Welcome to the Palomar Orchid Society Website!

The Palomar Orchid Society, incorporated in December of 1965 was formed when a few people banded together to talk about orchids. We then grew and bloomed into the roughly 200-member group of orchid enthusiasts that we have today. We represent everything orchid in North San Diego County! Come and join us!!

The Palomar Orchid Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and cultivation of both hybrid and species orchids. We welcome members of all levels to join us for orchid fun and learning! Our mission is to promote interest in the appreciation of orchids and to provide an opportunity for their display and the exchange and dissemination of information relating to their culture.

January 2023 – Carol Klonowski

Carol KlonowskiCarol KlonowskiFor our first meeting of the year, we are pleased to welcome Carol Klonowski from the Bay area, who will speak on the ‘Orchids of South Africa’. Carol will take everyone on a tour of the orchid growing areas of this fascinating part of Africa and the world.  Long known as one of the garden hot-spots of the planet, South Africa has a diverse and fascinating number of habitats and climates that provide a robust setting for flora and fauna of all types.  Hear about the ‘other’ orchids Down Under and how to grow them in your collection. South Africa is the home of over 500 orchid species including the genera of Ansellia, Aerangis, Angraecum, Bulbophyllum, Disa, Eulophia, Mystacidum, just to name a few. Carol’s talk is one not to be missed.

Carol is a shared speaker with our sister society, SDCOS, and she will speak to them on January 3 on ‘Tolumnias’ for those of you who would like to attend her talk in Balboa Park or via zoom.

Carol Klonowski has been growing orchids since the 1980’s when a friend in Berkeley, California, gave her a cattleya orchid and it bloomed out with three big, dark lavender flowers and an intoxicating fragrance. She built an entire greenhouse in her backyard to accommodate the precious plant, which only led her to buy more orchids. Then another friend gave her a gift membership to the Orchid Society of California, and it’s been a serious hobby ever since.   Read more »

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

2022 Holiday Dinner

Our 2022 Holiday Dinner will be held on December 7, 2022 starting at 6:30 pm in the George and Patricia Gowland Meeting Room located in the Carlsbad City Library. Dinner will be catered at the cost of $30 per person, which includes soft drinks and water. Every guest will be gifted an orchid.

Please mail the completed RSVP form by December 1 to Bill Wong with your check made payable to the Palomar Orchid Society. We cannot accept payment and/or walk-ins at the day of the event.

Wed, 12/07/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

November 2022 – Arnold Gum

Arnold GumArnold GumWe are delighted to welcome back Arnold Gum as speaker for our November meeting.  Arnie will present the talk ‘Orchid Sherlock’ which addresses genetic influences of different species.  Arnie will teach us how to spot what's in the background of your orchids.  He will talk about tag sleuthing (broken tags, faded tags, lost tags, etc.) including Cattleya species influences and Phalaenopsis species influences. Arnie is an excellent and engaging speaker who readily shares his wealth of knowledge with the orchid community.  It is a talk not to be missed.

Arnie recently retired in July of this year from his career as a patent attorney at Qualcomm so he can spend more time with his plants, exercise, getting healthy, ukulele, gym, etc.  At Qualcomm, he was responsible for putting GPS in our smartphones and has a few hundred patents worldwide to his name.   Read more »

Wed, 11/02/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

October 2022 – Peter Lin

Peter LinPeter LinWe are delighted to welcome back one of our favorite speakers Peter Lin. Peter will be presenting his newest talk on: ‘Orchids Alfresco! Best Orchids to Grow Outdoors’. This fast paced PowerPoint presentation will show you some of the best orchid species and hybrids to grow outdoors in Southern California. Peter will also discuss some of the challenges to growing outside and some great tips to overcome them. 

Peter started growing orchids over 30 years ago, but then stopped due to school and starting a career. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that the orchid "bug" came back and he is now heavily involved once again. He is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and a hybridizer of mini-catts. He enjoys meeting with other orchid enthusiasts, and can often be found at various orchid shows and societies around the country. He also has hundreds of photos of his orchids that he maintains on Flickr. You can view them on his flickr pages.

Due to limited growing space, Peter likes to specialize in miniature orchids, both species and hybrids, and has received numerous AOS awards. His other interests in orchids include Dendrobiums, Angraecoids, and Neofinetias. He maintains a collection of a thousand or more orchids at his home in Southern California in 3 small greenhouses, as well as in the house under fluorescent lights.

This month’s plant table will consist of some nice divisions from hobbyist Joe Rupp. Peter will be selling some of his orchids at the meeting.

