DVOS Meeting

Ken & Amy Jacobsen

Back from our virtual visits to Brazil and China, our November speaker, Ken Jacobsen, will be with us on Zoom on Thursday November 12. at 7:00PM to greet us with an in-depth presentation on “Cattleya purpurata, Queen of the Brazilian Spring”.

Ken was first introduced to orchids by his uncle in the 1960’s and has been growing them for well over 50 years. His collection includes Cymbidiums, Oncidiums, Odontoglossums, Lycastes, Cattleyas, Laelias, Masdevallias and several other genera. In better times, Ken and his wife, Amy, enjoyed traveling to all areas of the world where orchids are grown, visiting the local growers, and seeing various species in the wild. Together, Amy and Ken now have more than 7000 plants in some 6000 square feet of greenhouse space.

Ken is a judge in the AOS judging program and the CSA judging program, and is currently an AOS trustee. Amy is also a judge in the AOS program.

Ron Kaufmann

Our September speaker, Ron Kaufmann, will be with us on Zoom on Wednesday September 16, at 7:00PM.  As I mentioned in August, we will be traveling this month as Ron takes us on a virtual trip to see “Diamonds in the Rough: The Orchids of Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil”.

A marine biologist by profession, Ron Kaufmann is Associate Dean and Professor of Environmental and Ocean Sciences at the University of San Diego. His scientific work has included studies in Antarctica and deep-sea ecosystems as well as marine communities in coastal Southern California. He has been growing orchids for nearly 30 years, starting with a reed stem Epidendrum and progressing to a diverse collection that contains mostly species orchids. Ron is also chair of the San Diego County Orchid Society Conservation Committee and a founder and director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. He travels extensively (in better times) to view and help protect orchids in the wild in Asia and South America. Our guest is a busy man indeed!

Steve Hampson

Now the days are getting shorter and the nights should sometimes need a blanket it is pleasant to daydream of travel to somewhere exotic, if only in an armchair.  Last month we went to Bahia, Brazil and since we had already made that long virtual flight I thought why not take in the Far East before we return next month.

October’s speaker, Steve Hampson, will be with us on Zoom on Thursday October 8. at 7:00PM to take us on a virtual visit to see the “Orchids of Southern China”.

Steve grew up in New York, and had a strong interest in plants from a very young age. He received a Masters degree in Horticulture at the Pennsylvania State University and after running an apple orchard and plant nursery in Western Pennsylvania as co-owner for several years he settled in Southern California. Although now mostly retired, Steve was senior horticulturist at the famed Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar where he is still a popular lecturer. He has a well-earned reputation for his knowledge of sweet peas, waterlilies, dahlias and daffodils as well as orchids. Our guest is very fond of The Pleurothallid Alliance and grows a extensive collection of those species.

In better times, Steve travels extensively looking at flowers in the wild. In his presentation, he will share two trips to China, one to Yunnan and the other to Sichuan, looking for slipper orchids and other species.


Ron Parsons

Our August speaker, Ron Parsons, will be with us on Zoom on Friday, August 14, again at 7:00PM. Ron has an outstanding reputation not only for his encyclopedic knowledge of orchids but also for his superb flower photography.  He is bringing us his new presentation on “The Genus Dendrobium” which, as he says himself, is “…beautiful”.

Ron has been growing orchids for more than 40 years and has been interested in species orchids for most of that time. His passion is to photograph orchids and most other flowers whenever he can, whether it be on trips to see them in nature or in collections. He loves to travel to see orchids in the wild, and does so as often as possible. Ron has more than 90,000 digital images, most of which are of orchids, and still retains an even larger slide library of botanical photographs. Over 4,000 of his images have been published in books, magazines, periodicals and journals. He has co-authored several books, all with Mary Gerritson, the most recent being The American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture published in 2019.

Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D. is an independent biotechnology consultant who has been growing orchids (mostly species) on and off for more than 30 years, and since relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1997 started to a collection of small cool growing miniature species such as Masdevallias, Porroglossums, Lepanthes and other assorted tiny gems. She also has a second intermediate greenhouse, filled with larger species such as Angraecoids, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Laelias, Phalaenopsis and Bulbophyllums. She loves to see orchids growing in situ, and has made it her mission over the last few years to see and photograph as many as possible.

Masdevalia veitchiana

She is the co-author of several botanical books: Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World; Calochortus, Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives; A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species; A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and their Culture; and the American Orchid Society Guide to Orchid and their Culture, with fellow San Francisco Orchid Society Member and well known photographer, Ron Parsons.

Mary is the chief financial officer of the Orchid Conservation Alliance, serves on the board of directors of Orchid Digest, and is a past president of the San Francisco and the Peninsula Orchid Societies.

Our intended speaker for April was Jeff Trimble. Jeff started growing orchids in 1972. He joined his first orchid club in 1975. By 1978 Jeff was show chairman for the Peninsula Orchid Society, a member of the Santa Clara Valley Orchid society, and President of Malihini Orchid Society. In 1980 he was asked to be the VP and then President of the San Francisco Orchid Society. Jeff took on the task of Show Chairman at the Pacific Orchid Exposition one year and later was a co-founder of Orchids in the Park. He is a Past President of the Peninsula Orchid Society, the Cymbidium Society of America (CSA) and the Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers. He is also a CSA judge. Jeff grows Cymbidiums, Odontoglossums, Cattleya alliance, and many other species in his unheated greenhouse.

While Jeff could not be with us in person for his talk on ‘10 types of orchids you can grow outside’, he has worked diligently to come up with an alternative which I believe works very well. Like many speakers, Jeff’s talk would have been supported by a slide presentation. Specially for DVOS, Jeff has updated and expanded his presentation and added full voice-over. Instructions for downloading and using the related file were sent to DVOS members. 

The in person DVOS meetings at the Contra Costa Water District Building have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns till further notice.


Owner: Renate Johnson

Lc. Mildred Rives Orchidglade FCC_AOS

Dear Orchid Friends,

Well, another month has gone by and the world continues to change. I hope that all of you are
safe and sound. I am spending a lot of time with my orchids. It helps me to be able to nurture
something beautiful that brings me joy. With the problems that we are facing both medically and
socially, I find that my orchids are an important refuge for me. I hope you all are able to find
comfort in your gardens. Hopefully soon it will be time for all of us to get back out in the world
and make it a better place.





Retail Therapy???


Do you miss shopping?  Do you miss winning orchids in the monthly raffle?  Think about rewarding yourself with a day trip to California Orchids in Bolinas.   Mary Nesbit is more than happy to welcome you to her nursery during this pandemic.  She will allow 2-3 people at a time to visit the nursery, following COVID 19 guidelines (masks and hand sanitizer).  Call her and make an appointment to visit. I drove out there recently and found some beautiful blooming orchids that I just had to buy.  I had a nice visit with Tom Pickford, he rents greenhouse space from Mary.  He really has some incredible orchids in bloom.

After my visit to Mary I went to the little town and bought lunch that I ate by the ocean.  It was so nice after all this time being kept at home. If you go on a weekday there are far fewer cyclists on the road.  You can reach Mary at info@californiaorchids.com.

For those who cannot make it to Bolinas your shopping needs can be taken care of in Daly City at D & D orchids.  Dennis Olivas would like to welcome you to his incredible greenhouse.  He also follows COVID19 guidelines and by calling him at 925 683 3609 you can set up an appointment to visit.

For new members think about visiting these nurseries.  Not only will you see a wonderful selection of orchids but you will learn a lot about growing orchids.  Both Mary and Dennis are fantastic teachers.  They know so much about growing the orchids they grow and sell and do not hesitate to share their knowledge.

