Orchids forum: Introductions, please!

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 1, 2010 2:19 PM CST
Hi, this is Kathy in Western Massachusetts. I thought we might like to introduce ourselves like the irisarians have done. I started out a complete failure at houseplants, but great out in the garden. I have 3.3 acres now (my 3rd garden). I have been gardening for 25 years. I started with irises and am active in the local iris society. Beardless irises (siberian, japanese, and species) have been my first love. About 4 or 5 years ago (after killing a few orchids) I asked a friend if I should get serious about orchids; would he advise me? Well, before I read his advice, I bought an ascocenda as my first one (really hard as a starter). After 4 months of dunking it daily, I was planning on going away for the weekend and was showing it to a friend saying it was time to let it dry out and die that weekend when we jointly spotted the beginning of a spike!!! She immediately offered to water it while I was away and of course that was the beginning of my obsession with orchids. I'm now up to 350 orchids (shhhh, don't tell my guy! Only kidding, he must know by now since he lives with them!) and I grow them in two rooms in my house. My office, with large picture windows with south light, and my art studio, at 50 degrees for cymbidiums and the like. I also collect other houseplants but not quite as obsessively. After June 1, all the orchids go outside till frost. Then they all come back in, except the cymbidiums. They go on the porch for the fall where I can close the doors on those really cold nights and have months to get them to spike. I use reverse osmosis water (due to high salts in my well water) and a Rube Goldberg set up of hoses through ceilings to water them inside, with trays and shower curtains and shelves. A bit eccentric. I also just got a generator for when the ice storms turn off the electricity. So I'm finally snug as a bug with my buying shoes on and orchids that follow me home like baby ducks....And that's me. Here is a pic of my first child. Now tell me about yourself.

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Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 3, 2010 4:40 PM CST
My name is Jim Hawk and I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I've always hated the cold so I left there as soon as I could. I was a math geek at Indiana State University and finished my graduate work in photogrammetry and geodesy at Purdue. I spent 30 years working for the Defense Mapping Agency which included eight years living and working in Latin America and three years doing the same in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. All of that travel introduced me to tons of tropical fruit and I'm very much interested in growing it today on my acre of paradise just north of Tampa, Florida. I was very big into roses until I began to feel the fungicides and insecticides were killing me. So, I turned to orchids a couple of years ago and now have a collection of about 80, mostly vandas and catts. I've been a master gardener since 2003 and also do a lot of charity and church work, including singing bass in the choir. I met and married my wife Patty some 25 years ago in Peru. Bottom line...I'm blessed and thankful.

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 3, 2010 4:51 PM CST
Jim great pic, Patty is just gorgeous!! What are photogrammetry and geodesy?
Guess I should add that I spent most my life as a professional artist and the last decade as a speech-language pathologist.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
Image
hawkarica
Feb 3, 2010 5:33 PM CST
Photogrammetry is the math involved in turning aerial photos into maps. Geodesy is the study of the science of the earth including gravity, magnetics, size and shape modeling, etc. It's just wierd stuff that normal people don't think about. :>)

Jim
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 3, 2010 6:09 PM CST
Very cool!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Feb 5, 2010 2:02 PM CST
Hi, my name is Lynn Smith. I have done many things, the first of which was living on an old homestead farm raising 4 children (wonderful blessings given to me). I had raised and showed Dairy Goats, worked as a cowgirl out on the open range, managed in retail groceries and just retired as a Kitchen Manager in food services for public schools. I still do volunteer work with my two Certified Therapy Dogs Nikki & Petrie. My passion is working with special needs children using the dogs.
I learned my love of gardening from both my grandmother & my mom. I am new to orchids (Mom got me started three years ago) and am falling in love with them I have much to learn about them.
Lynn
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 5, 2010 2:11 PM CST
Welcome Lynn!! You have had a really interesting life! I am so glad you are interested in orchids. You came to the right place! Be sure to check out the Information thread http://cubits.org/orchids/thread/view/437/ I hope it helps you learn more. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 5, 2010 3:16 PM CST
Hi! My name is Carol Corry (OCCAROL on DG), and I live in Santa Ana,Ca. I retired from Ca. Dept. of Transportation ( CalTrans) two years ago, where I was a landscape mtce. leadworker. Now I just putter in my tiny garden and lurk on gardening websites. I only have about 50 orchids, most of them pretty new, so I will be asking questions more than posting pictures. I love drooling over the photos you folks post, and have learned a lot from you.
Carol
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 5, 2010 4:07 PM CST
I'm glad more folks are participating in this thread. I was beginning to feel like matzos at an Irish wedding. :>)

