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OUR BROMELIADS INTO 2015..

Merino, Australia

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.
I thought we should have a new thread for the new year.

We came from here.....
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1381441/#top

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday period with lots of new broms as presents.
Its has been very hot here for a couple of days , but this morning is beautiful after a rain shower last night.

I hope none of you are affected by any fires across the country.
Its hard for those that are, but thats the country we live in.
We get the best and the worst from Mother Nature.

My bromeliads are looking really lovely even in the heat. I keep them watered and also have always given a dose of Seasol to all the plants regularly throughout the seasons.
Must get more pics , but am still using the big camera for pics so dont get it out as often.
Hopefully someone at the shop where I bought the small camera, will be able to advise me on why it isnt doing what it should.

Just a couple of old pics here today.
Better go put up a signpost so everyone knows where we are.

Jean



This message was edited Jan 4, 2015 9:07 AM

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Christchurch, New Zealand

28C at 9.30am here.
I took Sugar for a nice long walk - we started at 8am & it was warm but pleasant.
By the time we had been out for an hour it was hot & even miss energiser bunny was flagging.
She is flaked out on the floor now.
Hubby is back at work but he finishes at 2.30pm so has txt me to suggest we go down to the dog park when he gets home & let Sugar have a swim.

Jean - I saw your sign post - nice Neos you shared - I particularly like Neo Aztec.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Firstly let me thank Jean for setting up a new thread for us, I was only thinking that we should have one for the New Year and Jean must have read my mind, so thanks again Jean.

I guess you could say it’s our fault that the rain’s back again, because I put the sprinkler on the front side garden yesterday morning as it’s in a location where the neighbours weeds which overhang the fence, block some of the rain, and as I didn’t have time to water by hand, I took the lazy way out. Also we used our new Karcher water blaster on the side and back paths, so you see it had to rain after all of that.

Like you say about the S.A. fires Jean, “that’s the country we live in and we get the best and the worst from Mother Nature”. It certainly doesn’t help though when the fires are started deliberately as they are in many cases, and I think the penalties for someone charged with these crimes are far too lenient.

I still remember a high fire danger period back in the early seventies when I was in the Bushfire Brigade (Now Rural Fire Service); we had gone to attend a grass fire one night in a paddock adjacent to the Prince’s Highway near Oak Flats, it was probably started by a cigarette butt from a car as it had started beside the road and burned up the hill from there.

After we had it all out, we were just sitting there in the dark waiting to see if there were and hot spots which could start up again when we saw headlights coming down the hill on another road to the north of us and running parallel to the railways lines. The car stopped and shortly after, there was a flash as the scrub beside that road flared up and the car sped off quickly down the hill. It took a few seconds to sink in before we realised we had just witnessed a “firebug” in action, and to this day it still makes me feel sick in the guts when I think of it. On our way to extinguish this second fire we radioed back to control what we had just seen, but of course the offender was never caught.

Jean – I think you’re setting an example for us all as “Seasol” is the way to go during this hot weather, as apart from many of its other benefits, it is said to extend the plants resistance to heat and cold by an extra four degrees by strengthening up the cell structure. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but in some cased it could be the difference between life and death for some plants.

Even if your pic’s are old ones, they’re still nice to look at and I especially like the Vrieseas which now seem to be coming out all at once. Is the yellow one on the left of the picture Vr. Evita? I have several pots of this and they are all out now and make a wonderful picture.

This plant is of particular interest to me because like another plant I have called Vr. ‘Orange Sundae’ (Unreg.), they both have naturally green leaves, but when grown hanging high up in the shade house in stronger light, the leaves change colour to pleasing light mauve/purple colour (See Pic.1 of Orange Sundae).

Teresa - Dear oh dear! Poor Sugar, I feel so sorry for her; such a hard life she leads, first she has to take you for a walk until she's almost exhausted and no sooner is she having a rest when you hear that hubby wants her to take him to the dog park this afternoon. A girl's work is never done!

Anyway, it’s time to go again and first up is Vr. ‘Orange Sundae’ showing the effect on the normally green foliage when grown in high light. Pic’s 2 - 5 are a few of my variegated Neo’s.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

that Vr Orange Sundae is very striking - the contrast between purple leaves & orange flower makes really stand out.

Sugar enjoyed her swim & had enough energy to play with a few other dogs.
We finished with another swim and she was having fun chasing stones in the water thrown by a couple of young boys.
I was a bit worried when they starting lobbing large rocks and she seemed to think they were balls & was trying to catch them.
Time to leave at that point.

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone and a very Happy New Year. Everything's back to normal here now with the boys home from their holiday with Uncle John. They went to the movies and squid fishing and shopping and had great fun just being there I think. They had their first New Year's Eve party and stayed up til 1am. I stayed up this year to wish them Happy new year and then I was in bed. I haven't been up at that time for many years. I didn't get anything done while they were away, just relaxed and ate all the left-overs. I've got 3 grandkid's birthdays soon. 17th, 20th, and 21st. Cameren and Micheal's girl, Giaan will be eleven on the 17th and 20th so for one day I will have 3 grandkids who are 11 then Branden will turn 12 on the 21st. I've told the boys that they can have garlic prawns for their birthdays this year. They really enjoyed them for Christmas and I have never had such an easy meal to prepare. I still haven't run the wire across the shadehouse to hang the shade cloth up properly, but it's doing the job so I'm not too worried about it. I'm a little bit scared to get up on the ladder as i don't want to fall. My coccyx is still sore from the last fall I had. We took all the decorations down today so they're all packed away for another year. I think a new tree might be in order though. Might have a look and see if they have any left in the shops now, they might be a bit cheaper. We used to always have a few branches off a real tree for years but with carpet they were always messy things. I don't have any carpet in my house now so really have no excuse not to use a real tree. They smell lovely too. Well I think it's about time to have my shower so will say goodnight. Nev I haven't been talking in the tearoom but just happened to notice that Dianne was in there. A pic of the boys with their garlic prawns. lol

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Looks like another nice day here today, so back to work in the bottom shade house. I have a couple of benches I have to renovate; when they were built they were OK and adequate for the job but now all of the Neo’s have grown into quite large heavy plants, the front of the benches have dropped a couple of inches with the weight which makes plants more inclined to fall over. Somehow I have to jack up the front bearer and put longer support timbers under them. It will be an awkward job entailing a lot of bending and kneeling and I don’t know how these old legs will handle it, but there’s only one way to find out I guess.

If I get time I also want to take some new pictures so I have something to post instead of the same old ones over and over, so hopefully you will have something new to look at tomorrow.

Teresa – That foliage colour change with the Vr.’Evita’ and Vr. ‘Orange Sundae’ came about quite by accident; I’d re-potted a plant of each and found I had no bench space on which to put them so decided to temporarily hang them until I found a suitable location.

Like most temporary things I do, this arrangement became permanent and it wasn’t until maybe a year later that I noticed the different coloured leaves; I quickly got them down suspecting that they were both rotting, as often the first signs of rot are the leaves changing to a brighter colour. Because these were up high, I thought maybe the water in the centre had overheated during one of the previous very hot days and scalded the centre of the plant and cause it to rot. I must say I was pleasantly relieved to find this wasn’t the case and it was a foliage colour change due to the extra light and something I saw as quite an attractive feature. It’s even better with the Vr. ‘Evita’ as that plant has yellow flowers which makes even more of a contrast. I have a picture somewhere of two ‘Evita’ plants, one grown in low light and the other grown in strong light, and if I can find it I’ll post it.

I still shudder when I think of what could have happened if “Sugar” had caught one of those larger rocks thinking it was a ball. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go, there always seems to be someone willing to spoil it for everyone else. I think those boys needed a well placed boot up the bum which would give them cause to think of the possible serious implications of their actions....... Here I go; cranky old man again, and I promised I wouldn’t be like that this new year too.

Colleen – Your lovely picture says it all; two happy, contented young boys obviously very comfortable and satisfied in the loving environment in which they live. The thought of getting stuck into the prawns may also have contributed to the happy look on their faces, but that’s just natural for young boys with big appetites.

I suppose your ear has taken a pounding listening to all that happened during their holiday, but I imagine the staying up late on New Year’s Eve would be one of the highlights.

It’s funny you say you didn’t get anything done while they were away; I had a similar experience when my kids were younger. The three of them and my wife had all gone up to Port Macquarie for a long weekend to the Surf Life Saving Association Junior Country Titles. (All the kids were in the Surf Club at that time and surf carnivals were a regular thing).

We had planned for me to stay home and paint the lounge room while they were all away as I would have open slather with no kids getting in the way and would breeze though it in no time. WRONG! It just seemed so unnatural with no “kids noises” I just couldn’t get motivated and in the end the job didn’t even get past the preparation stage, and it wasn’t done until they were all home again and things were back to normal.

As for the wire for the shade cloth, why not wait until Uncle John comes up again and let him do it; you can’t afford to be taking a nose dive off a ladder, and besides you say the shade cloth as it is, is doing the job anyway.

As for the natural Christmas Tree, I remember when I was a kid I decided we should have a Christmas tree and as pines didn’t grow in our area, a young Casuarina (Swamp Oak) had to suffice. What I didn’t know was that these trees attract mosquitoes and after it had been in the lounge room for a couple of days, I accidently bumped against it one day and disturbed hundreds of mosquitoes. It wasn’t long before the ultimatum was issued by Dad for the removal of the tree. After that it was all artificial ones.

I don’t visit the tea room, but it’s good to hear Dianne is OK; just a pity she doesn’t drop in here anymore.

That’s it for today, so a few pic’s to finish with. The first picture is of Vr. ‘Orange Sundae” growing on the bench in the Vriesea shade house with the other Vrieseas. Note the difference in the foliage colour to the one I posted yesterday that had been hanging near the roof. (Excuse the bird poop from the birds sitting on the TV antenna above) Pic. 2 is an assortment of Vriesea gruberi plants from the collection of a friend. Pic’s 3, 4 and 5 are Neo’s in my Neo shade house about 2009, just after a recent thunderstorm.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Tea room is a bit quiet lately...

(Place tongue firmly in cheek)

"I blame the easy going nature of this thread, we go off topic with all sorts along with the brom info & don't need to go elsewhere for a nice chat" ;)


Oh wait - but that's why we love this thread - dedicated to broms but not fanatics about staying on topic.

Nev - that's free fertilizer for your broms courtesy of the birds...

cheers - Teresa



shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – I had a very productive day yesterday, and just for a change didn’t get side-tracked away from my planned work. I managed to get the sagging benches straightened up which was made easier with the use of my son’s trolley- jack which I found in the garage hiding behind his motor bike. It was a simple matter of clearing away some accumulated ferns and philodendron, jacking up the bench and slipping a couple of pavers under the legs and, “Hey Presto”, job done!

What’s more, as well as sorting out the benches, I managed to dead leaf another hundred or so brom’s. However the bad news was, because I got so carried away making so much progress, I forgot to take any more new pictures so I’ll try and remember today.

Teresa – I’m please to hear you say the Tea Room’s a bit quiet lately as I’ve noticed a couple of other brom forums I visit are quiet also, so it’s not just here; I guess everyone’s still busy with the holiday period, and we shouldn’t forget that the school kids are still on holidays so that’s less free time for the parents and grandparents.

With other forums, when you get off topic as we often do here, you are very quickly pulled back into line, and that’s why initially I was worried that my getting side tracked (as I often do) may have been the cause for the lack of posts, but when I hear from a couple of members that they enjoy the other discussions as well, I don’t worry anymore. Even though I try to keep on topic as much as I can, someone will sometimes mention something that seems to act as a “trigger” for me to go galloping off on a different tangent. I don’t mind being pulled into gear though if anyone is offended as it doesn’t hurt to be reminded occasionally that I’m out of order.

What you say about the free fertiliser is very true; in habitat, the only fertiliser brom’s get is the occasional bird or small animal droppings along with bits of dead leaves and other debris which all finish up in the plant’s central vase with the water. As this all breaks down it becomes a type of “soup” and acts as a continuous feeding of very dilute fertiliser. Remember the old nurseryman’s saying about fertiliser, “Little and often”? This is probably where that saying originated.

Well as there’s no one else to converse with today I’ll finish with a few more pic’s to keep us all thinking on the brom topic. Pic.1 is a Neo.’Guinea’ hybrid, Pic.2 is Neo.’Painted Lady’ (Sport) x ‘Grace’. Pic.3 is a nice compact form of Neo. marmorata,

I bought the plant in Pic.4 with the name of Neo.’Grace’ USA. On further investigation I found there was no Neo.’Grace’ USA registered, but there were two plants named Neo. ‘Grace’, both circa 1980, one bred by Bob Larnach in Australia (No parents recorded) and the other bred by Grant Groves in the USA. from (Neo.’Blushing Bride’ x ‘Meyendorffii’)

My thoughts are that the one I have, had the “USA” added to the name to avoid confusion with the other Australian bred Neo.’Grace’. Sometime later the names were amended on the BCR to Neo. ‘Groves Grace’ (The American one) and Neo. ‘Larnach’s Grace’ (The Australian one) to save confusion, therefore mine probably should be labelled Neo. ‘Groves Grace’.

Finally, Pic.5 is Neo.’Bobby Dazzler’ x ‘Gold Fever’. You could be forgiven for initially thinking (from the photo) that this plant is Neo. ‘Gold Fever’ judging by the colours, however it appears to have inherited the Bobby Dazzler size and is over two feet across; double the size of ‘Gold Fever’.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - if you don't post random thoughts when they occur to you then by the time you get to the tea room they no longer seem relevant... or at least that's how I find it :)

You really are spoiling me with pics of lovely spotty broms ;)

pic 1 - spotty - nice
pic 2 - shiny - nice
pic 3 - spotty with bright green - nice
pic 4- unusual effect where the two colours merge - nice
pic 5 - big & spotty - nice!

Just curious about Neo Groves Grace - is the colour to the naked eye almost fluorescent in some lights?
I have an orangey toned rose that in bright light is pretty but at dusk it almost glows - but impossible to photograph the effect.

My in laws fly home to Robina today, Hubby is taking a half day off work so we can go see them off.
While they were here they looked at a few properties, much as they love Aussie they are very alone there now.
Dad is losing his memory & all the friends they made over there have died.
Being back in ChCh will put them closer to family & it will be nice to be able to see them more often.

take care all
Teresa

Merino, Australia

Good morning all.
Its another sunny morning but I see on the news that we may get some rain later. Maybe over the weekend.
You are right about the Tea Room being quiet , Teresa. I gave up going in there daily as noone was around. Even now, only a few posts , so I just poke my head in when I'm around.
I try to pop in here a bit more often as I enjoy the chats even when off topic.
Its always interesting to hear what you are all doing as I am sure that your days are filled with much more than just the lovely broms...lol

Nev, like you, I still havent taken any new pics, even though I only have a few broms now.
My new small camera which was not behaving, has been found to be faulty and will be replaced.
It wasnt me being dumb after all...lol
I am so glad you are able to get around and care for all your broms now that your hand is usable again.
Your sagging benches reminded me of my old sagging shadehouse.
Hubby assured me it would be strong enough for me to hang baskets...hmmm
He just didnt realise how many I wanted to hang.
It is still standing over at the house, but has a definite lean, and over time I had to gradually reduce the number of baskets.
Benches are notoriously prone to sagging as one keeps adding more plants and they do tend to get bigger and heavier...lol
One of the hazards of gardening.

Teresa, lovely to see Miss Mischief getting cool in the water. She does look happy. She certainly has her owners trained ..
It would be lovely to have your inlaws closer as they age. It can be worrying when they are far away and any illness strikes.

Colleen, I hope the fires are not in your area over there.
Nice to see the boys enjoyed their trip away.
Its a break for all of you and I am sure they appreciate what Nan does for them a lot more after being away for a while.

Hello to Trish, Shirley and Brian. I hope you find us at the new thread and are enjoying life with your broms .

More old pics until I get the new camera.
neos...Burnsies Spiral (one I still have here which is doing very well)
Cosmic Dream, Gezpacho, Jean Black.

Jean.






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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

A special thanks to Jean for starting this new thread, very much appreciated Jean.

Just a quick drop in tonight as just got home from dinner and off to bed as early start tomorrow.

We have been getting a good bit of rain here these past couple of day and everything's looking great in the garden after a good fresh drink.

Luved everyone's brom pics - very beautiful indeed and how relaxed does Sugar look frolicking in nature, what a pretty place to take her, very lovely indeed. Colleen the boys looked like they really enjoyed those garlic prawns - yum.

Nev I will email you with Water Tractor info before I clock off for the evening, more informative than the couple of pics I attached last so hopefully will steer you in the right direction in getting a good one.

Work is busy, busy, busy but going well with the weekend just around the corner.

Friends coming over on the weekend to check-up my brom collection so I am looking forward to that as it's always nice to talk about broms over a cuppa.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Pic 1 - Neo. NOID
Pic 2 & 3 - Neo. NOID in flower (pic 3 I like how the centre flowers are half white on one side and half green on the other, so very interesting.
Pic 4 - Neo. 'Rose Blush'
Pic 5 - Neo. NOID (same as pic 2 & 3) just further away shot to get a better idea what it looks like.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - Time for a day off today so I’m off to the Light Rail Museum as we’re back again after the Christmas break and are running small diesel rides for schoolkids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s proved to be a good attraction over the last couple of years so I think we’ll be just as busy this time as well.

Teresa – Yes I thought I’d post a few spotty ones for you as you were the only one posting, so I’m glad you liked them.

Like many other brom’s which are red in colour, Neo. ‘Groves Grace’ is also difficult to photograph and get an accurate result, and no it’s not just me or my camera as many other growers I know have the same trouble. It seems that red objects in general are a regular pain in the bum for photographers. Even the two examples of this plant on the BCR and the FCBS sites are different shades of red as are the many examples I have “googled” on the internet. So it’s not just you and your rose, others have the same problem photographing brom’s.

Like you, I too have sometimes witnessed a type of fluorescence especially late in the afternoon; but besides that, the colour of this brom seems to change slightly all throughout the day. Although nothing much in the “shape” department, the main thing I’m fascinated with is where the red meets the green; it reminds me of someone applying paint with a brush and they have suddenly just run out of paint on the brush.

It will be nice if your in-laws can find a property over there near family and friends. I can imagine how lonely it would be when you have no family or friends around you. The lady in our society who grows the beautiful brom’s I’ve posted here very often is also considering selling up and moving from a home she’s lived in all her life. She says it’s a very lonely street now as all of her old friends have passed on and she’s the only one left. Although some of the new neighbours are friendly enough, they all work and there’s no visits and cups of tea and a chat as there once was, and she says that some days can be quite lonely and that’s why she immerses herself in the garden so much. She has a daughter who lives in the same area, and although she visits often and helps out a lot with the heavy work, she too works and it’s not quite the same as having friends next door.

Jean – Although this is a brom site, I don’t think it hurts to get off track a little now and then as we are a small friendly group who are interested in each other’s welfare and other interests as well as their brom’s. For example you said in a previous post that you were thinking of taking up painting again; that’s something I often thought I’d like to have a go at as I’m sure it would be very satisfying and relaxing........................... maybe one day.

Pleased to hear they’ve found out what’s wrong with your camera and are going to replace it. My son and daughter-in-law bought me a little Kodak digital camera for Father’s Day a few years back. It worked well; but exactly one day after the guarantee ran out it stopped working; I just couldn’t switch it on. I took it to the camera shop thinking it was some minor glitch and was told it was quite common for that particular model and to fix it would cost more than buying a new camera. Fortunately, my youngest son bought me a little Nikon Coolpix digital the following Christmas and that’s still going well after six years, (even if I still don't know how to use it properly).

I think what you say about benches being notorious for sagging is very true. I’ve always had a reputation for building things stronger than they needed to be and was surprised when my benches started to sag. I guess that like many others, I didn’t allow for the extra weight once the plants grew into adults; add to this the weight of all the water in them and you have a considerable weight, something I just never thought of when I was building. My problem was that the weight was forcing the legs further down into the ground even though I had bricks beneath them as “sole plates”. So to force the legs and the bricks below them down into the ground, the weigh must be quite considerable.

The four plants featured in your pic’s are all well liked and widely grown by many growers, but I would just like to comment on Neo. ‘Burnsie’s Spiral’ which is listed as a cultivated variety of Neo. carolinae forma tricolor. I have one which I have had for years, and although it’s noted as having a perpetual growth habit and is said to rarely produce pups, my original plant is at present over two feet high and has produced several pups, both from the bare stalk as well as the base and even on occasion from between leaves; so I guess you could say it’s unpredictable. It is another plant which will give improved colour when grown in bright light and produces a nice pink flushing effect. The pic’s on the BCR are quite an accurate example of the colours possible. See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=3408#3408

There are some of the experts who have put forward the theory that it may not be a Neoregelia at all but a xNiduregelia (Nidularium x Neoregelia) this is something which can only be proved or disproved with DNA testing so I guess we’ll have to wait until sometime in the future if and when this test is done.

Trish – It’s good to hear you’re getting some good rain to freshen up the garden, there’s certainly nothing like it to “pep” things up is there?

I got the info you sent about the water tractor and was relieved to see that it was a “Holman” product. I have used Holman watering wands for years and they are good products and I only hope these are as good. Fortunately our local Bunnings stock Holman products so should be able to get one for me.

I like the NOID in your first picture, what it lacks in shape, it certainly makes up for with the unusual colour. I especially like the faint spotting which really lifts it up a notch or two in my opinion.

I think the plant in pic’s 2,3 and 5 are the same plant as I have which is called Neo.carolinae x concentrica. It original came from a Queensland grower many years ago and is now very plentiful and a popular addition to collections down here. If you look closely at your pic’s you can see traces of those “tell tale” semi-concentric rings which it has inherited from the concentrica parent.

We spoke a while back about your Neo. ‘Rose Blush’ and I questioned if it maybe the same as one I have called Neo. ‘Dark Rose Blush’. Unfortunately, neither of these are registered on the BCR so there’s no pictures for comparison. There is however a picture of a Neo ‘Rose Blush’ shown on the FCBS site (Pic. No. 3184) which doesn’t look like either of our pic’s, so I guess we’ll just have to keep wondering.

I’ll finish again with a few more pic’s, firstly the plant I have which is called Neo.‘Dark Rose Blush’, Pic. 2 is one of my all time favourites Neo. ‘Royal Cordovan’ and the final three are more of Peter Coyle’s beautiful Vriesea hybrids.

All the best, Nev.

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Tascott, Australia

Hi to everybody,

Well its back to normal after the Christmas break, easing back into the work slowly.

Been humid here for the last week without a heap of rain, supposed to get a bit in the coming days.

Thanks Jean for doing this thread, what is the maroon plant with a white centre? Pic 3 of your first reply.

Colleen, the real Christmas trees are great but we always seemed to get an extra couple of massive spiders stay on in the house after it was all over and done.

Teresa, N.Z. sounds perfect for your 'in-laws', they need someone to help as they get older.

Nev, sounds like you are back into the swing of things with your gardens.
The plant Neo. Burnsie's Spiral looks a bit fragile and like it would burn easy, but as the pics in the your link shows, it can colour up nicely. I will hang the one i have up under the shade cloth to try out.
All the pics in your last post have amazing colours, especially 3 + 5.
I have a Neo. Rose Blush from your friend John that looks more like the picture in the BCR.

Anyway, hi to Trish and everybody else.

Pic 1......Neo. 'Burnsie's Spiral
Pic 2......Neo 'Rose Blush'
Pic 3......Al. 'Devine Plum', growing nicely but is probably one plant i don't want to flower.
Pic 4......Orthophytum 'Warren Loose',flowers and then the plant stem(?) continues to grow as in the picture (is this unusual).
Pic 5......You are right Nev, dogs always find the coolest place in the heat.

Brian

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Tascott, Australia

Whoops, pics 3 + 4 swapped for some reason.

Brian

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. It has been soooo hot here I thought everything was going to fry. It takes all my time to make sure the animals and chooks and ducks are kept as cool as possible. No, I didn't forget the plants either. The sprinklers have been going and it's like a bird sanctuary in my back garden. There's dozens of little spoggies around and they're very uneducated on how to survive the heat. Poor little fellows are out there with their mouths open and then I Put a sprinkler on slowly near them and they know what to do then. I had a really great surprise when I was watering in the SH yesterday. My Ae. fasciata Clara is flowering on the new pup and the bracts may be cream this time. I was so disappointed when the Mumma one flowered and it was pale pink. I hope the little dark purple flowers come out too. I have taken a pic to show you what it looks like now but will take another if and when the flowers come out. Ohhh Nev you had better put my name down for one of the Neo Guinea hybrids, please. Is it a small one? It's beautiful. Glad to hear that you're getting your plants back into order. It's just been too hot here to do much at all. The fires may be 100 miles away but I reckon they haven't helped with the heat. It's drizzling out there at the moment and it has cooled everything down some but we need it to bucket down for a few hours to do any good. It won't be good for the blockies though. The stone fruit will go rotten in the middle and the grapes will go mouldy if the heat stays around. And then there's the threat of Downy Mildew. I wouldn't be a blocky for quids with all the worry. Well I'm going to leave you now as Cameren bought me the special edition of The Hobbit for Christmas and he and I are watching it together. It's sort of the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. I love the scenery and the story line is good but some of the characters are a bit gruesome. Here's the pic of Ae fasciata clara and my Vr. phillipo coburgii. Colleen

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!!

Oops I realised today that the picture I attached yesterday of Neo. 'Rose Blush' is actually Neo. 'Rosy Morn', I always forget to roll my tongue in my mouth 3 times before typing it's name as I have a habit of always saying it wrong but normally if I am with someone I correct myself but during my lunch break today it dawned on me all of a sudden that I had called it by the wrong name, anyway at least everyone knows now it's real name.

Nev thanks pleased to hear you got the information regarding the water tractor, I hope you have good luck getting the exact same model from Bunnings' or that they can order one in for you as it works magic in our garden and the grass has nearly fully repaired itself in nearly all our gardens and is lush and green.

Nev thank you for the feedback on my Neo. NOID Pics 2, 3 & 5 from yesterday that you say is the same plant that you have called Neo. carolinae x concentrica. I have been chasing a name for this one for some time; any chance of you posting a picture of your one in flower to compare side by side.

Your Neo. 'Dark Rose Blush' looks different to my Neo. 'Rose Blush' I will have to find a pic to attach on the weekend if I remember.

Nev like you one of my all time favourites is Neo. 'Royal Cordovan’, it's got everything going for it and is a real stand out in my collection. I have only a couple of plants but yet to collect pups of either but I am in no hurry because they are stunning and it will be sad when they do start loosing their lust but hopefully when they do pup the pups will be as impressive as their mothers.

Peter Coyle's Vriesea Hybrids are stunning as always but I especially adored the last pic - took my breath away with it's beauty.

Brian great to hear from you; like you I am trying to slowly get back into work except I am that flat out I have not had time to catch my breath it's been that hectic.

Hope you get some rain soon, we have had some good days with down pour's and have had to back wash the pool a couple of time already just to keep up.

Your Neo. 'Rose Blush' looks like my rose blush in flower. Luv the pic of your dog taking a nap, ours sleep in amongst my bromeliads and sometimes scare me when the come out unexpectedly when I am kicking back with a cup of coffee on a brom break, especially when I think they are inside sleeping he he.

I will post this tread then take a closer look at the pics you posted of 'Warren Loose' to see what you mean, if I look now I will loose my thread that I am typing directly into DG instead of Word in the hope I can get away with it this time around (crossing my fingers & toes).

Hi Colleen sorry to hear you are frying but nice to hear you are looking after your animals, is there a way you can cool down also like when you go to the dam with the boys that you all enjoy so much. What are Spoggies, never heard of them before???

Great pics you posted also, Ae. fasciata Clara is beautiful and one that I do not have in my collection, I just have Ae. fasciata 'Pink Vase'. I have one of my Vr. phillipo coburgii growing in full sun and it's now showing the yellow pigmentation in the leaves which I am excited about and no burn marks yet even though it is still a reasonably young pup, the rest around the garden are all green.

Anyway time to head as sharing laptop with Joe tonight.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Pic 1, 2 & 3 same Neo. plant that I think I have a name for but can't remember this second but I think its a Alan Freeman hybrid and one that I really like.

Pic 4 - Neo. 'Lorena' with unstable markings.

Pic 5 - Last of the Avocado's (sad face)








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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Nice to see all the posts with such lovely broms.
Its been pouring rain here on and off for two days , which is great for all the gardens.
Its not been cold either which I like.
Looks like another lot of rain coming today and I am sure it will wait a while until I get halfway over to Hamilton, then rain on me all day...lol
My Robert used to say the rain liked me and followed me everywhere.


Brian, before I forget, the brom you asked about in my first post is neo Gezpacho, even though it doesnt look like it. I didnt realise the pic was so washed out looking until I looked at the one I posted in my last post.
Its a trick of the camera sometimes if the sunlight is strong.
My Burnsies Spiral is doing very well despite now being out of the shadehouse. It gets full afternoon sun for a couple of hours and doesnt seem bothered. It does look fragile, but like a lot of broms, is tougher than it looks.

I am so pleased that even with all the heat, hot wind and strong sunlight, my broms are showing no signs of burning. The only change I can see is that I will have to move my pot of bill Hallelujah . It is now being shaded by the large brugmansia leaves and turning a little pale.
I will move it back into the open a bit more.

Colleen, I too have the little sproggas ( sparrows) looking for water.
We may write and pronounce it differently in our two states, but I knew what you meant.
The sparrows here are very cunning and know exactly when to come for crumbs as I feed the maggies.
It can get noisy around the town too, with all the white cockatoos . They are here in huge flocks and screech all the time.
Thankfully, they do wander off at times and should disappear during the winter.
They do so much damage to trees, buildings and even power lines.
We have a mix of the sulpher crested cockatoos and the long beak corellas. They seem to get on well together and are often seen in the same flocks.

Trish , lovely pics and I do like neo Lorena even if it is unstable.

Nev, hope you enjoyed your day at the trains. I bet the little kids love them and I know the big "kids" always enjoy "playing " with any sort of train...lol

Time I went as I need to be in Hamilton early.

No brom pics, just two of my new rose flowers....Fionas Wish and Happy Child.
Hopefully I will bring home the new camera today and start on lots of new pics..

Take care everyone and stay cool.
Jean.




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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Well it’s back to physio this morning to see what new sort of torture they have devised for me. I’m afraid I don’t think the exercises are doing me as much good as my own exercises which relate to what I use my hand for the most e.g. holding a plant in my left hand whilst I fill the pot with potting mix, or maybe it’s a combination of both, who knows?

Brian – Good to see you back again; the last few days here have been very humid also and working in the shade house among all the brom’s and ferns beneath the benches makes it even worse and I’m certainly losing a lot of sweat which will hopefully equate to weight loss.

In relation to Neo.’Burnsie’s Spiral’, it’s a much tougher plant than it looks and certainly tougher than many other Neo’s. Although hanging it up beneath the shade cloth will improve colour, I don’t think this would be the best time of the year to move it; probably best to wait until the cooler months so it can acclimatise gradually.

When I mentioned Neo.‘Rose Blush’ yesterday I completely forgot to mention I also have another which looks a bit like the one on the BCR. (I swapped a bit of mine for a bit of John’s plant a few years ago) so now we both have the same plant.

You mention the colour in my last lot of pictures; I have always been attracted by colour, even more than shape (but it’s nice to have both in the one plant) and any of the crosses I’ve done were primarily with colour in mind. It was the same when I bred Budgies also, I didn’t try and breed the large show types (there were plenty of good breeders doing this), I bred for colour and could always sell them as fast as I could breed them as colour seems somehow to attract people's attention.

I haven’t had much to do with Orthophytums, but the couple I had, grew like yours as well and then where the flowers were, they produced pups; a bit unusual but interesting nevertheless.

Your Alc. ‘Devine Plum’ is looking good, but I don’t think you need to worry about it flowering just yet as it still has a bit of growing to do.

Colleen – Nice to hear from you and I hope you’re well away from the bushfire areas. It’s unfortunate that you’re copping the heat like the rest of S.A. but at least you’re managing to look after the local wild life as well as yourself and the boys and their pets.

I’ve been close to nature (especially birds) all my life and had never heard of “spoggies”. I had to look up Google to find out it’s another name for the common house sparrow. I’ve always looked at them as a cheerful little bird and one I greatly respect as they are great survivors, and are spread worldwide, but never seem to cause any problems. Basically, they survive by picking up the crumbs left by other birds as they’re at the bottom end of the “pecking order”.

If your Ae. fasciata ‘Clara’ flowers have varied a bit, it’s possibly because it was from a tissue-cultured plant and sometimes this happens, but often settles down in the next generation. I suspect these plants, have had their genes turned upside down as a result of tissue culturing and on top of this they have more than likely been chemically treated to induce early flowering. This all upsets the plants metabolism which can sometimes take a while to recover.

Ae. ‘Clara’ is said to be a mutation of the normal pink-bracted Ae fasciata and was tissue-cultured then mass produced by “Deroose Plants” of Belgium who specialise in this area.
See: http://www.derooseplants.com/

From my own experiences with tissue cultured plants I haven’t had a lot of luck. I had an Aechmea (fasciata) ‘Morgana’ which was also tissue cultured; it was in flower when I bought it, and after flowering, went on to produce countless pups which even after growing into maturity themselves, grew for several years, producing more pups, but never produced a single flower. In the end I binned the lot. It just goes to show that when you stuff around with “Mother Nature”, she often turns around and bites you on the bum for interfering.

You are lucky with your Ae. ‘Clara” though as it seems to have turned out exactly as it was supposed to, so chalk one up for Colleen.

The Neo Guinea hybrid I posted a picture of was Neo.’Guinea’ x Self; There were several seedlings but I only kept about twelve which all looked similar to the one in the picture. It is a smallish plant only growing to about 5” high and does really well in a basket as it pups profusely, but it does require good light to get good colour. I’ll put one aside for you.

Vriesea Phillipo-cobergii is a very handy Vriesea as it also grows well in the garden as long as it’s well drained. It will grow like wildfire if in a suitable spot, and my friend sent me a pic of a beautiful clump he had growing and would you believe the deer from the National Park trampled and ate the lot, the day after he took the picture.....I’ll bet he said more than “bother”.
.................................................................................................................................................
Hi again everyone – Sorry but I had to cut this post short this morning as they rang to say they had made me an earlier appointment at the physio.

After I got home, a heap of other things cropped up and consequently I’m just home now 5.21pm, so I finish the rest of the post (hopefully) tomorrow.

All the best, Nev.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - hope the physio didn't torture you too much:)

After a couple of cooler days it is hot again.
I'm just hoping for a clear sky so I can look for the comet again tonight.

Anyone seen comet Lovejoy?

I'm hoping to find it by orienting on Orion which is the only constellation I know apart from the Southern Cross..

Take care everyone
cheers - Teresa

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. We've had rain beautiful rain. It's lovely and cool now after those terrible furnace days. The rain was so enjoyable that I was dead-leafing some broms that John brought up to me out in it. He had some rather large overgrown pots of Ae pyramidalis, bils, ae. fasciata, and a couple of variegated ones so he brought them up to me. They will have enjoyed the rain we've had as they're sitting on a table out the back. The broms always seem to look much better after rain. Nev, I have been lucky with ae. fasciata clara then. You can actually see a tinge of the palest pink still in it but not as dark as the one last year. The Corellas have been creating havoc at the lake again, so the powers- that- be have decided to use blanks to scare them off. Hundreds of them are screeching and flying around. so sad. The boys had a technology-free night last night. Cameren got his science kit out and Branden got a plywood model of the London towers out. They sat for hours, but the science experiments got the better of Branden so he finished up joining in with Cameren. I bet their dreams were full of slimey goo and volcanoes and lava lamps. lol. I wonder what will be concocted today? Have a great day everyone and enjoy the rain if you're getting any. Colleen ps what 's the name of this one please.?

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shellharbour, Australia

Friday 09.01.15
Hi everyone – Well it’s back to physio this morning to see what new sort of torture they have devised for me. I’m afraid I don’t think the exercises are doing me as much good as my own exercises which relate to what I use my hand for the most e.g. holding a plant in my left hand whilst I fill the pot with potting mix, or maybe it’s a combination of both, who knows?

Brian – Good to see you back again; the last few days here have been very humid also and working in the shade house among all the brom’s and ferns beneath the benches makes it even worse and I’m certainly losing a lot of sweat which will hopefully equate to weight.

In relation to Neo.’Burnsie’s Spiral’, it’s a much tougher plant than it looks and certainly tougher than many other Neo’s. Although hanging it up beneath the shade cloth will improve colour, I don’t think this would be the best time of the year to move it; probably best to wait until the cooler months so it can acclimatise gradually.

When I mentioned Neo.‘Rose Blush’ yesterday I completely forgot to mention I also have another which looks a bit like the one on the BCR. (I swapped a bit of mine for a bit of John’s plant a few years ago) so now we both have the same plant.

You mention the colour in my last lot of pictures; I have always been attracted by colour, even more than shape (but it’s nice to have both in the one plant) and any of the crosses I’ve done were primarily with colour in mind. It was the same when I bred Budgies also, I didn’t try and breed the large show types (there were plenty of good breeders doing this), I bred for colour and could always sell them as fast as I could breed them as colour seems somehow to attract you attention.

I haven’t had much to do with Orthophytums, but the couple I had, grew like yours as well and then where the flowers were, they produced pups a bit unusual but interesting nevertheless.

Your Alc. ‘Devine Plum’ is looking good, but I don’t think you need to worry about it flowering just yet as it still has a bit of growing to do.

Colleen – Nice to hear from you and I hope you’re well away from the bushfire areas. It’s unfortunate that you’re copping the heat like the rest of S.A. but at least you’re managing to look after the local wild life as well as yourself and the boys and their pets.

I’ve been close to nature (especially birds) all my life and had never heard of “spoggies”. I had to look up Google to find out it’s another name for the common sparrow. I’ve always looked at them as a cheerful little bird and one I greatly respect as they are great survivors, and are spread worldwide, but never seem to cause any problems. Basically, they survive by picking up the crumbs left by other birds as they’re at the bottom end of the “pecking order”.

If your Ae. fasciata ‘Clara’ flowers have varied a bit, it’s possibly because it was from a tissue-cultured plant and sometimes this happens, but often settles down in the next generation. I suspect these plants, have had their genes turned upside down as a result of tissue culturing and on top of this they have more than likely been chemically treated to induce early flowering. This all upsets the plants metabolism which can sometimes take a while to recover.

Ae. ‘Clara’ is said to be a mutation of the normal pink-bracted Ae fasciata which was tissue-cultured and mass produced by “Deroose Plants” of Belgium who specialise in this area.
See: http://www.derooseplants.com/

From my own experiences with tissue cultured plants I haven’t had a lot of luck. I had an Aechmea (fasciata) ‘Morgana’which was also tissue cultured; it was in flower when I bought it, and after flowering, went on to produce countless pups which even after growing into maturity themselves, grew for several years, producing more pups, but never produced a single flower. In the end I binned the lot. It just goes to show that when you stuff around with “Mother Nature”, she often turns around and bites you on the bum for interfering.

You are lucky with your Ae. ‘Clara” as it has turned out exactly as it was supposed to do, so chalk one up for Colleen.

The Neo Guinea hybrid I posted a picture of was Neo.’Guinea’ x Self; There were several seedlings but I only kept about twelve which all looked similar to the one in the picture. It is a smallish plant only growing to about 5” high and does really well in a basket as it pups profusely, but it does require good light to get good colour. I’ll put one aside for you.

Vriesea Vr. Philippo-corburgii is a very handy and hardy Vriesea as it also grows well in the garden as long as it’s well drained. It will grow like wildfire if in a suitable spot and my friend sent me a pic of a beautiful clump he had growing and would you believe the deer from the National Park trampled and ate the lot, the day after he took the picture.....I’ll bet he said more than “bother”.

Sat. 10.01.15
Hi again everyone – hopefully I’ll get my post finished today without any disruptions, so straight back into it from where I left off yesterday.

Trish – Why worry about getting a name wrong? I’ve been doing it for years, but now you mention Neo. ‘Rosy Morn’, that’s another plant that goes through numerous colour changes as it matures.

Regarding your NOID that I said looks the same as my Neo. carolinae x concentrica, I’ve been trying to find a picture to justify what I said, but I can’t find one. I have several of it without the dark makings over the variegations but none with the markings. As you know the markings on variegated plants do alter a bit from season to season due to the instability of these plants, likewise the colour is influenced by the amount of light they are grown under. The only pic’s I have are of my plant when grown in a lower light area, hence the absence of the darker markings. I have had this plant with the darker marking though and as it’s similar to another I have called Neo. ‘Inkwell’, I prefer to try and grow it without the darker markings.
If you look at the pictures of Neo.’Inkwell’ on the BCR, you will see what I mean about the variability in markings as the two plants depicted here look different also. See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=5017#5017

As I mentioned above to Colleen, Vr. Philippo-corburgii is a pretty tough plant so I wouldn’t be worrying too much about sun damage as long as you haven’t just moved it from a low light area. I had one growing in full sun during the heatwaves a few years back and only got about seven leaves slightly burned. I don’t think we give Vrieseas the credit for toughness that they deserve; during the same heatwave days, almost all of the Neo’s in the unprotected front garden got “cooked” but the Vrieseas remarkably came through unscathed.

Another thing, you mention is that one of yours is showing yellow pigmentation while the others are green. This isn’t unusual as there are several different clones around. I have one I swapped with a lady in Far North Queensland and the tips of the foliage are quite red. (See Pic.1)

Jean – Pleased to hear you’re getting some good rain; it certainly makes a change from the dry weather and I’ll bet the poor people in the bushfire areas wish you could send some their way.

It’s interesting what you say about having to move your Hallelujah; it doesn’t take long for them to lose their colour once they are deprived of the good light. I learned this the hard way once when I was having a sale. I had moved a lot of my Neo’s into the Vrieseas shade house where there was more space to show them off better. They were beautiful and full of colour when I moved them but after a week in the lower light, I realised they were starting to lose their colour..........I didn’t make that mistake again!

It seems like everyone “south of the border” has a different name for sparrows to New South Welshmen. What about our members from Queensland, what do you call them?

While you’re talking about birds, or more specifically cockatoos, we once went for a short break through Victoria and one night decided to stay at Hall’s Gap ............ at about five in the afternoon there were thousands of Short Billed Corellas came into the town and landed in the street trees. You couldn’t hear yourself think for the racket they kicked up. When I asked a local how they put up with the noise, he said, “It’s Ok, they always stop at seven o’clock”. Of course being the “out of towners”, we thought he was "having a lend of us", but no; right on the dot of seven there was silence and as they say “the silence was deafening”. What I’ve always wanted to know was, how did the birds know to stop at seven o’clock?

They’re certainly beautiful roses Jean, you certainly have the gardening skill, or is it just natural “Green Fingers”?

Well now that I‘ve caught up with yesterday’s posts I’ll try and get through today’s as well.

Teresa – I don’t know about the comet or anything about astronomy for that matter, but I do know I saw stars when the physio lady got stuck into my hand yesterday. She told me we had to get more movement back into the fingers and bent them to just when it was starting to hurt. She then wrapped a crepe bandage around my hand forcing my fingers into a fist shape which tightened with every turn, until it hurt like hell.

When I asked was she trying to break the fingers again, she gave it an extra turn, “just for the hell of it”. I then had to bathe the bandaged hand in hot water and keep trying to move the fingers within the bandage for ten minutes. I must say they did feel a bit better when I finished, but wasn’t too sure at first and it certainly wasn’t too pleasant at the time.

Colleen – It seems I’m almost back where I started, talking to you again Colleen.

Up here we don’t have a problem with the Corellas neither the short-billed or the long-billed ones, it’s the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos that cause all of the damage, especially to weather-board homes which are unattended. They chew the fascias, the window architraves and they especially like the red wood hand-rails on one particular weekender and have almost completely destroyed it in a single day when the owner was absent.

It’s good to see the boys involved in useful hobbies, my son’s often would experiment with a chemistry set and I remember once when they put something on some soap; it didn’t alter the colour but when you washed your hands, the water turned purple, and they thought it was a great joke. Unfortunately I forget how they did it after all of this time, or maybe I could get even with them.

Time to go and the pic’s today are Pic.1 the Vr. philippo-coburgii with the red leaf tips mentioned above. Pic’s 2 and 3 two of my Neo. carolinae x concentrica plants (from the same clone) showing how the colour and markings can vary, finally Pic's 4 and 5 my Neo. 'Rosy Morn' at various stages of maturity.

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. I am sitting inside and thinking of putting the heater on...
Sounds ridiculous after the heat, but its cold here today and overcast, but no further rain.
Gone are the times when one put away the winter clothes and we had definite seasons.
Now its a case of changing 2 or 3 time s a day....lol

I finally got my new replacement camera and took some brom pics.
Not a lot of news from here today, but at least I am getting to post a bit more often.

Nev , I have always loved roses and I find they are so easy to grow .
I never fuss over my plants and at times they may look a tad messy, but they usually survive a lot better than those that are treated with kid gloves..

The roses left at the house are doing well without water or fertiliser and have done for years.
Its always interesting to note that the usual survivor at any old derelict house , will be a rose.

I am starting up on my oil painting again as it keeps me out of mischief, hubby used to say..
I will have to do a few country drives and get pics of various places to paint.
I have the choice of both bush & ocean here as its only about 50 miles to the coast and also close to the Grampians.

I notice there are a couple of very small burn marks on a leaf or two on the brugs.
Mainly the old mummas as they fade with age.

pic 1... bill Hallelujah just starting to show a little green in the shde.

pic 2... neo Victoria x Lamberts Pride. I love the banded coloring of Lamberts Pride coming out on this one, although the color is pinker like Victoria.

pic 3...neo Bill Morris with 2 large pups. He doesnt get as purple now as he ages.

pic 4..neo Gezpacho, also getting old now , with 2 pups.

pic 5... neo Enchantment albomarginata, colored very nicely this summer.

Jean.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

we drove out to Little River yesterday.
30C in ChCh, as we went around the foot hills it dropped to 24C, when we arrived at the township it was 32C.
Lovely bbq to farewell the daughter of hubby's boss.
She is going to be volunteering as a teacher aide in Fiji for 7 months - instead of going wild on her gap year.

It's just over an hour to drive out there - I had a splitting headache when we got home so no comet watching, just pain killers & early to bed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_River,_New_Zealand

Awa-iti Domain where the bbq was held was familiar to me from my years of dog showing, the Little River A&P Show was the first event on the calendar & a great way to kick off the year as not only did we compete with the dogs but there was the show with wonderful stalls with local produce & the usual side show alley...

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – The rain has arrived again; it’s rained all night and still good steady rain this morning, Although it’s mucked up my plans for more dead leafing, it will at least save me needing to water where required.

We have two grandsons here after a “sleep over|” last night and we had planned to take them and the third grandson to the Light Rail Museum for a train ride this morning. I guess this will be a first for them, as I don’t think they’ve ever had a ride in open sided carriages in the rain before.

Jean – What you say is very true; the weather changes every day. Three days ago here we were all sweating in 38C. heat and almost 95% humidity and this morning its probably in the mid twenties and raining. Like you say, the weather these days is a day to day thing and certainly full of surprises. Let’s just hope the bushfire areas are getting some of this cooler weather and rain as well.

I have no experience with roses Jean, but would it be possible to take cuttings from the roses at your previous house and grow them at the new place? That way you could have the best of both houses. I was once told that cuttings don’t always grow well or come true to form and you are better off grafting them onto some wild rootstock to be successful, as I never followed this up I don’t know if it’s true, but probably worth trying in your spare time, (What spare time you say Ha! Ha!).

In the past as my wife and I travelled to various states, I took pictures of old farm houses some occupied and some derelict and deserted as well as old farm sheds in various states of disrepair. My idea was that in my old age when I wasn’t as active as I once was, I could do some pen and ink drawings with a watercolour wash.

We saw some drawings/paintings done in this style in an art exhibition in the main park at Ballarat years ago and I was very impressed with them. They were only about A4 size and the artist had about fifteen on display and priced for sale after the exhibition. As I looked them over with the idea of perhaps buying one as a memento of our holiday, everyone had a “sold” sticker on the reverse, so I wasn’t the only one who liked the style. You’ve stirred me up now with your talk of painting and I might just dig out these old pic’s, it will give me something to do when I’m not playing with my brom’s.

You mention very small burn marks on a leaf or two on your brugs. I could never understand why extremes of hot or cold usually damaged mature plants and not the pups, until I had it explained to me that as the mature plants were already stressed from supporting the pups, they were the weakest, and besides, the pups were usually sheltered by the leaves of the adult plant.

That’s a nice mixture of plants in your pictures Jean. What can I say about Bill. Hallelujah? It’s a winner in any company and probably the most popular Bill. grown today.

I’m not familiar with the nice looking plant of Neo.‘Victoria’ x ‘Lamberts Pride’ and when I looked up the BCR I find there are 17 registered crosses using Neo.‘Victoria’ and only 5 using Neo.‘Lambert’s Pride’, but no registration of hybrids from a crossing of these two in particular. I know there’s been some nice hybrids bred in N.Z. using Lambert’s Pride but as yet none from there registered. What catches my eye though is the plant to the right and behind Neoregelia ‘Victoria’ x ‘Lamberts Pride’, is it Neo.’Birdrock”? It’s great colour whatever it is.

They’re nice looking pups on Neo.’Bill Morris’ also. I’ve found that if you take these off too soon they will just sulk for months and months before starting to grow roots so better to wait until they have their own roots before taking them off. As for Neo. ‘Lambert’s Pride’, my previous next door neighbour often said it was so easy, it would grow on a “bald man’s head” although it hasn’t done so on mine yet.

Finally, Neo. ‘Enchantment’; in my opinion, the pick of them all. Did you know there’s a “non” albo-marginated form as well? They are both nice looking plants and should be in all collections.

That’s it for today, finished already and it’s only 6.20am. Today's pic's are firstly, a beautiful new Neo. Marble Throat hybrid which unfortunately had no name supplied. Pic.2 is an "oldie" but a good one for those shady areas, Nidularium fulgens 'Cerise', Pic.3, 4 and 5 are all Peter Coyle hybrids, firstly Neo. 'Totara Rhubarb', the next two are from the same crossing Neo. 'Wild Tiger' x ('Avalon' x 'Fireball')

All the best, Nev.

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Tascott, Australia

Hi to all,

Steady rain overnight here after a few warm days.

The plant in the picture is labelled Neo. 'A Little Ruby' (from the USA), but I cant see anything on the internet.
It looks like two different plants in the one pot, but isn't.
Any thoughts?

Brian.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi again - I just saw Brian's post and though I'd answer while I can still remember what I want to say.

Brian there are three different Aechmea plants getting around with 'Ruby' in the name and they are often getting confused.

There is no Ae. 'Little Ruby' registered so that just leaves three other possibilities. Firstly if it's one of your plants that came from John's collection it has been identified as Ae. 'Little Green Ruby'.
See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=AECHMEA&id=330#330

I have another similar looking plant called Ae. 'Aussie Ruby' which is different again and one I got in a swap from a friend. To read all about it and see the pictures
See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=AECHMEA&id=29#29

The third one is just Ae. 'Ruby' (See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=AECHMEA&id=523#523 )
I don't think this is the one you have pictured as yours seems to have an Ae. recurvata look about it similar to the first two mentioned above.

I think if yours was grown in brighter light the foliage would be more of a light green colour with shorter and stouter leaves and I think it's either Ae.'Aussie Ruby' or Ae. 'Little Green Ruby'.

I hope this helps

All the best, Nev.

Christchurch, New Zealand

mowed lawns this morning & they look so dry I put the sprinkler on when we arrived home from our lunch at Waipara Hills winery...
now it's cooled off and spitting rain.

Bil Hallelujah is available in NZ at times so I think I should look out for it to add to my collection, it could live outside in summer & inside over winter.

Every time I see a photo of it here I admire it.

http://waiparahillswines.co.nz/cellar-door/cafe

Tascott, Australia

Thanks Nev,

The plant is from John's and one section (?) looks like the Ae. 'Little Green Ruby' in your link.
The other has much longer, more slender curved leaves.

Brian

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Still overcast and spitting here. Supposed to be more rain, goody, goody, gumdrops. Just been around and taken a few pics. Have a real special one that I'd like to share with you all. Neo. Baker's Pride. Have a great day. Colleen

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone,

I had planned just a quick visit tonight but it has taken me quite a while to read through all the recent posts and check out all the new pics. Thanks Jean, for starting a new thread for the new year.

We have been really busy these last few weeks and it has been overcast with showers every day making it hard to get things done in the yard. We had a fairly fine day yesterday so Michael spent several hours poisoning the weeds and nut grass that have taken over what used to be lawn, which died off when we went so long without rain in Spring-early Summer. Anyway, he had just finished and came in for a cuppa and we had a five minute downpour so his afternoon was completely wasted.

We have been trying to clean up some of the gardens further away from the house where a lot of the plants died when they were without water and they became neglected. Since the rain they have become really overgrown with weeds, vines and grass. It’s hard to believe how quickly all the weedy stuff has grown in just a few weeks.

The one we are working on at the moment has a large jacaranda and a nice euodia which is in flower at the moment and attracting lots of parrots. Once we get rid of all the rubbish growing underneath, I want to use the space under the trees for broms. Nev, did the seeds/seedlings of the euodia I sent you grow.

Hi to everyone else, lovely pics everyone. My pics … our current work in progress -

Pic 1 – some of the area we have cleared to date
Pic 2 – the next bit to tackle
Pic 3 – King Parrot watching on
Pic 4 – neo Enchantment albo
Pic 5 – Vr Gigantea Nova

Back soon, bye for now
Shirley

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Shirley - love the King parrot - stunning colours.
Neo Enchantment albo looks good, is it quite a big plant?
Also intrigued by the plant bottom right of that pic, is it a Vrisea?
I really like the pinstripe effect with those fine lines.

guessing Vr Gigantea Nova is a large plant from the name, I like the silver on green, not as flashy as some broms, more subtlle & elegant an effect.

I don't envy you the task of tackling the garden tidy up, at least when I wade into an over grown patch I only have to worry about the plants biting me - no venomous critters of note here.

There was a news report of a chap who tried to burn out a nest of bumblebees despite us having a fire ban.
He set the kiddies play house alight in the process (the bumbles were nesting underneath it) & the neighbours called the fire brigade.
They let him off with a warning...

I felt sorry for the poor bumble bees, I have always loved them, as a child I used to pick them up & let them crawl over my hands before letting them go - sometimes I would get a little honey from the pantry & give them a feed.
I was never stung, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I learned that they have a smooth sting like a wasp & I stopped handling them just in case.

I still have the urge to stroke them when I see one in the garden, they just look so soft & fuzzy.

cheers all - Teresa

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. I'm back again. I have a few more pics so thought I'd add them now before I file them and forget.

Its looking very sunny here after the last few days of cool overcast weather. Another week of heat I suppose. Its not so bad if we get these cooler days between the hot spells.

My garden is still looking good after the heat except for the few toasted leaves here and there. Always expected in summer though.

Shirley, I'm glad its you with the large garden areas now and not me. I can just imagine how many more broms you will fit in those cleared spaces....lol
Love the King Parrot. I used to get a lot of them in the garden when I lived in Bright in our Victorian mountains.
Many other varied parrots too.

Nev, in answer to your query on the brom in a previous post... It is neo Burbank. One of my favorites and getting quite large now. It is lighter in color than Birdrock and has many more narrow stripes.
I have added a pic from yesterday of it.
I have seen the non albo Enchantment as I had one which went when I sold the plants.
You mention rose cuttings...
I used to do a lot of them but its not the best time of year for them now and I didnt want to wait for roses to grow from cuttings.

You should get back to painting as the old pics you would have of farmhouses etc sound like great subjects.
I am sorry I got rid of a lot of photos I took may years ago when I travelled around Australia.
I would enjoy doing paintings from some of them. Places I will never get to see again.
No use thinking about them now , they are long gone.
I will have to get myself out a bit more around here to find interesting things to photograph and paint.

Teresa, I hope the headache has disappeared. Its not pleasant tot be out in very hot weather.
I hope the day out was still enjoyable for you.

Not much news from here, I live a quiet life now.

pic 1.. neo Burbank, on eof my favorites.

pic 2.. neo Birdrock...not a great pic asit looks dusty from the wind last week.

pic 3..neo Satsuma... sits in the sun but doesnt get a sdark as some I have seen on here. Maybe it needs less light

pic 4..aech. Aztec Gold & my small recurvatas with the black in the centers.

pic 5.. neo Johannes de Rolf or is it Johannis...I could not find it on the BCR.

Keep cool and stay safe..
Jean..

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shellharbour, Australia

High everyone – Well; talk about weather changes, it’s only 21C here this morning and drizzling rain, not a very pleasant day but the garden loves it.

I spent most of yesterday catching up on paper work for the museum, so not a bit of gardening or re-potting, that was planned for later on today.

I have to see the surgeon again this morning for another post op assessment which hopefully will be the last as I can now almost make a fist with my hand, something I never thought I’d be able to do again.

Teresa – I never thought I’d ever say this, but mowing the grass is one of the things I really miss doing. Unfortunately, as I’ve become less mobile I have to rely on others to do it for me and although the young bloke who does it, leaves the place clean and tidy, it’s not quite as neat as I could have done it myself. I suppose it’s just a job to him and the sooner he does it the sooner he gets paid and can get onto the next one; but then it’s easy to be critical when you watch someone else doing it instead of yourself.

I think I’ve been singing the praises of Bill. Hallelujah ever since I’ve been growing brom’s, so I’ll just say, “if you can get one get it, you won’t be disappointed.

Waipara Hills looks like our sort of place. We used to travel to wineries where ever we went and sampled the lot, as we both enjoy a nice wine with our dinner each night. Unfortunately we’ve never been to N.Z., however there’s still a lot of N.Z. wine comes into our house as my wife is a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and says in her opinion, they must make the best in the world.

Personally I think it tastes like grass clipping mixed in water as I’m a red drinker, but everyone I know who likes wine tells me there’s not a Sauvignon Blanc that can come near the New Zealand ones for freshness and crispness.

Although Australia makes some world class wines, I’m told they still can’t make a Sauvignon Blanc to satisfy my wife’s pallet, but fortunately we have access to all the best that NZ has to offer and at reasonable prices as well. Occasionally my son will bring a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc over if we’re having a meal together and my wife immediately checks the label to see if it’s from N.Z. (preferably Marlborough).

Personally I like a good red and I still reckon Australia has it over the New Zealanders and the rest of the world in this department, but thanks to Dan Murphy’s, we have the best of all countries at affordable prices as well.

Colleen – You asked about the plant in your picture on January 9, it looks like an Ae. recurvata or a recurvata hybrid to me and to bring out the best in colour they need really bright light.

I like the look of you Neo. ‘Baker’s Pride’ although I can’t find it on the BCR or the FCBS site, so it appears it’s unregistered. It does slightly resemble one called ‘Baker’s Tiger’ though so it’s possible it came from the same grex and it would be interesting to compare them colour wise after yours was grown in high light as I think I can see some similarities there, but then it may just be my imagination.

Baker was quite a productive hybridiser and has 56 registered hybrids to his credit, what’s more it wasn’t just Neo’s he bred as the registrations include Aechmeas, Billbergias, Dyckias, Hechtias, Neoregelias, Orthophytums and Tillandsias; so quite mixed bag. To see his Neo. ‘Baker’s Tiger’, go to http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=7491#7491

Shirley – Nice to see you posting again. I know just how frustrating it is when you have lots of gardening to do and you can’t do it for various reasons and I imagine Michael would have been very p...ed off when his afternoon of spraying was buggered up by the rain.

Weeds are a constant battle when you have a large area of garden and the only way to stay on top is to do a little weeding each and every day; this of course doesn’t work when you’re constantly being interrupted with showers and the weeds seem to grow even quicker.

Bad news about the Euodias, I didn’t get a single one out of them. I’m afraid I just don’t have green fingers in this department. Jean also sent me thousands of seeds of a nice garden plant she had at her previous house which from the way she spoke I thought they would have grown on “bare concrete”, but I never did any well with them either. I guess I should just be satisfied with the success I have with brom seed, but I would have really liked to have got some of these seeds from both of you going.

I think your garden is a bit like mine Shirley, “a work in progress”, at least you still have the privilege of seeing beautiful King Parrots visiting you, and this has to be a big plus.

Your pictures tell the story of what work you have in front of you as well as show-casing the two beautiful examples of Neo ‘Enchantment’ albo-marginata and Vriesea Gigantea Nova. There was a name change with this plant; I think it was Vr Gigantea var seideliana and changed to Nova or perhaps the other way around, I’m just not sure.

I’ve just been out to get the paper while the showers have stopped and the brom culls in my overgrown front garden are looking nice with the rain, so I’m going back to take a few pic’s which I’ll post after breakfast.

Back again as promised with a few pic’s of my front garden very much in the rough (see Shirley, you’re not the only one) and I see we have a couple more posts from Teresa and Jean since I’ve been away.

Teresa – I think anyone who lights a fire (of any sort) during a fire ban should have the book thrown at them, and perhaps have to sit through a video showing the destruction that fires cause and what a seriously burnt victim looks like; it might help them to realise the possible results of what they do.

But then I suppose you would have the “do-gooders” saying they shouldn’t have to look at these things in case it affects them mentally. My view (and I’ve done bushfire fighting and ambulance work as well and seen the destructive results) is that they already have a mental deficiency if they do these things, and should still be treated as criminals not patients. Unfortunately when the law is dealing with these people, they don’t place enough emphasis on the victims. (Sorry, that’s my “mouth off” for the day, I promise).

Your story of the Bumble Bees caused me to look up what was said about them on the internet, and it seems that unlike the Honey Bee, they are generally docile, social creatures and will only sting when threatened. It’s only the queen and the workers that sting and not the drones and the only time a problem may arise is if the victim is stung multiple times or is allergic to the venom. I guess the old rule applies, “don’t hurt me and I won’t hurt you”.

When we were kids we often caught Blue Ringed Octopuses (or as some people incorrectly refer to them as octopi). I’ve had hundreds of them on the palm of my hand during my childhood and never once been bitten (we didn’t know they could be fatal in those days). The thing is they wouldn’t have felt threatened as they were free to move over my palm; on the other hand, if I had it clutched in my grasp I may not be writing this now.

Another childhood venomous creature we frequently played with was the White –Tailed Spider; and a bite from this on someone who is allergic to the venom can be fatal; again we didn’t know this at the time and used to catch them in a jar. We would then draw a circle in the dirt and release them into the centre of the circle and have a race with the first one to get out of the circle being the winner. I still wonder to this day why I never got bitten, just good luck I guess.

Jean – That Neo ‘Burbank’ is a very nice looking plant, and now I see the whole plant and not just the underside of the leaves, I realise it’s not like Birdrock at all. I have a plant called Neo. ‘Burbank’ variegata and as the name implies it’s variegated. Although the colour is brilliant, it unfortunately only has very narrow leaves which detract from its overall appeal.

I got my Neo. ‘Satsuma’ from Sue, and I find it gets the best colour when grown beneath 75% beige shade cloth.

That’s a nice little collection of Ae recurvata types you have there. I find these are probably the toughest plants of the lot and I haven’t found anything that can kill them yet. Mine’s been exposed to 50C degree heat and freezing condition when the dog’s water froze over, and still they keep growing.

Your last plant is now referred to as Neo. ‘DeRolf’ (one word). It is a plant grown from Neo. johannis seed and for many years was referred to as Neo. Johannis DeRolf. It was however registered with the BCR as Neo. ‘DeRolf’ in 1995. It is a beautiful plant and quite variable as you will see by the various pictures on the FCBS site.

At last, I’m finished and will just put up a few pic’s I took in the garden this morning.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - some Savvies have a very strong grassyness to them, I prefer pinot gris & other aromatics.
You might want to try a Pinot Noir from Otago or Waipara, not as gutsy as an Aussie Shiraz (Syrah) but very nice.

I never saw White Tails until moving to Christchurch.
Used to have a 'pet' Hunstman in Brisbane, I had no idea they could bite so would handle mine happily - I guess it didn't feel threatened and it would crawl up & down my arms much to the horror of my school friends.

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Beautiful morning here. It has rained steadily all night and the garden is slurping it up. It's not a bit cold. I've been bitten again by something. I am guessing a black spider as I saw a couple in the large pots of broms that John brought up to me. I dead-leafed them and gave them a bit of fertiliser and put them in the SH to recuperate for a while before I take all the pups off.I never felt anything bite again but It might feel like a prick from the broms so you wouldn't take any notice would you? John said that I will have to start wearing long sleeves and gloves. yuk. I don't drink any wine at all. It all smells like plonk to me so can't tell you which is best. lol Out of all the talk there was one bright moment when finally someone pronounced the word how it should be. Thank you Teresa. They were always "Shyrah" when I picked them, then the high and mighty decided that it didn't sound flash enough so pronounced it shir-az. That's my grumble for today. lol Thanks for the ID on recurvata. I did know what it was had just forgotten as the tag has disappeared again. That happens from time to time and I never find them so I presume that birds are taking them. Shirley lovely pics and It's lovely to see where you've been clearing. I'm sure that I would get more done here if I had a grown-up helper. The boys are great, don't get me wrong, but they don't talk garden language ,yet. Jean I'm so glad that you're enjoying your new home and garden. Don't forget to show us your paintings will you. Nev I could never imagine you sitting still long enough to paint, you are always so busy.Have a great day everyone. Colleen Ae blood spot.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Well the rain seems to have stopped so maybe some more work among the brom’s today. It’s quite a bit cooler so it should be more comfortable without the heat and high humidity, and besides there is more rain forecast soon so best make hay while the sun shines.

Teresa – Looks like just you and I again today, and it seems that right from the start you’re going to get me off track, so any members reading this, please don’t blame me, it’s Teresa’s fault for a change.

Although it’s my wife’s favourite wine, Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t cut it with me I’m afraid. My favourite wines for many years have been Australian Shiraz and Australian Riesling. Although I’ve tried probably every type of grape available, I always come back to these two and in particular my favourites are Rieslings for the Clare Valley and Shiraz from Coonawarra. I also like a nice Semillon and a winery just down the coast from here, Colangatta Estate makes a beaut which has been winning shows since 1988.

On the wine trail again and I have also developed a liking for Pinot Grigio. I prefer it to the Pinot Gris style as it seems to go better with seafood. It’s getting very popular here now and below is what Dan Murphy’s Wines have to say about it:

"In Australia and New Zealand, the terms 'Gris' and 'Grigio' are used to differentiate between different stylistic interpretations of dry white wine using the same grape, “Pinot Gris”. Inspired by the wines of Alsace in France's north-east, Pinot Gris suggests riper, fuller bodied wines that marry with roast meats including veal, pork and chicken.

Conversely, Pinot Grigio implies mid-weighted dry white wines, in a northern Italian vein. Pinot Grigio marries effortlessly with salads, cold seafood, calamari and an array of Asian foods."

Gee from what you tell us about your exploits with spiders we may have to start calling you “Spider Girl”. I think people over react whenever they see a spider, the same basic rule applies to being confronted with anything dangerous, “leave it alone”.

It’s true we have some of the most venomous spiders in the world, but it’s also true that we have some of the best anti-venoms available and consequently, there hasn’t been a recorded fatal spider bite to a human since anti-venoms were made available in 1981. To read some more interesting facts, go to: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Spider-facts.

Colleen – No I didn’t copy what you had written in your first sentence although you could be forgiven for thinking I did. I was just getting ready to post and saw your new post had arrived.

The long armed gloves that come right up to your arm pits offer the best protection of the lot and they are available in Bunnings for a reasonable cost. I now have two pair and always remember to put them on as soon as I see the blood running down both arms.

Colleen the name Shiraz is given to the Syrah variety when grown in Australia. Since they started enforcing all of the European regulations it’s illegal for Australia to sell wine under the European name. Syrah/shiraz was usually sold as Hermitage as in Europe but now all Australian wines are sold by the grape variety and even though our sparkling wines are made by the same method and from the same grapes as Champagne is made in France, we can’t call ours Champagne any more. The same is now being enforced with Port and Sherry and they too are being sold as Australian fortified wines, complicated? You betcha!

Want to know more? Go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denominazione_di_origine_controllata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appellation_d'origine_contr%C3%B4l%C3%A9e

Regarding your disappearing name tags - Do you have any Bower Birds there Colleen? They’re a constant problem here as they steal any plastic name tags I use, that’s why I make mine out of aluminum slats from venetian blinds. That seems to have solved the problem.

As for me painting, I guess my old back and legs will tell me when the times is right.

Seeing I’ve banged on about wine and grapes a bit today, I guess it’s about time I got back to bromeliads otherwise I’ll be drummed out of the corps. Yesterday, when I was looking at my weed filled front garden I was quite surprised to see how some of the brom’s had matured. If you remember, I said some time back that this particular garden had become the home for all the otherwise unwanted brom’s. Plants such as seedling culls, plants that were shy to flower or otherwise unspectacular plants that really had nothing going for them, but plants I wasn’t yet ready to toss in the green bin”.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and yesterday I looked at these plants carefully to see what they had to offer. I didn’t look through the eyes of someone wanting a plant for the show table I just looked at them through eyes that were trying to find something unusual or different either in colour, shape, habit or perhaps anything at all different to the norm.

First I came to Neo Monstrosus (Pic.1), this was a plant I had been trying to grow for several years and had come to me from a friend in Nth. Qld. It had just sat in a pot and only grown very slowly since I first got it as a rootless fresh cut pup. Even after three years it still had no roots and was showing signs of declining, so rather than toss it I decided to put it in “The Garden of Last Chance”. It continues to go backwards and then one day I spied a pup sticking up its head. Now some twelve months later it has almost died completely and has a rather strange shaped pup on one sided with a smaller one on the other side. I’m a bit reluctant to remove the pup in case it goes the same way as the mother, so if anyone has any experience or hints about this plant, please let me know. For more info, see this site: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=5879#5879

Pic.2 shows a little Vriesea flamea; this plant had been growing in a slightly shadier area for a few years with just the occasional flower, and again what I would call a “nothing plant”, this year I decided to move it right out into the open and see what this would do to it. It now seems much happier, and although in need of some serious dead-leafing, is happily flowering with eight spikes.

Pic.3 shows one of the many seedling culls that were used here to “fill a space”. When it was planted is was just a green brom with nothing going for it. As it was a Neo. ‘Noble Descent’ x ‘Noble Descent Too’, I was expecting more than just a green plant so in winter I decided to “practice what I preached” and moved it into the open to take advantage of brighter light. Now I seem to have been rewarded with a tougher little plant and nice colour (even if something has had a chew of it). In this case it wasn’t the fault of the plant, it was the grower who didn’t give it the conditions it required to show its best.

Pic.4 is a plant of Aechmea ornata var nationalis, it too had been languishing in a pot for over a year, and after seeing what this plant was capable of in the flower department (See No. 151 on the FCBS Photo Index and you’ll be pleasantly surprised) I decided to try it in the garden also. It’s still slow, but has since produced two nice pups so that’s an indication it likes where it’s growing so that’s where it will stay until hopefully it flowers.

Pic.5 was another seedling cull, this time from a Neo. (‘Charm’ x ‘Cracker Jack’) x Self cross which should have had more colour than the drab green that it was displaying. It too was moved into a brighter spot at the same time I moved the Neo. ‘Noble Descent’ x ‘Noble Descent Too’ and now nine months later, although there’s nothing in the shape to be excited about the colour is pleasing to the eye.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you have a plant that isn’t doing well, it may not be a problem with the plant, the problem may be with the grower not providing the right cultural conditions to suit the plant, so don’t be frightened to move plants around and try different locations.

Just as a word of warning though, don’t move a plant from a shady location into one of bright light in the warm weather as you may burn it; it’s best to move these plants during the cooler months and give them plenty of time to acclimatise to the new conditions.

All the best, Nev

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - That's if anyone is reading this. Maybe I've turned you all away with my off topic ravings yesterday, and if so I apologise. To make up for it, I'd like to share a brief article I once wrote about using natural fertilisers as opposed to chemically manufactured ones.

If you want a natural non-chemical feeding programme for your plants, it is still possible to a degree; you don't have to use chemical fertilizers. Although both types will promote growth, I have found the main difference between chemically manufactured and natural fertilisers are that the chemical ones are chemically balanced and consistent in quality, whereas animal and other natural manures are not.

Bromeliads grown in habitat rely on natural fertilizers such as bird and small animal droppings falling into the plant as well as the broken down leaf litter which eventually forms into a soup (liquid manure) in the vase of the plant. These are all natural products without any chemical content introduced by man.

