Orchids galore

IT was an orchid extravaganza at the Penang Botanic Gardens during the eight-day Penang Orchid Festival which drew locals and tourists alike to admire the beautiful blooms.

Featuring a breathtaking display of over 300 orchids of 35 species by dedicated orchid growers from all over Malaysia, the event site was decked in a sea of yellow, purple, red, pink, white and other colourful orchids.

Over at the Orchid Show corner, visitors were seen admiring the pots of orchid plants brought along by avid orchid fans to compete in 35 categories.

Human resource executive Salina Lim, 30, who came on a weekend outing last Sunday with her friends, said she usually came to admire the flowers but not to buy them.

“I love flowers but I just don’t have the space to keep them in my apartment nor the time to take care of the plants.

“The array of colours is beautiful. It’s nice to stroll about admiring nature’s splendour on a bright sunny day,” she said.

Her friend, Tan Hoi Min, said she was hoping to get her father to grow the guava tree that was also available for sale at the festival.

“I love guavas and perhaps if he decides to grow them, I can have our own guavas,” the 27-year-old engineer said.

Federation of Malaya Orchid Society vice-president Ng Hock Sing said the society judged the best plant based on its colour, texture, roundness of the flower, freshness and its display.

“We are looking at how attractive the plant is. Each category winner will be awarded RM50 while the best orchid plant owner will win RM300,” he said.

United Nation Orchid Sdn Bhd supervisor Ho Kwai Fatt said orchids were actually hardy plants and it was simple to grow them.

“One just need to water the plants twice a day during hot weather and fertilise them once a week,” he added. The festival ended on Sunday.

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