Saturday, February 27, 2010

65th Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

March 12-14, 2010
9 am to 5 pm
Earl Warren Showground
hwy 101 and Las Positas Road,Santa Barbara

Adults $12, Seniors and Students $10

This is the 65th anniversary of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show held annually in March.  The show started in 1945 by the Santa Barbara Horticultural Society at Montecito Grange Hall. The show has moved several times as it grew larger and drew more and more interest from collectors, spectators and hobbyists eventually to its current location at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The display of thousands of orchids takes up the large exhibit hall; and the small building called Warren Hall houses the vendors.  Growers come from far and near to display their prized exotic plants.  Many are also offered for sale. At its peak in 1999, the orchid show drew 14,000 people.

Orchids are at their peak several weeks before Easter and that's when growers start harvesting their crops.
John Rowe, an active member of the Santa Barbara Orchid community for more than 40years, is a member of the board of directors of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show.  Although retired as a commercial grower, Mr. Rowe keeps a "small hobby collection of orchids" on his property.

Santa Barbara's semi-tropical climate is almost perfect for growing cymbidiums and orchids. Several of my many Cymbidiums have already finished blooming and there are many more to go.  My garden and home are always filled with orchids. 

England is the pioneer in the orchid world, Mr. Rowe stated during his interview with the Santa Barbara Newspress.  Even today orchids have to be registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in London.  During the WWII English Horticulturalists were afraid that most of the orchids would be destroyed so many were sent to the United States for safekeeping.

The Santa Barbara Show, one of the oldest in the nation, is considered the premier orchid show in the country. The Showgrounds becomes a magical paradise of exotic flowers.  Commercial growers create their dsiplays around a theme.  This year's theme is Nature in Harmony.

The above information was extrapolated from an article in the SB Newspress, the Facebook Page of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show,and the Santa Barbara Independent.

For the full story about the history of the show,  interviews and information go to:, and
photographs by Charles Rowden and Dick Clark  from the SBOrchidShow facebook page
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