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BROMELIADS FOR NOVICES & ADDICTS MARCH 2012

Hi all. This is my first time starting a new thread so I hope I am doing it right. We came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1240908/

Wendy

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Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Beautiful brom bloom Wendy and an excellent start to a new thread.
Marking it so I can follow you good folks. Good Morning and Good Night!

Cryptanthus ~ High Voltage (not the best photo) but in bloom.

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barmera, Australia

Well done Wendy. I was going to have a go but I'm not very confident about putting up the marker to show where to go so I thought that I would leave it for someone who did know. 127 pups, Nev. mmmmm looks as though the new SH might become a priority. lol. I was out looking at my broms again yesterday and they are looking so good. I have one of the neo thunderbird crossed with? [can't remember at the moment] and it is about 15" high now and the colour gets better everyday. Will take a pic later. You can see the difference in them since we've had a bit of rain I reckon. They are going to love being watered with the water from the tanks I think.Tash I hope that your computer problems are restored soon. Must be a real inconvenience out for so long. Well time to make school lunches. I hope everyone is well and happy bromelading. colleen

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north coast nsw, Australia

Good job on the new thread!!
my Vris. is getting another flower? i tried to grow the last lot of seed with no luck.
I love this little dyckia.
My new broms.. Luna and Carcharodon tiger

This message was edited Mar 4, 2012 5:23 PM

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Brisbane, Australia

Found my way here after looking at some mouth watering broms in the last thread. Oh Wendy, put me down for the mini Shamrock too. Its lovely.

I decided to take the pup from my neo. Predatress yesterday as the mother is looking very poorly, only to find a second pup still way too young to remove yet. So I guess she gets a dose of fertilizer and I wait for the second pup to grow. Also found pups on Piemento and Blushing Tiger, and a few other small pups on other plants. All good news. Nothing has gone to seed though (that I can find in the neo's).

Barry has started clearing another part of the jungle down the back behind the shed. If I can get some shelving to put up it will make a great home for broms not needing too much sun. They will have to go up on shelves as when it rains, the water gushes across the back like a river.

Will do some more pupping and potting today as one of the larger noid neo's has been setting pups madly, and they grow so fast I can't keep up with them. Wendy, you did give me the name once, but I don't know what I did with it. This is the pic, but now the pups have pups too.

Karen




This message was edited Mar 4, 2012 2:50 PM

This message was edited Mar 4, 2012 2:55 PM

Brisbane, Australia

Seems I can't put pics from Photobucket here. If I can find the pic in my files I'll put it up.
Karen


Brisbane, Australia

Found it. Sorry about the messy post.
Karen
Noid with pups on pups....

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barmera, Australia

Here's the pic of Neo. thunderbird X Neo. avalon. and some pics of my special babies. Nev, do you think the last pic is Bil. "Kip"? Colleen

This message was edited Mar 5, 2012 8:50 AM

Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris
shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

I posted this on the old thread this morning and in case anyone didn't visit it I'm posting it again here.

When I saw the sun shining yesterday morning and felt a slight North Easterly breeze blowing, I decided to try and cut the back grass. My wife had done a load of washing earlier and hung it on the line hoping for a fine day, but I had to wait until the grass had dried out a bit. About mid morning the clouds were coming over again and I decided to cut the grass there and then. I’d just got everything ready when the young bloke who used to cut our grass dropped in just in time to save my old back by offering to cut the grass for us. No sooner had he started and fine rain started to fall. Fortunately this was short lived and as well as cutting the back grass, he did the front also and now everything’s starting to look reasonably tidy again. He had just put the mower away and down came the rain again and it’s been raining all night, but again not raining this morning.

Wendy – Dead leafing seems a never ending job with brom’s but it’s sure a good way to get to know your plants better and often pick up little problems before they become major issues. I’ve recently finished doing all the Neo’s and now the Vrieseas need to be done, at least they are smooth leaved and don’t start my arms bleeding like I've been attacked by some vicious animal.

Neo Blushing Tiger is a well known “selfer” and I think everyone who has it has at some time tried a bit of seed, and however even though some of the offspring are sometimes barred, I haven’t seen anything as good as the parent show up locally yet, but then you’ll never, never, know if you don’t give it a go!

I have a little Neo ampullacea ‘Black Beauty’ which “selfs” regularly also, and as you say they are very quick to germinate and I’ve found them to grow much quicker than the standard Neo’s also.

No doubt there are dozens of plants in your collection that I would like but unfortunately I always try and commit the names to memory and don’t go to write them down until I’ve forgotten and it’s too late. I’ll send you a wish list of plants I’m chasing as I just usually stick them all on a “wish list” meaning to write the name of the owner beside them but never seem to get around to doing it, and there may be some on the list that you have to swap.

I really do like your little mini Neo ‘Shamrock’ you’ve posted this morning, so when you get a spare pup put my name on it please. The other recent “want” that springs to mind, is Neo ‘Lime and Lava’ that Colleen posted a pic of a few days back.

As for the Bill’s, I haven’t gone through them all yet to sort out what’s available to swap and sell and what I want to keep, but one that does spring to mind is one of the older ones called Billbergia ‘Kip’, it is a plant that really makes a “statement” in the garden; and I’ve seen it grow to almost a metre tall. It’s a light brown colour with spotting and when given good light, it seems to get a beautiful pink cast through it. Grown in the shade it’s a most uninteresting dull green. I’ll see if I can find a pic and email it to you.

I also know I have spares of two beautiful rather large growing species; Bill. macrocalyx and Bill. rosea (see the FCBS Photo Index for a good selection of pic’s) These are what is commonly referred to as the “watch spring” types because of their tightly curled petals.

Thanks for starting the new thread and I’ll post this here in answer to your questions and I’ll also put it on the new thread as well if no one has posted anything there yet.

Now to finish with a few pic’s of my Neoregelias.

No.1. Neo. ‘Blast’, No. 2. Neo. Concentrica x (Charm x Cracker Jack) seedling, No. 3. Neo. ‘Heck’, No. 4. Neo. ‘Marble Snow’, No. 5. Neo. Marmorata (hybrid)

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

another weekend over, another week without any progress on the shadehouse. What little spare time we had last week was spent mowing and pruning and mowing and more mowing. And now, of course, it’s raining and is predicted to do so for the rest of the week … yippee!! … then there’ll be more grass to mow. Colleen, what you said about the shadehouse work never being finished rings true but our problem at the moment seems to be getting started.

Nev, called into Bunnings yesterday to see if they had the plastic hangers but they had only the chain type at about $3.00 each. I did manage to leave there without buying any plants although they had a lovely big vriesea gigantea that was very tempting … but I resisted.

Then went across the road to Masters (just to look) and bought some frangipani trees which were discounted by 50% - got four in all, Darwin Blood, Darwin Yellow, Kimo and Tricolour. Will pot them up today since there is little else I can do outside. I may even have to resort to housework … I hate that, but I'm fast running out of excuses !!!

Nev, I checked out Garden City Plastics as you suggested. They are on the other side of town (isn’t everything) but they only sell in bulk and in very large quantities. I had a look on eBay, there are some available there but the postage makes them a bit expensive. Guess I’ll just have to go visit our local nursery again … they had some lovely vrieseas there last week too.

With regard to hanging pots, I remember reading an earlier post, I think from Karen, that water dripping from one plant onto another below it had caused major damage to the lower plant. Is it necessary to make sure that plants hanging up higher don’t drain on to any other plants sitting below them.

Anyway, here it is 11.00am already and I haven’t done a thing … it’s quite dark outside and still raining and really miserable … I should go back to bed. So sick of all this rain, hate being stuck inside the house.

Will attach a photo of a brom a friend gave me ... can anyone tell me what it is please.

