Bromeliads - Autumn 2015

Christchurch, New Zealand

taking Nev's suggestion of starting a new thread...

With all the lovely pictures it can take ages for those on dial up.
I 'borrowed' Nev's pic of Neo. Blake Street Beauty from his last post as it is a stunner.

cheers - Teresa

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Christchurch, New Zealand

for anyone who wants to back track, especially to see Nev's original pic of Neo. Blake Street Beauty & Brian's photo of the same variety seen from side on - we came from here...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1383878/

cheers - Teresa

Merino, Australia

Oops... I was working on a new thread at the same time as Teresa, She finished first so I have tried to delete my new one but cannot. Please ignore it and use this one Teresa was kind enough to do.
I am off to my hospital group this morning so will catch up later.
Jean.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

lol - great minds think alike :)

that is a lovely brom Jean.

Sun shining here & Sugar & I had a lovely walk, hopefully this weather will remain until tonight as I have a class to teach - only 2 lessons left, after that we will only train on Sundays.

cheers - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - Looks like we have new threads coming out of our ears; thanks so much Teresa and Jean for fulfilling my request, all we need now are some members to start posting again.

Has anyone heard from Shirley? She’s been missing for quite a while now I hope everything’s alright, also Colleen; I heard from her a little while back and she said she’d drop in but still hasn’t, Where are you Shirley and Colleen?

It’s a bit sad, but members come and go with some moving on to other bigger forums and I can understand they want to broaden their knowledge, but it would still be nice to hear from them once in a while. I know Tash started up a very successful brom thread on Face Book and some of our members appear on there from time to time; others visit the Bromeliad Forum which like this one is struggling a bit due to lack of members posting. I don’t know whether these are the reasons that our postings are down or just that members are too busy and time poor to be able to find time to post.

I also made an attempt to generate some more interest into the Bromeliad Forum (http://www.bromeliadforum.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=2261.330) when I started a new thread called “Let’s see some pictures” back on 6th June 2014 and in it I said:

“Hi everyone - As I said in my previous post, this forum has gone terribly quiet lately; I know members are reading the posts as my previous post was read by 45 members - Now if you just keep reading the posts without contributing, sooner or later there will be nothing left to read. For a forum to be really successful it needs more than just a small handful of regular contributors and I'm asking you all to help us pull this forum up out of the doldrums by participating and taking a more active part.

To attempt to put a bit of life back into our forum, I'm throwing out a challenge to you all to post just one picture of one of your brom's, it doesn't matter what it is, just one that you grow and like. You don't need to write a book to accompany it (but it would be nice all the same) but just post one picture so that we know you are at least interested in seeing this forum get back to the level it once was and continue to be a leading international bromeliad forum.

I'll start the ball rolling with a picture of Neo. 'Braz-el'; not a show winner, and not new, in fact it's been around here where I live in Australia for quite a while. I think it makes a nice feature in a garden with its three foot diameter and bright fresh colours. There is also an interesting history about it which can be found by looking up Neoregelia 'Braz-el' on the Bromeliad Cultivar Register.”

This thread is now on page 23 and has been read 7395 times. It has had about twenty members posting at various times throughout its life, however recently it’s back down to the same half dozen members posting with the three regulars being from N.Z., Africa, and myself from Australia. It seems people want to look at the pictures but aren’t willing to comment or participate themselves. After a while the regulars get sick of not having any support and they too drop out of the race and before you know it, the forum is no more. 7395 7395

I guess the bottom line is we are going the same way; we miss you all and would dearly love to hear from you all again on a regular basis, so please drop us a line and/or a picture.

All the best, Nev

Christchurch, New Zealand

so many groups have moved to Facebook...
but I miss the more personal and normally more civilised discussions on groups like this one.

Even on invite only FB groups you get people who seem to delight in 'trolling' and disrupting conversations.

cheers - Teresa

Merino, Australia

Hello Nev & Teresa.
Yes, I agree, sadly threads seem to just fade away.
I , myself , have never gone on FB as I like the personal chats we have here.
Its a shame that people get too busy also. I know I can be slow at posting sometimes, but thats because I only have a small garden area now and nothing much happens. I am also not buying and selling plants like I was so nothing new appears.

i have decided to keep all my broms now even if they are getting big.
I will take off the large pups, repot them and keep them until the hospital fete later in the year. That way they can be sold to help the hospital and I wont have to worry about postal charges either.
They should sell well as most of the plants I have seen there are the usual daisies , pansies etc.
I may even have the larger one as a raffle prize. Every bit helps the hospital.

I had my walk this morning and was glad I went early as the cold breeze came up later.
The sun is out now so may be a lovely day.

Teresa that pretty brom is neo Lovely Lady. very pretty with the pink blushes just showing .
Looking it up , I see it is nicely bred and should stay rather small.

I have another meyendorffi cross that I am hoping will show more color next season . Its neo meyendorffi x Medallion. The pic below is an old one, but its a still not colorful as I had hoped
it would be. Maybe next season and I'll put it out in more sun.

Time I went and had a cuppa. The maggies are late this morning and are just now calling me for breakfast.

take care and enjoy the day.
Jean.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi Teresa and Jean – Looks just like the two of us once again so I’ll just have to keep hoping that some of our other friends will drop in sooner or later. At least we are going a little better than the Bromeliad Forum (which I mentioned yesterday) as no one has posted on there since March 22, which is very sad as it was a wonderful forum with mountains of knowledge, and although all of the past posts are still accessible, I fear that if it doesn’t pick up soon it may be closed down; which is a terrible thought, a bit like burning a library of bromeliad books.

Teresa – I totally agree with everything you say about Face Book. I remember I was once looking through a great thread about a particular Neo when somehow two women got into an argument about a stolen plant at a show. Accusations were flying back and forth and it just went on and on and the original thread just disintegrated.

That was enough to turn me off Face Book in general; but in all fairness there are some good brom sites such as Tash’s “Buy, Swap, Sell Group Australia” of which Tash is the administrator and anyone who deviates from the brom topic or starts any trouble is given a warning and if they persist they are removed and banned from the site.

Jean – That’s a great plan you have to continue keeping all of your larger brom’s after all, and I think selling the surplus at the Hospital Fete or using them as a raffle prize will certainly make many other people realise just what wonderful plants they are; who knows, we may even score a few new members on here from some of the people who finish up with your surplus plants.

I have to agree with you when you say that Lovely Lady is a beautiful plant. However because of the way the names of new hybrids are now treated, very few people realise that this plant is one of the (now famous) Aussie Dream grex made by Bob Larnach of Wyee. Under the old system it would have been called Neo. Aussie Dream variety ‘Lovely Lady’ and everyone would know at a glance where it originated, but now with just registering the ‘Lovely Lady’ part of the name you have to surf the BCR to find these things out.

This plant is even nicer when grown in a tropical environment such as Thailand and to a lesser extent Far North Queensland. Because of the climate there, it’s possible to get a beautiful plant with perfect circular shape and many, many leaves. Neoregelia plants there seem to continually produce more leaves instead of pups and as all of the nourishment from the Mother goes into leaf production, the end result is a far superior looking plant.

Jean you also mention Neo. Meyendorffii which is a bit of a “can of worms” as you will see if you read the story at http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=5792#5792
It is thought to be a cv. of carolinae, but even that has a “?” on the BCR so I guess no one really knows. In part of the story Derek Butcher (The Brom Name “Detective”) has this to say about it:

“Neoregelia ‘Meyendorffii’ by Butcher Aug 2010.
This is a very common name in nursery circles and is used as a parent of hybrids BUT it has never been defined so nobody really knows what it should look like. With such a name like this we must refer to the writings of the past regarding identity as the taxonomists see it.
The name ‘Meyendorffii’ ( note spelling) started off as Billbergia meyendorffii by Regel in 1857.

After all this I think I know what to expect for the species N. carolinae but what about the names ‘Meyendorffii’ and ‘Marechalii’ that persist. It certainly has me confused in a day and age where only NEW names are considered the in-thing irrespective of quality.”

To confuse things even further, there are two distinctively different pictures of Neo. Meyendorffii on the FBCS site as well as one of Meyendorffii Minor (A smal growing form), and the BCR only shows a painting of the supposed plant in question. To confuse the issue even further, I also have three or four supposedly Meyendorffii plants which are all different again, so I’ll just continue to follow my rule and leave them with the name that was on them when I bought them until it’s proved to be incorrect by someone more knowledgeable than I.