Jim
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 5, 2010 4:17 PM CST
Ha, ha. I agree I ALWAYS feel like matzos at an Irish wedding!! All kidding aside, I love all the brave new orchid people!!! Hurray!
Carol, it's great to put a face to your posts! And to get to know you some more. Thanks for your introduction.
Name: Laurel
Georgia
Maypoplaurel
Feb 7, 2010 8:52 PM CST
Hi All. I've no time to post photos, bios or otherwise but will get on it next week.

Jim and Kathy, I've never been to an Irish wedding. So they make matzo brie there? Who would have known?
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 8, 2010 2:10 PM CST
Hi everyone! I like the chatter and hope I can pick up some tips and offer the same.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 8, 2010 4:31 PM CST
Welcome!!! Love your name and your quote! What do you grow in the Hudson Valley??
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 8, 2010 4:46 PM CST
HI Kathy, you already know me from DG - I changed my username to something more fun. Plantgoddess is what they call me at work!

I grow orchids, cacti & succulents, caudiciforms and make weak attempts at bonsai, among other things. It has become nearly impossible to do anything more than container gardening due to the proliferation of wildlife here. The deer population is out of control! So, I satisfy my need for green and growing with houseplants and a job where I tend all the annuals, perennials and houseplants. Things should pick up there in the next month or so, but I am enjoying the time caring for my own and not having to go in on cold or snowy days.

Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 8, 2010 4:54 PM CST
What orchids are you growing? BTW, most of my friends who work a job with plants have absolutely no garden!!! Seems the rule. Bonsais sound great. Maybe I should make a What Else thread. What do you think?
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 8, 2010 5:43 PM CST
Oh my gosh, I grow all types of orchids! Seriously, I will try just about any of them and am patient enough (years) for blooms. Catts, paphs, phals, cyms, oncs and many others. I'd like to get more of them outdoors this year but am so hesitant because I know the deer are bold enough to come right up next to the house. I've probably killed just as many as I've managed to keep alive!

Something along the lines of "Orchids 101" might be good at some point ( I had great success with something like that on another site) so newbies won't feel foolish asking their questions. A photo journal of related terms and tools and a tutorial about potting/repotting could be great, and the more experienced might be able chime in with additional tips. Let's face it, orchids can seem intimidating - especially for those who have paid a small fortune for one or received a special gift with no idea of how to deal with it. Patience with those asking what seems to be the very same topics or questions we hear repeatedly could mean a lot to prospective 'addicts', ha ha! I guess what I'm saying is we've all been novices and were so thankful when someone took the time to address OUR issue even though they may have heard it a thousand times before! I learned this selling impatiens and begonias to first time gardeners at the store.

A What Else thread could be a lot of fun!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 8, 2010 7:19 PM CST
I'm Lindsey,
I recently quit my flight attendant job of 28 years..and couldn't be happier! About the only thing I miss is being able to tour the beautiful gardens of the world, and get paid a tiny stipend while on a layover. Now that I am home, and live where there's good light, good water, and good air circulation I'm getting back into the wonderful world of orchids and hope (with all your help) to branch out from my comfort zone of phalenopsis and cattleya.

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lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 8, 2010 7:30 PM CST
That is so great, Lindsey. Love seeing you and that's one great introduction!!! Welcome aboard (ha ha)!! I'm sure I can help since I'm never in a comfort zone!

Lynn, so glad you feel that it is important to nurture our newbies into complete addicts!! I think you should definitely start the Orchid 101 thread. Personally, I love the videos in the Information thread and want to find more. I learn the best visually.
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 8, 2010 8:08 PM CST
As much as I'd love to do this, once my job begins again, there will not be enough time to devote to this. I do think guidance is important to appreciating the wonderful plants that have the rest of us so enchanted though, and will happily contribute where and when I can.

I have to apologize that I hadn't looked at the other threads listed to see that there were links to videos. I'll check them out soon. It's nice to have something available right in the site where you are participating, too.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 8, 2010 8:14 PM CST
I look forward to your posts and totally understand. Thanks for looking at the Information thread, Lynn. I love those videos!

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