BROMELIADS FOR NOVICES & ADDICTS MAY & June 2012

Queensland, Australia

Hi Everyone,
I hope you are all well and enjoying your broms. Sorry I haven't been popping in, things are pretty busy at home at the moment and my time has been a bit limited and being the Admin of the brom group on Facebook, I have to get to it first. I did get your message Nev about starting a new thread in here for you all as yes the other one is getting a bit long. I did this one for May and June since we are already half way through May :)
We haven't added many broms to our collections since the poisoning, still dealing with more rotting out from it and working out which ones are rubbish bin material and which ones have reached a point of no longer dying and instead have started to give us a pup to save themselves. I don't throw any out until we are completely satisfied that there is NO coming back.... ie the fall to complete bits and then the trucnk ends up exploding into a rotten disgusting mess! Then we know.... they are well and truly cactus... dead..... beyond it. Then the pot, mix... everything from that brom... goes straight into the bin. Probably should keep the pot, but with what we have been through, a 50 cent pot is not worth the risk of infecting something else.

Well we came from the April thread here .... http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1250088/

We did buy a few nice new neos from a local person who is selling up most of her collection, so I'll include a photo from that recent purchase.
This one is Neoregelia Purple Star.

Hope you are all well :)

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AhhTash purple star is a nice choice of new brom. We have about 4 beauties at the moment but we want to keep them for pups for later. I could have sold them all last weekend as theyare stunners at the moment. We had about 6 others but they were snaffled up over the last 4 or 5 weeks since the couple in the totem at the start of the back shadecover area started looking good. the colour is certainly eye catching hence everyone hones in on them as soon as they get into the backyard.

Sorry I haven't been posting or even checking for a few nights. This head cold has really clung on and the eyes just aren't coping with looking at the computer. I tend to sit with it on and just glance sideways every now and then to see what's new popping up. I just lean back, chilling and watching TV till I just can't stay awake any longer. The last couple of days since our busy weekend I've even been getting pain in the back when breathing so it is upstairs in the warm by 4pm. I've even been getting the bath out of they way before tea as the hot water seems to ease the back pain. then it's dressing warmly for the night. We decided today we were getting an electric blanket just to warm the bed before we get in. I can't remember when we went from warm nights to bloody cold ones just in 24 hours. Today I didn't even take my jumper off all day. Now Jen has the head cold too. I shouldn't have gone to Olive's with her and possibly shared the germs around. She says she probably caught it from Rowan who has had it too but I'm not sure. So far Johnny hasn't got it off me but Max (the dog) has been sneezing and spraying the floor so I think I shared with him. Possibly from sharing my tea cause I certainly don't kiss him LOL

I love all these pics we've seen recently. Karen glad you are feeling better again. I read somewhere that if you have an arythmia you can correct it by doing something like hiccuping or sneezing, or coughing or something. I can't remember exactly what it was. I think it was sneezing as the pressure reboots the heart or something. maybe it was coughing cause you can force yourself to cough on deman but a true sneeze is a bit harder to do. Yes probably coughing. Anyway maybe you can try it next time and see if it works. I think it gave you the time to survive till the ambos can get there and get you to hospital. Anyway hope it works if you ever need it.

Did you get to see the tillandsias when you were here Karen? There are so many coming into flower and a lot more with seeds ripening. I should have some nice tills growing soon going by the seeds coming on. I still can't remember what it was I was going to show you if you came to our sale. This CRAFT is really a nuisance and I am really starting to rely on my notebook to help me remember. I just wish I had written down what I wanted to show you. It will come to me one of these days.

Geoff lovely to see a new member joining our chats. You say something about broms being a mossie breeding ground. This is a mistake a lot of people make. Apparently broms put out an enzyme that prevents mossie lavae from maturing. I know we've seen lavae swimming in the vriseas for several days then suddenly they sink to the bottom dead and become fertiliser for the plant. We also have lots and lots of little frogs so I guess they enjoy the snack of them too.

Gee I think bed is calling again soon. The energy just doesn't want me to stay up late at the moment. I don't want to get hooked on anything that doesn't finish till late so I am staying in the lounge with Johnny flicking channels which annoys me. At the moment he is watching something about fishing so that's not going to keep me engrossed for long. Wish we had got to the shops to buy our electric blanket today but no we ran out of time. Ah well tomorrow. Nev we've decided we'll leave our trip south till it starts to warm up a bit .... maybe around September. Too cold now. We can't even sit on the front verandah now with the westerly wind. Better downstairs in the sun. The vrisea seedlings are living in the kitchen now too at night then go outside in the sun first thing in the morning.

Off to bed now. Night all

Wendy

The pic is one from Margaret Patterson's in Gympie. It is a garden arch full of tillandsias. She has some nice till hybrids but I agree that she tends to name all her seedlings instead of just picking out the best. Some aren't worth it. what I liked was down by the river, seeing every tree loaded with clumps of tillandsia of all different types. Karen would have been like me .... drooling all over the place. And itching to collect some of the seed flying everywhere ..... hence the till all over the place.
Night all

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone,

Nev, hope you are feeling better today. Your friendís brom collection sounds really awesome. They must have done so much work on the property, have they done it all themselves or had lots of helpers. Sounds a bit like the Olive Branch here in Brissie ...and then some. Would love to see it.

