Micaela Solis, now in her second term as president of the Riverside-San Bernardino Counties Orchid Society, said it is a mistaken belief that orchids are hard to grow.
"They're not as delicate as many people believe," she said. "They don't grow in potting soil. They like a bark medium. They are terrestrials and like aereated environments."
Solis said, "We have hardy orchids that grow outdoors in the Southern California area. The colors and textures are so varied. What scares some people is that when orchids are hothouse-grown, they are forced, and when people get them home and they change environment and temperature, they sometimes go into shock and don't make it. Many people don't realize this,"
Solis and Sandy Collins, past president of the society, said they don't consider themselves horticulturalists because there is always so much to learn.
"We can never learn everything," said Collins, who has won 14 American Orchid Society awards.
Dozens of other flowers, fresh vegetables and cacti, as well as flower arrangements, gardening and food vendors added to the serenity of the springtime Garden Festival. Hourly opportunity drawings and Home Depot Kids Projects made the public event even more festive.
Dann Dunst, district director of the Palms to Pines District of the California Garden Clubs, said, "It's an opportunity for all garden clubs to come in and share with the public about their clubs and the kinds of activities and programs they have. "
Linda Evans, a teacher of organic edible gardening, said she tries to tell people they don't need a lot of space for gardening.
"When you use every inch of soil, it's better for water conservation. You don't even have to worry about weeds," said Evans, a member of the Redlands Horitcultural Society. Evans, who grows a lot of vegetables and lettuce varieties, said edible landscaping is beautiful color for your garden. "When you go to the supermarket, you're limited. "
In all, 13 gardening clubs comprise the Palms to Pines District, with another seven activity groups under the auspices of the organization.
"Our Horticultural Society goes to schools in the Rialto, San Bernardino and Redlands school districts to encourage kids to try gardening. It's good to teach people when they're young. Any schools who would like to learn, we'll be happy to teach them," Evans said.
Gardening is very therapeutic, Solis said.
Reach Michel via email, find her on Twitter @michelnolan, or call her at 909-386-3859.