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Out & About / Ventura County

Orchids for Mom

Show offers exotic (and easy) plants perfect for Mother's Day.


A large multipurpose room inside the Thousand Oaks Library will be transformed into a rainbow of color this weekend when the Conejo Orchid Society hosts its annual show.

"Romancing the Orchids" runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. It's the second year the 17-year-old club has held the free event, timed as a shopping opportunity for the May 9 holiday.

"We chose the week before Mother's Day so people could have orchids for their mothers," said club member Corey Dzitzer.

The show is also aimed at flower lovers and seasoned gardeners.

"It's a good way to bring orchids to the public," said society president Kathy Boals. "There's been a huge interest in gardening and with that has come a large interest in orchids."

The nice thing about orchids is that one doesn't need a green thumb to own and care for them, Boals said.

Despite a vast array of colors and sizes and thousands of varieties, most orchids are easy to grow, she said.

"They are perceived as very exotic, but there's no magic to growing them."

The orchid family has the largest number of species--about 10,000--of any family of plants in the world, and tens of thousands of hybrids. The flowers come in nearly every color except true blue and pure black.

The familiar bluish red and pale purple often show up in corsages, but club members will be displaying more than 100 plants in a variety of colors.


Some of the more well-known orchids are the lady's slipper, formally known as Paphiopedilum (paff-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum), which easily grows indoors on windowsills, and the moth orchid, or Phalaenopsis (fal-en-OPP-siss), which has long-lasting moth-like blooms in an array of colors.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions and talk about growing orchids indoors, outdoors in mild climates and under glass in greenhouses.

Also available will be potting demonstrations and printed literature about orchids.

And there will be information for people interested in joining the society, which currently has about 40 members.

Pre-potted orchids of various types will be on sale, in bloom or ready to bloom. Tips on caring for them will be included, and supplies will be available.

Depending on species, an orchid bloom will last from a week to a month. Orchids bloom at various times of year.

"For the most part, we are selling the types of orchids that are easy for the average person to grow," Boals said.

And remember that an orchid will bloom again and again.

"It is a wonderful gift for mom and better than buying a cut orchid because the flower will last," Boals said. Society members can also explain how to package and ship an orchid plant.

For more information, call 492-1569 or 499-6260.



Speaking of flowers, the Ojai Valley Garden Club and the Ojai Center for the Arts will present "Art in Bloom" this weekend.

The display by area artists will include floral arrangement interpretations.

This year's event has been expanded to include a juried competition. Proceeds will benefit the art center at 113 S. Montgomery St. in Ojai.

The event will be held at the center from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Two-day tickets, which include a champagne gala, live music and silent auction Saturday, are $35; Sunday-only tickets are $10.

For more information, call 646-0117.



The community of Fillmore has come together to celebrate its rich citrus industry every year since 1917, and the tradition continues.

The annual "Orange Festival" starts today with a carnival and expands into a weekend street fair, parade and pancake breakfast.

The carnival at Central Park runs from 3:30 to 10 p.m. today and Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

A parade will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday on Central Avenue, followed by the street fair including train rides through the orchards, more than 40 arts and crafts booths, and food vendors both Saturday and Sunday.

Also both days will be a pancake breakfast, 5K and 10K races, a petting zoo and plenty of live entertainment.

Bands include Danny Torres and the Piru River Band, House Arrest, Crossfire, Nuestro and Persuasion and Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries.

Parking and admission to the festival are free.

For more information, call the Fillmore Chamber of Commerce at 524-0351.

Holly J. Wolcott can be reached by e-mail at or by telephone at 653-7581.

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