Karen, glad to hear you are on the mend.

Palmbob, welcome to the forum. I have seen and admired many of your succulent photos. I still have a large succulent collection, mainly agaves and aloe but I must admit I have now been totally won over by broms, especially neos and vrieseas ... in fact, I have become totally addicted. You mention going to your first brom show Ö bet you get hooked too!!! You certainly took some nice photos.

Colleen, enjoy your time away. I miss my plants whenever we go away for more than a couple of days too.

Tash, thanks for the new thread Ö Iíll have to find out how itís done. Hope your brom problems are over real soon.

Wendy, sorry to hear youíre still crook ... this cold snap wonít help at all. I always warm my side of the bed with an electric blanket (for about 6 months of the year) and wouldnít be without it. We have one in the van too, and a diesel heater Ö I hate getting cold as it brings out all the aches and pains.

I was lucky enough to get one of your lovely neo Purple Star earlier this year and itís is one of my favourites too.

My pics tonight are No 1 neo Peggy Bailey, No 2 neo Midnight / VooDoo, two of my recent purchases from Wendy and No 3 neo Purple Star

Till tomorrow, Shirley


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Brisbane, Australia

Welcome Palmbob Geoff. Great to see a new face here.

Colleen, have a safe trip and keep warm.

Wendy, hope that cold lifts soon now. They are dreadful things.

It is so cold here, and I can't seem to warm up. Heavens, it isn't even winter yet.

My broms are taking a bit of a backseat atm as my zygocactus are starting to flower.
A rare variegated Madam Butterfly flowered for the first time, and I am so thrilled.
It isn't an easy one to grow.

The pics have been a feast for the eyes. That neo Purple Star is a stunner.
Wendy, I see the tills on the wall are all growing on cork. Seems very popular now.
You are right, I would have been looking for bits fallen off, anything.
I have some with buds but they are very very slow developing into anything yet.
I think the sudden cold has sent a couple into shock. I hope they'll be OK. One is
Globosa, one I don't want to lose.

Nev, I haven't got around to posting that brom to you yet. Will probably wait until
I am feeling a bit fitter, or get Barry to do it. Which ever comes first.

Too cold to sit here, so going out into the sun. Sad when it is warmer outside than in.

Karen

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone Ė Iím back again. I posted the first bit of this post on the previous thread as thatís where the things were that I was commenting on. But itís very pleasing to see a few more people posting again especially now thereís a male on the forum as well.

Tash Ė Thanks again for coming to the rescue and starting a new thread for us once again. I think youíre doing the wise thing in holding off from getting too many new plants until youíre well and truly sure the cause of your problems have been sorted out.

I love the Neo. Purple Star though, itís certainly one to be admired, and like Wendy I have a few which Iím hanging on to as well. I could sell everyone of them as ďquick as a winkĒ because everyone who sees them wants to buy them. Was that one from our mutual friendís collectionĒ? She had a really good clone of it and she does grow good quality Neoís. I have a few others from different growers and although not as good, theyíre all still nice.

Wendy Ė Just beware of these pains in the back when you have a cold; if itís just the usual aches and pains, no problem, but if itís a ďsharpĒ pain it could be the start of pleurisy and you need to see a doctor quick smart or it will lay you low a lot longer than a cold will.

You say you have a problem with Johnny flicking channels on the T.V; well I have the same problem with my wife. The thing is she can watch two programmes at once and still follow them, when I complain Iím told I should learn to multi-skill like a woman!

Iím a bit like you Wendy and have to rely on a note book to remember things as well. The only problem is I often forget where I put the bloody note book!

Iíve seen pictures of trees loaded with Tillís in other peopleís collections as well; infact our president had a Bottle Brush at the front of his house on which he mounted three Tillís a few years back; now there are Till. Seedlings popping up all over the place and it makes you wonder that if they started up in the bush somewhere could they become feral like the ďold manís whiskersĒ has in some areas?

Shirley Ė I like your Neo Peggy Bailey, itís a fine example of an albo-marginated plant. And I donít think I can say anything about Purple Star that hasnít already been said. With Neo Midnight (previously called Voo Doo), you can get all of the green markings out of the foliage if you want to by growing it in a pretty much shaded area, in fact it will be that close to black that itís hard to see it isnít.

As for the collection belonging to Nina and Jarka Rehak which I spoke of in the previous thread, yes they did it all themselves but I think Nina is the main designer, she never stops. I havenít got any picís but if I get up there again Iíll take some but itís so steep itís hard to capture it and show it accurately.

Well Iíd better finish as Iíve already written a bit on the previous page so a few more picís of Lyndiís Singapore Garden to finish up with.

All the best, Nev.

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Wow, I haven't seen a bromeliad scene like that in the US, ever... .though there are probably many in Florida (don't get there often).. .here are a few scenes from Thailand, though

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

And since you seemed to like the Neo show from Los Angeles, here are a few more plants: Neo Pele's Dream, Red Sea, Ring of Fire, Screaming Tiger

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Neos Shocking Pink, Tiger, sp. tomoguchi and unknown that I somehow missed photographing the label of.