Bye for now, Shirley

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Merino, Australia

Shirley, excuse me popping into your chat, but I have bought these hangers from this seller on eBay and find them very good for my pots.
With a pack of 10 , this is just over $1 each which also includes postage. About the best price I found on eBay.
They are very easy to use , I have only had mine for 6 months so cant say how long they will last, but I have similar which are quite old now and still going.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/35cm-3-Arm-UNIVERSAL-Plastic-Plant-Pot-Hanger-xTEN-/390101057539?pt=AU_Pots_Planters&hash=item5ad3d5c003

Jean.

Shirley your new brom could be a aechmea bert I think??? I've attached a pic of ours. we have them growing in trees as well as in pots.

Karen I think our NOID is a neo collissiana.

Nev I love your pictures of neo heck. It looks like a few variegates we have but we don't have heck. I also love your marble snow, it has lovely white colouring. We have that plant but we don't seem to get the same amount of white. Perhaps I'll try it in a different spot and see what we get. Your bill. kip sounds lovely. Johnny loves the big ones too. They make another level of colour when growing among the neos and the big ones make such a statement (here I am look at me)

Shirley we buy the plastic hangers from Garden City plastics at Woodridge. The bundle is not too big. We seem to get through them pretty quick. I'll check the invoice tomorrow and let you know how many in the bundle. They've recently dropped the size of their bundles of things. An example is the lables used to come in a box of 1,000 but now they come in a plastic box with a lid with 300 or 350. I know we have to buy 3 smaller plastic tubs to get same amount. The pots are also in smaller bundles now but we usually try to spend $500 as we then get 10% off which pays for the box of 1000 labels. Anyway if you come to see our garden soon we should have a new bundle of hangers and we can sell you some if you are still looking for them.

We spent yesterday potting a bit then went to get some more Tomcat rat bates but Bunnings were all out so we went to Masters at Tingalpa. They had a special on where for spending $10 or more you got a free sample pot of paint tinted to a colour of your choice. As we were getting 2 tubs of Tomcat we decided we would take one each and get 2 sample pots. We each picked out a colour and took our paint home. Last night Johnny decided he would do patches in the kitchen to see what the colours looked like. Both of them were awful and after drying overnight still looked awful today. So now we have to paint the whole house to cover up these patches of colour. Today was spent moving furniture and scrubbing walls, windows, ceiling, blinds etc in preparation. I've taken photos of walls showing old colour as well as the patches in the kitchen. When we have finished I will post the after shots for you all to admire. LOL

Time for bed again I think. I hope you are all staying high and dry and not flooded out. Our son rang this morning to tell us Maryborough copped a hammering and his work's control room was flooded so all sent home. They are near the Mary river but up on a hill. Apparently it was the water running down the hill that caused the problem. Anyhow he rang to tell us he was at home safe but we hadn't seen any TV or radio so didn't even know. I'm glad we no longer live in Gympie. I remember that last cyclone in 1963 they were talking about on the news. We were here that year in Gympie. The water flooded the pony club/scout paddock beside us and came into our yard. That's the only time I can remember it coming past our fence. Most of our caravan park was under and we had campers evacuated to our house, camping in our furniture van, on the shop floor and anywhere else we could put them. I remember having to help people salvage their belongings and move them to higher ground in the dark. Glad we now live where we can't be flooded out. Stay safe everyone.

Night
Wendy

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Shirley looking at your pic and then mine I don't think yours is a bert at all. I keep thinking aechmea fosteriana but not sure why. Perhaps someone else can ID.

Sorry to lead you up the garden path as they say.

Pic is aechmea electra (what we bought it as and has been called that for years unregistered) or more recently registered as rajah. We have a supply of pups now large enough to flower this year but can't sell them even with the photo attached to plant. Wait till 1 flowers and we won't have enough. It is stunning when it does flower so will be popular. BUT they are taking up so much room which we don't have so have been trying to sell a couple to make some room. Ah well sooner or later then we won't have any to spare. That's how it goes.

Wendy

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

A nice day yesterday but once again, raining this morning so it doesn’t look like any outside work being done again today. Maybe if we get a break in the rain I’ll go and take a few pic’s as everything looks so good after the rain, I don’t know what it is about the rain, but there’s no doubt that all plants certainly perk up after it, and I wish I could capture the magic that’s in it and put it in a bottle, I’d be a very rich bloke.

Wendy – You sure know how to start a new thread with a bang don’t you? Is that an Ae Chantinii? Whatever it is, it’s a most attractive plant and certainly jumps up and says “look at me”!, “look at me”!


Kristi – That’s sure a brief visit from you today; just the same, you leave us with a nice little Cryptanthus to look at and drool over anyway.

Colleen – That’s the biggest Neo Thunderbird x seedling out of that bunch yet; there were a few different crosses but most of them so far have been quite smallish plants with a diameter of 5”- 7” and a similar height and all in various tones of red with a few spotted once in the mix also. It looks like yours is going to be red in colour as well.

Breeindy – Is that the same Vr. Ospinae gruberi you posted before? It’s a great looking plant and really growing well, so whatever you do; don’t change anything with its position or culture.

Sharon – It seems all the wet weather has caused everyone’s brom’s to start pushing out pups, and if we get a week of sunny weather now they will really take off. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself as I had potted up most of the Neo. pups that were big enough to do, but when I was walking around the shade house yesterday, I spotted a heap more that have to be done and it seems a bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge, when you get to one end it's time to start all over again. .

Colleen – The Bill. in your pic isn’t Kip; if it’s one of the ones I sent, I’ve stuffed up and named it incorrectly. It looks to me to be either Hoelscheriana or De Nada, but definitely not Bill. Kip. Your Vrieseas are looking good too and you’ll soon have to extend again.

Shirley – With the pot hangers, we get ours through the brom society which buys them by the box (about 500 I think) but as soon as they arrive they don’t last too long between fifty members. The only thing I could suggest is that you get together with a group of others and split a box between you or join a bromeliad society, and purchase through them as most societies sell hangers, name tags and pots and they don’t put very much mark up on them (I know ours only adds a cent or two just to round out the cost) and certainly nothing like nurseries do. I think if a group of you got together and placed a mixed order from the catalogue which is on the www, (I think it has to be a min. Of $500) they would deliver freight free. This sounds like a lot, but if you have a reasonable sized collection and there are a few of you, you will save heaps in the long run.

With regard to hanging pots dripping into the ones below them causing major damage, the only reasons I can see for this is if the top pot was diseased or dripping something toxic such as copper or zinc residue from wire or overhead treated timber dripping into it and passing through, or the pot below wasn’t draining sufficiently and the lower plant was staying constantly wet.

When I first started hanging my plants and growing in this way, I was told by other growers the plants would all die because of being dripped on by other plants. Here it is now about four years down the track since I started growing this way and I’ve only lost about five plants to rot out of a couple of thousand, and what’s more the ones that rotted were on a bench with nothing hanging above them and I put the rot down to the fact that they were suffering from overcrowding and poor air circulation.

I’ll just ask the same question here that I asked those other growers who said my plants would all die; what happens to plants in their natural habitat with other plants growing above them at many different levels and dripping on them? They don’t seem to have this problem and they have been growing this way for centuries. The only precaution I do try to take is to have the larger pots at the top and the smaller ones at the bottom as it’s obvious the lower pots will get more water, but as they are smaller, they dry out quicker and I think one thing balances out the other.

When it comes down to deciding of what to do, it is a personal choice and one that only the individual can make. I decided to grow a lot of my plants this way to give me extra growing space and it works for me, but I did find you do have to adjust your watering accordingly.

I really don’t know what your plant is Shirley, but if I had to take a guess I would say it’s an Aechmea Orlandiana that’s been grown in too much shade and heavily fed; but as I said, that’s just a very rough guess.

