Orchid enthusiast a top winner

2014-09-20 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG resident Vincent Ambrose won the prize for best orchid on display at this year’s Garden Show in the city.

He only began cultivating orchids as a hobby nine years ago.

Ambrose’s prize-winning orchid is the Casa de Luna — the national flower of Costa Rica — which he grew from a seedling.

No stranger to awards, he was recognised for having the best Oncidium on display last year.

Ambrose, who worked in the printing industry and is now retired, said he was always a keen gardener.

His interest in orchids grew after a friend gave him a plant that was supposed to bloom once a year. He said it never bloomed in all the time he had it. “I started reading up about this orchid and nurturing it. He gave it to me at the beginning of August and by the end of September it flowered,” Ambrose said.

Since then he has accumulated a collection of close to a thousand orchids.

He does his own research and does not have hothouses at his home in Northdale.

Ambrose says he works in intermediate conditions and improvises where he can.

His interest has grown to such an extent that he is now learning to be an orchid judge.

He is a member of the Pietermaritzburg Orchid Society and is often invited to give talks on the cultivation of these exotic plants.

Ambrose will spend time in the Orchid Hall during the Garden Show, which ends tomorrow.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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