 categories, competing for red, white, and blue ribbons," Lockett said. "From there, 25 blooms will move on to receive the Best of Class ribbons, and one single orchid will receive the Chicago Horticultural Society Award from the American Orchid Society. They'll be on-site judging the event."
"People don't realize that orchids are an entire family of plants," said David Kirk, who is chair of the show. "When you talk about the relationship between plants, roses and apples are both in the rose family. That's how distant that kind of relationship can be. That's part of what the draw is with orchids — the incredible variety among the plants. It's a huge group."
Some members will create tabletop displays. "That's one of the unique features of our fall show," Kirk said. "The focus really is on IOS (Illinois Orchid Society) members showing off their personal collections."
Kirk said that about 20 members will have displays in the show. In addition, he said, "Some of the members that don't have their own displays will be grouping their plants into the catchall island."
Members will be selling orchids from their private collections. Kirk estimated the orchids will cost approximately from $3 to $15.
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