Jean – The hangers in the Ebay link that you posted are similar to the ones I use except those ones have three droppers and the ones I use have four. I have used these for at least ten years and they’re still serviceable, but get the “black” ones as they are UV resistant where some of the coloured ones aren’t and become brittle with age.


Now to finish with a few pic’s of mixed genera today

No.1.Vriesea. Carinata an "oldie" but still a "goodie" , No. 2. Ae Gamosepala 'Wyee' , No. 3. Canistrum Fosterianum , No. 4. Aechmea Pectinata (Large plant), No. 5. Nidularium 'Nat De Leon'

All the best, Nev.

Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804
Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone

I was going to start out with “sun is shining … birds are singing”. That lasted about 10 minutes and now it has become quite dark and started to drizzle again ... bugger !!!

Thanks Jean for the link to the hangers on eBay, they are similar to the ones I used to get years ago at Bunnings but they don’t sell them anymore.

Wendy, appreciate your offer to come and see your garden and I am hoping we will be able to do that soon. I will take you up on the offer to buy some of your hangers when we do.

Nev, thanks for the info on the hangers and also on your experience with hanging pots one above/below the other, appreciate your help.

As for the new brom, thanks Wendy and Nev for trying to ID it. I know it was growing in a fairly large cluster under a tree in heavy shade. Perhaps after it gets a bit more light and maybe colours up a bit, I will attach another photo to see if anyone recognizes it.

Tash, I am guessing your phone is still out. We have lots of problems with ours … in fact almost every time we have heavy rain … and we’ve had plenty of that lately. We get water in the lines and after about a week without a phone Telstra do a very temporary fix by drying out the line. We have only just got the service back and now with all this rain, there’s a good chance it will go down again.

Since we live in a rural area and we are at the end of the line they don’t want to go to any expense to fix it properly. We were told it will be rectified when they go to fibre optic cables … we should live so long !!! We used to have ADSL broadband so the internet would go down along with the phone line. We have now switched to wireless … more expensive but at least it works.

I guess we could have worse problems with all the rain than the phone going down. Some people have been flooded again and again … it must be so heartbreaking for them. At least we are high and dry, sometimes isolated for a short time but that’s never been a problem.

Anyway, better go. Really must do some housework today. Bye for now

Shirley

Brisbane, Australia

Morning all. Another grey day. I just hope the floods disappear quickly so those affected can get back to their homes. And lets hope that cyclone doesn't develop and that it all just fizzles out. Looking through my plants and things I have in the carport, so much stuff is rusting or rotting, even the plastic lid for the seed container for the birds fell apart. Too much rain, then burning sun, then more rain, just not good for some things including my bones.

I too have many pups forming, some ready to divide now. I did a stack this morning, and also repotted my Kiwi Cream vriesea which had outgrown its pot. Still a stack to go, but have run out of the smaller squat pots which are best for neos. Took some pics of various things, and was wondering if anyone could ID this first pic. I got it from Olive Branch, but am sure it was wrongly labelled.

Pemiento has a lovely pup which is not quite ready, I feel, to divide yet. Soon maybe.

Bill. Muriel Waterman pup I got recently from Nev.

Mother and daughter - I bought Mum labelled as Barbarian. This name was questioned, but no one ID'd it as anything else, so I am sticking with the name, Barbarian.

And finally, a lovely little pup from Predatress. The mother is now growing a second baby and I'm giving her lots of TLC. She deserves it.







This message was edited Mar 5, 2012 8:28 PM

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north coast nsw, Australia

Yes Nev its the same one, 1st pic is what it looked like when the last flower started coming up and 2nd pic now. Its pretty much in full all day sun abit to much really i think.

This message was edited Mar 6, 2012 12:46 AM

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Hi.... Nev that pic to start the thread is aechmea chantinii as you suggested.

Karen, that 4th pic of mother/daughter is certainly not barbarian. Barbarian is covered in fine spots. I love your bill murial waterman. It looks like a large grower.

Nev I didn't have time to find those plants on your wish list before Jen came today. As she leaves very early in the morning I will have to post a parcel. OR Johnny said when we go on holiday we will head down your way and bring your plants. By the way I sent you a parcel just before your computer went down with that virus. Can't remember what you were going to send me as I don't write that down. I know I should keep a wish list but I am an impulse buyer. When I see something I like I buy it. I don't chase down something on a list. Maybe my list is in my head and subconciously I know I want something when I see it. LOL

Shirley I checked the catalogue and the hangers come in bags of 100. Unfortunately the catalogue doesn't include prices and I forgot to check the statements in the drawer downstairs to get the price for you.

Ooops just noticed the time. Night all

Wendy

shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

A nice sunny day again yesterday but this morning you would think it’s the middle of winter with a freezing cold South West wind blowing just to make everything unpleasant and make the old bones ache.

Shirley – I don’t think it matters much to Telstra where you live, they still continue to do “band aid jobs” to overcome problems without looking at and fixing the main cause. We don’t live in a rural area, we live right in town, and out the front of our place is a telephone in-ground junction box. You know the oval shaped things that are in the ground with the lid level with the top of the soil. (Incidentally these were all still the old ones which were made from moulded fibro asbestos and have been there for years)

We had the same problem, every time it rained, water leaked into the box and the phones went out. Telstra would come the next day and dry it out and all would be OK until it rained again and the same thing happened all over again. Fortunately one time when a young technician came to fix it and I was talking to him I pointed out a crack in the corner where the water came in (which I had showed to many technicians in the past) As well as drying the box out he sealed it up with silicon which he said would hopefully fix the problem. When I asked him why not just put in a new box, he said as far as Telstra was concerned that was an absolute last possibility as it involved about three different gangs of workers not just a line technician. Fortunately the silicon has done the job and we haven’t had any problems for five years now.

Karen – Sorry I can’t help you with an ID on the first one, and I can definitely say the plants in Pic 4 definitely aren’t Neo Barbarian. The do however look like they may one of the many Lambert’s Pride hybrids, it’s very hard to say as there are so many unnamed hybrids around now that all look alike.

Breeindy – That’s a wonderful example of just how much influence light can have on the colours of coloured leaf brom’s and I would like also to point out that this is why it’s so very difficult to ID a plant from a single picture.

I would never buy a plant from just a single picture unless I know the grower and am familiar with all the variations different light intensities can create in that plant, and if possible get two pic’s, one grown in good light and one in poor light if that’s at all possible.

Wendy – As for your comment about Bill. Muriel Waterman, it’s not a very large grower, about a foot high but not as narrow as most Bill’s similar in habit to those Bill Pyramidalis hybrids I posted pic’s of.

Re. Our swap, that was the box you sent with the two little Orthophytum ‘vagans’ and the two little Ananas ‘Rubra’ pups, but I don’t remember what the other were. I will have it here somewhere on my desk, but the only trick is where to look for it as my desk look s like the victim of an atom bomb attack at present.

Well that’s about it for this morning (Oh I forgot to tell you all that Tash posted on Face Book to say her phone’s finally fixed, so hopefully we’ll her from her again soon)

Something a bit different in the pic’s today two lots of pic's in the form of a quiz..

Pic 1,2,and 3 - A friend of mine was telling me about this strange "creature" she found swimming in the cup of her Neo Rosy Morn. She said it wriggled as it moved through the water and looked like a large "maggot" with a tail. She managed to catch it and put it into a container so she could photograph it (and I'm attaching the pic's below - There is also one pic of it while in the Rosy Morn cup as well but it's not easy to make out, but if you look carefully you can just see the shape in about the middle of the pic (the white thing with the tail disappearing into the flowers)

She said she has seen them before but never photographed them. She put it back in the plant after taking the pic's and after a couple of days it had vanished.

I'm sorry about the small size of the pic's, but that's how they were sent to me and I don't know how to enlarge them. Has anyone here seen them or can identify them please?