After reading this and looking at the pictures, I think that people like me who are less knowledgeable about taxonomy, can only really sure of one thing; and that is, if it’s a hybrid, anything is possible.

Finally, I think the plant in your picture still has some growing to do yet Jean so maybe it will colour up more when it reaches adulthood.

I’ll finish today with five pictures of bromeliads grown in Thailand to support what I said about “leaf stacking” on bromeliads when grown under tropical conditions. The pictures were taken by Chanin Thurot who is a Thai “Brom Forum Friend” of mine; unfortunately I have long since misplaced the list of names that came with the pictures.

All the best, Nev

.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi Nev - is it just me or does the last pic resemble one of your variegated sport of Neo. Painted Lady seedlings...

it had similar colouration & those 'bites' out of the leaf tips.


http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=10037384&extraimg=2

big difference is the stripe on you seedling... - but maybe they have parentage in common?


cheers - Teresa

Merino, Australia

Good morning Nev & Teresa. Looks like its just us again.
Nev, those broms are so beautiful. Its marvellous how well they can get them to grow over in Thailand.
My favorite would be pic no. 1. It looks like a spiral staircase rising up.

i had a lovely surprise the other day, when moving my broms around. My neo Burnsies Spiral has been hiding behind the larger Burbank so I wasnt seeing a lot of the base. When I pulled it out , there was a nice pup looking at me.
I am so pleased as I thought it still had a lot of growing to do before pupping.
I will definitely get a pic of it , but not today. Its very dull outside after a lovely lot of rain overnight. There was rain during the day yesterday, but not much. Overnight , you could hear it on the roof.
The plants are all looking really fresh this morning. The broms dont get the rain on them now they are under the wide eaves, but still , the fresh damp air makes them sit up.

Nev, when I bought the little meyendorffii x Medallion , I had seen Medallion and really liked it so was hoping some of the traits would appear in the cross.
I am happy with it and it should get a lot more color next season. I had another brom just named Aussie Dream so probably a hybrid like you mentioned. There was another little one named as meyengorffii variegate, but I never saw any variegation and I wonder what the pretty little thing really was.
I do miss all the other broms as it would have been nice to see them grow up, but the ones I still have give me great pleasure anyway.

I am off to my group again this morning and it looks like I can walk down as the rain has gone for a while.
The best thing is , if I walk down and it rains later, I can get a ride back on the hospital bus which picks up the other ladies.

Teresa, how are things over your way. Your bill nutans must be getting really large now. The one I had on the half tree fern grew so quickly, it was hanging over the edges all around.
Hope Sugar is being a lovely lady .

I hope all our other friends are okay and we see them back soon. Time I was getting myself ready to go out. Take care

pic is neo Hannibal Lector...one of my favorites, but I thought too prickly to have here .

Jean

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Christchurch, New Zealand

hi Jean,
miss Sugar is being good - asleep for now...

Bil. nutans is not so big as I split it up, have a second pot with the ones I had put on the tree, I realised they were not close enough to the bark to take hold & were starting to lose colour so changed my plan & when they are a bit greener again I will give them to my Mum.

Both plants had pups on so the two should become four and go on from there.

I would imagine that being in closer quarters with your broms their ability to bite might affect the selection process.

Not the best pic as I was actually trying to photograph the fuchsia... however you can see Bil in the background :)

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – I say everyone because although it’s only Teresa and Jean who are posting, I’m sure there will be some others still looking in occasionally.

It’s quite cool here this morning with a cold southerly wind blowing so it looks like a bit more potting in the garage out of the cold.

Teresa – I’d say that plant in picture 5 does have similar leaf tips, but unfortunately that’s where the similarity ends. Imagine my plant with the same amount of leaves as the plant from Thailand; Wow! Wouldn’t that be something?

The seedling you mentioned (which seemed to have bites out of the leaf tips) is from the same grex as another which doesn’t have any variegation but is quite plain but with red leaf tips. I’ll see if I can find a picture and post it tomorrow.

Jean – I have found that Neo. ‘Burnsie’s Spiral’ is a very popular plant; I took three to the sale last Saturday and sold them all within about fifteen minutes, so it’s just not you and I that like them. When I first bought mine, (several years ago now) I was told two incorrect bits of information from a so called “expert”

Firstly, they only ever pup from between the leaves and never from the base like normal Neo’s do, and secondly, they only ever have the variegations in the green and white and don’t colour up in any other way.

Both bits of information are incorrect, as they do pup from the base as well as between the leaves and they do get that lovely pink flush though the foliage.

I had several plants at one time so I thought I would try a little experiment; the oldest one I had was a couple of feet high and after removing several pups from between the lower leaves, the bottom 12” of the stalk was bare of leaves and looked quite ugly.

I decided to cut the stalk off at the level of the bottom leaves and then after removing a few leaves, I planted it in a pot the same way as you would plant a pup. The pot with the remaining piece of stalk in it was given a double dose of Osmocote and put away with the old mother plants in the “Retirement Home”.

About twelve months later the top half of the plant was firmly rooted and had produced another two pups, one from the base and anther about halfway up the plant. As well as this, it was also showing a faint pink flush through the foliage which was to me an added bonus.
This then prompted me to look at the old bare stalk which I had forgotten all about and when Ifound it I was surprised to see that it had produced several pups (Five I think from memory) at various locations up the stalk. They were all about six inches in height and as it was early spring I decided to remove them and pot them up separately.

The pups all grew well and the old “Mother Stalk” continued to produce a few more pups before it eventually withered away and died.

So you see it’s not always wise to accept what the experts tell you as being “gospel”; it may well be what has happened to them under their growing conditions, but that doesn’t mean these plants will always perform in the same way for all other growers.

Just as a final note, I had a similar experience with Vr. ospinae var. gruberii; after having removed several pups, I treated it in the same way by removing the upper half of the plant.

I treated the remaining lower half with an overdose of Osmocote as I had with the ‘Burnsie’s Spiral’ and it went on to produce eleven more pups in total, allof which went on to grow into mature plants.

As for your little Neo Meyendorfii variegated (with no variegation), this doesn’t surprise me as I have several variegated plants which are probably the most unstable variegated plants I have in my whole collection (See Pic.1). Usually when a plant loses its variegation the grower is encouraged to write NOVAR after the name. This simply tells the buyer that it came from a variegated plant but is showing no variegation itself.

This was often a problem in many countries where people would buy a pup from a supposedly variegated plants which would have no variegation showing at all.
Someone in the US came up with this idea of writing NOVAR after the name and it somehow has found its way to Australia. NOVAR is just an abbreviation for NO VARiegation.
In most cases these plants don’t ever get the variegation back again, but not in all cases as there are cases where the NOVAR plant has produced variegated pups once more.

You also say you had another plant just named ‘Aussie Dream’, this doesn’t surprise me after all of the arguments that went on over this particular grex back when it was registered. As I’ve mentioned before, prior to this, brom’s followed the orchid method of naming plants where the whole grex was named (in this case “Aussie Dream”) and select clones were given a varietal name e.g Aussie Dream var. Lovely Lady.

When the system changed each plant was registered with the equivalent of what the varietal name would have been but with no mention of the grex name.

The BSI (http://registry.bsi.org/index.php?fields=&id=2992&search=aussie dream) explains ‘Aussie Dream’ like this:

“A grex name for 'Meyendorffii' (variegated) X olens 'Marie'. No individual clones have been given this name by the hybridist. However, plants of all shapes and sizes, grown from stock from this source may have been called 'Aussie Dream' and are incorrect because there is no photographic record to authenticate an 'Aussie Dream'.

Authentic cultivar names given include - 'Big Pinkie', 'Cherry Chip', 'Classic', 'Downunder Gem', 'Dream Girl', 'Dreamtime', 'Glorious', 'Grand Albo', 'Great Expectation', 'Gympie', 'Larnach's Pride', 'Little Lady', 'Little Ol', 'Lovely Lady', 'Lucky Seven', 'Midnight Express', 'Oh', 'Pink Delight', 'Queensland', 'Red Glow', 'Red Pride', 'Rosie', 'Shining Example', 'Something Special', 'Superba', 'Tartan Princess' & 'Touch of Class'.

So you see, as well as the 27 registered clones, there are probably many more getting around with ”pet names” as well as many more still carrying the original grex name of Aussie dream.
A “Can of Worms” you say I couldn’t agree more.

