HE makes a living as a golf coach, but from May to August George Serhan's orchid hobby is king.
The Blacktown Orchid Society vice-president has grown the plants for the past 35 years.
He rents space from a friend to grow seedlings that won't fit in his Quakers Hill backyard.
Mr Serhan said the hobby required great patience.
"People don't realise how long it really takes to grow orchids," he said.
"From the seed pod to a flowering orchid could be seven or eight years."
Mr Serhan said a seed pod took nine months to mature and was then sent to a laboratory for the seeds — which were tiny and very susceptible to fungus and disease — to be extracted and returned 12 months later as 25 small plants in a jam jar.
"There might be thousands and thousands of seedlings and out of those you might get one or two [orchids] when you're looking for show bench quality," he said.
Mr Serhan has about 9000 of the plants in his backyard.
The Blacktown Orchid Society's spring show will be held on September 15 and 16 at Centro Seven Hills, corner of Prospect Highway and Federal Road. Details: 9626 9116.