Pic's 3 and 4 - These are of a brom I've never seen before. What's unusual is that this brom has five flower spikes all from a single plant. Does anyone know what its name is?

I know the name by I "ain't" saying for a couple of days when everyone's had a chance to answer.


All the best, Nev.

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi all, Wednesday again … shopping day.

Typically the sun is shining this morning and we will be at the shopping centre most of the day, so once again, nothing useful done at home. Mind you, I don’t mind the shopping … we make it less painful by having coffee and lunch at the centre and sometimes meeting up with friends. Tomorrow, you can bet it will be raining again … oh well !!!

Wendy, I checked out the Garden City Plastics catalogue … lots of good stuff. I was looking at the pots … lots of them too. Can I ask you please, which one do you use?

Nev, it seems like Telstra don’t really care much about service. And then, there’s the really annoying offshore call centres when you are trying to sort out a problem.

Question … I was reading back thru the posts and came across Breeindy’s photo of that lovely vriesea, flowering for the second time. I was under the (obviously misguided) impression that all broms are monocarpic … are there others that are not.

Well, time to get myself organized for our day out … talk to you soon.

Shirley

Hi everyone.
Like everyone else we had trouble with the pit out front filling with water when it rains which results in our phones crackling and sometimes not even working. Every time we saw a technician fixing someone's phone along our road we always knew someone else's phone would stop working. there just wasn't enough lines for the number of phones in the area. Anyhow we would get the telstra technician out and they would bucket the water out of the pit. eventually the crackling would stop once the line was dry. The worst thing was that the water filling the pit would eventualy overflow and run across out footpath. It got so bad we couldn't walk on the driveway because the water would flow across constantly and cause slippery moss to grow on the cement. Eventually Johnny decided to fix the problem once and for all. He opened the pit and drilled a whole through the side of the pit. Then he dug a trench across the grass to the curb. He placed a layer of rocks in the drain then put ag pipe in to take the water out of the pit. We haven't had a crackling phone since then and the footpath stays dry now.

Shirley we like to use 200ml and 250 ml squat pots. But we use whatever we have. A lot of people including a couple of landscapers now drop off their empty pots for us to use so we always have a supply of assorted pots under the benches.

Nev I wonder if that wriggler in your pic is a tadpole???? Maybe it grew its legs, turned into a frog and hopped away. We also woke today to strong south easterly winds so it has been much cooler last couple days and especially the nights. Max has decided he doesn't want to sleep in the airconditioned bedroom any more. He sleeps in Emily's room now and around 6am to 7am in the morning he headbuts the door to open it and comes in.

As I said in an earlier post we have been painting so I thought I would attach a picture of the lounge room before and after. First pic is the wall behind the TV in the old yellow colour. The 2nd pic shows the wall to the left of the front door showing the colour of the walls throughout the house and to the right of door is the feature wall behind the TV. The cupboard makes it hard to see but below the daddo rail is painted sandy day full strength and above is sandy day half strength. We now only have the bedrooms to do and I have one of those all cleaned and washed ready to go. We just have to push the bed to one side to paint 2 walls then move it back to get to other wall. One whole wall is covered in built in wardrobes so that helps.

Must be off to bed now. Night all
Wendy

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Queensland, Australia

Hi everyone, great to see a new thread up :)
Only a real quick message, I haven't read the posts to catch up yet, we got our land line back a couple of days ago, was without it for 6 days.
Then Monday night completely out of the blue I came down with a huge coughing bout and couldn't breath very well at all. Tuesday was just as bad all day and I laid in bed all day, and same yesterday until Dr's in the afternoon. Conclusion is a huge chest infection and blood tests. So just been and done the blood tests and now I think I'll lay down with my little man while he watches a movie.
So I will catch up soon, just never been this sick before, can't eat, not getting much fluids in either, but hoping now I'm on the antibiotics that things will improve quickly. I know I'm sick when I can't even get on the computer ;)
Talk soon, hope you are all well,
Tash

Brisbane, Australia

Nev, must be time to reveal the mystery creature. I don't have a clue, never seen anything like it. Must be alien. Looks like a stinger on the back.

Tash, hope you feel better soon. Am somewhat congested myself and needing ventolin atm. All that wet weather when we were breathing water instead of air has taken its toll. Add to that the mould growing on everything, sending more spores into the air for us to breathe in, no wonder people are having chest problems.

Wendy, have fun with the painting. Will look all brand new and lighter when you're done, in that new colour.

Blessed sunshine again today. Out go the washed bed linen and towels again. Women's work is never done, no matter how often its done.

Hello everyone else I haven't caught up with today. Nursing a bit of a headache so going to hang out the last load then put my feet up for a bit. Oh, better bring the birds up first. They are down the back as I blasted their cage clean again this morning. They don't like being so exposed though and won't settle till I bring them up onto the veranda.

Have a great day everyone.

Karen

Vr. Evita, recently from Neville. Looking forward to watching this grow.

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Brisbane, Australia

Morning all,

lovely morning here, the sun is shining again today, so much better than the rain. Mind you, it’s not that long ago that we were so desperate for rain and we were having to truck water in.

Wendy, sounds like Telstra have a lot to answer for. It’s not like we have a lot of choice though when it comes to telephone service. From what I have heard, a lot of the other suppliers are even worse and they use Telstra lines anyway. Good luck with the painting.

Tash, so sorry to hear you are sick … sounds nasty, hope you get better soon. Take care, put your feet up, take it easy for a couple of weeks. I know it’s really hard to do that with young children to care for but you need to put yourself first for a bit while you’re recovering.

Karen, you need to take good care of yourself too. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Nev, your ‘critter’ is a bit fishy looking … maybe it came down with the rain … maybe it’s a very large mosquito larvae … actually I wouldn’t have a clue either.

Gotta go now and hang out the washing. Like Karen said, a woman’s work is never done … well, not for long anyway.

Bye for now, Shirley

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Evening ~ all. The excessive rains you have been getting has made the national news here. It would be nice to receive the rain only when and as needed. Hope it will soon dry out.

I do suspect all the respiratory problems are indeed related to the mould. It will set me on edge too.

It is quickly warming up here and I need to put the shadecloth up in the greenhouse until I can move the plants out. I am deliberating on where I will place the few broms I have this summer.

Must add I gotta go do the dinner dishes and get ready for a visit from northern snowbird family members.

Like Karen and Shirley said, a womans' work is never done... actually it is done, over and over and over again. lol
Have a good day all. Kristi

shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone; (well it’s not really a good morning), It’s been pouring all night and is still pouring, I'm sick of it and I’m stuck inside and quickly going “stir crazy”!

Shirley – I can just remember something about that plant you speak about but can’t be sure if it was Breeindy’s plant or one on another forum. I think from memory it turned out to be one of the Vr. Ospinae types where the new pup comes up the middle of the main plant and which “appears” to be flowering for a second time when in fact it is the new pup that’s flowering. I’m really not aware of any brom, that flowers more than once per year, but then I don’t know all there is to know about brom’s and there are always exceptions to all rules, with new things popping up occasionally to dispel all theories, so who knows?

Wendy – Johnny’s idea with the junction box seems to have done the job, but it’s just as well no one from Telstra saw him doing it or he would have got the blame for all of the phone troubles; you know they’re always looking for someone to blame other that themselves. I don’t think the “creature from black lagoon” was a tadpole, as from what I’m told, none of them ever had that shape and as you know when they are changing from tadpoles into small frogs the head always becomes enlarged first, and this didn’t happen, they just looked like “maggots with tails“ the whole time.

I do wish you hadn’t shown the painting job here; all you’ve done now is to remind me I have two ceilings I have to paint and have been putting off for some time.