As for Neo ‘Hannibal Lector’, a very attractive brom but as you say, “too prickly” so I sold my remaining plant at the sale. The lady who bought it got a bargain, 5 plants in the pot with two pups for $25, that’s less than $5 per plant.
See what you’ve done Jean, you’ve got me stirred up and raving once more so I’d better go.

I’ve had so many interruptions today and am just now getting around to finishing this post at 4.40pm; not bad when I started at about 5.00am.

By the way Teresa, I can see the Billbergias in the pot though, and they look good and standing up nice and straight.

I’ll finish with a few pic’s and Pic 1 is a prime example of some very unstable Meyendorffii mini plants which all came from the same mother plant. Pic’s 4 – 5 are of some more brom’s in Thailand.

All the best, Nev.

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi to anyone who's looking in - I guess there's no one posting this early so I'll just be brief (if that's possible) and share a little information.

We all know that when using fertilisers which are too high in Nitrogen, the colour will be drained from the foliage of your Neo’s and Bill’s, so I’ve always aimed for a fertiliser (when I have time to use one) with an N:P:K which is higher in “K” (Potassium) than “N” Nitrogen.

Here’s a little bit of information I read about to improve the foliage colour in Neo’s and Billbergias by adding Potassium in a liquid form; I’ve used it myself and it does work for me .

I read the following article in a Bromeliad Society’s newsletter some time ago:

“CONDY’S CRYSTALS - (Potassium permanganate)
Use Condy’s Crystals to provide Potash (Potassium) in a liquid form. Just add to water until water is dark pink in colour and water the whole plant. A few drops in a bucket of water, will turn the water pink. Controls powdery mildew and is used by some gardeners to kill ants in potted plants. It is toxic to worms!”

As I’ve always been very wary about vague measurements such as above (“a few drops” in a bucket of water) and I couldn’t get it in liquid form so I couldn’t add “a few drops”.

As all I could find was in crystal form and after much experimenting I have found the following to be successful. I use a plastic type measuring spoon of the type provided with “Manutec” products. It has a 1gm measure on one end and 5gm measure on the other and is extremely handy (See picture). Using this, I measure out 1.5gm and mix it with 100litres of water.

This is then sprayed all over my brom’s (saturating the foliage and into the potting mix as well) using the garden hose with a watering wand attached. The hose is connected to a swimming pool pump which draws from 100 litre tank. You obviously don’t need to make up 100 litres and you can break it down by reducing the amount of water and crystals.

When looking for Condy’s Crystals, you would be better off looking for it under its chemical name which is Potassium Permanganate or Permanganate of Potash. It is available at chemist shops and some produce stores or places that sell equine supplies.

To read more about it go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_permanganate

Condy’s Crystals has several other uses to those I have mentioned and you can read about them at:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/life-style/9095074/Busting-myths-Garden-tips-you-can-rely-on

The picture shows the type of plastic measure I use and which is found in "Manutec" products such as Bloom Booster.

All the best, Nev.

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Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Starting to get cool overnight around here.

It has been a busy week and today we are going to ride around on Sydney Harbour and have some lunch on a 'tall ship' (I think).

Last weekend there was an open day at the Larnach nursery at Wyee so I went and had a look, lots of plants there and some beauties on display.

Anyway, here are some of the plants bought, they are not named.
Pic 5 is a Alc. odorata from Nev's sale.

Brian

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Merino, Australia

Hello all.
Its a nippy morning here , but fine . Lots of cloud about as we had some lovely rain yesterday and the night before.

Teresa, your bill does look healthy and really should have a friend...lol
I am sure you could find one around somewhere. You could always put them in a really sheltered spot over winter and enjoy some lovely color for the rest of the year.
Great to know Sugar is being quite the lady now.
I hope things are going well on the work front for you too.

Brian , some nice looking broms there. I would say the prickly fellow in pic 4 would be a dyckia.
I had a few that came with a collection , but I didnt like them much.
As far as I know they are still growing among the weeds at the old house. I left them to their own devices and they thrived. Way too many prickles to be handled, as they grew quite large.

Nev, thanks for the links. Always interesting to read about broms.
Names can be a real puzzle at times and not only on broms.
How many times does one go into nurseries etc and see plants simply labelled as bromeliad or hebe or lilium ?
I suppose most people buy simply for the pretty flowers or leaves, but it does make things hard when someone will decide to give their little plant a name which could stick and be assumed to be its proper name when sold or given away.

I love the pics of more of the Thai broms.
The color in the one in pic 2 is so beautiful.

I am going to try your experiment on cutting the top from Burnsies Spiral once the pup is big enough to remove.
It is definitely growing from the base and I will keep an eye on as it gets bigger.

I hope everyone else is okay out there.
The magpies are looking at me through the screen door . Poor starving things...lol
Better feed them before they faint from hunger.

A couple of old pics today. I still havent taken new ones.
guzmanias Joyce and Scarlet Lady.

take care
Jean.

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shellharbour, Australia

Brian – You’re lucky to have got that Alcantarea odorata, because if I’d seen it I would have grabbed it myself as I don’t have that particular species.

I went to Bob Larnach’s nursery many years ago and it was a big set up then. Bob’s son was installing an automatic watering system at that time as they were doing it all up. I expect it’s even bigger now.

Just for the record, Bob Larnach is the hybridiser who bred the famous Neo. 'Aussie Dream' grex, and he also has another 65 registered hybrids to his credit, mainly Neo’s and Vrieseas. As I look at your unnamed purchases, am I to understand they were purchased from Wyee? If so, the first one could well be one of the many forms from the 'Aussie Dream' grex and likewise the Vrieseas may well be a couple of his hybrids as well. As for the Dyckia, all I know about these is that they are too prickly for me.

Jean – I didn’t know there was a Guzmania ‘Joyce’; I have a Guzmania ‘Hilda’ which was bred by Deroose of Belgium and released in Australia after being tissue cultured. When I checked up on 'Joyce', I find that is also a Deroose plant and was possibly imported into Australia as tissue cultured material as well.

I have a Guz ‘Scarlet Lady’ also and the bright colour is always an “eye opener”. There isn’t one registered with that name although Deroose did tissue culture one called Guz. ‘Scarlet’ and I’m wondering now if someone in an Australian nursery added a bit to the name to make it more attractive sounding to catch the buyer’s attention and increase sales. It has been done before; I mean look at Ae. gamospeala which never really moved until it was marketed as the “Match Stick Brom”.

Jean you say, “I suppose most people buy simply for the pretty flowers or leaves” and this is very true. I had a friend who once sold his brom’s at markets and although he knew the names, he never bothered to put a name tag on any of them; when I asked him why, he simply said “people aren’t interested in names, they just buy because they like the colours”. Even at our brom sale just last week, a lady bought two brom’s and promptly took out the names and put them in the bin saying she thought they detracted from the look of the plant.

Selling unnamed plants is still very common all over the country in many of our markets, and even the large suppliers like Nurseries, Bunnings, K-Mart and Big-W etc. still sell their plants with only the generic name (Bromeliad) which suggests the name is of little importance and the plants are just meant to take the place of a bunch of flowers.

I suppose the same can be said for the brom’s mass produced for this purpose which applies mainly to Guzmanias, Vrieseas and Aechmea fasciata. These were all originally mass produced in Belgium, then Holland and sent all over Europe as competition for the cut flower market. Because the weather wasn't always suitable for growing these and other flowering plants, people simply bought a brom in flower as a substitute for a bunch of flowers, (and when you think about it, it was a much better financial solution to buy a brom which stayed in colour often for many months as opposed to a bunch of flowers which lasted only a week or so).When the colour eventually faded, the plant was tossed in the bin and another purchased.

Fortunately in Australia, although these plants are sold for this purpose, we are lucky enough in our climate to be able to grow them on after flowering and have them in our collections for many years. However this is the reason why there are so many unnamed green leaved type Vrieseas and Guzmanias in this country.

One of the earliest brom’s to be introduced into cultivation from the wilds of Brazil for decorative purposed was Ae. fasciata; this was introduced into Belgium in 1826. Apart from the botanists and collectors, it was grown mainly as a substitute for cut flowers (for the rich) and was commonly called the “Urn Plant” or “Silver Vase” (No mention of its real name). It became so popular it was eventually tissue cultured and it is still the biggest seller in the world today being mass produced by the millions and still exported mainly from Belgium to countries all over the world including Australia where you can regularly see them on sale at Bunnings.

