Member Snapshot: Barry Moore
Our Member Snapshot for this month is Barry Moore. A landscape designer and artist, he shares with us some of his creative ideas on growing his native orchids.
Q: How did you come to be an orchid enthusiast?
Barry: I had a grandfather who grew tropical plants in a glass house as a hobby and became fascinated with plants in general as a very small kid. I always thought I'd grow orchids when I retired, but saw the Cumberland orchid show at my local shopping centre a few years back and the rest is history.
Q: Which are your favourite native orchids and why?
Barry: My first purchases were Den. kingianums and Den. speciosums and I love them, but the hybrids being bred now are spectacular and the Phauis (southern swamp orchid – Ed.).
Q: Approximately how many “pots” in your collection?
Barry: About 250; I like to grow them big!
Q: How often do you water your orchids?
Barry: Depending on the weather, once or twice a week in the winter and every 2nd day in summer.
Q: Do you fertilize your orchids?
Barry: Definitely. After seeing Dan Tomich's collection and speaking to him about fertigation, my plants are fertilised very weakly every time I water. I use Peter's, plus various organic fertilisers (Nitrosol, Strikeback, Thrive, worm and cow tea) as well as Seasol.
Q: What are the common pests that attack your orchids and how do you control them?
Barry: Dendrobium beetles; I used to spray the new canes with Carbaryl,but I found the process slow, expensive and ineffective. I just check most mornings and evenings during the season and pick the odd one off by hand. I have found I get very little damage. Scale was a problem this year and I sprayed with Confidor.
Q: What was the most memorable orchid collection you’ve visited?
Barry: Henk van den Berg's collection is a site to behold; Dan Tomich's also. I couldn't believe the growth he gets on his speciosums.
Q: Which is your favourite nursery to purchase orchids from?
Barry: I prefer to buy from top growers; Don Cruikshank, Henk van den Berg, Dan Tomich, Bill Dobson, etc. That way I can get good sized plants in top condition that I know have been grown very well. I've given up on seedlings.
Q: What was the worst mistake you ever made growing your orchids?
Barry: Not fertilising enough (see above). It's a myth that native plants in general don't need much fertiliser. The improvement I've achieved since switching to fertigation has been tremendous.
Q: What would you advise novices thinking of or just starting out growing orchids?
Barry: Join a club and ask lots of questions! Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge the experienced growers have.
A few of Barry's native hybrids
Just one of the little ones!
Q: What do you like about our club ANOS Sydney Group and what activity do you enjoy the most?
Barry: I love picking the brains of the orchid gurus in the club. Also, the benching competition – getting to see how well they really can be grown and seeing orchids you've never even heard of before.
Q: What is on your orchid wish list?
Barry: Bigger, better and more spectacular! Plus one or two of Dan Tomich's cananiculatums!
Q: Is there anything else you may want to add?
Barry: As a landscaper/ landscape designer and artist, I'm in the final stages of creating my own dream garden, and a big part of that are the native orchids. There's no reason why we can't grow spectacular specimens outside. My whole collection is in the open (no ugly, rickety bush houses for me!)
I'm growing everything as big as I can (I think most growers don't get to see the full potential of their plants because they split them up too soon) and the results are beginning to show. I'm also beginning to mount a lot more plants, trying to mimic their natural habitat.
It will be like nothing else anywhere in the world, basically an art/sculpture gallery in the middle of a rainforest/botanical orchid garden. Hopefully I might change the way people think about growing orchids!
Work in progress on Barry's Native Orchid Garden
Start with a native forest backyard
Begin collecting native orchids
Keep adding and look after your collection
Soon to be: An art/sculpture gallery in the middle of a rainforest orchid garden