Tash – Sorry to hear you’re unwell. Whatever you do you must force yourself to drink lots of fluids especially water as the antibiotics can only kill the bugs, but it’s up to you to flush the dead bugs from your system; so lots and lots of water. Remember that antibiotics kill the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria so you also you need to get onto a product containing probiotics such as Yoghurt or Yakult to replace the good bacteria. This combined with lots of water will make you feel better quicker also.

Karen – That Vr Evita is really a beautiful plant and a very good grower as well. I had two pots with seven flower spikes on each this year, but they had just got to the stage where they had to be divided unfortunately. Your pup is from the first pot I divided and the second pot is still waiting to be done as it hasn’t stopped raining long enough to let me do it. It does have a really nice red inflorescence stalk topped with contrasting multiple yellow paddles with yellow flowers and is very eyecatching.

Kristi – I was only saying on another forum this morning that it only seems like yesterday when we were all complaining that we were in drought with severe water restrictions in place, and now we’re being flooded. This just supports the old Australian saying I heard as a boy, which said that "in Australia, a drought is always broken by a flood". It seems like Mother Nature doesn’t like us much anymore and keeps sending us droughts, bushfires, cyclones and floods. Anyway, if we didn’t have them we would have to find something else to whinge about I suppose, so we should be making the best of what we have.

As for the “Mystery Monster”, it seems we have agreement from a highly respected bromeliad hybridizer/retired chemist and a retired scientist who both say that it is indeed a “maggot”. The tail is something they grow to adapt to life foraging for dead tissue in water. I guess Wendy was on the right track when she thought a tadpole which had turned into a frog and hopped away, instead it was a maggot that turned into a blowfly and flew away.

The brom grower/chemist has seen and studied it before in his own collection. Apparently the blowfly is attracted by the smell of the rotting dead flowers in the cup of the brom and lays its eggs above the water line. When the water line rises the eggs then become submerged and it’s here after hatching they adapt by growing a tail to help them swim in their new home in the water........... Ain’t nature just fantastic!

Well that’s about it for today except to show you all a new collection of pic’s from another New Zealand grower and hybridizer named Peter Coyle. Part of Peter's business is also running a resort called “Totara Waters” and if anyone is interested in looking at some superb gardens, check out his web site at: totarawaters.co.nz and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Peter has kindly given me permission to post his pictures on our little forum for you all to see and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

I’ll start with a few of his new hybrids 1. Neo [Rosea Striata x Concentrica] x Vivacor, 2. Neo. Gespacho x Alkazar, 3. Neo. 'Bottoms Up', 4. Neo. Lambert's Pride x Treasure Chest, and 5 is a group of Neo. Lambert's Pride x Treasure Chest seedlings from the same batch of seed which just shows the variation you can get and the reason why growing from seed is so interesting.

All the best, Nev.

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First let me say sorry you girls aren't well atm. take care of yourself both of you. Karen with your health problems you can't afford to let something take hold like an infection and Tash after last week I know how hard it is to look after toddlers so you need to get better asap and I hope you don't share what you have with your little guy. That would be really hard on you to have to care for him while you are sick too.

Nev I love those hybrids from Peter Coyle. I would love to produce something like those one day.

Now painting. If any of you have homes with outside timber like ours I must share todays bargain with you all. We had to go to Bunnings to get another 4L of paint to do the bedroom walls. While the guy was tinting it Johnny notices that 4L solargard was on sale for $29. That is less than half price so a very very good bargain. Apparently Wattyl has alligned itself with Masters and Bunnings has to get all Wattyl products off their shelves. Our Bunnings had only just replenished stock so they had pellets of it out the back. Anyway we grabbed 4 cans for later when we paint outside of our house. When we went to checkout the girl said to only lift 1 can up and she would scan it 4 times. We were talking and I didn't even pay attention and when she said $107 I just pulled out the cash and paid for it. When we got to the car Johnny just sat there looking at the docket and he said she made a big mistake. I immediately realised what she had done but didn't at the time. So we got 4 cans for $29 only. What a bargain....... anyway I advise anyone wanting to paint outside to grab some wattyl paint while you can.

After my late night last night I'm planning an early night tonight so I will sign off now. Nev hope the rain stops before Jen gets there or she might have to trade their car in on a boat to get to your place LOL.

Wendy

shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone, (I don't know why I say everyone as everyone seems to have gone somewhere else except Wendy) so I'll just say Good morning Wendy.

At last the rain seems to have stopped, no rain all night and as I start typing this morning it’s 5.00am and it’s still not raining. However there’ll be no work in the garden again this morning as I have to go for more ultrasounds, so that’s the morning wasted.

There won’t be much done this afternoon either as I have a special treat; Jen is coming to visit and no doubt we’ll spend a lot of time “brom chatting” and looking at plants. It will be really good to at last be able to put a face to one of the anonymous people who I have communicated with occasionally via Emails and DG forums, and I’m really looking forward to it. Last year it was Sue and I’ve worked it out that at this rate of one person per year I will be 98 by the time I finally get to meet the people who I regularly chat with on these forums.

Wendy – That’s a great bargain you got onto with the paint. Unfortunately our local Bunnings rarely ever has any specials like that as they chose to hang onto everything at the right price until the very last minute. Even their plants are at death’s door before they are reduced in price by which time nobody wants to buy them anyway and they end up in the bin.

I was also told by the horticulturist at our local Bunnings that they are going to stop stocking all Brunnings and Amgrow products as well as a third brand they hadn't told him the name of at that stage. The reason being is that Woolworths who are starting up some “Super Stores” (similar to Bunnings) have bought the sole rights to these products and even though they won’t be opening for another two years, they will cut supplies of all this stock to Bunnings so it seems like it’s all out war between these two companies which hopefully, somewhere down the track should mean a better deal for "us" the consumer.

As for those of you suffering from the dreaded flu bug, look after yourselves and get better soon; it’s not just confined to Queensland you know; every second person we see down here has it or knows someone with it as well; except me that is, as I have my orange every day as I have for the past fifty nine years on the advice of the GP who treated me as a child when I had a cold which progressed to bronchial pneumonia. He was visiting twice a day and giving me penicillin injections and it was then he told me that if I ate an orange a day for the rest of my life I’d never get a cold again, and so far he’s been right.

I have a little bit more on the mystery creature; it was sent to me from another forum by a friend. He sent me a link to Wikipedia which describes the “monster” as a "Rat-tailed maggot" and it’s also accompanied by pictures, see below:

Rat-tailed maggot
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Eristalis tenax larva
Rat-tailed maggots are the larvae of some species of hoverfly, commonly Eristalis tenax. A characteristic feature of rat-tailed maggots is a tube-like, three segmented, telescoping breathing siphon located at their posterior end.[1] This acts like a snorkel, allowing the larva to breathe air while submerged. The siphon is usually about as long again as the maggot's body (20 mm when mature), but can be extended as long as 150 mm. It is this organ that gives the larva its common name. It lives in stagnant, oxygen-deprived water, with a high organic content. It is fairly tolerant of pollution and can live in sewage lagoons and cesspools.[1]

Contents
[hide]
• 1 Commercial use
• 2 Infection
• 3 Images
• 4 References
• 5 External links


[edit] Commercial use
These larvae, commonly called "mousies" are cultured and sold as fish bait. They are especially popular in ice fishing.[2]
[edit] Infection
There have occasionally been documented cases of human intestinal Myiasis of the Rat-tailed maggot (larvae of Eristalis tenax). Symptoms can be none (asymptomatic) to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, or pruritus ani. Infection can be caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water but doubts have been expressed that accidentally ingested fly larvae could survive in the gastrointestinal tract. Zumpt proposed an alternative called "rectal myiasis". Flies, attracted to feces, may deposit their eggs or larvae near or into the anus, and the larvae then penetrate further into the rectum. They can survive feeding on feces at this site, as long as the breathing tube reaches towards the anus.[1][3]

If you want to see the pic's you need to go to this link:....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat-tailed_maggot

Well that's it for another day, now for a few more pic's, thi time I'll post some of the NZ Neoregelia miniatures.

