By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Orchid society seeking those interested in learning
Patty Reece shows off an award-winning orchid at last year’s San Joaquin Orchid Society Show and Sale at the Sherwood Mall. The event will be held this from April 1 through April 3 at the same location. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
It’s been more than 15 years since Patty Reece watched her first orchid wither up and die.

Now the Manteca businesswoman and orchid aficionado has more than 720 logged orchids in a greenhouse at her Escalon home. She plans on showing as many as 20 of those flowering plants at the upcoming San Joaquin Orchid Society annual show and sale at the Sherwood Mall in Stockton.

This will mark the 57th year that the organization – which aims to educate people about orchids and help amateurs grow into experienced green-thumbs – will hold the American Orchid Society-sanctioned event.

“We have people from all over the area that come to the show to view the exhibits and bring their own to enter,” said Reece – a past president of the San Joaquin Orchid Society. “This year we’ll have orchids flown in from Hawaii like we did last year to sell as a fundraiser for the organization.”

The show and sale will take place at the Sherwood Mall from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3. The mall and the show will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit will be set up in front of the food court.

According to Reece, the non-profit group, which holds classes once-a-month to teach people about the intricacies of handling the delicate plants, will also be providing complimentary repotting for those interested.

All of the money raised by the event, she said, will go back towards holding the classes that help educate newcomers to the world of orchids and promote the group throughout the area.

 “We get a lot of annual visitors and followers that stop by over the course of the three days, and some are experienced growers and others just want to learn,” Reece said. “It’s an event that is open to everyone, and we encourage people to come out and take a look at what we have.”

But even though this won’t be her first time showing off her precious plants to people who share a similar love interest, there are still days when Reece beams with joy when she takes a walk out to her greenhouse.

“I was walking by a row the other day and I noticed one that bloomed,” she said with a smile. “I had never noticed it before, and there it was with these beautiful colors. That’s what I love most about doing this.”

Those interested in becoming a member of the San Joaquin Orchid Society can contact Reece at 824-2300.