Happy shopping,

Eileen Jackson

The in person DVOS meeting at the Contra Costa Water District Building on May 14,  has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Phragmipedium caudatum ‘Cow Hollow’

Dear Orchid Friends,

This months’ speaker was to have been Leo Schordje who grows his orchids, mostly under lights, in Zion City, on the shore of Lake Michigan about 40 miles north of Chicago. [At the thought of that location in winter, my orchids are already shivering!]
For health reasons unrelated to COVID-19 Leo could not have been with us personally, but with his kind permission we have developed a substantial slide presentation from his written material. It will be available for download on May 16. After only limited
editing of his actual words, the text portion very closely represents what he would have said in his planned talk on ‘The culture of hybrid Phragmipediums’. Having talked to Leo at length, I think his personality and humor are quite apparent and complemented by the many supporting images.

I will send all DVOS members the link and password in the next few days. Please look out for them.
I hope you enjoy Leo and his knowledge of Phragmipediums as much as I did trying to bring them to life!

Peter Ansdell

Owner: Nick Doe

Phragmipedium besseae

Owner: Daniel Neighbors

Phragmipedium hybrid

Speaker’s Choice

Dear Orchid Friends,

The DVOS Board has discussed the COVID-19 concerns as they impact our upcoming meeting Thursday, March 12. We have decided to cancel this meeting. We have made this decision based on the document cited below.
Public Health Recommendations for COVID-19 – March 10, 2020 from the Contra Costa Health Sevices https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/COVID-19-Interim-Guidance-for-Social-Distancing.pdf Excerpt:
• Cancel or postpone large gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, celebrations, conventions, religious services and community events where 50 or more people are within arm’s length of each other.
• Cancel or postpone events for or attended by older adults or others who are at higher risk for severe illness.
I know that we are all interested in attending this meeting but our health and disease containment are the most important factor. Stay safe. I send you my greetings and will see you when this risk is past.


Debra Attwood will give this presentation at a future time.

Debra Attwood: “It’s out of the pot, now what?” A practical demonstration of making the best choices for re-potting

Founder of Napa Valley Orchids, Debra Attwood is a third generation Napan who grows Angraecoids, species Phalaenopsis, Neofinetias, Maxillarias, Encyclias and what ever else catches her fancy. Her greenhouse maintains an intermediate temperature range and her plants thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Napa. In addition to caring for a greenhouse full of beautiful orchids, she consults, is a regular speaker at orchid societies and garden clubs and performs greenhouse maintenance for clients. She has taught orchid classes for many years, and still conducts workshops as time allows.

The Plant Table will be supplied by the speaker.  Debra Attwood will also bring some plants to sell.

Our no-host Speaker Dinner will be  at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speakers – email Peter Ansdell at padvos@attglobal.net to reserve a seat; not later than the day before the meeting, please.

If you have any orchid related question in need of an answer, our February meeting is for you! There will be a total of five speakers; Dennis Olivas; Eileen Jackson; Peter Ansdell; Sung Lee Han and Tom Pickford, all members of DVOS. Eileen, Peter, Sung and Tom will form a panel to answer your questions and Dennis will act as moderator with full powers to intervene.

Eileen Jackson

Eileen grows her Cymbidiums and many other award-winning orchids in Vallejo.

Peter Ansdell

Sung Han Lee

Peter is an inveterate Walnut Creek windowsill grower of Phalaenopsis species and hybrids.

Sung has won so many awards at DVOS with his Castro Valley Cattleyas and other species he is now hors concours and

Tom is an American Orchid Society judge growing innumerable different orchids, many of them beautifully mounted, in his greenhouse in Bolinas.


Dennis will be accumulating written questions at the beginning of the evening or you may ask the panel “live”. Please do not bring plants. If your question involves a specific plant, please bring the clearest possible colored image. If you think the plant may be sick or has a pest, the panel would appreciate a typical leaf and/or an example of the pest in a closed plastic bag.


Dennis Olivas

The Plant Table will be supplied by the club.


Our no-host Speaker Dinner will be  at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speakers – email Peter Ansdell at padvos@attglobal.net to reserve a seat; not later than the day before the meeting, please.