Sorry, I've got off the track and started raving once again so I’ll finish again with a few more beauties from Thailand, including another with "bites" out of the leaf tips just for Teresa (Pic.5).

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Good morning.
Looks like just Nev and myself this morning.
Nev, thats interesting about the different hybridisers and their broms.

Yes, vr Joyce was one I bought as a mini and it has stayed a nice size. It now has about 4 pups . vr Scarlet Lady was one you sent me and it certainly is a beauty .

evn if only green when not in flower.
The mini Joyce gets a lovely lemon color all over the top before the flower stem rises. It does not rise as high as some of the bigger vrieseas, but very pretty being all lemon yellow.

Its just as well i dont live in Thailand or anywhere over in Asia with all those fantastic broms. I would be wanting them all.
I like very much, the last one in your pics, even though they are all so wonderful.

At the moment here , I am concentrating on my brugmansias which are all about to burst into wonderful flowers. The broms are sitting quietly , just growing their pups.
I moved a few more plants around yesterday.
I love moving the plants around as the seasons change.
In another month or so, all the broms will be hiding behind the brugmansias for the winter. The pots of bulbs are coming out to the front now. As I always say, gardening is like musical chairs. Plants are forever being moved around.

Teresa, how is your garden doing ?
Did you get any further work done on the damaged areas?

I hope the work front is going well too.

Brian, you have definitely joined the ranks of thr bromaholics...lol
I see large shadehouses in your future..
You are getting a lovely collection and are lucky to be close to some of the great breeders.

Not much more from here. I really must get the camera out again while the weather is fine. The sun is back but winter is sneaking in with the colder nights now.


Hope all our other friends are well.

Still a few older pics today.

pic 1...the alcantereas I had which I sold as they were getting very big.

pic 2... a pup which I kept, from the large alcanterea .

pic 3... another brom which I kept out of curiosity as to what is will grow like.
It was labelled as aechmea Hawaiian pectinata, but it looks more like neo to me. I like the unusual markings and they are getting more pronounced as it grows.

take care
Jean.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Sugar had her first trip to the beach yesterday...
she loved it.

I should be out in the garden but after the morning at dog club I am shattered.

I was so annoyed with myself at the beach, I made sure to take my camera. But I didn't check the memory card was in before we left - it was still in my lap top from downloading the day before.

I did get some snaps using my phone but the pis I missed would have been crackers.

take care all
Teresa

Christchurch, New Zealand

I didn't have a 'choose file' button when I posted but did when I posted in the tea room - so if you would like to see Sugar at the beach - follow the link :)


http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=10044382


cheers - Teresa

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Big week done and dusted thank goodness and next week and even bigger week as I am covering someone’s role while they are on annual leave.

Yesterday was lovely as woke up early and I watered all my broms just on day break then we went to the beach for a couple of hours and I read one of my brom books while Joe read the newspaper; then the rest of the day was spent in the garden weeding and cleaning up a brom garden bed that I had neglected for some time where I have broms growing under a bonsai looking bottle-brush shrub, it’s a lovely shrub that produces beautiful flower the birds really enjoy but it really does make my broms messy so I need to give them a good flush out every couple of month and sometimes use a paintbrush to get some of the tiny leaves out that just don’t won’t to budge sometimes.

Today we had friends over for breakfast and then a brom collector friend coming over with his wife to check out my brom collection; then the rest of the day will be spent doing little odd jobs around the place but nothing too hectic given we have the Easter long weekend coming up and can tackle some of larger jobs then. We sent our Brom friend home with a few extra Broms and Orchids as gifts and they were thrilled to bits and excited about going home to find spots for all of them.

Hi Teresa thanks heaps for starting this new thread and Jean you too for also starting one at the same time LOL; like Teresa said “Great Minds Think Alike”; very much appreciated as the other thread was getting too long to scroll to the bottom each time.

Both you’re Bill. and Fushsia are looking lovely, seems like a perfect spot for them.

What’s Sugar been up to, does she enjoy been in the garden with her mummy like my girls do. I just opened the beautiful picture of Sugar on the beach having the time of her life by the looks of things, doe she like going for a swim?

Hi Brian no worries, it’s so easy to miss posts when pressing the send button and normally I am in such a rush I don’t have time to go back in and check if I missed any posts.

Nice broms you brought at Nev’s Brom Society, great choices that you made and sure you have found a wonderful spot for them in your garden.

Hi Jean hope you are freeing up some room with getting rid of some of your bigger broms, sure it would be a hard decision to make but good that the one’s you will get will be much easier for you to handle and move around. I recently cut pups off a few of my big broms and felt tired by the fifth one like I should have trained for the task; mind you it was in the middle of summer and the humidity was a killer.LOL. Lovely Vriesea pics you posted on 18/3; I especially like Pic 1 of Ae. ‘La Tigra’ with it’s stunning flower.

I noticed during the week that my Vriesea ‘Splendrite’ is flowering for the first time so I am thrilled to bits about that as I know they can be temperamental to grow but lucky for me we get warm weather and good humidity which is exactly what they luv the most to grow well.

Hi Nev thanks we did not receive any wind damage from Cyclone ‘Nathan’ or any rain at all for that matter as with the direction it was going it pretty much sucked everything up and away from us; this year so far has been so dry and the wetlands behind us are totally bone dry compared to last year.

Great to hear your Workshop went well with such a great turnout than what was expected; the “Do it Yourself Workshop” sounded very interesting and I liked hearing how one of the members grows their Cryptanthus and look forward trying to grow some of mine this way as mine have never really done that well not that I have many in my collection. I found a few neglected ones under the Bottle-brush today and need to do some work on them or I could possibly loose them as they currently look very sad.

Thanks for putting my name down for Bill. ‘Stephen Stone’, very much appreciated whenever you can. I too have many people’s names down for certain broms and I still have not got a pup off some of them for myself so wait time can be very long considering I like to keep more than one pup with some in my collection.

Pleased to hear you liked the Sedge Frog, there is so very many of them in our garden and when they breed and hatch the lawn is alive with them like you would not believe and the best way to see them is when the mower is going and we see them jumping to get out of the way; it happens once a year I think around late Nov into Dec and we mow ever so slow to give them time to hop away. It’s great that you have frogs in your yard and like you I find them very interesting and am pleased they have taken up residence in our garden and adopt a brom and in turn provide all my broms with great free fertiliser from all their droppings.

Luved the pics of your Spotted Honey Eater, they look like regular nesters around you garden like the little Sunbirds we get here that are always building nests everywhere.

Congratulations, great sales you made at the Brom Society and hope it freed up some extra bench space around your garden; every little bit helps doesn’t it and now I can imagine you will be busy removing/potting up pups and filling all the gaps if you haven’t done so already.

Nev I sent Shirley an email a while back to check all is well and got an email back saying all was fine but that they were flat out busy; it was lovely hearing from her as I too miss seeing Shirley on this forum as well as Colleen but can totally appreciate how hard it is to make time sometimes with the busy lives we all lead. Remember I used to be on here all the time but of late not as often as I would like and I am disappointed about that because I really enjoy chatting with you all as everyone is so lovely and caring and just a shame we all live so far apart otherwise I would be on your door steps popping in for a cuppa every now and then for sure. I don’t do FB or am I part of any other forums, this forum is pretty much all I have time to participate in and even then not as much as I would like but when I can I like nothing more than to log on and chat with all my Brom Buddies here and share in each other’s lives and be there for one another; that’s why my threads are so long because I always have so much to catch-up on LOL.

Nev those Meyendorffii pics are absolutely stunning, gotta luv the “leaf stacking’, not something easily achieved and I wonder what your friend’s secret is in growing them so beautifully? Would you think it would need more regular feeding than other types so it grows quicker to achieve the “leaf stacking”?

Nev I will check out the name of the Vriesea picture I posted a while back with no name as I think it’s different to the one you thought it might be but will check and advise.

I still have a lot of posts to read that I have missed but for today I will have to stop as I need to take my friends to the airport shortly and want to upload pics and then get ready to go.

I look forward to hopefully catching-up with you all during the week my beautiful friends.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Trish - glad you liked the pics of Sugar at the beach.
She likes the water - I was worried about her drinking it, she is used to the river.
She can't spend time with me in the front yard - fences are too low, she has to stay in the back yard but she supervises me from there :)

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Another nice day here today so more work out among the bromeliads.