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

few more things Neo War Paint, Neo wilsoniana, Nidularium innocent lineata, Quesnelia marmorata Tim Plowman

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Orthophytum falconii, Orthophytum guprosum, Tilandsia latifolia, Tilandsia leonamiana

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Vrieseas Fatiima, Hanale, Midnight Splendor and ospinae var gruberi

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

And since you guys may not be growing too many of these in your part of Australia, here's a few Puyas... Puya coerulea types (second one is variety violacea)

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning all Ė Whereís everyone gone? At least Itís good to see you're still here Geoff. I donít have much time to spend here this morning as I have to sort out some things for an interesting day ahead today as itís the second of our four Brom Workshops for the year and Iím really looking forward to it.

This one is aimed at the newer members and will deal with basic cultural things like dividing and potting of different types of bromís. Some of the older members donate plants and pots etc for the purpose and the new members always go home with a plant or two that they donít have, so it makes for an enjoyable day for all.

Geoff Ė Wow! What an array of picís; where to start. Those first two look like theyíre from the Thailand Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens. Have you been there? A friend of mine from Thailand sent me a heap of picís to post a few threads back and the gardens are truly amazing.

Youíve posted picís of quite a variety of genera including some very nice Neoís, and a few I recognise but many that Iíve never seen before. Itís interesting to see the species Neo wilsoniana, one which is grown here but we donít often see at shows, and thatís a magnificent specimen of Ques. Tim Plowman; it shows the standard of the show when a plant of that quality only gets second, do you know what got first?

I like the Neo. called ĎTigerí, it has nice shape and unusual colouring, but I think itís wrongly named as itís nothing like the one that Chester Skotak registered. Nevertheless, Iíd still love to have it in my collection.

Like you say, there doesnít seem to be many Puyas grown in Aus. and I know there are none grown locally on the South East Coast in the area where I live; actually Iíve never seen one growing anywhere, but they are nice flowers. Are these in your collection and are they hard to grow? This may explain why they donít seem to be popular here. Anyway thanks a lot for posting all the great picís, Iím sure theyíre appreciated.

Thatís it from me today and unfortunately Iíve run out of picís so itís lucky that Geoff has come to the rescue.

All the best, Nev.

Brisbane, Australia

Wow, Geoff, some goodies among that lot. I am interested in seeing the varieties of Puyas. I'd never heard of them until I saw one on eBay. It was grown here in Brisbane. I'll find a pic and put it up, but it is "borrowed" from the web, not my pic. It is Sapphire Tower.

Nev, I can't believe you've run out of pics! Wow, you've kept us going for so long. I ran out ages ago, and the new pups aren't interesting enough to put up, yet.

Hope everyone isn't too cold.
Karen

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone

Another week almost over. Nothing much happening here at the moment.

Nev, your brom workshops sound like a great idea Ö Iíll have to give some more thought to joining a Brom Group.

Geoff, more lovely pics. Sounds to me like youíre hooked !!!

Karen, I think the reason we are feeling the cold so much here in Brissie is because it was so sudden. Lovely and warm one day, near freezing the next. I am not looking forward to winter at all.

Wendy, hope you are feeling better. Are you still planning on going away.

We are thinking of heading north in a week or so, probably Hervey Bay. We will only go for about 10 days though, canít leave my plants for any longer than that.

Well, thatís about it for me tonight. I will attach pics of two more of my recent purchases Ė No 1 is vriesea Gruberi, No 2 is vriesea Kiwi Cream.

Bye for now, Shirley


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typed a big spiel and lost it posting 3 pics. no time to do it again so I 'll see you all tomorrow night early.

night for now.
Wendy

PS we had no power for over 4 hours last night so wasn't able to log on for a chat. Pic is billbergia fosters striata.

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

More Puya shots from this season

Puya ferruginea (1 and 2), Puya floccosa (3 and 4)

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Puya unknown green species (related to P alpestris) 1-2
Puya spathacea 3-4

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Unknowns

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Puya venusta shots

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Puya berteroana

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning all Ė Well the workshop went well yesterday with nine members present seven of which are new members. I took three very large and very much pot-bound plants of Neoregelia, Aechmea and Vriesea to the workshop to practice on, and just to put you in the picture, our workshop worked like this:

First of all, as the topic of our last General Meeting was ďGrowing ConditionsĒ, I started a small discussion on this topic as an "ice breaker", which not surprisingly brought forth a lot of questions. We have found that since we have been holding these workshops, members and especially new members are more likely to ask questions than they do at a full General Meeting. The reason often given is that they feel a bit intimidated at a large meeting and of course the exact opposite is true of our workshops as they are just small groups. We spent about half an hour discussing and answering questions while the new members had their pencils and note pads working full speed.

We then had a cup of coffee and while they were drinking this I started with the rather large Neo and explained what was required when dividing/re-potting a plant. This started with an external examination of the plant for possible bugs and diseases and then a demo on the correct way to remove it from the pot after which an examination of the roots was performed as I explained the types of problem that may be encountered such as Root Mealy Bug, Curl Grubs etc. I then explained how to clean it up paying special attention to the correct way to remove dead and damaged basal leaves without damaging any possible tiny pup ďeyesĒ which may be hiding behind them. Discussion then took place on the selection of an appropriate sized pot and what the requirements were for a good potting medium.

