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Orchid show set for today, Sunday
Patty Reece shows off an award-winning orchid at last year’s San Joaquin Orchid Society show and sale. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
STOCKTON – Patty Reece has come a long way since she watched the first orchid ever given to her as a gift shrivel up and die right before her eyes.

But it wouldn’t take long for Reece – who founded and still runs New York Diamonds – to develop the delicate touch needed to handle plants that she says require an ample amount of “tender loving care.”

After getting several other orchids of her own, Reece – who is once again serving as the president of the San Joaquin County Orchid Society – started adding rare and unique orchid species to her growing collection. Eventually a greenhouse was needed to house the ever-growing assortment, and once that space filled up, she added another so that she could keep her hobby going.

“It’s something that’s peaceful and allows you to unwind,” said Reece on why she loves growing orchids. “It’s a stress reliever, and to see the results of them blooming is a big accomplishment.

“Right now I have some that are getting ready to bloom. The season has been a little bit off this year because of the cold winter – things are going to be delayed by about 30 days. Because of the long winter the days are shorter and we need plenty of sunlight to get them to bloom. But we’ll have plenty of beautiful orchids to show.”

And the 55th annual Orchid Fest show and sale – which takes place from today and Sunday at the Sherwood Mall in Stockton – offers a lot more than just a chance to browse the beautiful plants that took months to nurture and prepare.

According to Reece, the event also gives amateur green thumbs the chance to talk to some more experienced growers and to possibly join the Orchid Society and even further their knowledge about the exotic plants and their unique history.

The fact that the show itself gains high marks from the American Orchid Society is just icing on the cake.

“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.”

The Sherwood Mall is located on Pacific Avenue in Stockton. To get there from Manteca take Interstate 5 northbound to the March Lane exit and head east. Follow March Lane until it intersects with Pacific Ave., and then turn left. Follow Pacific Avenue morth before making a right on Yokuts Avenue. The parking lot is on the left.

For more information, visit the San Joaquin Orchid Society’s website at