About Suffolk Orchid Society

The Suffolk Orchid Society was founded on September 5th 1981 when 10 growers met at the Oddfellows Hall in Ipswich and is still going strong today.

Our History

The Suffolk Orchid Society was formed on September 5th 1981 when 10 growers met at the Oddfellows Hall in Ipswich. They had all responded to a letter placed in the OSGB Journal by John Heyett seeking to form a Society in the Suffolk area. Initially meetings were held at the above venue on the first Saturday of the month. This changed after a few years to the last Wednesday and the venue changed to a local school. The membership was at first very small with sometimes only ten or a dozen attending for meetings. Thanks in part to the Society putting on displays at garden centres and flower shows the membership gradually increased to its present level.
Suffolk Orchid Display table

The meetings have always been held during the September to May period and it is only in recent years that we have had enough growers and therefore plants to stage a show of our own, usually in March. We began showing our plants in the mid-eighties at the Ipswich Flower Show held in Christchurch Park. This show was mainly for roses and fuchsias and was held in July which is not a good month for orchids. It was decided to mount a stand at the Suffolk Show which was a great success and now this has become an annual event.

It is from these humble beginnings that our successful Society has grown.

Suffolk Orchid Display table

What We Do

Monthly meetings

We hold regular meetings with different themes and run monthly competitions for the best growers.

Our meetings are normally held on the last Wednesday of the month. We do not have meetings in July, August or December. Meetings start at 7.30pm. Please refer to the “Events” section of this website for up to date information.

The venue is St Michaels Church Centre, The Drift, Martlesham, IP5 3PL.

You can find it next to the small shopping centre and the Douglas Bader pub where there is ample parking. It is a large modern church hall with good facilities. For those hard of hearing we encourage our speakers to use our PA system. At each meeting we normally have an outside speaker who gives a talk, often illustrated, lasting about an hour followed by questions. Some bring orchid plants for sale. Refreshments follow and a raffle is drawn.

We pride ourselves in giving new members a friendly welcome.



We began showing our plants in the mid-eighties at the Ipswich Flower Show. Today, we mount an annual stand at the Suffolk Show which is always a great success.

We hold a very successful show in March/April each year to promote the society. It includes a display of members’ plants, repotting demonstrations, advice on how to care for your orchids, homemade refreshments and the opportunity to buy plants from invite growers.