With the plant I had selected, I had purposely cut off pretty well all of the roots so that when it was potted I could show one of the ways to stabilise it in the pot using bamboo kebab skewers while emphasising that this is done as they are reluctant to put down new roots if they can move in the pot. This was met with quite a bit of interest and when it was potted up fertilized and watered, I then went and sat down again.

This was met by some very bewilded looks on the faces of the members present until I said, ďItís your turn nowĒ, and before they had a chance to back away I told them that whoever came forward got to keep the plant that they potted, and we soon had a group around the table potting plants.

This is how the rest of the day went; I next demonstrated on a couple of very overgrown and very prickly Aechmea recurvatas and explained that the best way to tackle this type of plant was from the bottom thus avoiding the spikes. I cleaned and potted one and once again it was their turn; this time they didnít have to be told, they were around the table waiting for their turn.

We then had lunch, after which I went through the same routine with a very large and very overgrown Vriesea ĎBarbaraí and once again they followed and each finished up with their own plant. To finish the workshop we had a brief session of questions and answers, cleaned up and went home.

The benefits of this workshop were two-fold, I got rid of three very much overgrown plants that required a lot of work and would have required a lot of bench space (which I didnít have), It also allowed me to get rid of many plastic pots of odd shapes and colours that I didnít feel like throwing in the bin and most importantly it sent a group of new members home happily armed with a little knowledge and few free plants that they didnít have when they arrived in the morning; but whatís most important, is that we all had an enjoyable day.

Karen Ė I had seen the picís of that particular Puya before and was immediately attracted to the unusual blue colour of the flowers. Are you now growing it up there in Brisbane?

Shirley Ė Yes I have to agree with you about the weather; I donít think itís the cold so much as the sudden unexpected change in temperature is what seems to knock us for a six. You have two more very nice plants there in your picís, and with both of them, the best is yet to come as they mature, especially the Kiwi cream.

Wendy Ė Firstly let me thank you for the seed which arrived during the past couple of days, it will certainly be put to good use. Sorry to hear you lost your post. It seems to be a common problem on this site doesnít it? The Billbergia you show in your post is an ďoldieĒ but still a ďgoodieĒ and looks very good when planted in the garden and just left to build up into a large clump. As well as the variegated leaves, I think the colours in the flowers (although short lived) are as good as those of any Billbergia Iíve ever seen.

Geoff Ė Once again what can I say except WOW! Where were the picís all taken, are they in a Botanical Garden or in habitat as there seems to be quite a Puya plantation there? Iíve never seen them for real, do they have spines on the leaves or are they smooth leaved, and how tall are some of those tallest inflorescences, they look enormous? It seems to me that you would need a very large property if you were to start collecting this genus as they seem to be a very spreading type plant judging by the Puya venusta plants in the fourth pic.

Thatís it from me today and unfortunately still no new picís

All the best, Nev.

Brisbane, Australia

Good morning world. Doesn't seem quite so cold this morning.

Nev, I personally am not growing the Sapphire Tower Puya, but there is a man in Brisbane that does grow it. It is a very spikey plant and needs room in a more open, sunny sort of space. I just don't have that here. Glad your workshop went so well. It sounds like the attendees had a lot of fun. Well done.

Wendy, it seems Redlands has a lot of power problems. Barry loses power and phones me up to talk rather than sitting alone in the dark. We seem to have a good set up here and haven't actually lost power very often at all over the years. Hope that cold has gone for good now and that you are feeling back on top of the world again.

Geoff, those Puya are an amazing flower, but I don't feel drawn to the plant itself. But the flowers are real stunners, and such colours!

Shirley, love the Kiwi group. Yours will be looking like a million dollars when it grows. Mine has grown so big and they are all real eye catchers. I hope this sudden cold isn't going to affect my plants. One day some plants are budding up, thinking its Spring, next its so cold they go all limp.

Pic is a bill. noid I got from Olive's. I just liked the pink trim. I think it had a name but with all the handling, the tag must have fallen out.

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Puya shots are all from the Huntington Arboretum, which indeed has a lot of room to grow these things (some species the plants are way over my head- almost 8' tall) and the flower panicles another 8' on top of that! They are indeed huge plants (not all Puyas are huge, though).

Puya alpestris shots

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Puya chilensis

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Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

here is a smaller species, Puya mirabilis 1-2; Puya ultima 3-4

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Hi everyone. I'm a bit earlier tonight and using the big computer so we'll see how we go.

can't even remember what I typed last night but it was a lot of words but alas they all disappeared. Nev I hoped you were all better now and Karen too. Oh that's right Karen I read somewhere that if you had an arythmic heart beat you should continue to cough deeply until the ambulance gets to you. Apparently a deep cough can reboot the heart and reset the correct rythm or something like that. Apparently this simple thing can give you the extra time for help to arrive and get you to hospital for treatment. I think I got that info in an email a few months ago. Anyway if you ever need to try this I truly hope it works and you can let us all know it does work.