1. is Neoregelia Alley Cat. 2. Neoregelia Cayenne, 3. Neoregelia Mini Skirt, and 4. is neoregelia Pheasant There was a 5. as well but it's disappeared

All the best, Nev.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi again,

Seeing DG cut out No 5 from the previos post I'll try and post it again along with four others. No.1. Neoregelia Shamrock (My favourite), No.2. Neoregelia Mo Pepper Please, No. 3. Neoregelia Turmoil, No. 4. Wee Willy and No. 5. Neoregelia Whim

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

You are not alone Nev. I always pop in to read all the posts but as I dont have many broms and am not as into them , I dont post much. I do enjoy reading all the info though.
I havent ever seen any creatures in my broms other than spiders and the odd small frog.
I potted a lot of pups over the weekend.
My bil. Hallelujahs are still flowering and they always pup madly .
I took a very large pup from Hannibal Lector. There is s till one left on mumma.
I found that a lot of the broms pupping havent flowered and the ones that are flowering hardly have a pup.
I am hoping to sell some of the pups at the local trash & treasure in May. Should give me more money to buy more plants.
I do hope all up there in the north are safe and dry.
Jean.

Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

I'm still here too Nev ... just a bit too early for me, I'm afraid. The photos you posted are absolutely gorgeous.

The Woolies super store you mention who are taking on Bunnings are Masters. We have one here already and some of their products are cheaper than Bunnings and others are not. As for competition ... Bunnings wont stock any brands that Masters have so its not really 'apples for apples' so to speak. We used to buy water filters at Bunnings and the last time we went to buy them we were told "we are not stocking that brand any more as Masters are selling them, but this one, brand x, is better and cheaper." Well, we bought brand x and it was absolute 'crap' so from now on, we will just buy our water filters at Masters, where we can buy the tried and true brand we have always used.

Masters have a lovely big garden centre and very helpful staff, though not as many as when they opened last year and Bunnings staff numbers have decreased dramatically so I guess they are hurting a bit.

Karen and Tash ... hope you are in recovery mode and up and about again.

Wendy ... good buy with the paint. Typically, we bought paint a few weeks ago and it was very expensive. That's the norm for us ... pay full price today only to find it heavily discounted in a couple of weeks time. Ahh, that's life !!!

Attached photo is another of my NOIDs ...

See ya, Shirley

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone. Another lovely day here this morning, though they predict it will get very hot today. Just my luck, as I have another hospital appt. at lunch time, so will be travelling in the heat. That elusive bone doctor today.

Was out yesterday and another bus driver wouldn't stop at my bus stop to let me off. This is once too often. This time I did complain to the company. Will probably never hear back, but from now on if it keeps on happening, I'll complain loud and clear, maybe even take it to the local newspaper. I even got home with my arm bleeding again. Beginning to think my skin is so thin, that it splits when my blood pressure goes up.

Wendy, well done with the paint. Hope we can get down soon to see you both. Have a vriesea to be divided, so need your help.

Jean, I love bill. Hallelujah. Mine flowered once, but now has quite a few pups on it. Its a really beautiful plant.

Hi Shirley, nice noid there. With all the hybrids around these days its probably difficult to avoid the nameless ones. But some are worthy of their place in our gardens, to be sure.

Nev, you light up the forum with your beautiful pics of broms. Oh, and your colourful stories too. As you know, the minis are my favourites, and this last lot you've shown are fabulous.

I'm feeling better now the rains have gone. Too much moisture in the lungs, I think. Also, I'm breaking in a new medication, and I suspect the congestion may be another side effect, along with headaches. Nothing major though, so will persist and see if it all settles down. My cholestrol is through the roof, they say, but I can't take the usual medications for it due to savage side effects. This is the end of the line, so it has to work.

My broms will have to suffer the sun today as I won't be here to move things around if necessary. But it is lovely to see the trees in flower and the bees crawling all over them. I love Autumn. Think I've said that before.

Hi Kristi, Colleen, Bree, and everyone else who pops in. Have a lovely day
Karen


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This message was edited Mar 8, 2012 4:30 PM

This message was edited Mar 8, 2012 4:32 PM

shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

Another fine morning and what a glorious day we had here yesterday. I got my rotten ultrasounds out of the way in the morning and was back home at 12.00 just in time to have a bit of lunch before Jen came; I think it must have been her who brought the good weather with her, a little bit of sunshine from sunny Queensland.

Well what a beaut afternoon we had, and we talked and discussed brom’s from 1.00 til 4.00 non-stop. Jen brought me down some plants to swap as well as some from Sue which I wasn’t expecting and some from Wendy too I think. I’m not sure what came from where and from whom now, as there were three boxes, and the good thing was I didn’t have any of them.

Jen was pretty pleased to think she was getting rid of some and making a bit more room at home but she took back just as many as she brought, so she’s not any better off. I also used her as a courier as well as I had plants I wanted to get up to Wendy and Johnny as well as Tash. Unfortunately I stuffed up as usual by thinking that Jen lived in Cairns and could drop Wendy’s off on the way through and then continue on with Tash’s. When she told me the bad news that she lived around Brisbane and not Cairns that sort of mucked things up as I already had Tash and Jason’s plants ready, so Tash if your reading this, Jen’s taking your plants back to her place and you will have to arrange somehow how to get them from her up to you. In any case, the good thing is, they’ll be half way there anyway and the post won’t take as long or cost as much, but I do apologise for the mix-up.

We talked about brom’s so hard and fast I’ve now lost my voice (which some will no doubt say is a good thing) but it was a very enjoyable afternoon and she was a nice lady who even my old (17 Y.O.) dog liked (and at his age he doesn’t usually like strangers), but he is a very good judge of character. I remember I once gave a bloke some plants which he was to pay me for at the next brom meeting. He seemed like a genuine bloke but the old dog took an instant dislike to him right from the time he first saw him, (in fact if I hadn’t locked him up I think he would have gone for him). Anyway, the next meeting came around and I went expecting to get my money but he wasn’t there. I didn’t worry too much and thought something unforseen must have happened. Unfortunately he never showed up at the next meeting either and we’ve never seen him since, he just vanished! – I should have taken notice of what my old dog was trying to tell me.

Anyway the visit ended all too soon and it was time for her to go, but then Jen realised she couldn’t fit everything in while they were potted up, so she had to un-pot everything and wrap them for travelling. She finally got away about 4.00 and hadn’t been gone two minutes when it started to spit rain again, so our timing was perfect.

At this stage, I’ll just mention I’m usually home most of the time, so any time any of you are in the area, please feel free to give me a ring and we’ll arrange a time for a visit, I love to see brom friends and you’d all be very welcome.

Jean – Good to hear you’re still dropping in to read the threads, and your brom’s are still growing well and pupping for you. I’ve found a nice little tree fern for you and will get it off to you either next week or the week after, but I’ll send you a message to tell you when I send it.

Colleen - I've found a little tree fern and birds nest fern for you also, and I'll put them in the brocolli box with the next lot of pups I promised you (probably the week after next.)

Shirley – From what you say about Bunnings and the new store, maybe we’ll have someone who knows how to look after their plants better than Bunning’s do.; and if they’re stocking different products, we should have more varieties as well at hopefully competitive prices. I must however congratulate Bunnings on the great gardening workshops they hold at our local store four times per year. They really put on a good show including guest speakers, morning and afternoon tea, lunch as well as a sample bag for all attendees plus lucky door prizes and free give-aways as well.

I like your NOID as well Shirley; I don’t know what it is but judging by the concentric rings showing on the foliage, I’ll bet “pounds to peanuts” that it has Neo, Concentrica somewhere in its parentage.

