October Speaker: Cynthia Hill – My Ten Favorite Orchids and Why I Love Them
Cynthia Hill has been growing orchids for pleasure for over 40 years, beginning on a kitchen windowsill in St. Louis with a mail-order plant of Slc. Jewel Box ‘Scheherazade’. When she moved to Solana Beach in 1982, she started growing plants outdoors on a small patio, and then in a 7×7 ft lean-to greenhouse. Now living in the Bay Area since 2005, she grows around 500 species orchids in an intermediate greenhouse. She has a special interest in propagating some of the rare and unusual species she cultivates, sending the seed to be flasked, and making the seedlings available to growers around the world. Plants she has cultivated have received the highest cultural and flower quality awards from the American Orchid Society, as well as the Benjamin Kodama and Carlyle A. Luer Annual Awards from the AOS.
Cindy’s love of nature has been the common thread in her life and work. After majoring in Biology at Lawrence University, she worked in a research lab at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis studying kidney disease, then on to represent a radio chemicals company in six states in the Midwest. She moved to San Diego to be product manager at Hybritech, a new start-up that was among the first to make monoclonal antibodies for research and clinical use. She later lived in Hong Kong for a year, working at Ocean Park on special projects in the Veterinary and Education department. Paddling in an expat women’s’ dragonboat, her team went on to win a roast suckling pig, and the 1994 Women’s Dragonboat championship in Victoria Harbor.
Cindy served as Acting Editor of Orchid Digest magazine for five years, and has been a long-time member of the Publication Committee of both Orchids magazine and Orchid Digest. Her articles have appeared in both magazines, as well as in Die Orchideen Journal.
My Ten Favorite Orchids and Why I Love Them
Cindy will give a personal tour of the orchids that she has come to appreciate more and more every year, including species from Coelogyne, Laelia, Dendrobium, Cochlioda, Cleisocentron, Neofinetia and Schoenorchis. The focus will be on the reasons she finds them so rewarding, and on sharing what she has learned about keeping them happy.