Jean – I too have often thought about how nice it would be to live in Thailand in the tropics among those spectacular bromeliads, but then I remember the humidity and the cyclones which soon brings me out of my daydream.

You say you sold your Alcantareas as they were getting too big, and I too have found the same problem; although they are spectacular plants some do grow to an enormous size and take up a lot of space.

I’ve heard of Ae Hawaiian pectinate before on one of the brom forums a couple of years ago and from what I remember it’s just like the common one which can be enormous (Mine was over three feet across) except it’s a smaller form. From what I can see of the markings on the pup you have posted, they look very similar to the markings on the larger form I have as well so it will be interesting to see just how large it does grow to.

Teresa – If the look on Sugar’s face in yesterday’s pic is anything to go by, she’s having a ball at the beach. We had a dog once who my eldest son would take to the beach and he would give it rides on his surf board with him. When it was time to go home, he wouldn’t get out of the water without a struggle and preferred to just dog-paddle around out of reach.
I think in today’s picture, she is saying let me out and take me to the beach again please.

Trish – Nice to see you able to post again, we’ve missed your interesting posts.

Regarding cleaning the small leaves out of your brom’s, I have the same trouble with the ones beneath our Peppercorn Tree and how I overcame it was to use an old wet/dry vacuum I have. It’s dose the job very well.

You’re lucky to be able to grow and flower Vriesea ‘Splendrite’; I have no chance down here as it’s too cold sensitive top handle our winters and just takes one step forward and two steps backwards. I did grow it well one year with an especially mild winter but no luck ever since; a beautiful plant never the less.

It’s great to hear that Cyclone ‘Nathan’ didn’t bother to visit you; that’s one sort of visitor you can certainly do without.

Regarding our workshop, it seems that we all learned something out of it especially about growing Cryptanthus. It seems that the secret is to grow them in African Violet potting mix, so I think I might give them one more try as I do like them.

Regarding the “leaf stacking”, I’m quite convinced it’s to do with the tropical environment. I’ve even noticed that some of the growers up in Cairns and “points north” even get leaf stacking to a certain degree but it doesn’t seem as common as in Thailand. I’ve spoken to my friend and as far as fertilisers go, they use similar types as we do here except different brands of course and there are also many who prefer to go the organic route the same as some growers here.

You have pic’s of some beautiful Neo’s here in your garden as usual but the little thing that jumps out at me are the leaves on the Billbergias that have been trimmed. The fact that they have just been lopped straight across spoils the appearance of the plant.

A better way to do it is to cut the tip off one leaf and then place that “off cut” over each leaf in turn you wish to trim. Using this as a template, you then trim the leaf around the edge of the template and the leaf is neatly trimmed in the same natural shape of the leaf instead of the previous rough looking cut made straight across.

I’ll just finish now with a few more pic’s from Thailand as I’ve been very slack and still haven’t taken any new ones of my own plants yet. The first four are of Neoregelias and the fifth is of a very unusual and beautiful variegated Ae. bracteata.

All the best, Nev

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Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Been a busy weekend, thought we were going out on a tall ship harbour cruise on Saturday. It was looking good at the wharf with the replica ship sitting there, then our ancient ferry pulls up next to it and we have to get on it, lovely boat that it was.

We went to Goat island for a very interesting tour. It has a rich history dating back to the convict days where it was used as an ammunition and gun powder storage area. Today Parks and Wildlife run it but there is only one family that live there.

Jean, you must be psychic because as you were saying in your post that you could see shadehouses in the future I was removing some Murraya bushes to build one (pic below).
I hope these bushes tolerate being moved

Teresa, Sugar looks like she is body surfing the wave at the beach, either that or getting taken out. Looks like she loves the water.

Nev, yes the rest of the pics in the last post came from Wyee. They have an open day once a year, seems like they have quite a few shadehouses growing lots of large plants. Not as many plants as Arboglen who are the Flower Power growers, they have plants as far as you can see,
couldn't see any bromeliads though.

Trish, glad to hear you escaped any damage from all the cyclones recently, I suppose you get used to it every year.

Pic 1 I thought this one always was shriveled up, but looks like thats the way it is.
pics 2 - 4 My wife says I am wrecking the yard. She might be right.
Pic 5 One of Nev's plants Ae. red ribbons.

Brian

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Watered my Vriesea's before the daylight faded away as they were looking a little bit thrifty.

Teresa pleased to hear Sugar likes the water and does not mind going for a swim, the salt water is fantastic for here coat and if she happens to drink some here body will automatically bring the saltwater up if she drinks too much and the main thing she has access to fresh drinking water after she will be fine.

We too have a very short fench out front of our place so I have to supervise the girls when I am out there gardening in case they try doing a runner or see a cat ha ha. Luved the picture of Sugar waiting at the gate, does she cry when she sees you in the front garden or does she just stare and wait for her mummy. Lucy gives me a little tiny sook every now and then to let me know she is there, she hates being away from me for too long as we are gardening buddies by rights and she can't understand why she can't join me sometimes.

Nev it's good to be back posting again though at times I just simply run out of time but when I can I do because it's the only time out I get when I get home in the evening and sometimes I am just too tired to even log on and it's good to give my eye's a bit of a rest every now and then.

Luv your idea of using your wet and dry vaccume to clean your broms under your peppercorn tree, would be so much quicker than trying to flush them out and using paint brush like I am currently doing as takes me forever to clean a small area of about 25 broms.

I too think Vriesea 'Spendrite' is a beautiful plant and am looking forward to getting some pics of it in flower for the first time and will post pics to share with everyone here.

Thanks once again for the info on the Cryptanthus, on the weekend I put aside the ones I have that are not doing so well and will look at repotting over Easter as I fear I will lose them if I leave them as they currently are in old mix and stability is very poor or non existent where some are just touching the medium or laying on there side, but they are multiplying just that the pups are weak because mums weak too.

Thanks also for the feedback on "Leaf Stacking" and good to know its more to do with climate than fertilisers.

Pleased to hear you liked my brom pics from yesterday, I had not got around to shaping the
Bill. with the straight cut leaves oops ha ha because I am currently in the middle of cleaning up the area after such a dreadful summer but all in all I am pleased with how well some of the broms have coped given they are in full sun. I will most definitely give your template for leaf cutting a go while I'm off for Easter as sounds like an easy way of doing.

Lovely pics you posted from Thailand, I especially liked Pic 3, very pretty and vibrant and has a nice shine to it.

Anyway must head off as early wakeup and sorry no pics tonight as I am on the Tablet so no pics to grab and upload to share.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Townsville, Australia

Hi Brian, sorry we appear to have posted at the same time but I have plum ran out of time so will catch you tomorrow.

Cheers

Trish

Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - those Thai broms are lovely, I guess if someone was really keen you could try having a hot house set up with humidifiers etc...
when I win lotto I'll give it a try & let you know the results ;)

Trish - Sugar is pretty good if I am gardening, she will either watch me or go for a nap in the sun.
She will bark if she hears noises from over the fence, so that is the only time I worry as I don't want her disturbing the neighbours.

If I am inside she will bang on the back door to be let inside... she is a typical Dalmatian & prefers her humans at close range. They have been dubbed velcro dogs for that reason.

Brian - I think the pic of her body surfing was a lucky shot taken just as she was swept up by the wave... she was not so keen on going too far out after the second time that happened. She can swim well enough that I wasn't afraid for her safety but she isn't like my old girl who thought she was a labrador...
We called her Chita the croco-dal.

Looks like you are going to be busy making modifications to the back yard. Also looks like you have well & truly caught the brom bug :)

cheers - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It’s a bit too early to tell what sort of day it’s going to be today as it’s still dark at 4.30am as I start my post, but still the best part of the day as far as I’m concerned as everything’s quiet and no distractions means I can think better.

Brian – Goat Island sounds like a very interesting place with lots of history. It would be interesting to be the only family living there in that old house if only to find out if there’s any ghosts still in residence.

We once went on a very interesting day tour of Fort Denison and that has quite a history as well. We were fortunate as it was a beautiful sunny day and while we sat out in the courtyard having lunch, the sun suddenly disappeared and the whole place was taken over by shadow and surprisingly it was caused by an enormous container ship going past. It was quite a novelty for an old country boy like me, but the locals never even blinked an eye as it was pretty normal for them and they were used to it.

