It all started about 48 years ago when Ron was visiting Santa Barbara, CA. He was out driving through the town with his girlfriend and saw these strange plants growing in peoples’ yards. Since she was a botanist, he asked “What are those?” “Cymbidium orchids”, she answered. Immediately he thought “If they can grow them, I can grow them”. It was all over…he was infected by the orchid bug.
Since then, Ron has grown and bred orchids all over the US. In 1990, New England Orchid Company was formeded as a part-time business to support the extensive breeding program that was starting up. In 2003, he and his wife Cynthia moved the business to New Jersey and changed the name to New Earth Orchids. And now, they have moved the business to Santa Fe and launched it as a full service orchid nursery to bring the best in orchids to Santa Fe and New Mexico.
In addition to Ron’s activities in the orchid business, he has been very active in the local orchid societies wherever he lived. This includes serving as an officer, chairing orchid shows, and becoming an American Orchid Society Accredited Judge. Before leaving New Jersey, Ron founded the Jersey Highlands Orchid Society. He now serves on the American Orchid Society Membership Committee. In addition, shortly after arriving in New Mexico, He was asked to be the chairperson for judging at the next New Mexico Orchid Guild Show.
When Ron first started growing orchids, he was fascinated with breeding them to create something new. Over the years, he has made over 200 new orchid hybrids. Most of these involve the Cattleya group, however, he has made crosses in Oncidinae, Phalaenopsis, and Paphiopedilums. In the last 25 years, his primary focus has been to breed compact Cattleyas in bright colors...yellow, orange and red. Several of his crosses have received American Orchid Society flower quality awards attesting to the quality of his breeding program.