Wed, 10/05/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

September 2022 – Jerry Spencer and Ken Campbell

For September, we welcome two of our veteran, highly successful orchid hobbyists, Ken Campbell and Jerry Spencer, to present our second culture session of the year. Both members have received multiple awards for their impressive orchids at local shows and each has several years of experience in growing and maintaining a variety of orchid classes. For this novel culture meeting, Ken and Jerry will discuss the challenges of growing in greenhouse and shade structure environments and the steps they take to grow their most beautiful orchids. Not only are they growing in different environments, but their collections are at the opposite extremes in size. Ken grows in a small greenhouse structure, while Jerry grows on more than 2 acres of shade and greenhouse structures.  . This should be a very interesting and informative presentation not to be missed so please bring your friends and orchid growing questions to the meeting.  Jerry and Anita Spencer have agreed to provide the orchids for our opportunity table this month. We also will have some Cal-Orchid plants for sale on the Silent Auction table.

Wed, 09/07/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

August 2022 – Rene Van Rems

Rene Van RemsRene Van Rems

We are delighted to welcome Rene Van Rems, AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) to our society for the first time. Rene is “artist in residence” at the San Diego Botanic Garden and has produced 20 of the Gala in the Gardens fundraisers from its inception. Rene knows the garden well throughout his 42 year relationship with the former Quail Botanical Garden, ever since he landed from Amsterdam as a horticulture exchange student. He is the San Diego Botanic Garden Creative Director for the Palomar and San Diego County Orchid Society’s “World of Orchids”, which just finished a sell-out 6-week exhibition.

In his talk titled "Artistic Design of the World of Orchids Show at the San Diego Botanic Garden" Rene will share his creative insights as it relates to plant display, composition, and how to get the most visual value of each species. Rene will present a visually exciting lecture on the principles and elements of design, focusing on color, texture and proportion. He will also cover the subject of visual perception and the role our emotions play in viewing (artistic) works of art. Enjoy a custom produced “behind the scenes” tour of the highly popular SDBG “World of Orchids”. The plant table will consist of the remaining plants from Fred Clarke’s donated cattleyas plus a few others.    Read more »

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

July 2022 – Scott McGregor

Scott McGregorScott McGregorWe are delighted to welcome Scott McGregor to speak on "Pushing Limits -- Growing Species in Southern California.” We are blessed to live in a great climate for growing orchids outdoors and Scott will share with us his story of an experiment to try growing over 500 orchid species without a greenhouse in coastal Southern California. Not all succeeded, but many that were thought to require a greenhouse have been proven to thrive in our climate. Scott’s talk will inspire those without a greenhouse to try some new species, and for those with a greenhouse -- you can make room for more plants by moving some of your current plants outside. Scott’s presentation will be streamed on Zoom for those members and friends who are unable to attend in person.   Read more »

Wed, 07/06/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

June 2022 – Fred Clarke

Fred ClarkeFred Clarke We are happy to welcome back Fred Clarke who will speak on ‘Spotted and Splashed Cattleyas’. Spotted and splashed cattleyas come in many colors and shapes. Fred will teach us about the important breeding plants and what hybrids are available for the orchid enthusiast and highlight many of the interesting orchids he has developed in this class. In conclusion Fred will cover the ‘best growing practices’ for cultivation of these colorful and showy orchids.

As many of you know, Fred is a world renown hybridizer and grower of award winning cattleya species and hybrids as well as several other classes of orchids. He is also a long time, generous supporter of the Palomar Orchid Society and one of our most favorite speakers. Fred has been growing orchids for over 42 years and has been hybridizing for 38 of those years. With over 34 years as a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry, Fred applies these skills at his orchid nursery, Sunset Valley Orchids, located in Vista, California, just north of San Diego. His nursery’s website has considerable information, plants for sale and many beautiful pics of his award-winning orchids.

Fred is a passionate orchid grower whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied. Although developing Cattleya hybrids has been his sustaining interest, he is also actively creating new Paphiopedilum and Aussie Dendrobium hybrids plus some other generas including Sarcochilus, Zygopetalum Alliance, Lycaste, and Stanhopea and their relatives.   Read more »

Wed, 06/01/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

General Meeting May 2022

May 2022 – Carlos Lopez

Carlos LopezCarlos LopezPOS welcomes back our friend Carlos Lopez as our May speaker. Carlos will present an interesting talk on ‘Habinerias and their Hybrids’. He will review the species and hybrids from this class of orchids and discuss culture and care for these unusual and beautiful terrestrial orchids.

Many of us know Carlos from his work at Sunset Valley Orchids. Carlos is a Business student at Mira Costa College who has been cultivating orchids for over 10 years. His orchid venture began at the age of thirteen years old when he started to follow his father to work at Sunset Valley Orchids. Before he knew it, he was volunteering at the nursery and was helping clean orchid flasks, repot orchids, and doing small tasks. Carlos eventually began to become more involved in the nursery's operations/maintenance and started to take part in attending orchid shows and selling orchids at the SVO booths. He is currently Sunset Valley Orchids Greenhouse specialist and has years of experience with Cattleya, Catasetum, Australian Dendrobiums, and Sarcochilus orchids. Carlos is currently training to become an American Orchid Society Judge and works with Orchid Digest as well. This month’s plant table will consist of orchids from Carlos’s collection and from SVO. 

Wed, 05/04/2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm