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BROMELIADS IN SUMMER ..2014

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
we came from here...
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1378181/#top
Its a lovely morning here, but the way the weather has been lately, anything may happen during the day.
Yesterday morning it rained , then by mid morning it was fine , warming up to a beautiful day.
Last week was a mix of rain cold and sun.
Its a wonder the plants know what season it is.
I moved a few of my broms around to compensate for the varying shade areas.
I am seeing a lot of color coming as the warm weather affects them. very pretty.
I did take pics but i cannot get them off the camera so far.
I bought a new smaller camera and I cannot work out how to download the darn pics. It is supposed to work exactly like my other camera, but it wont.
I will have to ask at the shop again.
I have the big camera but its bulky and I really dont all it does because I am now not having to take pics for selling plants.
The new one is small enough to fit in my purse.
I moved us because I thought the other thread was getting a bit long for those without a fast service.
Better go back there and put up a signpost so noone gets lost...lol

Jean.

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Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Nice to see you Jean. I hope you are settling in to your new place comfortably. Seems you have managed to downsize your plants and still remain surround by beauty.

Have a lovely growing season.

Moon/Jean

shellharbour, Australia

HI EVERYONE – A VERY IMPORTYANT DAY HERE TODAY, WE’VE BEEN MARRIED 51 YEARS. WHAT’S MORE IT’S THE BEST THING I EVER DID AND IF I HAD MY TIME OVER AGAIN I’D DO IT ALL AGAIN.

BRIAN – YOU SOUND JUST LIKE ME, BUT I SLEEP IN AND DON’T GET UP UNTIL 4.30 - I’VE ALWAYS SAID IT’S THE BEST PART OF THE DAY, THE AIR IS FRESH AND CRISP AND THE BIRDS ARE SINGING, FANTASTIC WATCHING THE SUN AS IT COMES UP ALSO.

FORTUNATELY THE 40 DEGREE TEMPS THEY HAD FORECAST DIDN’T ARRIVE AND NOW THE SOUTHERLY CHANGE IS JUST GOING THROUGH SO BACK TO MORE SENSIBLE WEATHER.

TERESA – I DON’T THINK IT MATTERS WHAT COLOUR OR LEAF PATTERN YOU LIKE, THERE’S ALWAYS A BROM SOMEWHERE THAT HAS IT.

SOME OF THE NEW COLOURS THAT CHESTER SKOTAK IS NOW BREEDING USING Neo.carolinae variegated x Hannibal Lector WERE UNHEARD OF A FEW YEARS BACK AND IF YOU WANT A “COLOUR BLAST” HAVE A LOOK AT NEO. WILD RABBIT, WHICH IS JUST ONE OF THEM.
SEE; http://registry.bsi.org/index.php?fields=&id=10499&search=wild rabbit

JEAN – THANKS FOR STARTING A NEW THREAD, I WAS GOING TO TRY FOR A VOLUNTEER TO DO IT TODAY AND YOU’VE BEATEN ME TO IT.

SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE IDEAL BROM WEATHER, A BIT OF RAIN IN THE MORNING AND THEN A WARM DAY TO FOLLOW, SOON YOU’LL BE OVER RUN WITH NEW PUPS POPPING UP EVERYWHERE.

IT SEEMS LIKE WE BOTH HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH OUR PIC’S. I’M CURRENTLY USING MY WIFE’S COMPUTER WHILE MINE’S AT THE DOCTORS AND I INSTALLED THE SAME NIKON SOFTWARE I GOT WITH MY CAMERA AND HAVE ON MY COMPUTER BUT I STILL CAN’T LOAD ANY PIC’S TO THIS COMPUTER.

Moon/Jean – HI AND WELCOME TO OUR FRIENDLY LITTLE FORUM. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR PLANTS; ARE YOU TOO A BROM FANCIER AND IF SO WHAT TYPE DO YOU HAVE?

I’M AFRAID THAT’S IT FROM ME TODAY, SORRY, WITHOUT ANY NEW PICTURES EITHER.

ALL THE BEST, NEV.

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Boy, the weather sure has been strange. Thunder storms and a bit of rain, then clear skies and sunshine then back to overcast again. I was having a plant sale yesterday and I do think that we have a couple more bromaholics in the making here. Your post for the learners, [what am I talking about, we're all still learning I think] Nev is going to be good for me to pass on to the new people here. I know that i do things differently over here than some of you over there because of our heat, but I think the basics are similar. Anyway all I can tell people is what i do and hope that it works for them. While I was in the SH with a customer yesterday the thunder storm was still going on. Next thing there was the loudest clap of thunder and I reckon i nearly went through the SH roof. Boy did it rattle me. We've had the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Donald Campbell try out on our Lake Bonney. I was very young then. lol They've had a bright yellow helicopter flying around following the boats that have been racing on the lake today. The actual ceremony was yesterday and then a dinner dance last night and the races and stalls going on today. A very busy weekend for the shops with all the visitors. Great for the town. Thanks Jean for starting a new thread. I have another person coming in the morning to have a look at the plants so hopefully I can sell a few more. I have been corresponding on a local site that has been created for people to sell all sorts of things and a garden site for people to sell plants and statues and unwanted garden things and the garage sale site. I haven't bothered to put an ad in the local paper the last couple of times and I think that word of mouth is working really well. I'm trying to find a source of ferns around here as lots of people ask me for them. The birdsnest ferns are about 4" high in a 3" pot and cost $ 12.95 each. They don't spore very readily here so I will have to get the young plants and grow them on til they're big enough to sell. I think that fern and broms go well together so it might turn out to be a bit of a moneyspinner for me. Every little bit helps. Hope the damaged ones are on the mend, Nev and Dianne. Have a great evening everyone. Colleen

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shellharbour, Australia

HI EVERYONE - I RECKON IT'S ABOUT 10 DEGREES COOLER HERE THIS MORNING AND ALTHOUGH THE EXPECTED EXTREME TEMPERATURES DIDN'T ARRIVE YESTERDAY IT WAS STILL PRETTY HOT FOLLOWED BY A LATE AFTERNOON THUNDER STORM WITH A FEW BITS OF SMALL HAIL.

I HAD NOT LONG BEFORE BEEN OUT IN THE YARD ADMIRING MY BEAUTIFUL PLANT OF ALCANTAREA 'SILVER PLUM' AND WAS A BIT CONCERNED IF WE GOT ANY LARGE HAIL IT WOULD CHOP IT TO BITS, SO I'VE DECIDED TO MOVE IT TO AN AREA UNDER SHADE CLOTH JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE.

COLLEEN – I THINK WHEN GIVING ADVICE TO “NEWBIES” THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP IT SIMPLE AS WELL AS EMPHASISING THE FOLLOWING POINTS.

• REMEMBER THAT EVERYTHING YOU READ IN BOOKS MAY BE WRITTEN FOR CONDITIONS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

• ALL GROWERS HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL POTTING MIXES, BUT BASICALLY, BROM’S WILL GROW IN ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT’S WELL DRAINED.

• MORE BROM’S ARE KILLED BY OVER WATERING THAN ANY OTHER CAUSE.

• VERY FEW BROM’S WILL TOLERATE FULL SUN, ESPECIALLY IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY

• IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, ASK A LOCAL GROWER FOR ADVICE AS THEY HAVE SIMILAR CLIMATIC CONTIONS.

I AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT WORD OF MOUTH BEING THE BEST FORM OF ADVERTISING, I HAVE ALSO FOUND THAT IF YOU ADD A LITTLE BONUS PLANT OR TWO AS A “THANKYOU”, THIS HELPS YOUR REPUTATION AS A SELLER AS WELL.

ANYWAY, I HAVE TO GO, AS I HAVE SOME EARLY APPOINTMENTS THIS MORNING AS WELL AS HAVING TO PACK A BOX OF PLANTS TO CATCH THE MAIL BEFORE NOON.

ALL THE BEST, NEV

Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - that Neo. Wild Rabbit is indeed wild :)

Quite spectacular markings & great colour contrast too.

Warm here - took Sugar out early (7.30am, it's all relative ) very pleasant time of day to walk her & she had a nice run off lead at the park.

I have been to 'school' - was planning to do two sessions but rubbed my name off the list for the second session.
Had enough of Publisher by then & I am almost finished the test book anyway.
They weren't sure I'd have enough time to finish the unit before they close off for the year.
I don't think I will have an issue although it would help if I had the Publisher program on my laptop.
I had it on the one that was stolen & for some reason it isn't on the new one even though I had backed up my files & transferred them over.
Oh well - can do my assignment in class easy enough.

Take care everyone
Teresa

Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone,

Diane, so sorry to hear of your fall and the damage to your wrist, just wondering if you were trying to outdo Nev. Hope you are both well on the road to recovery.

Nev, thanks for the info on the coco peat and the method you use for storing pups until you are ready to pot them up. I had hoped to get a parcel off to you today but it’s so darn hard to do anything here at the moment with the awful heat, it’s just so draining.

I have had to do lots of watering to try to keep things alive here but I concentrate mainly on the broms, the gardens take too much water and too much time. Still no rain, the grass and quite a few plants in the gardens are dead, including an established lilly pilly, a few crotons and even a few succulents. The majority of the broms in the gardens, which are mostly blanchys and carcharodon types are crispy critters even though I have kept them watered … just so bloody hot.

I will make sure I get a parcel off to you next Monday Nev. I will send a D-mail to let you know it’s on the way to you.

Teresa, it must have been exciting to show Sugar off to the lady who bred her and she was obviously impressed with you both.

Trish and Colleen, how lucky are you both, to be getting some rain and Nev, Jean and Brian too.

Colleen, my mum used to make the best boiled fruit cake with pineapple in it. I have the recipe, it’s very easy but I’m a lousy cook. I have tried to bake it but it doesn’t turn out the same. Fortunately, Michael does the majority of the cooking here.

Brian, we now only buy presents for the grandkids, mind you, there’s nine of them. Problem is, most of them are into the electronic/computer type gadgets and games which are so expensive to buy.

Jean, many thanks for starting a new thread. Pleased you are getting some rain as well.

Since the toppers have gone up here the colour is quickly fading from the broms but better faded than burned. I was hoping not to have to put the second cover up but it had to be done even earlier than in the last couple of years. I am dreading the onset of ‘summer’, what a sizzler it’s going to be.

Nev, congrats on your 51st wedding anniversary, hope you and Ailsa had a wonderful day.

I will pop out now and take some photos. Normally I take pics when I’m working outside and attach them when I post late at night but it’s too hot to be doing anything outdoors so I’m on the computer early. I will be back a little later on with some pics.

Bye for now, Shirley

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Well the weekend was a productive one mowing lawns, cutting back all the hedges, racking up all the fallen leaves from the Mango / Avocado trees, spraying weeds, putting in lighting around the back garden beds, potting broms and shuffling them around a bit to achieve best light. We now have a great water tractor which is doing a fantastic job at reaching all the hard to get spots in the garden which is now giving us more time on the weekend to do other things instead of watering area’s where the irrigation normally misses by hand.

Friday night we had friends over for dinner that we had not caught up with in a while so it was nice spending a bit of quality time with them and mellowing out for a bit.

The temps have really kicked up a notch around here and we have succumbed to putting the AC on at night just so we can get a bit of comfortable sleep as we are finding it just too hot without it at the moment. Normally I go for a swim just before bed to cool down but it’s not helping at the moment and with the bit of rain we go over the weekend both the days and evenings is really muggy and it’s only going to get worse as the weather warms up.

Hi Nev I hope your hands healing well and great to see you are managing to post those long beautiful posts we luv reading so much. Oh and a BIG Happy Belated Anniversary – WOW 51 Years is amazing and we send a BIG CONGRATULATION to both you and Ailsa.

Pleased to hear you liked the pics of Joe’s Paph’s and yes in answer to your question Joe can be a pretty classy gentleman when he really wants to and scrubs up well when the need arises he he. He does such a great job growing his Paph's and they are his absolute favourite one's he likes to grow the most of all because he find the flowers so very interesting and detailed.

Nev I think that Neo’ NOID (Pic 5) I posted on the 19 Nov’ is getting pretty close to being fully coloured all over and close to maturity so I will kept an eye out and take a picture of it when it’s in bloom to see if I can get a possible ID from anyone. I really like the natural glossy leaves it gets when it’s totally dry, very pretty indeed.

Lovely pic you posted back on the 19 Nov’ of that brom growing naturally in the tree, clearly happy and content and reproducing well as it climbs higher and higher up the tree trunk. I need to try growing more in our trees but have not really done so other than a few Till’s here and there and the odd tough mini that can handle a bit of neglect.

Awesome pics you posted from your memory stick on 21 Nov’, what’s the Neo’ in Pic 1 it’s stunning with the purple and cream colouring???

Hi Jean thanks heaps for starting the new thread for November, very kind of you to do so. Sounds like you are feeling the heat like a lot of us here on this forum and it’s only going to get worse for us here and I think we are going to be in for a scorching summer. Great your planting rose bushes for shade around the garden, they will work well for protecting all the other plants you enjoy growing.

Thanks I very much enjoyed selling some of my broms at our recent local market and the proceeds went towards buying new supplies for my broms as well as I got some additional cacti and succulents to display in the new garden bed Joe and I created together that takes us away from our usual collections for a bit over the weekends although this garden bed is so much easier to look after than our broms and orchids that are a bit more work given how big our collections are growing now. Yes it does take a bit of time to keep my broms looking good and cared for and the weekends are never long enough but I plan to take a couple of weeks off over Christmas so will hopefully be able to get back on top of things again like cutting pups off, giving my whole collection a good pest treatment that I only get around to doing twice a year and many other things I want to get done while I have the time available.

One of the things I really enjoyed doing during my recent brom sale at the market was to give away “Bonus Broms” as it pleased me to see the look on people’s faces when I did so; some people were that taken aback and pleased that when they paid me for the broms they purchased then tipped me extra for the “Bonus Broms” and would not take no for an answer with many saying that my prices were that great that was bonus enough. I gave a few broms to people that had never grown them before that were very curious and my contact details in case they forgot any of the growing tips I gave them and I hope to see them back at some stage as I am sure they will get hooked like when I brought one of my first broms at a local market in Victoria many years ago.

Lovely Neo’ pictures you shared with us; I too have my Vr. Phillipo Coburgii growing in full sun and it’s starting to get a lot of yellow pigmentation now that should hopefully cover the whole plant but all the others I have growing in the garden are green because they are not getting near enough sun.

Hi Teresa pleased to hear you liked the pics I posted of Vr. ‘Tiger Tim’ and Neo’ ‘Morando’, I have since split the pot of ‘Morando’ to give them a fighting chance to reach their full potentials and grow up all big and strong so will have to re-post pics as they mature and colour up.

Great to hear your doing some computer courses which always looks great to have on one’s resume as well as it’s good to keep up with all the upgrading of programs otherwise it can take a bit to get used to them if you have been using older programs for a while like we were at work but now everything's upgraded.

Hi Colleen pleased to hear you are getting a bit of rain, we too have been getting the odd bit but boy is it sticky muggy now. The humidity just poured off me on the weekend, I never knew my eyelids could sweat until the weekend and it was like I was crying tears of sweat I was that hot LOL.

Homemade gifts are the best I think Colleen especially the baked variety; I still remember when my adopted grand-dad Ivan used to make us tins of jam drop biscuits for Christmas with icing sugar sprinkled on top, they were so very yummy and I have never tasted any nicer than the one's he used to make.

Like Nev I don’t mind Bunnings Gift Vouchers for Christmas because I always need something from there and it’s my favourite shop out of all of them that I spend the most time in.

Hi Dianne I hope you are mending well and taking things steady and easy while you heal and are not over doing things.

Hi Brian I hope your well and have found room for all your beautiful new babies and have you decided in building a nursery of some kind to house some of your beauties?

Hi Shirley sorry to hear your garden is getting smashed by the hot weather and hope there is no damage sustained to your broms and that you got your shade toppers up just in time by the sounds of things. I think this summer is going to be a very harsh one for many of us and no amount of water is going to make a difference once the evenings get as hot as the days I think there will be no keeping up with all the dryness out there.

Anyway time to head as early wakeup per usual.

Trust I have not missed anyone and if I have sincere apologies and I look forward to chatting with you sometime during the week.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Oldish pics taken in the Igloo of some of my Vrieseas:

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

I didn't get around to taking photos today, ended up having a much needed nanny nap this arvo and didn't get much done at all. It's 5 o'clock before it's cool enough to venture out at the moment and dark by 6:30 pm so I only managed to do a bit of watering. Hopefully, a more productive day tomorrow.

Shirley

Christchurch, New Zealand

Shirley - the short twilight is one thing I don't miss about Brisbane...
School friends of mine were telling me that QLD did try daylight saving for a while & they just loved to be able to come home from work & get some gardening done or have a BBQ in daylight.

They must have been in the minority keen for it to continue, last I heard from them it was no longer in effect.

We get a long twilight here - even longer in the deep south.
It is still fairly light till 8pm here but in mid summer it will be light enough to garden till at least 9pm.
The only down side is that it can make it hard for parent to get kiddies off too bed - who wants to sleep when it's still light outside?
Black out curtains fix that.

I need to go visit my old work mate & see if her Bil nutans is recovering.
Poor thing was a bit crisped by the hot nor west winds & hanging in direct midday sun.
It is a tough plant so should green up again if she has followed my suggestion and put it into morning sun or dappled light & thrown a bit more water at it.

Who would have thought I would be giving anyone brom growing advice - hahahaha.

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Please excuse any errors as I ‘m retraining myself to type with two hands again now that my left hand has greatly improved and is much better than I had expected.

I’ve had a pretty good past few days, on Friday a box of plants arrived, (three swaps from another “Brom Friend”), but unexpectedly it also contained about a dozen pups from mini Neo’s and only one of them do I already have. The lady that sent them said she had plenty and had just put them in as “packing”.....how about that.

Yesterday, my courier lady came to the door again with another box for me, and this time it was from another “Brom Friend”, (the chap who bred my Billbergia ‘Stephen Stone”). In the box were 12 beautiful pups from some more of his hybrids. It felt like “Santa” had come to me early...........Isn’t it great to have good Queensland “Brom Friends”.

Today I had a very good lesson of what not to do when gardening with brom’s. A couple of years back I had a surplus of Bill.‘rosea’which I had grown from seed. I gave dozens away to friends and put some in the “Freebies” box at a couple of brom meetings. Finally after keeping one for myself, I found what I thought was an adult plant in a neglected state in a pot which someone had given to me.

Desperate for space, I just “plonked” it in the front garden in amongst a lot of Neo and Vriesea culls. This morning when getting the paper from out the front, I noticed something pink in the garden, and there was this plant with three beautiful big inflorescences, so large they were touching the ground.

What a waste I thought; that plant has to be elevated or even mounted in a tree to display its beauty. Looking at it more closely, I’m not even sure now that it is rosea as there are two or three of these types which all look similar when not in flower so further investigation is required. I’ll take some pic’s over the next couple of days and post them when I get my computer back.

Teresa – Yes ‘Wild Rabbit’ is wild as are many of the others Chester has bred with the same parents. It seems they are just another range of colours this very skilled hybridiser has introduced into the bromeliad world.

I’m surprised you don’t have Microsoft Publisher on your computer as I know it’s on my old dinosaur, and I’ve just looked and it’s even on this old second hand computer even though it’s the old Microsoft Office 2007 version. I’ve never used that programme myself but I know they use it for the Light Rail Museum News Letter. Pity you don’t live handy as you could do your homework on my computer. What subject are you studying?

Diane – How are things going with your injury? I hope it’s healing as well as mine and we’ll soon be hearing from you again.

Shirley – Like many of the tips I pass on to other people, the one about “parking” pups in damp Coco-Peat when circumstances don’t allow you to be able to pot them up normally was just something I found out by accident. A word of warning though, don’t leave them too long before you pot them up or you’ll find the roots all through the Coco-Peat and when you lift one out, everything else will come out with it.

It seems like you’re copping a really dry spell up your way and from what you say, your whole garden would benefit from a good drink of “Seasol”.

There’s no mad rush to send the parcel, just as long as you get it away before the mad Christmas rush starts clogging up the mail system.

Like you we only buy presents for our grand kids as well as about twenty or so “surrogate grand kids” we seem to have gathered over the years. We’ve helped a few families of close friends who were going through rocky patches in their marriages over the years and to all of their kids we became known as Aunty Ailsa and Uncle Nev (even the ones who have grown up, married and now have kids of their own still call us this). We in turn call them all, our collective surrogate grand kids.

I’m glad I don’t have to bother about putting up toppers over my brom’s down here as I just wouldn’t be able to manage a chore as large as that every year. I know your weather produces beautiful coloured plants but like everything else, there is also a downside. I don’t have to worry about toppers, but then neither can I get my brom’s as colourful as yours, so I guess it all comes out even in the end.

As for taking “brom pic’s”, I’m the first to admit I’m no photographer, but I’ve always found that early morning or very late afternoon are the best times for me as the plants look better at these times and the colours are more easily captured on camera.

Trish – Seems like what you and Joe achieved over the weekend would have taken me a month to do. Tell us more about this water tractor as I’m always interested in things that can save my old legs a bit. I will always water my shade house brom’s by hand, but what a great time saver on the gardens this could be, and this would give me more time with the main collection of brom’s.

You say about the glossy leaves on your NOID in the previous thread; this is something not all Neo’s have, and it can be a very attractive feature as well as a very handy observation when trying to ID a plant. Many growers will water their plants before they take pictures and I agree, this makes the plants look great, (just like a shower of rain will). However it also hides whether the plant has glossy leaves or not, and this can be an important clue when identifying a plant.

As for mounting plants on trees, the two most important things to remember are, they must be tied on securely so they don’t move otherwise they won’t produce roots. The other thing is to not to forget to water them whilst they are becoming established, it can easily be overlooked and watering is very important during the root establishing phase as well.

That first picture I posted on the 21st was Neo. ‘Ashanti’ and was a pup I got from Sue a couple of years back. I like the unusual colour combination myself, and it seems to be a favourite with everyone who sees it as I have orders for several pups, even though I still don’t have a spare for myself as it’s very shy when it comes to “pupping”.

It’s good to see you spreading the word at the markets, who knows, you may even get a few new members here on D.G.

That’s a great looking group of Vrieseas in your pic’s, they’re beautiful plants but I’m afraid that due to space restrictions here, it got down to either Vrieseas or Neo’s and as Neo’s are my all time favourites, they won, so the Vrieseas I have are now few.

Here’s a few more Neo’s from the memory stick to finish with, 1. Meyendorffii, 2. cruenta (Broad leaf), 3. Marble Snow, 4. Garnish and 5. Gold Fever Select.

All the best, Nev

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Well ,Nev, you're nearly back to normal. Great healing. I hope Diane is healing as quickly.. Have had a couple of days taking it slow myself. A few weeks ago while I was cleaning and rearranging some broms I got bitten by something. I didn't feel anything at the time nor that day but the next day it was so itchy and that lasted for about a week and the site got larger and larger til it was bigger than a fifty cent piece. It all went down and stopped itching til last Saturday and back came, the itch and it kept growing. I then suspected that it was a spider bite even though I didn't see or feel anything. Sunday night I vomited twice and felt rather poorly. Monday the site was raised even more and red so made an appointment to see the doctor. I don't know, and she didn't know whether the vomiting and the bite were related. I'm on antibiotics for 10 days but she said if it became worse or I felt ill to come back straight away. I'm guessing it was a white- tailed spider. IIt is starting to go down now and I'm hoping it doesn't come back again. Well that's my saga. lol You should have see Tash's sale of broms on FB last night. What a way to go. I reckon most of her plants were sold in about half and hour. She has one up for silent auction starting at $60 at the moment. Hope she does well with it. Shirley has some lovely ones up for sale too. Hope you do well too Shirley. The boys and I are going to start our Christmas bikkies this weekend. I've bought all the ingredients and decorations so that will get a big job out of the way. Well I hope you're all well and I'll try to get back tomorrow. Colleen.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Hi Shirley pleased to hear you got a bit of rest instead of taking pics of your broms, at least they are not going anywhere and will be there when you wake up and I am sure you would have been very productive the next day and would have felt refreshed and ready to take on the world or at least get stuck into the stuff you wanted to get done around your garden. I too needed a bit of a nanna nap on Sunday after Joe and I had a cup of tea outside with a slice of dark chocolate cake and very soon after (as soon as I put my cup & plate down) I hit the tired wall big time after that and suddenly needed a nap which I did for about an hour and felt great afterwards.

Hi Nev look at you typing with both hands, so fantastic to see and hear your hand has greatly improved and is much better than you had expected, such wonderful news.

How excited you must have been to get so many nice broms in the mail as well as those unexpected mini’s used as packing in the same box and that you only had one of the mini’s out of all of them, what a pleasant surprise that would have been for you. Sounds like Santa has come early for you with all the lovely brom parcels you have been receiving and even better now that your hands on the mend as it sounds like you are going to be very busy this week potting them all up.

Nev I will post pics of the “Water Tractor” Joe got to show you how it works and will explain in a bit more detail when I post pics, it’s great because all you do is just roll the hose out where you want the tractor to follow track wise and you just place the “Stopping Plate (Ramp) up the other end of the garden and that where it will stop and the water supply gets cut off when it reaches the ramp; or you just set a water timer so it only runs for as long as you want it to run for. It’s great and has saved us so much time watering those hard to get to places in the garden and all our lawns are really starting to show improvement because they are getting the much needed water they deserve to look good.

That’s so true in what you say in relation to not watering the leaves of your broms when taking pictures to help with the identification process of NOID’s. It’s such a hard habit to break thought as I am finding like so many others that I always like to spritz my broms before taking pictures of them but seem to not bother to do so with the naturally glossy one’s I have growing in my garden as they always look so fantastic in their natural state.

Thanks for the tips on growing broms in trees, the tree I have my Till’s growing on and Vanda Orchids is our Mango Tree and although the bark peels it does not seem to cause any issues with them growing and attaching well, additionally we have run irrigation up the tree limbs for spray watering a couple of times a week so that saves me having to remember but I do need to remember to turn the tap off and on when required.

Thanks for providing a name for your Neo. ‘Ashanti’, I tried to guess in my head but unsuccessfully he he.

Yes by all means if some of my customers become regulars when I do go to the markets I will see if I can interest some of them to join this friendly forum as it would be a great way for them to learn and meet other collectors or admirers.

Pleased to hear you liked the pics of my Vrieseas, I will have to take some fresh pics as they have all grown and are colouring up nicely since I moved them into the Igloo. My Igloo is always going to be dedicated to my Vrieseas except that I noticed of late many Neo’s in there taking up quarter of the space that I know will do just as well out in the garden so over my Christmas break I will re-organise the back garden some more and move a few more out into the garden beds as the Vrieseas in the Igloo still have a bit of growing to do and I am going to need all the space I can find for them for good air circulation etc.

Lovely Neo. pics once again from your memory stick, keep them coming as they are so enjoyable to look at. Meyendorffii I have always found so interesting how full bodied and colourful it gets with that orange centre that is so very appealing.

Hi Colleen that sounded like a nasty bite you got even if you did not feel it when whatever first bit you. I once got bitten under my little nail by a centipede and although I did not feel it bite I saw it slide away after it did and my finger swelled, went up and down each day then my nail got badly infected and the skin under my nail started to rot which was yucky to watch and my nail fell completely off and I had to also go on antibiotics. The finger sometimes pains me sometimes right where I think I was bitten although the nail has totally grown back which I am pleased about. I felt a bit off after been bitten, mainly suffered from a bad headache and a bit of nausea so they are pretty nasty things to be bitten by as far as I am concerned.

Great to hear how well Tash did on FB last night with her brom sales, it’s times like that I wish I was on FB because Tash has the gift of growing beautiful broms and I miss seeing the beautiful brom pics from her on here and the lovely chats we all used to have with her also; maybe one day I will have to try and catch-up with her and meet her face to face, something I have always wanted to do given we don’t live that far from each other and are always travelling nearby her way.

No picture attachment icon available, I will post my thread and log back in and see if it makes a difference?

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Here are some more pics of my Vrieseas but sorry they are sideways pics again so take care not to strain your necks:

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

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Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Muggy day yesterday and finished off with a lot of lightening and rain in the afternoon.

Struggling to get around for the last couple of days as I stupidly agreed to fill in for a game of cricket on Saturday. Muscles were popping that I didn't know existed.

Good on you Jean, last thread was getting a bit long.

Colleen, I also think the ferns and bromeliads are a good match. Lake Bonney looks like a nice place. I had a read on the Donald Cambell attempt, interesting. Take it easy with the spider bite thing, sounds a bit nasty. I can remember going to stay down at my grandmother's house at Woonona and she used to bake Anzac biscuits, eating them straight out of the oven was brilliant. Strange the things you remember.

Teresa, what are you studying? I have just today finished a Tafe course that I started 2 years ago to get my qualifications up to scratch. Started out feeling really strange sitting in a class full of 20yr olds, but after doing the same job for the last 30yrs I really enjoyed doing something different. Also I didn't realise how much I didn't know about the different regulations and standards.

Diane, getting better I hope.

Trish, the pictures you put up of your Vrieseas are very nice, aren't the lines on them great. I especially like the one in the 4th picture. I haven't decided on a shade house up the back. I think I might be able to get away with putting them under the existing trees, wife's not keen on me taking up the whole yard as yet but I can see that happening.

Shirley, yeh I have a son who is into the computer games, they know how to charge for them don't they.
I agree with you about the heat, it seems too early to be having the hot days we are at the moment.

Nev, well done on your 51st wedding anniversary, that's brilliant.
The cruenta (broadleaf) is a nice pic and I think along with the Neo. Fools Gold, Neo. Marble snow is a favourite.
After your recent post on watering of bromeliads, I had repotted quite a few plants and given them a hosing. After a week of hot weather I decided to pull a couple of plants back out of the pots just to see how dry they really were in different sunlight conditions. The plants that I had mixed a bit of soil in with to make them more stable in the pots were far wetter than I would have thought. Even the other mixes had retained a bit of water, so I think cutting back on the watering might be the way to go.

Anyhow hi to everybody else and a couple of mixed pics to finish.

Brian

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Christchurch, New Zealand

hi all - lots of lovely photos to admire...
I'm taking a quick moment before going to class - I am taking a "Computing for Free" course that will give me National Certificate in Computing Level 2.
It is very basic so I am tearing through the assessments in double quick time.
Right now the unit is on Publisher which is why it is so annoying that I can't find it on my lap top after having it on the old one.

Mind you they were worried I wouldn't finish the unit in time - by 8 December but I was quite assertive (nice change for me) and started the text book on Thursday.
I finished the book yesterday (Tuesday) and started the assignments - and finished the first one in that lesson.
I think I will be ok to finish in time;)

Glad your hand is healing well Nev - keep up the good work :)

Colleen - white tails often get the blame for injuries to hands & fingers but entomologists say their bite is like being stabbed with a hot needle...
the guilty party is often a rose thorn or similar, the subsequent infection is what causes all the symptoms blamed on spider bite.

Take care everybody...
Teresa

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick hello today as I have a big tender on this week to prepare / organise for so early wake-ups and late finishes this week to meet our deadlines; so you possibly may not hear from me until the weekend depending how I am travelling with everything.

We got a nice bit of rain last night and early this morning with more possibly tonight so our garden and brom and orchid collections should really benefit from a bit of the fresh stuff and sure the difference will be very noticeable by the weekend.

Hi Brian pleased to hear you liked my vriesea pics, I too find their line markings fascinating and that’s one of the big reasons I first started collecting them aside from the added bonus they are thornless and so much easier to handle than many other types of broms I have in my collection. I do find them a little harder to grow though then say Neo’s because they are such slower growers and can sulk a bit when the pups are first taken off but once they do kick off there is no stopping them reaching their full potential with the right care and feeding requiem. I will have to check out the one you liked in my 4th pic and let you know its name over the weekend as it’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t remember right now as my brain is fried.

I put a lot of my broms under our existing fruit trees and in between my heliconia’s and gingers, but the only thing with the fruit trees is falling fruit so I have to be mindful of that and juggle them from tree to tree while the fruit’s dropping. Hopefully you have kinder trees around to put your broms under that will cause them minimal damage. You won’t know yourself if you get a shade-house but I must pre-warn you it does not take long to fill as there is just never enough room but I would be lost without my Igloo for my vrieseas so I can protect them and keep them looking their best.

My broms out in the garden only get watered about once per month if they are lucky or when I see their centre’s drying up, whatever comes first. Normally my pots are nice and dry as I use a lot of bark stone, perlite, charcoal and bromeliad mix all mixed together; they also are subjected to far less pests / disease if the medium in the pot is not drenched with water all the time.

What great looking brom mixed pics you shared with us; I especially liked the group of broms you have growing in that lovely pot and can imagine how even more amazing they will look once they have taken over the pot.

Hi Teresa sound like your kicking butt in the computer course you are doing, what a bugger you can’t find the Publisher program on your computer, it’s an amazing program and something I probably should use more often than I currently do.

Anyway better head off, getting a lot of eye strain at the moment with all the hours I’m spending in front of the PC and this week even busier than usual where I feel like I am chained to it at the moment even in my sleep as I have been dreaming about work in my sleep and prioritising everything even before the alarm goes off in the morning, how productive is that, I have no life he he.

Sorry no pics tonight…

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Gosh Trish you sound run off your feet. Do you get a bit of a break over Christmas, New Year? You deserve to. The Vrieseas are beautiful aren't they? I love them but they are more temperamental than the others. Mine are a mess at the moment with pups and a lot of dead leaves around the bottoms, but I'll get to them eventually. Have been messing around with cacti today. Had to send a couple of lots off to a lady who wanted some. Have to go and get wheat for the chooks and ducks and geese tomorrow and then hopefully I can get some work done if it's not too hot. Teresa I never felt anything until it started itching so fingers crossed it's not a spider's bite. But what is it then ? It's slowly going down only about as big as a ten cent piece now and nowhere near as itchy. Brian, your brom pics are lovely. You wont know yourself when you get the SH. Jean How are things going? Has the house sold yet? I bet you don't know yourself in the unit. Not as much room but not as much work either. Teresa you're always busy doing something and sound so capable with anything that you try. Good on you. Nev are you playing hookey today or have you been to the physio again. I hope he/she didn't stir it up too much. Well must away again as still things to do. Have a great night and see you all tomorrow. Colleen ps name please?

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Colleen - you weren't gardening near cactus plants were you?
Any kind of thorn or spine could be the culprit, 9 times out of 10 you will be fine if stabbed by a plant in the garden but if the end breaks off or there is the wrong kind of bacteria on it you can get a nasty infection.

Actually a lot of spider bites turn septic, not from the venom but from the bacteria on the fangs.
Spiders that prey on other spiders are notoriously bad for that.

I am a fount of trivial knowledge ;)

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
I have a bit of time to get on here and read all the lovely long posts. The pics are always great, but I do get envious now that I cannot fit more broms in here.
The ones I do have are loving the light rain we have been getting with warm afternoons as well.
I am still running around getting final things done after dear hubbys passing. It has seemed never ending, but I feel I will be able to start the new year off with no more hassles .

Nev, great to see that your hand is improving , but take it easy for a while yet.
Your broms will all do well while they wait for you.
I find a little neglect is good for a lot of plants.
A lot of people seem to think they must be pandering to their plants continuously but in nature, there is no pampering...lol

Trish, nice to see you and I hope all goes well with your work program. Its hard to balance both work and home sometimes, so make sure you have some rest when you can.
I had to laugh when you mentioned changing the broms from tree to tree when the fruit is falling.
I picture you running about with an armful of broms, dodging falling fruit. ..lol

Colleen, your bite symptoms certainly sound exactly like my hubby when he was bitten by a white tail spider years ago. He ended up with a scar on his rear end where the bite was.
He was very lucky when it happened as we were staying at a friends place to attend a wedding.
Apparently the spider got into the bed and he was bitten during the night.
Luckily a lot of the guests were doctors, so he had immediate attention from about a dozen of them.
He was very sick for weeks after,and left with the scar about the size of a 50 cent piece where the wound grew before healing.
Our local doctor said it could have been worse and took pics as it healed.
I never go into the garden without gloves and have several pairs for different jobs.

Teresa, nice to hear you are enjoying your computer learning and I hope you get good results from it all.
Hope Miss Mischief is coming along with her learning to listen to "mum"
It would certainly get a laugh from the audience when she runs off, even if its not what you want.
Shes loveable anyway.

Brian, you are getting a lovely collection of broms. You will soon be wondering where you will put them as they seem to multiply overnight...lol
Always just that one or two more that you dont have...lol

Shirley, get lots of rest. You are always a busy lady.

I had better go as I have to meet a friend for lunch.
Something I havent had time to do lately.

Take care everyone.
Only an old pic today as I still cannot get the pics off my new camera.
I may have to go back to the big camera.
At least I know how to work that one..lol

Jean

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – I'm starting on 26/11 5.00pm and will finish it tomorrow sometime hopefully.

First of all, Hi to anyone on the sick or injured list, Shirley, Diane and Colleen immediately spring to mind and I hope you all soon get over your injuries

Well I went for a walk around “the plantation” today and what did I see? Pups, pups and more pups all screaming out to be taken off the mothers and potted up. Boy oh boy have I got some work ahead of me, I might have to get a Brom Gardener for Christmas.

It’s strange; but at this time of the year, if you aren’t among your plants for just two or three days, when you do eventually get to look at them again, WOW! What an array of colour greets you and it’s difficult to comprehend how the colours can change so quickly.

My hand is bits sore this arvo as I went to physio this morning and had some pretty intensive exercising from the therapist. I think she was previously employed in Colonel Klink’s concentration camp as she sure knew how to make things hurt. Even dressing the wounds, “rough as guts” and I even had to tell her how to dress them, so I’ll probably pay the price next time.

Colleen – Sounds like you’ve had an allergic reaction or been bitten by something, the following link shows images of various spider bites for comparison with yours.

http://firstaid.about.com/od/bitesstings/ig/Spider-Bite-Pictures/?utm_term=spider%20bites%20pictures%20skin&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=adid-42878c7a-79b4-48af-83c9-02b82355c172-0-ab_gsb_ocode-5958&ad=semD&an=google_s&am=broad&q=spider%20bites%20pictures%20skin&dqi=&o=5958&l=sem&qsrc=999&askid=42878c7a-79b4-48af-83c9-02b82355c172-0-ab_gsb

The most important info required to treat any spider bite is correct identification of the culprit that bit you and this link will show you a good identification chart from a pest extermination company which every household should be familiar with:

http://www.termite.com.au/spider-identification.html

Even though you’re on antibiotics, still keep a close watch on it and I hope it gets better soon.

I guess we can all breathe a bit easier now as they say that accidents come in threes; first it was me and then Diane and now you, so it looks like the rest of you are off the hook for the time being.

I'm Back again (Thursday morning) and it's been raining all night and is really "chucking it down" now as I type. It's a pity I can't send a bit to you people who need it badly.

Trish - Speaking about Nanny Naps, I've been feeling like one every afternoon since I hurt my hand, could it be a delayed effect of the anesthetic?

Thanks for the explanation about the Water Tractor, I'm certainly going to look into one of these. I see there are several different brands; what brand is yours and have you had it long?

It seems you and I have differing shade house priorities, mine is Neoregelias while yours is Vrieseas. I guess it would be a pretty boring world if we all had the same plant priorities.

I have several different forms of Neo.'Meyendorffii ' from mini's to standards with most of them variegated. I do find that some of the variegated ones are pretty unstable though and vary a lot between generations in their markings while some regularly produce albino pups..

You certainly do have a nice selection of Vrieseas coming along (even if the pic's are sideways). I remember when Wendy posted on here that some of her pic's often turned out sideways and she wasn't sure what was causing it, maybe she was using one of those new fancy gadgets instead of a camera also.

Brian - "Been there and done that" - I remember about five years back the kids were playing cricket after a BBQ with friends late one afternoon and I was "conned" into joining in. I really enjoyed myself and was surprised I could still bat, bowel and run. But for the next week, I was flat out walking; "silly old bugger".

Regarding watering, I pot all my plants in the same mix, i.e. although the different genera have different mixes, all The Neo's are in the same Neo. mix; all the Vrieseas are in the same Vriesea mix; all the Bill's are in the same Bill. mix an so on. That way I know how long they will go until they need watering. If you have a large collection and are using different mixes for the same genera, you will find some will be too dry and require watering whilst others in the same genera (but in a different mix) will stay too wet and that's when you start having problems with rot.

Teresa - Your computing course sounds interesting especially the module on M.S. Publisher which is something I'd like to learn myself.

I can't really comment on what the bite of a White Tailed Spider feels like as I've never been bitten nor do I know anyone who has. All I've ever read states "the bite can be painful" (a bit ambiguous I think) and unlike a Red-Back bite, which a patient once described to me as feeling like someone holding a lighted cigarette to his skin.and extremely painful. So there was no doubt he had been bitten.

Colleen - Pleased to hear the bite or what ever it was is settling down. It seems the links I put at the top of this post when I started out yesterday are a bit late, but no worry, there is still a good spider identification section which will be handy for everyone (the boys included).

You shouldn't rule out that it could also have been caused by a spike on a brom or more likely something on the spike. I know I've often had swelling and itchy areas after weeding between brom's. Maybe it could be the sap of some weed which has caused an allergic reaction. I once read that if we all understood just how many different toxins were in the plants in our gardens, we'd all have concreted yards, Ha! Ha! ......... Anyway the main thing is that you're on the mend.

That's a nice looking variegated Ae. nudicaulis you've posted this morning, everywhere I look there seems to be a nudicaulis of one sort or another bursting into flower, and I know it's been a particularly good year for them in our area as other growers are having the same experience.

Jean - Gee I was just getting ready to load my pic's an the message came up to say someone else had posted; isn't that great, this forum seems to be getting back to how it used to be.

Although you will probably take a while to get familiar with growing fewer plants, it's always better to grow a few plants well than a lot of plants not as well (like I do). What is it they say, "quality is better than quantity".... There's a lot of truth in some of these old sayings.

It's also good to see you getting out for some lunch with a friend and I'm sure you'll soon find you're running out of time to do all the things you want to do.

Time to go again, and today I'll finish with some pic's of some of my variegated Neo's taken off a memory stick. I. is Aussie Dream 'Glorious', 2 is Aussie Dream 'Red Fleck', 3 is Aussie Dream 'Red Glow', 4 is concentrica x 'Painted Lady' #01, and 5 is concentrica x 'Painted Lady' #03.

All the best, Nev.

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

Teresa, it has been many years since we had daylight saving here in the ‘smart’ state, I think it was back in the ‘80’s. I thought it was great but a lot of people disliked it, especially those living further west.

Nev, sounds like Christmas has come early for you, all those new broms. And I will definitely get a parcel off to you next Monday as well. As you say, the garden would certainly benefit from a good drink of Seasol but I think a good drink of rain water would be even better. We weren’t home when the storm hit Brissie this arvo. We were at Aspley (not that far away from us) and it poured raining and there was quite a bit of hail. When we got home there were bits of bark everywhere and some leaf litter so we probably had a lot of wind but I don’t think we got more than a few drops of rain.

Colleen, hope you’re feeling better now. Make sure you go back to your doctor if you’re not 100% well. I made my first attempt at selling neo pups on FB and 3 of the 4 that I posted sold. Thanks for the good wishes … if only I could sell more broms than I buy.

Trish, love the pics of your vrieseas. Hope you are not overdoing things at work.

Brian, I am having trouble keeping the water up to my broms at the moment. With the heat we are experiencing and the lack of humidity, they are drying out so quickly. Like Nev said, a good dose of Seasol would be really beneficial.

I’m a lazy gardener so all of my broms, regardless of genera, go into the same mix and I use a commercial one, my preference is Debco orchid mix from Masters.

Jean, pleased to hear you are getting everything sorted and settled. Now, it’s just that pesky camera you have to work out. Hope you enjoyed your lunch with your friend.

Canistrum Big Emma
Neo Concentrica x Leopard
Neo Sunnyside
Neo Playball
Our whole yard looks just like this

Bye for now, Shirley

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Shirley - since we had the half dead pittosporum taken out we have another tree shedding bark like mad - fortunately not spreading off the garden even with the high winds of late.
I do like the collection of plants you have pictured, the Canistrum is interesting, I don't think I have seen one in real life.

The last two days here were sunny & warm but so windy it wasn't nice to be out in the garden.
Today is calm & over cast & rain is predicted for tomorrow as well as hail.
Down south they have been getting snow.

I can't recall a spring quite like this one.

Sugar is entertaining me right now - she grabs a toy & bounds around the room, then throws it in the air & pounces when it lands - so far she hasn't ripped any of the soft toys but her special teddy I rescued just in case.

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Oh the frustration is driving me nuts! All that re-potting to do (which I’m sure I could manage physically) but I’m not willing to take the risk of getting an infection where the pins go through my finger (Pic.1), so I’ll just have to grin and bear it. Maybe I’ll make up a stock of name tags to help break the monotony instead.

Shirley – I’m a “glass half full” person myself, and I see all of those leaves and bark all over your yard as a great resource to be used in a fantastic compost heap and put back on your gardens as a mulch.

Years ago when I first started growing Cymbidium orchids, the most common orchid mix used was equal parts of leaf and bark litter (like in your pic), tan bark, coarse river sand and a mix of half old cow manure and half charcoal.

This was composted for about six weeks and turned weekly until there was no more heat in it. It was then sprinkled with a handful of dolomite per 4 gallon bucket full (made from an old kerosene tin) and left for another two weeks before using.

Since then I reckon I’ve tried hundreds of different orchid potting mixes (some very expensive ones) but none grew the orchids any better than the old original one and which the only thing we had to buy was the tan bark 5/- per corn bag and Dolomite 2/6 lb....a lot to be said for the “good old days”. If you even take a handful of small shells from the beach these days there is a Ranger ready to write you a ticket.

They’re great coloured bracts on your plant of Canistrum ‘Big Emma’ which initially reminds me of a rose. C. ‘Big Emma’ is a c.v. of a very large form of the species C. Fosterianum, so even though it's a cultivated variety, technically I guess it could still be classed as a species.

I really like the plant of Neo. concentrica x ‘Leopard’. It shows the obvious concentrica leaf markings over a really nice mauve/light purple centre. Is it one you bred yourself or one you bought whilst still under the formula name; and more importantly, do you know anything about its history?

The ‘Leopard’ parent has been the victim of a couple of name changes; firstly from 'Leopard' to ‘Rainbow’ then again from ‘Rainbow’ to 'Rainbow Carcharodon'. The records make interesting reading. See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=5389#5389

Neo. 'Rainbow Carcharodon' is protected by armour of vicious spines which its hybrid thankfully doesn’t seem to have inherited, See pic's at:
http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=6582#6582

Teresa - I've found the same thing as you with the weather, it seems to change every day; yesterday it was overcast and raining all morning, fine and sunny in the afternoon just like now, but more rain forecast.........crazy!

I once had a dog that did exactly the same as you describe that Sugar's doing now. It was so funny, he used to throw his toy and then as he started to run after it, his claws just kept slipping on the polished floor and he went nowhere, so he ran faster and still he went nowhere and had everyone in stitches until Mum spotted all the scratches on her polished floor. That was the end of Scamp's toys in the house; it was toys out in the yard from then on.

My daughter's dog had one of those toys with a squeaker in it and he tore it apart an swallowed the squeaker which the vet charged $415 to remove it surgically, so no more squeaky toys.

I also had a dog about fifteen years ago who chewed and swallowed a bit of tennis ball which got stuck just where her bowel exited the stomach, that cost $550 dollars for an operation to have it removed from her. When I warn people who give their dogs tennis balls to play with what can happen, I'm sure they think I'm having them on.

I guess pups and young dogs are just like little kids; a soon as you take your eyes off them, they get up to some sort of mischief..... Often very expensive for their owners.

That will do me for today and todays pic's are 1 my hand now that most of the swelling has gone down (DON'T ENLARGE IT IF YOU HAVE A WEAK TUMMY) Pic.2 is Ae. orlandiana 'Stain Glass' Pic.3 is Ae. weilbachii flowers (a very old but still very popular species) Pic.4 Ae. orlandiana 'Touch-a-Pink' and Pic.5 Ae. 'Shelldancer'.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - your plants are much prettier than your hand...

I love the look of your Ae orlandiana 'Stain Glass', sometimes plants don't live up to the promise of their name but this one does.
Ae orlandiana 'Touch-a-Pink is very nice as well, I looked at the pics before reading the description & thought to myself that pic 2 & 4 looked very similar apart from the colour.
Hmmm - wonder if they are related ;)

As for dogs& tennis balls - way back in 1991 when my former partner & I bought our first puppy we were given some great advice...
never, ever, leave a dog with a tennis ball unsupervised.
They are the right size to lodge at the back of their throat and dogs have been known to dislocate their jaw in panic as they choke.
And as you found out bits of tennis ball can cause obstructions - fatal if not treated & not cheap for the surgery!

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone; I say everyone even though it looks like just Teresa and I this morning, have the rest of you slept in?

Although Shirley and hubby are probably getting an early start raking up leaves and debris from the horrendous storm that hit the Brisbane area yesterday, so bad in fact that they’ve called in the army to help with the clean-up.

Do we have any members in the Brisbane area that really copped the destructive rain, hail, and winds that caused so much damage? Estimates are it will cost $150 million to repair

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-28/brisbane-storms-68000-residents-still-without-power/5924112

Teresa - Although Ae orlandiana is a species, it is quite variable and comes in a myriad of colours. Some of the better ones have been registered as select cultivated varieties and given a name to distinguish them from the species. Ae. ‘Snowflakes’ and Ae. ‘Black Beauty’ are but two of these.

Besides these there are many more which growers have given their own “pet names” to without going to the trouble of registering them. The plants I posted yesterday are two such plants which have a “pet name” added to the correct Ae. orlandiana name, I didn’t name them, that was the name on them when I bought them, but for convenience sake, I leave that name on them for ease of identification, because as some orlandiana pups mature, they go through many colour and pattern changes which would otherwise make them impossible to identify. As well as these many different forms, there is also the beautiful variegated albo-marginated Ae. ‘Ensign’ as well as a reverse form with green leaf margins instead of white.

A few years back I had seven different forms all unregistered but all carrying the “pet names” I bought them under. Unfortunately Bower Birds stole all of the plastic name tags out of the pots and left me with the dilemma of seven different orlandiana NOIDS and which only just recently I’ve been able to once again correctly identify. I now make my name tags out of old aluminium venetian blind slats which the Bower Birds don’t like and fortunately I can avoid a repeat performance of name tag stealing.

Just as another warning about tennis balls and dogs, to make matters even worse, some $2 shops and pet shops are selling cheap, poor quality, tennis balls (made in China) in which after a short time, the rubber (or plastic substitute) goes hard and brittle and inclined to make the broken pieces available for swallowing even sooner than normal.

I’ll just finish today with pic’s of a few different Ae. orlandianas. I. is 'Dark Knight', 2. is 'Majestic', 3. is 'Dark One', 4. is 'Ensign' and 5. is. 'Rainbow'. All except the 'Ensign' are unregistered "pet names"

All the best, Nev

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Christchurch, New Zealand

I can see why you would want a collection of Ae.Orlandianas... they are very striking.
Some of the Bilbergias I like the look of are similar in shape & banding...
these would give nice vertical interest in a group of Neos.

Sunshine today after yesterdays rain - I seem to have missed the hail that hit some of Canterbury.
Nothing near as bad as Brisbane... what a shocking storm!
Hope all of our online friends are ok & didn't suffer too much damage.

Heartbreaking tributes to Phillip Hughes on the news last night.

Tascott, Australia

Hello everybody,

What a perfect day weather wise today, warm enough but with a cooling breeze as well.
Spent the day visiting my father in hospital and then home for some gardening, giving the Seasol a go before Summer hits for real.

Shirley, I hope you didn't get too much damage with the recent storms, it sounded like it was a good one. Some of the hail looked huge. About 10yrs ago at our old house there was a big hail storm that wiped out every roof in the area, would have been thousands of houses, cars etc. even had to replace a lot of the Gyprock inside the house, scary.

Nev, you have got to of caught the pins in your finger a few times, good luck with your recovery. I see you are typing again, so it must be getting better.
The plant in pic 5 is labelled as Neo. 'Lambert's Pride' but looks nothing like the picture in the BCR, any thoughts?
http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=5331#5331

Teresa, yes unbelievable thing to happen on a cricket field with all the protection that they have now. He sounded like a real nice bloke with tributes coming from all over the world.

Anyhow, I will make it a short one as I have to go and pick up the good wife.

Hello to everybody else looking in.

Pics 1-4 are of plants flowering / new growth.

Brian.


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It’s nice and fine here again today and the birds singing which makes me feel lousy and very frustrated as I’d love to get out in the garden, however I can’t afford to get an infection from some type of soil born bacteria, so it’s look only for now.

Teresa – As for the tributes for Phillip Hughes, I’ve never seen anything like it, even a tribute from the Queen which is most unusual. I guess it just goes to show the sort of bloke he was a how well thought of by all.

I must say I’m not a fan of the game of cricket, but I do admire dedicated sportsmen from any sport and Phillip Hughes was certainly one of them

It was once said by the cricketing and rugby league fraternity that no player was “above the game”, well it seems Phillip Hughes was, otherwise why would they postpone the test match and interrupt football games at the sixty third minute (the number of runs he had made when he was fatally struck by the ball) as a tribute to this well respected and loved player..

Even in junior cricket, they are now changing the rules. Previously junior players had to retire when they made fifty runs, they’ve now going to change that to sixty three runs, as a mark of respect and an ongoing tribute to Phillip.

Brian – Yes I have caught the pin a few times (the one that sticks out the top) but hopefully I’ll be getting that removed soon and it won’t be a problem. The ones out the side are OK as they’re out of the way.

I’d say the plant in your picture 5 is Lambert’s Pride but it looks like it’s been grown hard in very strong light. The picture on the BCR on the other hand looks like it’s been growing in low light and its colour doesn’t look much like that of the usual plants grown here in Australia..

I have several plants of this as it’s a good grower, pup producer and very popular with people buying brom’s. I’m posting three pic’s of plants I definitely know are Lambert’s Pride for you to compare with you pant. The plants in these pic’s have been grown in various areas around my yard in differing degrees of light.

What’s the name of your plant in Pic.1, is it one of the Marble Throat hybrids? It’s a nice looking plant and one I’d certainly like to swap a pup from when you have a spare.

Well that’s about it for today as my son and his family are away for a few days and I have to go and water his bonsai plants before it gets too hot.

To finish, here's three Lambert's Pride plants, 1 is a half grown pup under good light, 2 is a garden plant in winter and poor light, 3 the same plant in spring time with improved light. Finally two new hybrids to show what Lambert's Pride is capable of as a parent.

All the best, Nev.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Well I got through the week OK and got the tender / meeting out the road, now just need to get quotes in and evaluate / award the tender when they come in this Friday and then prepare contract and have a kick-off meeting before everyone shuts for Christmas; not the most practical time to have a tender meeting or for doing Concrete Work but at least it’s a start in some direction and the project should hopefully be completed by end of January if all goes well, but this will be very dependent on what the weather is doing of course.

We slept until 8:30am on Saturday which is totally not like us because we are usually early risers but we must of needed it, even the girls did not wake us up to go for their walk like they usually do so we had a bit of a chuckle about that, so like us they must be feeling the heat and loosing enthusiasm.

My beautiful Mum’s been back in hospital with irregular heart heat which has been worrying us all, but at least this time she called the ambulance straight away instead of driving there in her car like she did the time before. Anyway she is back home now taking things easy and has to go in for another check-up in a couple of weeks to see how she is travelling. She is still keeping busy in the garden and playing with her broms but is just tackling things in smaller bursts because of the heat and is listening to her doctor’s orders which is to still do what she likes doing but to not over exert herself and to remember to kick-back and relax even when she does not feel like she needs to.

I have not done much with the broms this weekend as have been too hot and tired to do so, but I do plan to give them a good water this arvo when things have cooled down a bit out there. There is a fair bit of wind out there at the moment and I think we also got a sprinkle of rain last night which has made things a tad bit muggy for the moment.

Hi Colleen I hope you are on the mend with that nasty bite which sounds very sore and uncomfortable.

Yes I am a tad bit run off my feet at the moment but taking things easy this weekend as another big week ahead for me. I do have 2 weeks leave coming up this Christmas so am really looking forward to that.

Yes I too adore growing Vriesea’s but they are a lot harder work than say growing Neo’s but they are well worth the challenge given they are thornless and come in so many beautiful colours and possess such fascinating markings that intrigue me to them the most.

Hope you achieved what you wanted to get done around the garden; sounds like you are keeping very busy with your cacti and would luv to see pics of your collection one day if you would not mind sharing pics with us all as I am big into cacti and succulents and have just starting a garden with them recently with Joe to break us away from our Brom / Orchid collections so that we meet and work progressively on this new garden together to enjoy.

That’s a fantastic picture of your variegated Ae. Nudicaulis you posted, one I don’t have in my collection at the moment because the bush-chooks took a liking to it and I could not save it as hard as I tried the damage was just too severe.

Hi Teresa you are most definitely a fountain when it comes to trivia knowledge and from now on I am coming to you for any bitey insect advice as you sound like you really know your stuff and I have been very impressed with the advice you have been giving with some of our brom buddies.

Sugar sounds like a real character and I am sure her and our girls would really get along by the sounds of how much she likes playing with her toys. The other day Lexi was playing with her stuffed wombat, threw it up in the air that high it hit our ceiling fan and flew into our living room landing right in the middle of our coffee table on it's feet while we were watching TV, we laughed till we cried it was that funny and the look on her face was like “Where did my Wombat go, did you take my Wombat” – too cute she is.

Hi Jean great to hear from you and to hear you will hopefully be able to start the NY with no more hassles, you have been through so very much and our hats off to you for being so strong and getting so much done with the big move and so very pleased how well you have settled in to your new place and all that you have achieved so far is truly amazing in itself and you should be very proud of yourself for that as I know we think the world for you and I just wanted you to know that.

Great to hear you are catching up with friends for lunch, always a nice thing to do together and before you know it will be something regular you do all together and something to always look forward to.

He He Yes I do tend to run around saving broms when the fruit is falling from our Avocado / Mango Tree’s and sometime I even dot a hard-hat so I don’t get crowned in the process. A lot of the time it’s the bush-chooks, possum’s and bats that are the culprit or just those windy days we have been getting that cause the fruit to fall.

What lovely pics of your broms hanging merrily, what a great set-up you have for them, they look like they are all doing very well.

Hi Nev I totally agree what you say about if you have not been around your broms for a few days you really notice the difference in colour in them when you do get to spend some time with them, for me it’s even more notifiable if I have not properly looked at them for a week at a time then I am like WOW how much more colour they all have as well as size difference is very noticeable every week so I really get to appreciate how well they are all doing without me during the week.

I too have pups popping up EVERYWHERE so over my Christmas break that’s what I will be doing, cutting off pups, de-leafing old leaves and giving them all a good pest treatment. I reckon I will have about a good solid weeks work getting through my whole collection and I am so very much looking forward to getting some quality time with them to do a proper job of it all rather than in dribs and drabs throughout the year like I do.

Nev your therapist sounds nasty been that rough on your hand; I would be kicking her fair square in the knee caps if it was me as I have no tolerance for those not considerate of others pain ha ha.

Nanna Naps are great Nev even if it’s only for 10 minutes it really does make a difference to your energy levels and very understandable that you have been resting given your body is trying to heal at the moment so rest-up as much as you can and you will heal much quicker in the process I am sure no matter what the circumstances are proper rest is very important for our bodies to function right.

I will have to check what brand our water-tracker is and let you know and still have to take some pictures for you to see what it looks like etc. We have had ours for about a month now at the most and think it’s fantastic. I spoke to my friend about it today and she laughed and said I should be a sponsor for selling this product because when I explained how good it was she was sold on it and now wants to get one too ha ha.

Yes Vrieseas are my passion but I have many, many more Neo’s than Vriesea’s, I just find the Vrieseas need more protection than my Neo’s hence why we build the igloo as well as some don’t come cheap so I have to have an area where the bush-chooks stay clear of as they are destructive buggers that like to rip them to shreds looking for grubs etc. I will take some better pic’s of my vrieseas over my Christmas break to share as well as all the Neo’s in the garden that really are coming along and looking fantastic at the moment in both size and colour.

Nev can I please ask what medium you use to pot your Vrieseas out of curiosity?

I totally agree with you that your Pic of Neo. ‘Aussie Dream’ is “Glorious” and look at that natural shine we always talk about, so very appealing. Adored all the other great Neo. Pictures you posted also and naturally also had to enlarge to picture of your hand as I am never put off by them sort of pics but I naturally do not like to see people or animals in pain so pleased to see the swelling has gone down and that you are taking care not to over-do things and only tackling the tasks that you can.

Hi Shirley I hope you are well and thanks I am trying not to overdo things at work but holidays are just around the corner thank goodness so really looking forward to them getting here.

I hope you did not get any damage to your beautiful home or garden with the recent storms. I am still trying to get in touch with friends and hope they are safe and well and make contact with us soon as I am really worried about them.

Lovely pictures you posted, it’s like when I look at your pics I get a free lesson on one’s I have never seen or heard of before and it’s like WOW how beautiful are they and where do you find room for them all and where do you find the time to look after them all and grow them so well and big like we always see in your photo’s; hat’s off to you they look amazing.

Hi Brian great to hear from you and hope everything is ok with your father and sorry to hear he is in hospital.

Lovely pictures you posted again all showing great colour and I like how you mix them up together like that in the group shots, very pretty indeed.

So very sad to have lost Phillip Hughes and our hearts go out to his family.

Anyway must run as Joe is chasing laptop as has a report to type.

Sorry no pics today…

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Christchurch, New Zealand

Trish - I make it a policy not to give advice :) ...
that's what people with the proper training are for.

At best I can give suggestions. and I have a strange memory for trivia especially if it involves anything medical or to do with biology.
I'm sure Sugar would love to play with your girls - she is such a friendly pup.
Her favourites are Golden retrievers closely followed by small fluffy dogs. But she's never met a dog she didn't like - although she has told a couple to back off after play got a bit rough.

Nev - the Neo Lambert's Pride certainly goes through some interesting colour changes in differing light levels.

I like the off spring as well, the last one is particularly pretty.

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Very hot here at the moment, no rain in sight but thunderstorms are predicted. Have just read back through the post and OMG Nev you certainly did a good job on your hand. When will the pins be able to come out, 6 weeks? I can now understand why you were having trouble typing. Do hope it mends well and quickly. The boys have been with me 10 years today. We had a lovely T-Bone, potato in it's jacket and salad for tea. The boys were quite solemn today, I think Branden was thinking mostly about his Mum. So while we were having tea we had a good chat about everything and they seem to be more settled now. They rang Uncle John and thanked him for bringing them to Gran and Branden actually said for " rescuing him" It's a sad world sometimes when it comes to innocent little kids. Well it's bed time for the boys so had better make sure that everything goes right so that they get a good night's sleep. Have a great night everyone. Colleen this one is Neo chlorastricta

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Brisbane, Australia

Hello all,

Teresa, the weather certainly has been unusual this past year, the seasons seem to be all mixed up. Sugar sounds like quite the entertainer, they can be so amusing to watch.

Nev, you certainly don’t want to get an infection in your fingers, that would certainly delay the healing process.

Neo concentrica x Leopard is one that I bought on eBay and I know nothing of its history unfortunately. Love your Ae orlandiana Touch-a-Pink, if I haven’t asked previously to be placed on your pup list for that one, could you add me now, please.

I am going to finish off for now as it’s getting very late and we have an early morning appointment. No pics even, I’ll be back tomorrow night.

Nev, I have a parcel all done up ready to post off to you tomorrow, keep an eye out for it later in the week.

Bye for now, Shirley

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It started out fine and sunny yesterday but in the afternoon became overcast and very cloudy. Lots of thunder and lightning but only about two minutes of rain; as we said a few days back, the weather’s so changeable you never know what it’s going to do next.

Trish - Good to hear you and Joe are starting to back off a bit to re-charge your batteries and the occasional "sleep in" is a good start. A normally early riser couldn't possibly sleep in until 8.30 if their body didn't need it so it's good to hear you are both listening to your bodies.

You say your Mum has an irregularity with her heartbeat; it wasn't until I developed a strange feeling in my chest one night and checked my pulse that I realised I also had an irregularity. I went to the Dr. next day and had all the usual tests with the diagnosis being I had "Atrial Fibrillation" commonly called A.F.

It effects about 5% of the population over 60 years of age so it's pretty common. There are various treatments for it depending on the severity, one of the most common treatments is a blood thinning agent to help prevent stroke and heart attacks due to clots. It is basically a more refined type of "rat poison" and the one I've been taking for some years now is called Warfarin.

It seems to be doing the job OK because I'm still here, and as far as I'm concerned the only side effect is more of a nuisance than anything else as I bleed easily when pricked by a brom., but it is also very easily stopped by applying firm pressure for a few seconds.

It sound like you Mum's doctor has given her the same good advice I was given, but the main thing is that she heeds that advice, I know how stubborn you women can be, and taking orders isn't one of your strong points; on the other hand it's easy for us blokes as we've been taking orders from our wives for years.

Regarding Vrieseas, especially patterned foliage Vrieseas, they are as you say beautiful plants with the added bonus that like Guzmanias, they don't have any spines on the leaves. I find that they do take up much more space than Neo's though e.g. I currently have a Kiwi Sunset which is over three feet in diameter, much larger than most of the Neo's and that's why I just have a few which I am now gradually moving to the garden to make more bench space. Like Neo's, there are more and more magnificent colours being produced every day thanks to a few dedicated hybridisers, two of my favourites being Jack Koning from N.S.W and Pete Coyle from N.Z.

As for your question about my Vriesea potting mix; mine is very basic and simple to make as it's the same as the one I use for Neo's which is 50% Brunnings Orchid Potting Mix and 50% Brunning Coco-Peat pieces (Large mulch size pieces for adult plants and 5-8mm pieces for small plants). The only difference is at this time of the year I water my Vrieseas every second or third day as opposed to the Neo's which are watered every one or two weeks, depending on how dry it has been.

This mix works OK for me in what I would loosely call a "maritime climate" as I'm just one street back from the ocean and we frequently get damp nor-easterly breezes, which would be totally different to the area where you live. I wouldn't recommend you trying my mix with your plants as we have totally different environments, but if you do want to try it, just try it on one plant which you have spares of.

Teresa - It's great to hear just how friendly Sugar is toward other dogs, and although some dogs are naturally like this, I think the social side of the dog training and shows does play a big part, but none so big as the way the owner trains them. I once heard a farmer say, "there's no such thing as a bad dog", it's a "bad owner" that's the problem.

Dog behaviour is an interesting thing, when I was a boy I had a dog as did the boy next door. Our dogs would run up and down the front fence (one on each side) growling and snapping as though they would tear each other apart. One day when they were doing this, they came to the gate which someone had left open. They just stopped what they were doing completely, stared at each other for a minute or two and then continued once again to run up and down the fence growling and snapping at each other. To me, it seemed like it was just a big game to them.

Colleen - Ten years is a good slice out of a child's life, but during those ten years you have brought them up with the good solid values which unfortunately aren't practiced near enough in this cranky old man's opinion. You have taught them they don' just get things, they have to earn them, as well as look after them once they have them as there isn't a box of replacements under the "money tree". I think one of the most important things I have observed is how you've always encouraged, guided and supported them in everything they do.

Something else which I feel is the most important of all; you've taught them to respect others, humans, animals and the environment they live in. You've shown them the way to learn teamwork with their camping trips and responsibility where they have to look after their pets and do their fair share of chores and all in all you've been a great example, leader, teacher but most of all, a wonderful grand mother/mother. Congratulations!

Shirley - Glad to hear the weather has improved in your area and you didn't get "smashed" like many others.

It looks like the history of concentrica x 'Leopard' has come up against a brick wall from what you say, which is disappointing as I was interested in finding out more about its heritage.

I don't have a spare pup of orlandiana 'Touch-of-Pink' at the moment as that seems to be the most popular orlandiana I have and everyone wants it. There are already two more people on the waiting list, but I'll put your name down and as soon as I have a spare, it's yours.

Thanks in advance for the parcel, I'll look forward to receiving it.

That's it for today and just for something a bit different, today I'm posting some pic's of some of the puya genus taken from the www.

Pic.1 is Puya raimondii which is the tallest bromeliad in the world. It can reach 3m tall in vegetative growth, and can produce a flower spike 9–10 m tall. With more than three thousand flowers and six million seeds in each plant it takes between 28 and 40 years to flower. Pic.2 show the actual Puya raimondii flowers. Pic.3 is Puya berteroniana with its wonderful metallic blue flowers while Pic.4 shows the standout pink bracts and blue flowers of puya dyckioides . Finally Pic.5 shows yet another colour with the beautiful light green flowers of puya chilensis.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - yo do have a wicked sense of humour...
Men used to taking orders from wives hahahahaha

Love the Puya pics, what an amazing plant!

