It was a room full of vibrant colours and beautiful natural displays all in celebration of one thing: orchids.
The Toronto Artistic Orchid Association (TAOA) hosted its annual orchid show Saturday at the Centre for Information and Community Services (CICS) on Midland Avenue.
Santos Peixe, one of 20 vendors, said he was a Portugal native who travelled to Canada and then soon fell in love with orchids.
“I live in British Columbia and became a member of the society in Vancouver, and I got the sickness — the orchid sickness,” he said. “When I moved to Ontario, I had 500 orchids in my van and brought them with me as my best friends.”
The society has been having these shows for around 12 years with over 5,000 attendees.
Rosanna Li, a committee member who has been with the society since it began 13 years ago, says the show brings awareness to those who may want to become more involved in orchids but aren’t privy to the information needed to do it.
“We know most people like to grow their own orchids, but don’t know how to find different species or hybrids of orchids,” she said. “Usually the kinds you find at stores like Wal-Mart and Costco are just phalaenopsis. We run this show to promote the 10,000 species of orchids there are.”
Among the 10,000 species of orchids are over 100,000 hybrids that can be produced with the proper know-how. Peixe says it takes more than just water and sunlight.
“Number one, it’s an expensive hobby. It takes money,” he said. “I’m accommodating about 12,000. We have to spend quite some time watering them. It’s a five-hour-a-day affair. And they need to be repotted every six months to a year.”