Nev I'm so glad your workshop was successful. That sounds like a very good idea for teaching new members how to care for their new obsession. I know we all make so many mistakes as new brom enthusiasts so a teaching session like this would prevent newbies from having to learn the hard way. I wish now we had someone to teach us how to grow from seed so we didn't waste some very rare and valuable seed. We didn't know it had to be stored in the fridge and only set a small container of black imperialis and threw the rest into the cupboard in a plastic bag. Of course when we got it out months later it was all mouldy and had to be thrown out. Now we have only 8 good plants growing but it seems they are very highly sought after since word got out that we had them. Gee I wish we had put more effort into growing them properly. It will probably be another 10 years before we get one to flowering size to collect more seed for another go. Wish we had known you back then Nev or had fb forums and access to world authorities.

Pic 1 is the androlepsis skinnerii flowering. This is a very large growing plant with a long white infloresence. Apparently it is only a male so no seeds will develop. But we hope for lots of very nice pups soon. Pic 2 is for Jen and is our billbergia fruit salad. We now have 3 hanging baskets of lovely colour with some actually fowering so everyone wanted them last weekend but we haven't sold any yet. We have given away quite a few pups to friends so we better get our act together and do the big release soon. Better try to collect some seed as well so we can start the next batch of special babies.

Anyway off to bed again. I might have logged on here early but have spent too much time watching TV movie instead of getting this message typed and suddenly it is not early now. I can't believe I've been on DG for about 2 hours already.

Oh nearly forget we picked up the motorhome today so a few days work to clean it up and pack it and we should get away this week sometime. Don't know where we will go but we will head up to Hervey Bay first to see our son and some friends then we'll play it by ear.

Night all
Wendy

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning all Ė It looks like another nice, fine albeit cool day down here. I saw on the news last night that so far itís the driest May on record in the Illawarra; but then weíre only halfway through May yet arenít we?

Karen Ė You mention your power failures; fortunately itís something thatís pretty rare here in the Illawarra so I guess weíre just lucky. The pic of your Billbergia is very much like one I have called Bill. Dorothy Berg, although mine doesnít have the spotting, but then itís a pretty variable plant and if you look at the two picís in the FCBS Photo Index, youíll see what I mean.

Geoff Ė Boy! Some of those Puyas certainly grow tall; they would have to rate up there with the tallest bromís that are known. I once saw a pic of an Alcantarea (I think it was then called Alc. ĎCairns Greení but has since been changed) with the top of the inflorescence thirteen feet from the ground and thatís pretty tall as well.

Theyíre truly amazing picís Geoff, but the first pic of the Puya chilensis really catches my eye. I donít think Iíve ever seen so many flowers on an inflorescence all open at the same time and with such uniformity, certainly a wonderful pic.

Wendy Ė I have a similar problem to Karen with arrhythmia although not as bad. I read with interest the ďtipĒ you got in an email about the coughing re-booting the heart to correct the beat. I havenít purposely tried it yet but I did have an episode of arrhythmia just after I had the pneumonia and I was still coughing consistently and all I can say is the coughing didnít make any difference to my arrhythmia. But then again I didnít know about this tip then and was trying to suppress the cough so maybe I should have coughed a lot harder. I will try it though, as often these little tips do work but because they havenít had the correct medical trials they are all dismissed by the medical profession.

Now back to bromís, your Billbergia ĎFruit Saladí is certainly a beautiful little Bill. Do you remember some time back when you first sent me a pup and it died of rot a few weeks later (definitely not your fault) and you sent me another one later? I gave the rotted one the same treatment that I give any plant I lose to rot (which fortunately are few), I just removed the rotten bit, allowed it to dry out and put it down the back somewhere to take its chances.

Well the day before yesterday I was looking at the second plant you sent and it is growing well and just starting to colour up nicely. This jogged my memory about the one that had rotted and I went to see if anything had eventuated with it, and you never would have guessed that it was possible, but it had put up two little pups from the remaining little stumpy bit of rhizome.

It just goes to show just how truly amazing these plants really are. I now propose to fertilise it regularly with a weak foliar fertilizer as there will be very little nourishment left in the old bit of rhizome as its quite small and dried up, so weíll see what happens and Iíll try and keep a record.

Yes Wendy, already Iíve had positive feedback from a couple of people who attended the workshop and all I can say is that I wish they were available when I was first starting out with bromís. At that time the larger growers didnít seem to want to share any tips with other growers and everything seemed to be ďtop secretĒ. I personally think if we all shared our little tips with each other the world would be a much better place, and with bromís especially, it would save a lot of losses when beginners are just starting out. I think the most common mistake beginners make is to plant the brom too deeply in the pot and over water. A definite recipe for disaster from rot problems, and by just passing on that little tip alone and explaining the correct way can it should be done can save beginners a lot of grief.

The same applies when growing seed. I, unfortunately like you, had to learn the hard way, and after a lot of losses finally found a way that worked for me. It may not necessarily be the best way, and no doubt there are many other growers with much better ways, but I do know that it does work and I have since shared these tips with anyone whoís interested. Iíve done this by way of some written instructions and picís I put into small booklet form which can be sent by email. So if anyone here would like a copy, just send me your email address and Iíll send you one as I firmly believe in sharing my ideas with others.

As for your holiday Wendy, I think you are doing the right thing heading north instead of south as I can feel it getting colder each night down here and you will be far better off coming this way in the warmer months.

Thatís it from me and still no new picís unfortunately, but maybe in a day or two.

All the best, Nev.