I would imagine to copy this natural process in the home garden, you could apply a small amount of some type of old animal manure, (cow, rabbit or sheep are the safest and most popular ones) or try some of the commercially produced (natural) products such as Bone Meal, Blood and Bone or Hoof and Horn Meal which have been used successfully by gardeners over many years.

Any of these or a combination of them would do the same job as the bird and animal droppings in the wild. Sheep manure is said to be very good as it doesn't tend to be as hot as poultry manure and some of the others, and besides it comes readymade in a handy size pellet. I have applied this as a topping for orchids and other plants with good results and more importantly, no burning as would be the case with poultry manure (unless very old).

If desired, these can be supplemented with a liquid manure also, which can be made from any of the above manures by just mixing with water and allowing to stand for a week or two and then diluting with more water before applying. This would then take the place of the natural "soup" made from decaying animal droppings and leaf litter in the wild.

Likewise one of the many good liquid seaweed fertilizers now available on the market could also be used. These are natural products which are usually made from kelp, a type of seaweed which is also a renewable resource. In Australia we have a wonderful product called Seasol which is not so much a fertilizer but more like a "tonic". If you just Google "Seasol" you can read all about it. It is exported to other major countries so I imagine it should be easy to obtain.

In summary, to take the natural route, you can mix any one or a combination of the various animal manures in your mix initially and when growth appears to have slowed down, add a topping of one of the manures described. This can be supplemented with feeds of liquid fertilizer made from animal manure throughout the growing period along with a seaweed preparation which can be applied as per the directions right throughout the whole year if desired. You just have to work out what works best for you. The rule is to start off with a "little" and increase gradually until you find the right balance.

As a final question, I would ask, “Is natural really chemical free”? Remember even some animal manures contain chemicals as the animals are often fed on chemical supplements, growth hormones and/or antibiotics. It then stand to follow that the animal parts used to make products such as Bone Meal, Blood and Bone or Hoof and Horn Meal may still contain traces of chemicals, (albeit minute) so how do you guarantee something is absolutely chemically free? .............................................I don't know the answer, do you?

I'll just finish with a few pic's, firstly while the topic is growing things naturally, here's a nice Ae. recurvata happily growing on a Peppercorn tree in my back yard, Pic.2 is the very popular Neo.'Purple Star',Pic.3 is one of the nice new Neo. 'Lambert's Pride' hybrids to come out of N.Z. (Not mine), Pic.4 is another beautiful Neo. with unknown ID (Unfortunately not mine either) and Pic.5 is a colourful group of Neoregelias in my shade house.

All the best, Nev

.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - those are lovely broms...

Do you find the Peppercorn tree a good one for growing broms on?
Looking at mine, it has rough bark but doesn't shed like many Aussie trees.

'Purple Star' is well named, stunning colour & a very nice shape.

You're not kidding when you say 'a colourful group of...'
they are eye catching for sure :)

Take care - Teresa
ps I enjoy your off topic comments as much as I do the brom talk

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Well its raining again here. Not cold though, which is good.
I need to get out and do a lot of deadheading of some roses and all the petunias.
I am not usually one for annuals, but I put the petunias in as a quick color filler while the new roses are growing.

Nev, I am like Teresa, I really enjoy reading your long posts whether they are all about broms or not.
I think we all try to keep to the brom theme, but a bit of other news is most welcome as it enables us to get to know each other better.
Thank you for the info on the change of name for neo DeRolf.
I will change my file and name tag.

I did laugh at the discussion on wines . My dear Robert used to enjoy a glass of wine sometimes and he did like going for a drive around the wineries over in SA.
He despaired of me and my opinion of wine...lol
It was always a great joke when we went into a winery for tasting. I would ask for a a glass of water while he tried all the various wines.
I cannot stand the smell or taste of any wine.
He tried to interest me in everything from whites, reds , sherries and even his favorite port.
I did enjoy the drives and looking around the wineries, but give me a good cuppa any day...lol
I know, I can hear everyone saying I am missing out on lovely wines, but they all taste awful to me. I must have funny taste buds.
I have been known to have a glass of beer, but I am just not inclined to like alcohol in any form. I must be odd....lol

Back to broms. Mine are liking the cooler weather and the rain.
I will do as Nev suggested and wait a while before removing any pups . It will give me something to do later in autumn.
Then I have to make room for them.
I still have not had a chance to go and see all the plants I sold, but I was told that a lot are pupping well putting out flowers.

All that talk about playing with spiders made me shiver.
I am not frightened of them but do know they are not in the same room as I am...
Poor hubby was bitten by a white tail years ago .
Luckliy the darn thing bit on his rear end not the front. the bite blistered and grew quite large. It left a large scar when it eventuslly heale dafter many months, during which hubby was quite sick.

I have always made a point of wearing gloves when in the garden , not only for protection, but it does save hand stains and mucky hands.
I always had the gloves near the door and they go into my pocket when ever I go outside.

Looks like the rain is going to start up again here . I have the door open and its nice to watch the rain .
I hope you are all enjoying some nice weather and not the heat we had .

The gentleman up in one of the top units here was chatting to me yesterday and complaining that the lawns looked a bit brown.
I dont think he can complain now with more rain.
He says he wants green lawn so he can sit outside and have something nice and green to look at.
Living in outback and rural areas around Australia, I learnt not to waste water on unnecessary things like lawns during summer.
I dont think he appreciated my views...lol

Not much else to mention .
I am due for a nice cuppa so will go enjoy that with a biscuit.
I will try and find something of interest later to take pics of.
pic is not a brom but a new lilium seedling just flowered
Jean





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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

I seem to be VERY time poor at the moment and not getting to chat with you as often as I used to and I am very disappointed about that as it is one of the past times that I really enjoy and a great way to distress after work. Anyway I thought I would sneak the opportunity tonight as it’s the first night in a long time that I don’t have something I need to get done before the next day and I get a bit of a breather for a change.

The weekend was lovely with a bit of gardening achieved on Saturday, people come over to buy some broms in the morning that are now regular customers and now their daughter is also hooked on them and also brought some to take home and they are coming back to buy some more this weekend so they are well and truly hooked; and then a 20th anniversary to go to that evening which was lovely; and Sunday was spent catching up with a friend in the morning, shopping after that and playing with my bromeliad seedlings in the arvo that are growing very well and soon I will have to find a bigger garden to accommodate them he he.

Jean your roses are beautiful, I wish I had room to grow them here but I only have room for broms the way I am cluttering up our garden. Pleased to hear you liked the pics of Neo. ‘Lorena’ even with it’s unstable markings. Your broms are looking fantastic too and clearly enjoying their new home.

Jean pleased to hear you are taking up painting again; I am thinking about taking oil-painting back up again possibly this year but still thinking about it at the moment as so very time poor all the time and broms are my passion but it would be nice to have a second hobby when I need a break from the broms (can’t believe I uttered those words from my lips).

Nev your physio sounds horrid but I am glad you are getting some relief after all that torcher.

Like you I have always been attracted by colour and that’s where my fascination / passion grew into collecting them, in my opinion they are the most colourful plants available out there.

I don’t worry too much about getting a bromeliad name wrong but if I realise my error I think it’s very important to let everyone know to save any unnecessary confusion as there is enough out there already without adding to it, plus it gets me out of any bad habits I have in getting the name wrong in the first place.

With regards to my Neo. NOID we spoke about that you said looks the same as your Neo. carolinae x concentrica, thanks for trying to find a picture to justify what you said, I agree it’s very hard to compare given our different climates and how you prefer to grow yours without the darker markings; I have mine growing under 70% green shade-cloth which brings out it’s marking. I have seen many Neo. ‘Inkwells’ grown in Townsville by other growers and the two plants look nothing the same as well as I also have a maturing pup of Neo. ‘Inkwell’ that looks very different to my NOID in both size, colour and markings so I think I will just keep calling mine a NOID to not cause any unnecessary confusion because either way with or without a name in my eyes it’s a firm favourite of mine that will always have a place in my garden; I just wish the bloody thing would pup because I have had it for about 6 years now and still no sign of a pup and the plant is getting long in the tooth now and probably will only last another year or two if I’m lucky.

My Vr. Philippo-corburgii I growing in full sun with no burn marks yet this summer but I give it Seasol Concentrate fortnightly so I think that helps it a lot, I have many others growing in shadier spots so all others are green naturally. Thanks for attaching that picture of the one with the red tips, very unusual indeed and I wonder what would have caused such a variation, nature is amazing like that and would it’s pups revert to the normal chocolate tips even if the plant did not have them in the first place?

What a great assortment of pics you have posted all these days I have missed, so full of beautiful shape and colour and too hard to pic a favourite as I like them all.

Colleen pleased to hear you are getting some good rain and sounds like you enjoyed playing in it; I too luv nothing more than to garden in the rain and I normally like to do so barefooted ever since I was a kid and I remember mum used to always tell me off that I would catch a cold, and it’s the best time to pull out weeds.

Lovely pic you posted on Neo. Baker’s Pride.

Teresa that river you visited sounds lovely but for some reason I could not access the link on my mobile so if I remember I will have to check-out on my laptop. Sounds like you have been busy in the garden also like many off us, the work just never ends, hope the rain has helped you lawn.

I totally agree Bumble Bees are beautiful and do look soft and fuzzy he he.

Bill. Hallelujah is a must to have in your collection and if you can grow this one then I can’t see why you can’t grow some of the other Bills’ around and probably worth investigating.

Brian pleased to hear you are also getting some nice rain. I have never heard of Ae. ‘Little Ruby’ but never the less it’s an interesting looking plant and you will have a bitter chance of identifying once it flowers so post a pic then and we can all have a good look and try to identify for you. I just read Nev’s useful info so sure this will help lots.

Shirley, long time no speak, sounds like you have been flat-out busy by the read of things. Nice to hear you are also getting some rain, we had good amount here with possibly more tomorrow and over the weekend.

Growing broms under your Jacaranda and Euodia will be lovely and would luv to see some pics when you have finished that project, I can imagine that you will be able to house a good many there which I am sure you will be excited about. Also your pics of Neo. ‘Enchantment albo and Vr. Gigantea Nova are lovely but I could not enlarge because of some internet issue so will have to try again later.

Lovely pics everyone has posted lately of Neo. ‘Burnsie’s Spiral’, this one has been on my Wish List for a long time so if anyone has a spare pup they want to swap with something else I have or sell please let me know and we can go from there?

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Pic 1 – Neo. 'Purple Sand'
Pic 2 to 5 - Broms in back garden - sideways sorry - old pics

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