Brian, what is that plant in your first picture? It seems to me like it wants a drink as usually when leaf edges cup up like that, it’s Mother Nature telling you it’s trying to capture water; on the other hand, when the leaves are bending down or in the case of some soft leaved plants where the leaf edges are curved downward, it means that it has too much water and is trying to shed some. I was told that by an old nurseryman many years ago when I was just a kid.

A good tip when transplanting any plant, is first of all, give it a good drenching of Seasol the day before digging it out. Just prior to digging it out, trim back a good percentage of the foliage as this takes some of the stress from the plant by lessening the need to support so much growth, and finally after it has been re-planted, another good drink of Seasol which helps enormously in the prevention of transplant shock.

Don’t forget the old rule about when building a new shade house; firstly build it twice as large as you think you need to and secondly, only buy half the amount of plants you think you need, and I guarantee it will soon be found to be too small.

Just for the record, Ae. Red Ribbon needs good light to retain its colour; too much shade will turn that nice light green foliage to dark green and you lose the contrast with the red lineation. It’s a plant that also does well if mounted on a tree. It also produces an interesting pendulous inflorescence of seemingly iridescent like red berries and tiny white flowers.Actually I've just noticed I've made a "boo boo" with the name, it should be 'Red Ribbon' not 'Red Ribbons' as its written; no "s".

Trish – It always nice to hear from you whenever you find time to post. How’s Joe going with his orchids? Probably like you, flat out trying to keep up with what needs doing due to long work hours away from the garden. Orchids, like Brom’s are pretty forgiving though, and will still be there when you find time to work on them.

Using the wet and dry vac for cleaning out the centre of brom’s was a “spur of the moment” idea, however what I did find out is that it’s better to hold the end of the nozzle at an angle rather than straight so that it doesn’t put so much suction on the centre of the plant that could damage it. Don’t forget to empty the vacuum afterwards either, I didn’t empty mine immediately as I intended doing the plants in the front garden the following day but something came up and I forgot about it for about a week. I was in the garage and couldn’t work out where the rotten smell was coming from until I realised I hadn’t emptied the old vac. I found that it had sucked out a few old rotten flower heads from the centre of some Neo’s and boy, didn’t it stink when I eventually opened it up to empty it, almost knocked my head off with the smell.

As for the information on Cryptanthus I posted, I forgot to say that the chap who gave the short talk at the workshop said they are very quick to take root, however they are like any other bromeliad in as much as they must be firm and unable to move around hence the use of a rubber band around the plant and the pot to hold them firmly.

Teresa – There’s lots of things we could do to grow better plants if we had loads of money, starting with a huge temperature controlled greenhouse with automatic watering and feeding systems, foggers and humidifiers, fans, heaters, insect detection units and automatic application of insecticides as well as fungus detection and automatic application of fungicides and so it goes on. But where would the challenge or pleasure be for the grower in growing plants under these conditions? Those plants would be grown mechanically by technology and not manually by the grower. There certainly wouldn’t be any satisfaction in it for the grower.

I didn’t see the picture of Sugar surfing yesterday when I opened up that site, I only found the one pic of her running on the beach, but today I can see the lot and she’s having a wow of a time isn’t she?

To finish with today I thought I’d do something a bit different and show you what I meant in a previous post when I wrote about tissue culture and mass production. The two main nurseries mentioned in these pictures are Corn bak Nursery in the Netherlands and Deroose Plants in Belgium.

It is hard to contemplate the size of some of these nurseries but to give just one example, Corn bak in the Netherlands have greenhouses covering 42,000 square metres and statistics provided state that every year, ten million seedlings of 8 - 10 cm tall each are shipped from a nursery in Assendelft, Netherlands, to more than 50 countries in the world. With such a fantastic number, Corn Bak nursery becomes one of the biggest bromeliad companies known worldwide.

Pic.1 is the Deroose laboratory where the tissue culture takes place, Pic.2 shows lab assistants transplanting tissue culture plantlets, Pic.3 shows some of the millions of plants in one of the huge Deroose greenhouses, Pic.4 shows the enormity of one of the greenhouses at Corn Bak nursery while Pic.5 shows the end result with a massive greenhouse full of flowering Vrieseas ready for shipping……..and I thought I had space problems!

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

wow - Nev that is a massive operation.
I see what you mean about the challenge going out of growing when everything is automated.
But I'd still like that lotto win & a nice hot house - perhaps something like the English stately homes with huge conservatories attached.
A nice tropical oasis full of broms, orchids & a brugmansia or two...
Dreams are free :)

Townsville, Australia

Just got home from work and I'm knackered so will catch up with you all hopefully tomorrow but just thought I would drop in for a quick peek before bed.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - Where ever you are – It seems everyone is taking a spell from posting once again so I won’t say too much today except, a big “Hi” and get well soon for anyone on the sick list.

As for those of you who are time poor, I hope you can find a little time in the near future to slip in here occasionally and drop us a line, a picture or both.

Teresa – You can read all you like about these large tissue culturing organisations but it doesn’t really sink in until you see pictures of the actual magnitude of their operations. I know the first time I saw the pic’s I was “gob-smacked”.

I’ve heard of the saying, “a champagne taste on a beer income but, “something similar to an English stately home with huge conservatory attached creating a nice tropical oasis full of broms, orchids & a brugmansia or two”...........As Michael Caton said in the Australian movie “The Castle”…………… “tell her she’s dreaming”.

Trish – Sorry to hear you haven’t time to post much today, best put your feet up and relax and we’ll see you next time for a longer chat.

Just a little feedback about a question asked on here in a previous post; I don’t remember who asked, but the question was about the Thai brom’s and was the leaf stacking was due to fertiliser.

I looked up an old Brom Forum thread where those Thai pic’s had been shown, and that the same question had been asked. My brom friend Chanin Thurot who took the pic’s, asked some of the growers and this was his answer, “I'm hear that they to start the plants off with some food and then never again”.

All I can say is that I start my pups of with a little food and often they don’t get any more either, but I don’t get leaf stacking like that and that’s what led me to think it could be the climate.

Time to go and just another change with the pictures this morning. I though instead of the same old same old pic’s of brom’s over and over, just for a change I’d show a few of the different types of containers used for brom growing.

These pic’s were taken at a Thai brom show and as you can see, it very different to our shows. We have a standard type of pot we use for showing as the judging here is of the plant and not the pot.

In Thailand however they judge the whole lot, “plant and pot” as a complete package as they consider it all to be part of the competitor’s artistic skill with the correct selection of pot to properly compliment the plant. Who knows, some of you might just get some ideas from this.

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. Its a lovely morning here. A bit of cloud but warm and mild.
I am off again to look at more cars today . There are not many places around here so I may still have to go over to SA and see what Mt Gambier has to offer.

Nev, interesting pics with the broms & containers. I love the one on the wood.
Those pics of the huge brom operations are certainly mind boggling.
Imagine how many workers are employed.
It is marvellous how they get all the plants flowering at once and at a small size too.
One only wonders at the fate of most of them later. Probably destined to be tossed once finished blooming.
Sad really, but then thats business.

My broms are all enjoying the mild weather and looking so pretty.
I finally took some new pics .

My brugmansias are all full of buds , so that will my focus for a few weeks as I want to get pics of a couple of crosses that have not flowered before.
I have some registered and may be lucky to get another good enough.

Trish, I hope you are having some rest as its no fun to be flat out busy all the time.
Hard to combine having to work and then finding time to enjoy the garden.
Hope your mum is well and loving the pups from her broms.

Brian, tell your wife you are beautifying the yard....lol
She will love the color of all broms in a shadehouse.

Hello to everyone.
I must move or nothing will get done.

pic 1...a newer pic of aech Hawaiian pectinata. It is getting quite wide now and the markings look better with a hint of red.

pic 2...neo Black Brazil. Another I bought with me to see what it turns out like as it matures.
Not a lot of color and it has two pups
i was hoping for a really dark brom. Maybe next season , as its been in a bit of shade.

pic 3...neo Fosperior Pefection. This brom has grown into a lovely plant with nice colors.

pic 4...aech Zebra, similar to La Tigra.

pic 4... group pic of the broms . You can see the sun stating to come under the veranda in the afternoon. It will be full on the broms as it moves and they seem to enjoy it.