Brisbane, Australia

Good morning. Wendy, hope your motor home has heating. Think you'll be needing it. Have a safe, enjoyable and interesting trip, where ever you go.

I've heard that coughing can help with a heart attack, but hadn't heard about the arrhythmia though. Nev, how long do your attacks last? Mine can go up to 48 hours and I literally can't do anything for as long as they last.

Geoff, I knew there were different types of Puya, but didn't realize how many. It is good to see the pics you've put up.

It is so cold here I won't be able to sit for long in this ice box of a room. To make matters worse, no milk to make tea.

A bird flew into the house this morning and I didn't see it fly out. But if its here, I can't find it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Karen

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone, or at least Karen; seems the rest of you have all gone "walk-aboutĒ once again.

Karen Ė I see by your pic that your Ae. Benrathii is now coming into flower like they seem to be everywhere down here. I was looking around the garden yesterday for something to take some picís of and there was a nice little border of them in flower around the Peppercorn Tree but it was getting late in the day so I gave them a miss as I would have needed to clean them all first as they were all covered in bird ďpooĒ from where the birds roost nightly in the tree above.

Regarding my episodes of Arrhythmia, I would say they are only very mild. They rarely occur now and when they do, they only last for a few hours and donít really prevent me from doing anything except they really make me feel really ďrottenĒ while Iím doing it; and itís a strange feeling and hard to describe, but you would know all about that.

Your mention about a bird flying into your house reminds me of an incident that happened here a few months back now. I was typing one morning about 8.00 am and I heard a scratching sort of sound in the hall which leads though the house to this room where the computer is. When I got up to investigate, I was surprised to see a young Magpie ďJackoĒ walking up the hall toward me. When I went into the hall, he just turned around and walked back down the hall, through the lounge room and into the kitchen and then out the back door. It seems he was getting impatient for breakfast which I usually feed about eight oíclock, because he then flew onto the handrail of the back deck and started ďwarblingĒ and kept this up until I gave him a bit of mince.

I was going to get out in the yard today and sort and re-pot some Ae. Blanchetiana seedlings but itís 5.40am and as I sit here typing this I can hear the rain on the roof so it looks like Iíll be catching up on my paper work instead.

Iíll finish with a few random picís I took around the yard and shade house yesterday afternoon starting with one of my early seedlings, Neo. [Charm x Cracker Jack] x Self, No 2 is a clump of Bill. Amoena in the garden, Pic's No 3 and 4 (which are both Neo Strawberry Cream) once agin show the influence that light has on the foliage colour of Neo's . The plant in Pic. 3 is grown in good light while the plant in Pic 4 is grown in low light. Finally Pic. No 5 is Neo. Fairy Dust.

All the best, Nev.

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Brisbane, Australia

Nice to see some more of your plants, Nev.

Good morning world. Not quite so cold this morning. Looks like being a glorious day.

Nothing to report today. Barry is here and we are thinking about going out bird watching again.
So have a great day.

Karen

Hi Nev & Karen. Sorry I haven't been on here. I have Emily having a couple of sleep overs again so she took over the computer last night to play DORA games. She went to sleep early tonight though after annoying the hell out of me. literally annoying. Kept saying "don't ignore me" and trying to poke her fingers in my nose. So much for trying to watch the news. When I got up to set the table she sat on Pa's knee and did the same. We were so glad when Uncle Darren dropped in for tea so she could annoy him and leave us alone for a little while. Anyway we just put our foot down and said early night to bed so she is sound asleep in our bed so she can try the electric blanket. Anything to get her to sleep. She was playing in her camper today when we were doing a few chores in there. She told me the bed was hers and Pa's and asked where I would sleep..... outside or on the floor with Max. She keeps saying she is going travelling with us and wants to go to Snow Hill Mountain. When I asked where that was she said where Dora goes. hahaha.

Anyhow I am so tired. We are taking Emily home tomorrow so we can get into setting up the winnie to get ready to go.

Karen I finally remembered what it was I had to show you last weekend. I can't believe I couldn't remember what it was. It was those seedlings Nev sent up for us when you had your heart attack. Sorry about that. Jen will take care of them for us while we are away and you can call in and pick them up next month. Sorry again. We were standing almost beside them too and I stll didn't remember to give them to you. .

I'm off to bed now as I have an early hair appointment in the morning.

Wendy

Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

Things are still very quiet here at the moment. We are trying to get organised to go away later in the week but canít seem to get motivated, maybe itís because of the cold. We have been having such beautiful sunny days, but itís getting hard to get out of that nice warm bed of a morning and it gets dark so early and nights are very cool. I could happily hibernate for the winter.

We went to the local market on Saturday morning. Not as many plant stalls there this week but I did buy a nice neo ĎGee Whizí for $5.00 and I will attach a pic.

Wendy, I really love the colour of your billbergia fruit salad. I donít have any bills at the moment but that one is a winner.

Nev, speaking of mistakes beginner brom enthusiasts make Ö Not long ago, I found my neo Jewellery Shop had scale, mostly on the leaf tips on the undersides of the leaves. So I removed them (the scale) and then gave the brom a good spray with white oil and placed it in the shade so it wouldnít burn, away from the other broms. It has turned a very unhealthy shade of brown and I now know NOT to use white oil on broms.

