Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 1 by splinter1804
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In reply to: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012
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Good morning once again – It looks like it's back to just three of us once again; gee I wish the others would hurry up and finish their Christmas shopping. I'm being dragged off shopping today myself, not because I want to but because our fridge blew up yesterday and we have to try and find the best deal on a new one. My wife (like my daughter) just won't accept that “price haggling” is now the “norm” in Australia and they'll just accept whatever is on the price ticket, they are a salesman's dream, but not this “old rooster” I'll wring every last drop out of those “blood suckers”, anyway wish me luck.
Trish – You say you were out on the building site, are you really the true “Bob the Builder” incognito?
Trish I'll look forward to the Ginger arriving and as far as the be way to send it, I think if you send it the same way as I send brom's would work OK, I'll send you some notes. I have been using this method for a few years now and never a problem.
You say you liked my garden; well let me say I went to a lot of trouble taking pic's that don't clearly show all the weeds. Unfortunately I'm not as mobile as I once was and a lot of the gardening jobs are not getting done as well as they should be, but I try and muddle on, and I do still enjoy gardening very much and the best part is that there's always something new to see each day.
Also, I can't wait to hear the story of the deformed goldfish called “Beaker”.
Shirley – You've managed to post pic's of two of my favourite plants.
Even though they're not as popular as they once were, I still like all of the spotted types of Neo's and still have quite a collection of them and I'm still breeding a few as well as I think like all things, plants go in and out of fashion, and sooner or later the fashion will have gone the full circle and finished back where it started.
Galactic Warrior is another of my firm favourites, I have a couple which I manage to grow reasonably well but nowhere near as good as the bloke in America who wrote an article about them in one of the Brom. Journals. His plants were magnificent basket specimens and were almost two feet across (enormous plants). His secret (or so he said) requires dedication to stick rigidly to a feeding programme, but he never said what type of fertiliser he used. His method was to use it at half strength every single time he watered all through the year. His theory was that we have to eat regularly and so should bromeliads. He just used the same commercial Cymbidium potting mix that he used for his Neo's and Aechmeas and was adamant that it was the feeing programme that gave him these great results. I keep promising myself to try this method but never seem to get around to it, so maybe one of you on this forum would like to give it a go and let's know how good it is.
Wendy – It will be interesting to see what sort of babies the “Purple Concentrica” produces with Ian's breeding. Hybridising is such an interesting hobby and although you do everything by the book, it's never possible to predict the outcome with any certainty as Mother Nature is the “unknown quantity” and has a habit of stepping in to change things. Not only that, but as I've always said, you never know if an ant has beat you to the punch and pollinated the flower with some foreign pollen before you do your bit; and that's what makes it so interesting.
A good example of this is the little Neo seedling I posted on 4th Dec (Pic.5), it came from seed where the mother plant was all that was known (Neo. 'Blue Nude') the pollinating had been done by Sun Birds who had a pick of many great brom's to use as pollen parents. When I was offered the seed (several different batches) I knew it was a gamble, but given the quality if this grower's other plants I didn't hesitate as I reckoned I had pretty good odds of getting a good'un. That plant is just the first from all of these resulting plants (about two hundred in total) so there could still be some nice surprises to come yet.
A big “Cheerio” to all those not posting and get well wishes to anyone who's still on the “sick list”.
Today I'll finish with a few more pic's which I took around the back yard yesterday; Pic.1 is on the eastern side of a shade house that contains a mixture of Neoregelias. Billbergias, Nidulariums, Vrieseas, Patterned Foliage Vrieseas, Orthophytums as well as some Neoregelia seedlings. Pic 2 is looking under some green shade cloth where there is a frog pond and various other bromeliad genera. Pic.3 is on the lower part of the yard looking back toward our house and the brom's around what's left of the old Peppercorn Tree with a large clump of Neo 'Sheeba” on the left. Pic 4 is the right side of the Frog Pond showing a few sun hardened plants with Neo 'Skotak's Tiger' in the centre, Ae. 'Bert' on the left and Neo. 'Cruenta' on the right. Finally Pic 5 shows a few Neoregelias hanging in front of a bench containing various Aechmeas.
All the best, Nev.