Karen – Gee you’re having quite a time with those busses, I think as well as going to the newspaper, I would also go to your “local member” as it’s in their best interests to be seen doing things for their constituents and they do carry a bit of “clout”. When you go right into it I think you’ll find that the bus company is breaching its contract by what it’s doing and they’re not above the law you know, they have rules they have to follow as well. Gee I wish I lived up where you do, as I love having a good “blue” with people and companies doing the wrong thing by people. I got stuck into a plumbing company down here once many years ago about charging a pensioner $65 for just changing a tap washer, even though they were technically within the law as that was the service fee, I still told them via the news paper that it was morally wrong. I did get some unofficial feedback a while later to say they now do those little jobs, free of charge for pensioners if it is on their way to or from a job. Not much, but a small win for the elderly.

I remember in about 1966 when I was working for a builder; he was just a small builder with one carpenter (me), one apprentice and one labourer plus himself also a carpenter. Each Friday afternoon on the way home from our job for a couple of hours before “knock off time” we would do little jobs around the town for pensioners free of charge. Things like re-screening flyscreens, fixing door and window locks, changing light globes or tap washers. Just little things but things that the old people had trouble doing. We would also drop of the hardwood timber off cuts for people with old fuel stoves as well as softwood off cuts to a couple of old blokes who used to make wooden toys for the Salvo’s Christmas tree every year. It was only a small town, and they were only small jobs, but we were well appreciated and the boss always reckoned it was the best advertising he could get, and consequently we were never out of work.

Gee everyone, sorry about straying off the topic of brom’s, but you can blame Karen for making me once more "run off at the mouth" and get on my soap box to beat my drum, but it does feel better to get these things off your chest; you don’t have to just put up with them you know.

I’ll finish with some more nice brom pic’s from N.Z. courtesy of Peter Coyle, just to make those of you on the sick list feel a little better. 1. Neo.Marble Throat x Little Dazzler, 2. another from the same seed batch Neo Marble Throat x Little Dazzler, 3. Vriesea Nova Princess, 4. Vriesea Taranaki Mist, and just for Karen 5. A mix of new mini's

All the best, Nev.

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Nev I'm still wandering around here but have been quite busy with the boys and school and trying to get ready for John to come up today and visitors in between. Thank you for finding the tree fern and bird nest ferns. I thought with the SH I might be able to grow them here now. It's worth a try anyway. My brother in Queensland has sent a parcel of plants down to me. There's some broms, a mock orange, a tree umbrella and a few other things that he found around the place. It will be a surprise for me when it arrives. He said that his phone line and internet has been out for 5 days now. They put it up on poles because it was always getting washed out and a hedger took the line out. You can't win can you. That was a lovely thing that your boss used to do and as he said it was great advertising. What goes around comes around I always say. Tash I hope you are on the mend now. Hope everyone has a great day and I'll try to get back later. Colleen

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone,

nice morning here, though it is expected to get to something like 35 degrees today, a tad too hot for my liking.

Karen, maybe you should report your bus company's drivers to your local member, to the ombudsman or to Brisbane City Council, maybe even Queensland Transport, depending on who the company is contracted by. Don't let them get away with doing this to you.

Nev, sounds like you and Jen shared a lovely afternoon and both of you got some lovely broms. I can't wait till mine are at the stage where I can swap with others but right now most of them are mere babies.

I agree with you that dogs are excellent judges of character. We used to have a huge but very gentle dobermann (named Max) who, every now and then, would take a real dislike to a particular person and he generally turned out to be right. Also, I find it amaging that you have a dog 17 years old ... wow, thats like the equivalent of around 120 in human years.

Bunnings gardening workshops sound pretty good to me. I'll have to find out if they do the same thing at our local warehouse.

Colleen, I really like your broms in photos number 3 and 4.

Anyway, gotta go wrap granddaughter Raylee's birthday pressie, 7 years old already and they will be up to visit later today.

Shirley

Brisbane, Australia

Hello and good morning. Another glorious day here, and I'm doing some heavy washing before winter sets in. We only get 2-3 hours of sun here in winter and it takes 2 days to get anything dry.

Shirley, I used the bus again yesterday, but knew it would be ok as soon as I got on, as I'd had this driver before, and he was a good one. Most of them are. Its just the 4 now that I've struck that have really bad attitudes. If they hate their job so much, why don't they get another one? Yes, one complaint probably won't fix the problem. My biggest fear is that they will remove the bus stop altogether, as even I have to admit, 3 stops in half a kilometre is a lot, but the other two are both uphill walks which is not a good thing for me.

Colleen, those are lovely plants there. Sounds like you are in store for some nice surprises when your brother's parcel arrives.

Nev, love the minis. Thank you. Peter has some beauties, hasn't he. Thank you for the verbal support re the buses too. I sometimes feel like I'm just an old whinger. Wasn't that long ago I could hike up the hills (they're just inclines really) and not even think about it. Now I huff and puff and in a short space have to take a couple of angina sprays and walk so painfully slowly for fear of having a heart attack.

Anyway, the bone doctor went well. As we already knew, I have one very frozen shoulder, but the pain is over, and he thinks between 6 and 18 months I should wake up one morning and my arm will be free again. Glory be.

Haven't been down to the plants yet as we've had noisy machines next door trimming trees and cleaning roof gutters. Wish they'd come over here and do mine.

So will just wish everyone a lovely day and catch up tomorrow.
Karen

Brisbane, Australia

Hi all. Sorry I've been a bit slack about posting but have been keeping up with all your interesting information and photos A belated welcome to Shirley. You have some lovely plants Shirley and they look very healthy. I've been following your shadehouse building. Looks like it will be great when finished. We filled in our old swimming pool last year and built a shadehouse (or I should say Johnny built the shadehouse!) instead so I know what an arduous and expensive task it can be. I just live around the corner from Wendy so maybe you get out a packed lunch and compass and head over our way sometime. We could take you to Catlan's if you haven't been, a real Allladin's brom cave.
Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling too flash Karen and Tash. Hope you are soon on the mend. Colleen, Bree and Jean, your plants are looking good and your collections seem to be growing in leaps and bounds.
It was wonderful to finally met Nev yesterday afternoon and check out all his lovely broms. Within minutes we were chatting like we'd known each other for years. Nev has made the most amazing use of his space and it felt a bit like that old ad, " But wait there's more! " Broms in every direction and I love the way Nev has so many hanging in layers. The plants all look happy and healthy so I'll definitely have to give it a try. Think Nev was underestimating the brom trade just a wee bit. I brought 2 boxes from Wendy and me and another box from Sue. (That was frustrating too because I only got to visit Sue for about 1/2 hour and Ray had to drag me away kicking and screaming but at least we get next Friday to ourselves.) The broms were taking up a bit of room and I kept reassuring my husband that there would be more space after I dropped the broms at Nev's. Hubby looked at me skeptically because he knows what brom people are like. Huh! Nev gave me so many beauties that I knew my husband would have a fit when he saw how many I had, so the only way I could sneak them in was to depot them all and wrap them in newspaper. So I have 3 big boxes of wrapped ones + some too big for the boxes + a box for Wendy and Johnny + a teefy box for Tash. Nev had Wendy's and Tash's all wrapped so it is taking all my willpower not to unwrap them for a peak. Bromaholicism is a terrible infliction. Nev and I were chuckling yesterday about how seemingly rational friendly people turn into monsters at brom sales and it becomes every man for himself, forget the sharing. We had a lovely afternoon together and if you are down this way I highly recommend you visit Nev and his wife who will make you very welcome. Even Nev's dog politely tolerated my need for a dog dose (Missing mine terribly). My only regret is that I left the camera at the cabin. Hopeless, I know. Will atone when I get home and am not trying to use this mobile broadband stick. Catch up soon, Jen

I posted a message last night with some photos but it isn't here. Computers with a mind of their own. Last nights message included that we have all those minis in Nev's pics posted yesterday.