Jean.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - I agree with Jean that the last pic with the brom mounted on the 'log' looks good but my favourite would be pic 4, the combination of the brom with the bright blue pot & white stones is very eye catching.
Mind you I think that brom would stand out even in a green plastic pot without any mulch on top of the potting medium.

Jean - nice pics, Neo Fosperior Perfection & Ae Zebra would stand out in a crowd...
and the group shot under the verandah looks great.
It will be interesting to see how the colours change with the different amounts of sun as the seasons change.

We are going away tomorrow - the weasel & her evil step sister are going into kennels & cattery respectively.

Classic Fighters is on again in Blenheim - at Omaka Airfield to be precise.
I am looking forward to seeing the show & catching up with like minded friends.

http://www.classicfighters.co.nz/

The Bristol Freighter needed a heart transplant - one engine was making metal...
some cracking was found & there was no way it would run again (safely).
One of the driving forces behind the original restoration of the Bristol to taxiing condition has a former dump resident engine that he lovingly restored to running order & then had trailer mounted so it could 'turn dinosaurs to decibels'.

He donated his engine to the cause & it has been demounted & refitted to the the plane.

l put an info sheet together for hubby as his plane won't be there but several other Austers will be & they are going to have a gathering of Auster owners & enthusiasts on Saturday night.

So you may not hear from me until Tuesday...

Have a happy Easter everybody!

Cheers - Teresa


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Merino, Australia

Busy morning today, so just popped in to say that I hope everyone enjoys a happy and safe Easter.

Jean. .

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shellharbour, Australia

Happy Easter everyone – Sorry I didn’t make it yesterday. I didn’t have time early yesterday morning and we had another all day blackout for electrical pole maintenance from 8.00am until 3.30pm; that’s the third one in three weeks and there’s another next week as well. I think the electricity company has put off doing regular maintenance for as long as they could and now it’s finally caught up with them. They obviously haven’t heard of “A stitch in time saves nine”. Anyway I was still able to re-pot another twenty brom’s so it wasn’t a day wasted.

Today I’ll have to re-locate the plants I did yesterday and sort out a few more ready for the next lot of re-potting. We have the brom meeting on Saturday and the family’s coming for the day on Sunday so that just leaves today and Monday to work on the brom’s.

Jean – Regarding the various pots in my previous post, we seem to have the same tastes as I also prefer the plant growing on the wood in Pic.5, even the one growing in the hollow log in Pic. 2 appeals to me as well. Maybe not as convenient as plastic pots but certainly more natural looking.

As for you wondering about how they get all the mass produced plants to flower at the same time, it’s just really an extension of the old “apple in a bag” trick used to force “difficult to flower” mature plants into blooming.

For anyone who doesn’t know, this method has been used for years to force stubborn plants to flower. To try this method, first you need to find a clear plastic bag with no holes in it. It should be large enough to fit the entire plant container and all inside.

Make sure the plant is dry by emptying out any water from the centre of the plant and the leaf axils, then place the whole pot and plant in the bag with a ripe apple. Tie the bag shut at the top and make sure there are no openings. Put the plant in the bag in a shaded area and leave without opening for 7-10 days. After this period, remove the plant and pot from the bag and six to fourteen weeks from when you remove the pot the bromeliad should begin to show signs of blooming.

It is the ethylene gas that is produced when the apple ripens that stimulates the bromeliads to bloom. These large nurseries also use ethylene gas but it’s in commercially produced quantities sufficient to gas a giant glasshouse, and this is how these nurseries get the plants to all flower at the same time.

These nurserymen and women have it down to such a fine art, they are able to produce flowers on call for specific special occasions when flowers are in big demand such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day etc.; and you’re quite right, these plants are destined to be tossed in the bin when flowering is finished, as they are just treated as a substitute for a bunch of flowers.

I think your Ae. pectinata still has a bit of growing to do before it flowers, although if it is just a small form, anything’s possible and that bit of colour could indicate it getting ready to flower.

I can’t find anything about Neo. ‘Black Brazil’; do you know anything about its history such as parents, who bred it, or where it came from etc.

Your plant in Pic.3 is now called just Neo. ‘Perfection’ (The Fosperior has been dropped). It was originally a variegated sport from Neo. ‘Fosperior’ and for many years was called Neo. Fosperior Perfecta’, which was then changed to Neo. ‘Fosperior Perfection’ until in 1978 it was officially registered as Neo. ‘Perfection’. Unfortunately by that time there were thousands of plants world-wide still carrying the old name and to this day many still do.
See: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=6276#6276

As you say Ae. ‘Zebra’ is similar to La Tigra, the main difference is that the banding is finer and more distinct.

The plants in your final pic show just how well they have adapted to their new environment, they’re looking great.

Teresa – I have to agree with you about Ae Zebra and Neo. Perfection standing out in a crowd. In fact when Neo. ‘Perfection’ was registered the BCR tells us that, “Bert Foster says, I truly believe that this is the most beautiful bromeliad in the world".

It seems that we both have a similar interest apart from bromeliads as I too love the old war birds. It’s a pity I’m not in a positon to visit that wonderful collection of classic fighters at Omaka Airfield and the air show. Thanks so much for posting the link; from it I’ve been able to view other videos of a museum I didn’t even know existed.

It’s great to hear the old Bristol Freighter has a new lease of life; it may only be taxiing, but that’s certainly better than a static display or even worse, the scrap heap. I think we owe a lot to the people who restore these old planes, trains and cars as they are all part of our history. It would be much easier to let them all go for scrap but it’s because of these people that examples of a past era are being restored and preserved for future generations to see.

We are fortunate to also have an aircraft restoration museum right next door to our Light Rail Museum and although not on the same scale as the one at your Omaka Airfield, ours is slowly growing in size with new attractions every week. See: http://hars.org.au/

I love your spotted Easter Bunny?????

Anyway, time to go again and it’s just starting to rain here. I’ll finish with a few more pic’s from Thailand, once again taken by my brom friend Chanin Thurot.

All the best, Nev.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Happy Easter my beautiful Brom Buddies, for those travelling stay safe on the roads and don’t be in any hurry to get anywhere as it’s just not worth it and better to get there 5 minutes late than not at all as they say.

Today was fantastic starting with our usual trip to the beach bright and early with the girls while it was nice and quiet, then when we got home I decided to tackle one of the large brom garden beds spending the rest of the day on the one bed removing old leaves, shaping any damaged leaves, cutting off pups and treating them for pests and spacing them well for better air flow as this garden bed used to be full mainly of only new pups that have now grown and congested the area. Tomorrow I need to go to Bunnings’ for some more supplies as need to repot some that have outgrown their pots and stabilise a few that have the wobbles as they have possible been knocked over by the Girls when they chase Pythons (he he) and Joe needs to also get some supplies for his orchids.

Hi Brian, Goat Island sounds very interesting indeed and sounds like it did not take you long to get there. Sounds like the tour guide was good and imagine living there with no one else around other than the ranger.

Great to hear you are putting in a shade house, it will be a wonderful place to put your precious broms; which one’s would you mainly like to keep there as you will be amazed with the great colour that can be achieved in the shade house.

We do get used to the Cyclone Warnings every year but one can’t become complacent as they can be unpredictable as well as it’s a major job preparing for one both at work and at home but we have a Cyclone Action Plan in place that keeps us on track for stressful times as it’s hard to remember everything you need to do when stress and worry becomes a factor and there are others to always help that are not at all prepared.

Hi Teresa it’s great that you spend so much quality time with Sugar, I enjoy nothing more than spending quality time with our Girls, they mean the world to us and we wish we could adopt more; my hubby Joe is just as smitten with them as I am which is great. I laughed when we went shopping Thursday arvo, we were going through the check-out with our groceries and 1 x Boggie-board for Lucy, I looked back and Joe was gone but a few minutes later came back with 2 x more boards for her, they were only going for $5 each so he picked out a few different colours for her, and when we got home I lined up all three boards on the rug in the living room and she was thrilled to bits and jumped from one to another and pushed them around and could not stop wagging her tail ha ha.

Enjoy the Classic Fighters; wish we had something like that over here as would be amazing to see and a great atmosphere to be around.

Sugar looks absolutely adorable in her Bunny Ear’s – too cute, gosh she has a beautiful face and eyes.