Karen, hope you enjoyed your day bird watching with Barry.

Wish I had more news to pass on but thatís it from me for tonight. Busy week ahead if we are going to get away.

cheers, Shirley


Wendy, just read your post Ö maybe weíll run into you in Hervey Bay. We are going to Woodgate Beach for a week then heading back to Hervey Bay for a few days then home in time to get along to the caravan & camping show.

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone Ė Itís quite cold down here this morning and Iím beginning to feel pretty envious of you people who are impersonating the birds and heading north to the warmer weather. I hope you have a nice break and please give a thought to those of us in the colder states while youíre soaking up the northern sunshine.

Karen Ė Itís still nice to hear from you even though you donít have any brom news to report. Maybe you should get Barry interested in ďBrom WatchingĒ.

Wendy Ė It seems like Emily might be a CEO in the making judging by the way she takes control of everything including you and Johnny. It will be interesting to see what happens when she realises she isnít going holidaying in the campervan with Johnny and leaving you at home after all.

Itís good that you have someone who knows about bromís like Jen to take care of your little plants while youíre away. It wouldnít be a very good end to a holiday to return home and find something had happened to them because they had been over watered by a well meaning friend like what happened to me some years ago. We went away for a couple of weeks and the next door neighbour offered to keep an eye on the house and water the seedlings for me. I should have known better, as although they were very nice people, gardeners they werenít! I showed him what to do and told him they only needed to be watered in the mornings twice a week while we were away, but what happened was that his wife became involved as well (she said John was hopeless at gardening) and she took over the watering and did it every day and mostly late in the afternoon when they got home from work about 6.00pm. It was winter time and we had a couple of extremely cold nights so I donít need to tell you what happened to most of the smaller seedlings.

Shirley Ė Neo. Gee Whiz is one of the larger bromís and a very nice one at that. I love the nice wide thick leaves it has and it will colour up a lot more than it is at present. There is also another darker coloured plant getting around as Gee Whiz ĎRubraí, but there is some doubt as to whether or not it is a ĎGee Whizí as there isnít a plant registered by that name and it doesnít have the same shape as the genuine registered Gee Whiz.

Reading of your problem with Neo ĎJewellery Shopí, I can tell you that the danger with white oil isnít just that the plants will virtually ďcookĒ if left in the sun, but they can die of suffocation as the oil blocks the pores in the leaves and the plants canít breathe. Sometimes the problem can be rectified if you give the plant a few good mistings with water containing a bit of washing up detergent as this will eventually break down the oil; but the plant still needs to be kept out of direct sun until it recovers.

This doesnít mean that you canít use any oil on bromís; Rob Smythe developed an insecticide for scale which was based on every day Canola Oil and washing up liquid detergent and he presented a paper on it to the Cairns Bromeliad Conference. Since then thousands of growers have used it with good results. You can find the recipe at http://fcbs.org/articles/canola.htm . One thing I will mention though is that the original recipe called for ďSillĒ brand detergent which isnít available down here where I live so I rang Rob and he said he just used that because it was in the cupboard at the time and Woolworths ďHome brandĒ detergent works just as well.

Now for a few more random garden picís to finish with. Firstly Cruenta ĎBroad Leafí, this is a large brom about the same size as Neo. Gee Whiz. Pic 2 is Neo ĎMini-Coní which as the name suggests looks like a miniature version of Neo Concentrica. Pic 3 is unregistered and just called Neo ĎLaurie Muller Hybridí, Pic 4 is another Neoregelia NOID but nevertheless still one of my favourites, and Pic 5 is a variegated Aechmea Fasciata.

All the best, Nev.

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Good to be home. We had a great time and it was lovely to see the new addition to our family. Cameren was mesmerised by him and nursed him every chance he got. I raided John's SH for pups and any broms that I didn't have and came home with a large suitcase full. Now I have to get them potted up. Haven't caught up with all the news but did see the pics. I have a Puya alpenstris but only small at this stage. John's is a lot bigger so will probably flower before mine. Prickly sods though so watch out Nev if you're thinking of getting one. Must go as have lots of washing to do and lots of potting up, but will come back and catch up later. Great to be home. This is a pic of Ae faciata of John's. Can anyone tell me it's name please? Colleen

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Hi all. Shirley we're in the same boat as you. we want to get away maybe on Thursday but I just can't get motivated. In my defence I have had Emily to amuse although she has been having fun playing camping in the winnie. today while I was at the hairdresser she pretended she was driving it and told Pa she was going to the shops and did he want some. Then she was going to get petrol. She had fun with him till I got home. Then we had a quick cuppa and I made the rest of the pancakes for Emily before we took her home. She got a foam box and started filling it with plants to take home. I had to stop her from taking one of Pa's good vriseas.

Shirley we hope to get away Thursday but it might be Friday. I am washing curtains and bedding at the moment to get rid of musty smell in the van. Then I'll make up the bed and start packing clothes and food. I'm making a list of what to take at the moment. We'll still forget something though. not as though we are going for 6 weeks this time. It will only be 2 or 3 weeks. I'm also trying to get all the pups potted and placed in the yard where they can catch some rain.

