World Bromeliad Conference held just over a week ago. Here are some of the great plants we saw. This first pic is a Ray Coleman hybrid of Neo. Lorena x Neo Hannibal Lector (called Lorena Lector). Stunning isn't it? Dave
I did splurge on a few plants. Every year, there is a large member/vendor plant sale. But the real action is at the "Rare Plant Auction" which (very intelligently) follows a "softening-up" session (read alcohol). Many awesome plants are auctioned off including some of the show plants. Since the proceeds benefit the Bromeliad Society, many bidders (me included) pick a few plants they would really like and bid much more than they are worth. I took home Orthroglaziovia (bigeneric cross) Rosita (= Neoglaziovia variegata x Orthophytum albopicta) and a variegated Pitcairnea species from Eucador (grown by Peter Bak - whose Dutch Nursery grows millions of Bromeliads from seed each year).
The BSI announced the 2014 World Conference would be held in Hawaii! Aloha...
Forgot to add that I did not enter any plants. We grow lots of things and just this last week had to do our usual cramming into the greenhouse as freezing weather was expected. It's extremely hard to grow show plants with great color and conformation while maintaining perfect leaves (especially the tips). I confess that I did win a Mulford Foster Best in Show award at a BSI show way back in 1981. Ironically, it was a very nice clump of Billbergia Pixie, with absolutely stunning scurf on the leaves barely masking Pixie's great colors. What neither I nor the judges realized at the time was, that this "scurf" was actually calcium carbonate. When we moved from Long Island (with extremely soft water) to Missouri, I installed a misting system just like the one back home. I soon learned that I was coating my plants with limestone. After a while they suffered. I installed reverse osmosis which I used for many years. I now use deionized water, which is certainly more expensive but loses no pressure so I can mist away without having to repump.