Twenty-one members were present for Andy Jones’ interesting and informative talk on the subject of ‘Growing Under Lights’.  Andy has spoken to us on this topic before, but that was about twenty years ago and things have moved on!  Not the requirements of plants though – they still don’t use the green part of the spectrum.  The blue part tends to encourage vegetative growth and the red part tends to encourage flowering.  For growing under lights, ordinary fluorescent and incandescent lights won’t do as their colour balance is unsuitable.  Specialised equipment is needed.  In the past, various types of high intensity discharge lights were used including metal halide, high pressure sodium and mercury vapour, but these have been superseded by LED lights, which are much cheaper to run.  In all cases a reflector should be used to make the most use of the emitted light.  LED lights notionally have a long life, but their weakness is the electronic circuitry needed to drive them, which doesn’t last nearly as long as the LEDs themselves.  Andy presented some slides showing the various set-ups he has used over the years.

Autumn isn’t the most prolific time of year for orchid flowering in the UK and members did well to show some fine plants on the main display table.  Bill Haldane and David Kohn were joint winners of the Winners’ Table display, and Aubrey Cook won the Novices’ Table display.