By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri Krasov
If you look from Fort Mason, home to the San Francisco Orchid Society’s Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, in the direction of Taiwan, the first thing you see would be the Golden Gate Bridge.
This year, the Expo celebrates its 60th anniversary, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of the most famous San Francisco landmark, Golden Gate Bridge.
60 is an auspicious date in Asian culture, and for the first time Taiwan, the largest exporter of orchids in the world, joined the San Francisco Orchid Society in presenting more than 150 000 lavish flowers from USA, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Columbia at this international event.
Mary E. Gerritsen, President of the San Francisco Orchid Society and Janice She-Jen Lai, Director General of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and other distinguished guests spoke at the Gala Benefit Preview on February 23.
Dennis Westler, Pacific Orchid Exposition Show Chair, took a group of journalists on an Orchid Doctor Docent Tour around the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, where the majority of flower arrangements were dedicated to the Golden Gate theme.
Similar docent tours were offered to the public in the course of the weekend-long show. I was pleased to learn that orchids don’t eat insects, but rather attract them for pollination purposes. I also learned that round white orchids were the first ones produced by growers through artificial hybridization, and that the most awesome plants we see today don’t even exist in nature.
Apparently, the most mind-boggling combinations of shapes and colors appeared in the last three decades as a result of human passion toward growing more and more beautiful orchids – and the variety never ends.
A feast for the eyes, the Gala Benefit Preview also included wine tasting from a number of California wineries, delectable hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and live music by Celtic harpist Lisa Lynn and bamboo flutist George Tortorelli.
For the preceding Taiwan Tourism Bureau reception, wines from around the world were delivered by the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, with treats from Anne Olson’s Intimate Catering and Prepared Meals.
More information at: www.orchidsanfrancisco.org