Now as we are ready to go the vriseas we've crossed are starting to pop open so I'm checking each day and as soon as I collect the crossed ones I am putting them down in trays for Jen to care for. the rest of the F2 seeds can be stored in the fridge till we get back.

I think an early night is in store again tonight. I can't do anything on fb as it is freezing again. I can't have used up my allocation of download as I haven't downloaded anything this month. it must be a problem with fb.

Anyway. I'm off to bed early.
Night all
Wendy

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone

A little bit warmer here today and a light sprinkle of rain earlier tonight. The gardens and lawns could use a little more rain as itís getting quite dry and dusty.

Nev, I found the Canola oil recipe on the site you gave me. I will have to read it through again as I found it a little confusing. Have you used this on your broms and do you add vinegar/ammonia to the mix. More nice photos, especially Pic 5, variegated aechmea fasciata.

Colleen, good to know you had a great time with your family. Happy potting with your new broms.

Planning on an early night as we have to get our dog Rebel to the vet surgery by 8:00 am tomorrow morning to get his teeth cleaned. Itís not something he likes and he makes it very difficult to do and as a result he has inflamed gums which could result in gum disease if not treated early. So he is booked in for a rather expensive clean and scale under anaesthetic tomorrow. He better be smiling and showing off his pearly whites tomorrow night when we pick him up.

Wendy, it will be Friday before we get away but we have started to get ourselves organised. The forecast for Friday is heavy rain Ö hope theyíve got it wrong. I remember on an earlier post you said every time you open a new packet of gum it rains and makes it tacky Ö make sure you donít open any new gum for a couple of weeks at least !!! Hope you and Johnny have a very enjoyable holiday.

Bye for now, Shirley

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone Ė At last Iíve found a new home for a couple of Tree Ferns and Birdís Nest Fern. The chap that is now doing the gardens at the Light Rail Museum said he could use them over there. Iím going over to the museum to pick up him and another chap (a real big bloke) and bringing them over here to dig them out this morning. Iíll take them all back to the museum in the ute and they will do all the ďhard yakkaĒ i.e. lifting and digging. There is also a gigantic clump of Ae Caudata ĎEipperií which is about six feet across and Iíll get them to take that as well as I have more and I need the space to plant some other plants.

Colleen Ė Itís good to see you and the boys saw the new member of the family and enjoyed your little break. The pic you posted is a very nice looking brom and although I canít get a good look at the leaf edges, to the best of my knowledge it looks to me like one of the commercial smooth leaf Fasciata hybrids. John has got some nice colour in the leaves so tell him not to move the plant to a different spot or he might lose the colour.

Wendy Ė What a time for the Vriesea seed pods to start to popping. Isnít it always the bloody way, just as youíre preparing to go away they decide nowís the right time to open and spill their seed while youíre not there to catch it? You could try tying a small brown paper bag over the pods and that will stop them being lost; but if it rains and the bag gets wet you run the risk of the seeds going mouldy. Either that or Jen will have to baby sit the vrieseas at her place and keep a watch on them.

Shirley Ė It seems to me that Rebel, is no different to people and dislikes going to the dentist. If he lives up to his name heíll probably dig in his claws and refuse to go. I hope the weather stays nice for you on your trip and I think you did the right thing asking Wendy to stay away from the gum.

Just a some picís to finish with today, first is one of my new Neo Bea Hanson x Rosea Striata seedlings, second is Neo Correia-Araujoi (quite a big plant) growing in the garden, third is Neo. Bill Morris, fourth is Neo. Orange Glow (the photo doesnít show the colour quite right) and finally is a Gus Lingulata peeping out through the maiden hair fern near the frog pond.

All the best, Nev.

P.S. For some reason Daveís Garden wonít let me post the picís today so Iíll try posting the text and the picís separately.

shellharbour, Australia

Here's the pic's

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hi everyone. Jen and I had a lovely morning with John Byth checking out his magnificent alcantarea collection. Of course we came away with potted pups. Jen got a few more plants as well that he wanted to get rid of. He'd already given them to us before.

Jen when we got home Johnny was telling me that our first visitor this morning told him that he drove under Coles in Cleveland and knocked his tray off the roof of the car recently. Then mentioned that he scraped all the side of his van coming back up the highway after visiting grower in nth NSW cause the auto pilot steered itself off the road into the guard rail. how dumb are some people. I've seen that one getting around but I thought only yanks could be that dumb but apparently we have some in Australia too. HINT Jen it wasn't Andrew the 2nd visitor it was the other one just in case you didn't work out which was the dumb one.

Must go and set up the bed in the winnie or Johnny will acuse me of doing nothing to get ready to go away, He is off visiting his mum at the moment. She is so confused after her move to high care. she remembers some details now but mixes the story up. she told Johnny she was all packed up and ready to move home now. so the all packed up we did stuck and the move stuck but she hasn't worked out that the move has been done. Poor thing. I hope I'm gone before that stage of old age. We have to keep our minds and bodies busy with our broms I think.

PS I haven't had any gum for awhile shirley. Last packet was about 2 weeks ago when we did get some rain. but I'll make sure I don't buy any more. When we were out at Dayboro dropping Emily off yesterday we thought it looked like you were going to get some rain. At least the new broms planted out there will have had some water and love it.

Better go and do something now. I'll check back in later tonight.
Wendy

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