The comment about 'no bad dogs...'
well I firmly believed that until I bred a litter of pups & two of the boys were dog aggressive.
My Copper took years of careful behaviour training to get him to the stage where he could relax enough to ignore other dogs.
He was good in the show ring but I kept him muzzled until we went in.
Some people thought I was very odd as he seemed such a nice dog.
In his last few years he could be trusted off lead with a select group at dog club... at first he was muzzled but after a few months of him being ok he went on to run free with the other dogs & nobody would have known the angst he caused me over the years.
He thought Sugar was the best thing ever & was very gentle with her, he missed his mother after she died & it wasn't until we got Sugar that we realised just how sad he had been.

cheers - all
Teresa

Tascott, Australia

Hi everybody,

Can't believe its now the 1st of December, looking forward to work slowing down a bit over the Christmas break.

It was expected to pour down yesterday but we only got a bit of rain overnight.

I received some more shade cloth in the post today, so I am slowly, but surely, taking over the back yard.

Teresa, your dog Copper sounds exactly like my dog. He is aggressive towards 99% of dogs he comes across with only my daughter's little toy poodle he doesn't seem to mind so much.
At our old place I had to take him to a local park in the morning at ridiculous times just so he could run about. if any other dog was in sight I had to take him home.Tried the muzzle on him, but all that did was get him bitten. I wish I had him mix more with other dogs when he was a pup. My son reckons he is worse when he is with me, maybe the dog senses my worries.

I would also like to back up Nev, I have spent the last 30yrs taking orders from the ladies in our house.

Trish, 'the old man' is aging, he has gone from someone at 77 was still running a company, walking several kilometres every morning, and not a health problem at all, to shuffling along with a cain and his mind not as it was. I think it is hard to go from being busy 16hrs a day to virtually nothing to do. Gardening is a great interest for people to keep active after they retire.

I agree with you, there is nothing better than a 'nanna nap'. From someone who wakes every morning about 4.00am if you can grab 15 mins sleep of a day makes you feel 100%.

With the Phil Hughes tragedy, you never think of the batsmen being in that much danger because of their equipment, but since the 20/20 cricket has started I have always worried about the cricket ball being belted into the stands every over or so.

Do you, like Nev, water your Vriesea's more often than the Neo.'s

Colleen, good on you, the boys are very lucky to have you.

Nev, I see by your pictures the colour in the Neo. 'Lambert's Pride' varies a lot. Probably is the plant then.
The plant you were asking about in the picture is Neo. 'Galaxy' and you were right it is one of the Marble Throat hybrids.
http://registry.bsi.org/index.php?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=4505#4505

I will put your name down for one of the pups when they grow ( that's a first HAHA).

Hi to Shirley, Jean and everybody else looking in.

Anyway better go get the clothes off the line as it feels like its going to rain / hail and cook the dinner as ordered by my wife.

Brian


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Well the weather forecast was right, we had lightning, thunder and pouring rain all night and even now it is still drizzling. What’s more they are forecasting more thunderstorms for the whole week with a chance of hail, so today’s job (between showers) is to rig up a temporary shade cloth protection over my beautiful Alcantarea ‘Silver Plum’ as it’s fully exposed and any hail would chop it to bits.

A big “Get Well” to anyone still on the sick or injured list, especially Diane who hadn’t been with us long when she broke her wrist. This would have made it very difficult for her doing things at this busy time of the year and if its anything like my hand, even typing is awkward. Please drop us a line or two Diane just to let us know how you are going.

Teresa - The comment about 'no bad dogs’, I guess the farmer who made this statement shouldn’t have generalised, as there’s exceptions to all rules; but you must agree, there’s lots of ‘bad owners’ who don’t deserve the privilege of owning a dog, and it’s always the poor bloody dog who gets the blame when anything goes wrong.

I understand exactly what you’re saying about ‘Copper’; my daughter’s dog ‘Baxter’ was very unhappy and a different dog altogether when Kirsty’s other dog ‘Max’ died. He just didn’t want to know anyone, which after being a very ‘people loving dog’ was most unusual. He spent a lot of time in his kennel, went off his food and didn’t even want to chase a ball which up till then had been his favourite pastime.

I told Kirsty he was ‘pointing the bone at himself’ and was so lonely he had lost his will to live as I’d seen it happen before with another dog. Surprisingly (as a woman) she listened to me and bought another Staffie pup the same colour as 'Max' but this time a female.

Within two days the change in Baxter was remarkable and now after two years they do everything together. Even though they have a kennel each, they prefer to sleep together in the same kennel. At feeding time Baxter will even stand back and let ‘Mollie’eat first

Brian – Thanks for the support about the comment I made about taking orders from the ladies; I must say it’s been pretty one sided on this forum before you came along as I was the only male voice in the wilderness with other males only staying a short time before they left me to it. Ha! Ha! ...Just joking; in all fairness we have a great little bunch of girls on this forum who are just as keen as me to help out others and pass on information and keep this the friendly little site that it is.

I’ll always remember when a bloke I knew from my ‘steelworks days’ who, with his wife was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. He was asked what was the secret to a long and happy marriage like theirs and he said, it was quite simple; “just nod your head and say ‘yes dear’ in the appropriate places.

Good to hear you’re putting up more shade cloth, it’s certainly great insurance against the elements, especially hail which is being forecast in a lot of coastal areas at the present and possibly throughout the summer.

I thought the plant in your first picture may have been ‘Galaxy’ but I wasn’t sure as there are so many beautiful new marble throated types being bred now, so I would be grateful if you put my name on the list for a pup when you get a spare one. I think I may have even asked one of the ladies to put me down on their list but can’t remember.

As a follow up to Trish’s question about what potting mix I use, I have found an old article I wrote on this subject back in 2009. It lists different mixes I have tried, but more importantly, when compared with what I wrote about my mix in my last post, it becomes very obvious that potting mixes are an evolving and ever changing ‘work in progress’.

This is constantly being modified as your personal circumstances change, things such a availability of ingredients, ease of transport, physical capability of mixing large quantities etc. but most important of all, improvement in plant growth with a new mix.

If anyone would like a copy, send your email address to [email protected] (if I don’t already have it) and I’ll email you a copy.

I’ve run out of time so sorry, no pic’s this morning, but maybe later today.

All new the best, Nev.

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Thanks Nev for your kind words re the boys. Some days I think that I've bitten off more than I can chew but then they make me a cuppa or just give me a hug and say I love you Gran and everything's right with the world. The lesson at the moment is about "if you haven't got enough money, then you'll have to save a bit more". Branden doesn't like that because he wants a new DS but he's been told that he can't have it unless he has the money. No Borrowing. So he has decided to sell his old DS and some games. I have taken pics of it and the games and put it up on Riverland Buy and Sell so hopefully he has some takers. Nev I was just out watering the SH and happened to see how the Mr O'dean plants are coming along and [you're not going to believe this] one has some variegation on it. Will keep an eye on it and see what it does. About bad owners. The poor dog that used to live over the back jumped our fence, took the old duck and ripped it to threads and then come back over the fence and killed all the chooks in one of the pens. I couldn't get any sense out of his drug addled brain so I rang the dogcatcher. He told him that he had to exercise her and you know how he did that? Got on his motorbike no shoes no helmet and let the dog chase him up and down the back lane, then when he turned into his yard the dog was off down the road. She killed the next door neighbour's chooks and the schools chooks as well and that only what I heard about. I finally heard that the poor dog had been put down for chasing horses. I know which one should have been put down. Anyway, hope everyone has a great day. Colleen

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Christchurch, New Zealand

full agreement from on the existence of bad owners.
I would love it if getting a dog was subject to having to pass a test of suitability first...

Colleen - your Grand sons are fortunate that you have been able to take them in.
Apparently one of the fastest growing family units is not Mum Dad & kids but Grandparents as sole caregivers.

My Mother was raised by her Grand parents until she was 5 years old because her Mother died 9 days after giving birth to Mum.
Mum's father remarried & the new wife didn't want someone else's children.

When Mum's father had settled in NZ he sent for his children without telling the new wife.
His parents went to a lawyer to see if they could keep the children (Mum has an older brother) but they had no rights in those days.

So onto a ship for a 6 week journey to the other side of the world.
It wasn't uncommon for youngsters then, many were taken from their parents during the war & sent to NZ.Canada or Australia instead of being returned to 'lower class' parents.
Many were told their family was dead.

Mum & her brother were put in an orphan home when they arrived as their father had left the NZ Navy & they no longer had navy housing...
it took almost a year before they had a family home but the stepmother must have been a big fan of fairy tales as she lived up to the stereotype.


Mum's grandparents lived till their late 90's so would have made ideal parents but Mum would never have left England & met my father...

Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

I have just had a quick read of the recent posts.

Colleen, I think your boys are so lucky to have you in their lives. Personally, I don’t know how you do it. They sound like wonderful boys who appreciate what you do for them but they probably won’t realise the extent of your generosity and sacrifice until they are older and have children of their own. I think you are a marvel.

Brian, it’s good to hear that you obey your wife’s commands … she obviously has you well trained !!!

Nev, sounds like you are getting some really bad weather. I hope your Silver Plum does not come to any harm. Mine is looking really good at the moment.

Teresa, I reckon dogs are like kids … some are much easier to control and teach than others and some require a lot more time and effort. Some have behavioural problems that are difficult to modify, sometimes it’s a trait that’s inherent in its breeding.

That’s certainly an intriguing story about your Mum’s upbringing Teresa.

Hello to Trish, Jean and Diane

Well, that’s it for me … an early night (before midnight) will be good for a change.

Pic 1 – my Alc Silver Plum
Pic 2 – Nid Leprosa
Pic 3 – Nic Longiflorum
Pic 4 – Nid Innocenti

Bye for now, Shirley

Thumbnail by works4me Thumbnail by works4me Thumbnail by works4me Thumbnail by works4me

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