Nev having Master's as well as Bunnings hasn't improved the care of plants in their gardening sections. If anything the quality of broms in our Bunnings has definately deteriorated. But we saw a batch of guzmanias at Masters that were in a spot where the midday sun shon straight down through the open roof and burned them all. They didn't reduce the price until they were way too far gone to save. It seems that Masters is signing exclusivity contracts with companies like Wattyl (paints) who have demanded that Bunnings remove all their products. So the only thing that will cause is that we will not be able to obtain all our regular products in one spot. Some will be alligned to Bunnings while others will only be available in Masters. They do both promise to match prices on same products and if we took Masters or Bunnings catalogues to other store and showed an item they will beat that advertised price.

Jen so glad you and Nev had a great day. Now I can't wait for you to get home. Oh by the way I have a lovely black quesnelia here potted up and settling in. It didn't look happy sitting under your clothes line without any mix around it. Buck must be missing you. When he heard me rattling the chain at the gate he raced around the side to see if it was you home but when he saw it was only me he sulked back to wherever he had been lying. I didn't even see him again.

Karen I'm sorry about your troubles with the bus company. I agree with everyone else that you should put in an official written complaint and send a copy of the letter to the paper. Outline your health issues and state that the trek up the hill always brings on angina attacks and you believe that one day it will cause you to have another heart attack. It certainly wouldn't hurt to include the local members seeing there is an election campaign on. Don't forget to state that the majority of the drivers are very nice, friendly and helpful .... the few bad ones give the others a bad image.

I have tillandsias flowering everywhere at the moment including he ionantha up the tree. there is little pink buds appearing everywhere up the branch (pic 2). There is also a tenufolia montana flowering (pic 1)

I'm having the girls sleepover again tomorrow night so I better get an early night tonight to prepare.

Night all
Wendy

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Brisbane, Australia

Morning all,

Looking a bit overcast here this morning and it appears we had some showers overnight.

Karen, I had a frozen shoulder a few years ago … VERY painful, I know, and very frustrating. Fortunately it was my left arm that I couldn’t use and I became quite adept at doing things using only my right arm (which got rather painful as a result). The one thing that I found really difficult for a long time was washing my hair. Initially hanging out the clothes was a bit of a drama but I got round that one by putting the pegs on the garment before hanging them then just clipping the pegs over the line. I was very lucky though, the Dr told me I could expect it to stay frozen for 18 months but thankfully it took only about 6 months. At the same time Michael had a shattered left arm from a fall, so we became one armed twins for a while there.

Jen, thank you for your welcome to the forum. Actually, we do intend to head over your way when Wendy has her brom sale. We may just take a cut lunch and a flask of coffee and hopefully with the help of “Tom” our GPS we will navigate our way there successfully ... I am looking forward to it.

Nev, did you sleep in this morning … you normally post much earlier.

Anything, things to do today. Bye for now

Shirley

shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

Well it looks like Mother Nature’s being kind to us with a nice day again today, and I hope all who have recently been on the sick list are now well and truly on the mend and can soon get out in the garden and start enjoying your brom’s again.

I’m having a day off from the brom’s today and we’re taking my two year old grandson over to the Illawarra Light Railway Museum for his very first ride on a steam train. A little point of interest for the Queenslanders in our group is that two of the steam locomotives we have running were originally donated by Sugar companies in Queensland and they spent their working life in the cane fields of North Queensland. Fittingly they are called “Tully” and “Cairns”.
See: http://www.ilrms.com.au/ Also, just so Colleen won’t feel left out, there’s a South Australian connection as well as the loco called “Tully” was originally built in Adelaide in the 1940’s.

Colleen – Your plants look great and the picture’s really do tell a story of how well you’re growing them. Seems like you’ve been very busy lately and what with the two boys and all your brom’s you’ve really got your hands full; however it’s great to have the young ones around isn’t it, they keep us hopping, but somehow it takes our mind off our own aches and pains, I know it does for me.

You’ll think Santa has come when you open your box of plants your brother is sending and you’ll really have to take some pic’s and share with us what you got. I don’t think there’s anything better for a brom fancier than opening a box of brom plants, unless of course it’s two boxes.

Also Colleen, I just thought I should remind you to plant the Bird’s Nest Fern in a pot, as they will grow very large if you put them directly in the ground; I currently have one here that’s about six feet across and last year I had two others which were eight feet across and which I gave to a friend to fill a “damp spot” in his back yard. The same goes for the tree fern as they have about an eight foot span if in the ground also, but they really do look good with brom’s growing beneath them and gives that real “rain forest“ look and smell.

Shirley – It only seems a short time ago when I was saying (just like you) that I can’t wait until my plants give me pups to swap. Now I have so many it’s getting harder and harder to find homes for them. Swapping is certainly a great way to build up a collection, and as Jen can testify, I almost have my back yard full of brom’s and I’ve bought only a small proportion of them with the bulk having been swaps or ones I’ve grown from seed.

As you say, 17 is a good age for a dog, but as the vet says, old dogs are like old men, they sleep and fart a lot! My old bloke follows me everywhere and never lets me out of his sight. He’s still a very good watch dog and will always bark at something different as long as I wake him up first. I think Jen must have been in the house for about ten minutes before he came down the hall and gave his solitary bark, and once he got to know her, everything was fine and he went back to bed again.

Karen – Pleased to hear you got a good report from the “bone doctor”, one less medical problem to worry about, but then at our age, what would we do if we had nothing to worry about?

I hear what you’re saying about the road just being an incline, but no doubt like me you’re finding that as we get older, slight inclines become hills, and steps become steeper and steeper. However I hope the machines have gone now and you now have some peace and quiet again and can get down amongst your plants to enjoy them and don’t have to be bothered about the hill or the noise.

Jen – I’m glad you enjoyed your visit as much as we enjoyed having you and it was just great to chat non-stop about brom’s. Like you said it seemed like we had known each other for years. There’s just one thing though; when I went down the back yesterday I found two of your plants you had forgotten to take, still sitting there o the grass where we put them so they wouldn’t be forgotten, (that was a waste of time wasn’t it?) One was the Ae Distichantha Glaziovii and the other was the Blanchetiana seedling from U.S. seed. Anyway, not to worry, I’ll send them up to you after you’re back home and settled in again.

Wendy – Pleased to hear you have those mini’s I posted the pic’s of yesterday and I want you to put my name down for a pup of the Neo Shamrock please as I think it’s a great little mini.

From what you say about Bunnings and Masters, it seems like the consumer will end up being the losers and not get better prices after all. If Masters are getting sole control of these products, it means they can charge what they like as they have no competition. A very shrewd business move but also one I think is a bit underhanded as well. It’s not only “Wattyl” paints they’re doing this with, but at this stage it’s also “Brunnings” and “Amgrow” garden products as well as another brand that I haven’t yet been able to find out the name of, and who knows what other products.

Shirley - No I didn't sleep in, I started this the same time as I usually do but had to type slower because as I mentioned yesterday I've lost my voice! Ha Ha

Seriously though, I hadn't finished when we decided to get an early start to the museum with the grandson before his morning nap, was due and boy did he have a wonderful time, however he crashed about five minutes after we got into the car to come home and no doubt had lovely dreams about Thomas the Tank Engine.

That’s it for today and I’ll finish as usual with some pic’s; Firstly “Clyde the Wonder Dog” having his Nanny Nap in his rocking chair. No.2. is Alc. Silver Plum, No. 3. is and Alc. Imperialis seedling as yet unnamed. No. 4. is Alc. Alc. Vinicolour and No. 5. is Alc. Bobby Gold (one of which sold on Ebay the other day for $1500


All the best, Nev.

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