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Welcome to the CANWOS website !


We are a group of enthusiasts who meet to share our enjoyment of orchids.
Membership is open to anyone who is interested.
Beginners are very welcome!
Web site last update - 28th April 2020

PRIVACY: This is a passive web site whose purpose is to share information with Society members and the public at large. We do not use cookies; we collect no data.

COVID-19 Update - 21th March 2020

All meetings of the Society are now cancelled and the speakers postponed until we are able to start meeting again.
We will post further information here as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, we are running a society wide, moderated blog for members and supporters. Contact details have been sent to you via the normal update emails.

If you have forgotten how to access the blog, or you are an interested member of the public, please email contact@canwos.org.uk by using the contact facility just below.

Use the same technique to enter photographs, comments and perhaps very short articles to the blog.

Contact us

Click here.

Programme 2019/2020

Friday 20st September The AGM
A few pictures from the CANWOS field trip to Talacre

Celia Wright

Friday 18th October
Members' Bring and Tell meeting

Friday 15th November
A Gentle Introduction to Orchids

Leon Skorczewski

and (time permitting)
CANWOS entries for BOC Photographic Competition
Friday 17th January Growing Orchids Epiphytically

Sara Rittershausen

Friday 21th February
Orchids of Briain, Europe
and Western Australia

Peter Llewellyn

Friday 20th March
Growing Orchids in a Terranium and the story of how the Wardian Case changed the world.

Helen Millner

Friday 17th April

Malcolm Perry

Friday 15th May
Orchid Culture. A practical evening led by CANWOS members

?Friday 19st June ?An Auction of members' Orchids
Friday 18th September
with other delights


We meet at St Mary's Church Hall, Handbridge, Chester CH4 7HL, usually on the third Friday of the month but not in December, July or August. The Hall is open from 7.00pm.

Members are encouraged to bring their plants in flower to each meeting. There is a wealth of information within the Society and it is our tradition that this is shared freely amongst members.

We send an email to all our members about ten days before our regular meetings, to remind them what is on and to pass on other information. We are happy to send these to non-members and potential visitors - please use the index tab () to reach the 'Contact Us' section.

At most meetings there is a raffle. Members often donate orchid plants. Refreshments such as tea and coffee are available during the evening, usually immediately after the speaker.

We have a library that contains many books suitable for both beginners and experts. Members can borrow books for one month and can browse the reference books, which cannot be loaned out.

Plants & Auction

At meetings where plants are not for sale by the evening's speaker, members may offer their own orchid plants for sale.  A 20% seller's premium is levied and donated to the Society.

Each year we hold an auction where members buy and sell plants. Typically, about eighty plants are sold each year, usually at very advantageous prices. A seller's and buyer's premium operates (10% for each) and the proceeds are donated to the Society. This is an excellent way to extend a collection and try new types of orchid.


The annual subscription is currently £12. We no longer offer double or family membership. Subscriptions are normally paid to the Membership Secretary at or just after the October meeting.

Charitable Status

CANWOS registered with the the Charity Commission in 1993 but surrendered its registration in 2011.  It is now a "Charity exempt from the need to register".  Tax paying members can still benefit the Society by making a Gift Aid declaration. Details can be obtained from the Treasurer at any of the meetings.

Membership & Affiliation

The Society is a member of the British Orchid Council (BOC) and sends two representatives to its meetings. CANWOS is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and members can use some of the benefits available.


A copy of our present Constitution is available for downloading by clicking on "CANWOS Constitution.pdf ". This was revised at our 2012 AGM.

British Orchid Council Our national organisation for orchid growing. There are lots of links here to other orchid societies around the country.
Orchid Photographs If you like orchid pictures, this site is a good place to start. If you like orchid species pictures, then ...
Jay Pfahl's Orchid Photographs ... this is the place for you. Work down through the preamble and finally reach over 17,158 orchids.
The International Orchid Register Search the database of registered hybrids.
Use full or partial names to identify parents and children of a grex.
Orchid History Ron Rigby's site with lots of information on the history of orchid growing

Where We Meet

We use the hall just behind St Mary's Church on Overleigh Road, just South of the River Dee.

The post code for the Church is CH4 7HL.

View Google Map

local map

The church is an imposing building and easily spotted, whether you approach from the city center by way of the old bridge ...
from the east

... or from the west by way of the new bridge or the Wrexham road / A55 junction.
from the west

The hall is directly behind the church and hardly visible from the road.
Go down the driveway between a telephone kiosk and the church itself and turn right.
The drive way