Hi Nev, yes never enough time during the week to play with our broms and orchids but we do get a lot achieved on the weekends when there are no interruptions. This Easter long weekend will really get me back on track as it gives me time to tackle the bigger jobs needing to be done in the garden rather than chipping away at them slowly and today I achieved a lot although it did take me longer than I had expected and I am still not finished yet in that one area so tomorrow will be spent finishing off what I started with only about a quarter left to do then pups to pot and find places for them which will be interesting as it’s chocker broms out there at the moment so I will have to look at selling some soon to free up some valuable room.

Joe’s orchids are doing great and survived a very harsh summer, next year we will put a Topper up to protect them some more, although they did not sustain any burn they did lose some of their lustful bottle green colour with some that took on a little yellow/green colour. Currently Joe has 70% Beige Shade Cloth up, could you please suggest any idea’s for the Topper as he is not too sure which way to go; but I did say to him he needs to be careful not to restrict the air-flow or to go too high a percentage in Shade Cloth as good light and air-flow is very important for their health.

How big is the wet/dry vac you use on your broms, although I do worry about hurting the little Sedge Frogs that live in all my broms not just at night but during the day they seek refuge from the heat and predators. Ha Ha yes those brom centres can really get on the stinky side when they are getting old and ready to come out, I flicked myself in the face with some today and boy did I stink.

Thanks for passing on valuable info on what growing medium and technique for growing Cryptanthus, tomorrow I am buying some African Violet mix so will see how they go and let everyone know.

What an eye opener those Nursery and Tissue Culture Laboratories are, I would lose the plot and control with all that space, fascinating to see though isn’t it.

Nev that was me that asked about the leaf stacking and if fertiliser helped any, interesting the info you found on the old brom forum and appreciate you passing this information on; very interesting that no regular feeding was used as a method with only just a little at the start; so that plus climate seems to be the key hey.

How crazy that Thailand judge the whole lot “Plant & Pot”, I can’t understand why and that would just be one more thing to worry about when getting ready for a show and what about costs associated with this.

Sounds like you are busy, busy, busy with your broms and hope you achieve all you wanted to get done before Saturdays Brom Meeting, enjoy.

Fantastic tip with the Apple to promote Brom Blooming, not something I would bother doing but can see it would be a popular method used when going into competition.

Thanks for sharing those amazing garden pictures from your friend in Thailand, truly breath taking and so full of colour and I luv the use of orchids everywhere as well as how they have utilised space growing many of them vertically in groups, looks fantastic and something I need to do more of in our garden; any suggestions on the best way for me to tie broms to our trees would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Jean please to hear your broms are enjoying the mild weather; mine too have taken a deep breath and sighed relief that the heat has backed off a bit with a few light showers here and there that they have all benefited from. Funny as soon as I started typing about rain it decided to rain outside and the frogs are rejoicing and I am just starting to smell it waft through the living room area and I am loving it.

Looking forward to seeing pics of our Brugmansia crosses, how exciting for you, sure they will be stunning.

Thanks got through the week somehow but it involved early wake-ups and some late finishes to get what I needed achieved as I have a big civil job about to start with an approximate six week build so I had to have all my ducks in a row to ensure all runs smoothly except at the very last minute they decided to look at potentially changing the scope which is frustrating as it could possibly mean the job will take longer to build, but we needed it done before wet season to achieve what we are trying to achieve but that might not be achievable now.

Mums having a ball with her broms and all the pups that are popping up everywhere. I get to see her in July as my Niece is getting married in Cairns so Mums coming to stay with us here and then we will drive to Cairns for the weeding; possibly Mum will stay here for a week and then stay with my Sister for a while also.

Your broms are looking fantastic and showing lovely colour, imagine what they will look like in another month or two.

Now time to attach some pics as just clocked midnight.

Pic 1 – Various Till’s (Carnations of the Sky)
Pic 2, 3 & 4 - Random back garden
Pic 5 - 'Red River'

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

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Tascott, Australia

Happy easter to everybody.

It is pouring down with rain here at the moment, no good for all the holiday travellers.

Nev, an old Dutch nurseryman we worked for always had a large bottle of acetylene that they must have used to get plants to flower. It worked, his glasshouses were always full of colour. When he sold up the bloke that took over just doesn't seem to grow as many plants.

Jean, yeh I will have to wait until the wife goes away for the weekend and sneakily build something. haha. Hopefully not too ugly, but it is looking like a gal water pipe frame might be the go.

Trish, I would probably take most of these plants up the back as the sunlight varies too much from season to season in their current position, only getting a few hours a day. Eventually all the backyard will be taken up as it seems to be the best place for them.

Teresa, have a nice trip away.

Brian

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone on this wet Easter Saturday morning. How sorry I feel for all the people who have gone down the coast for what’s now to be a wet Easter break with wet driving conditions that can only increase the carnage on the roads for people who continually fail to drive to these conditions.

I did a bit more re-potting yesterday, about thirty plants in al,l and some which I had even forgotten I had. One in particular was a large pot of Ae. dichlamydea var. trinitensis which had been knocked over by the village stray tom cat and gone unnoticed and consequently had started to grow crooked. What a job it was wrestling with that prickly monster to divide it into three large pups and a Mother plant with another half grown pup. Where I’m going to put them I don’t know as it’s quite vicious and I don’t want the grandsons getting stabbed as they run around the yard.

The other surprise was a plant of Neoregelia ‘Gunpowder’, another beautiful variegated hybrid from Chester Skotak first registered in 1998 and bred from a complicated mixture of genes with parents of Neoregelia (carolinae x 'Takemura Princeps') as the seed parent and Neoregelia ('Meyendorffii' x concentrica) as the pollen parent. See a good picture of it on the BCR (the second picture) at: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=NEOREGELIA&id=4754#4754

My plant consisted of two large pups with the old Mother in the centre having died away. The pups were each about 18” high with one being normal and the other surprisingly a NOVAR. I say surprisingly as I’d never heard of ‘Gunpowder’ producing a NOVAR plant in our area before, but then I suppose with variegated plants, any thing’s possible as they always seem to have some sort of surprise for us, even the ones that are claimed to be stable.

Trish – Good to see a nice long post from you and see that you too are repeating the road safety message. I don’t know how much good it will do though as there were numerous bookings here last weekend for people not wearing their seat belts, and as one Police Officer said, “In all the fatalities I’ve seen in road accidents, the victims weren’t wearing seat belts” so what does it take to get the message through? I know that even our four-year old grandson when he gets in the car says, “Seat belts on Nannie and Poppy”, so at least the message is getting through to some.

I guess being prepared in advance for a cyclone is the best defence you can have as it’s no good waiting until it’s about to hit to decide to work out an action plan, far better to follow the old Boy Scout’s motto and “Be Prepared”.

I reckon anyone who saw Joe with all the Boggie Boards must have thought, “Gee all their kids must like surfing”, never for a minute thinking they were for the “Kanine Kids”, Ha! Ha!

I think dogs are great and the best friend you can possibly have and still miss my old dog terribly. Although I’d love another dog, I’m now wary about what would happen if it got out and I had to try and find it as my old legs just wouldn’t be up to it. I feel the owner has a responsibility to a dog to do what’s best for it and I don’t think that I could now provide what’s needed. The way the road is now with idiots speeding past every day even though it’s a 50 zone, I would be too worried about any dog I had being run over.

I know what you mean about the work required in the garden when pups grow and start to crowd each other. A few years back I planted a garden around the old Pepper Corn Tree in my back yard with some seedling culls along with a few other easy to grow brom’s. It is now a veritable jungle with the Neo ‘Sheba’ alone forming a clump almost eight feet across . On the other side there is a Vr. Phillipo-cobergii about four feet across with two or three flower spikes over six feet tall as well as all of the other plants trying desperately to get some space. This is my next mammoth job and I think I’ll have to call in anyone who wants some free brom’s I’ll have to get rid of a lot and I don’t have a ute any more to take them to the tip.

Although I’m not familiar with your conditions up there, I would have thought that 70% beige shade cloth would have been OK for Joe’s orchids. It doesn’t matter too much if the leaves take on a lighter green colour during summer as long as they don’t get burned, they’ll soon return to a darker colour when the hot weather is over. If you provide too much shade you run the risk of reduced flower production as they need good light to produce flowers.

Also if Joes is fertilising his plants you also need good light to convert the fertiliser so the plants can absorb it. When I grew orchids I used a shade cloth called, Coolan 28% “Orchid Shade” which was “all the go” then but I don’t think it’s available any more. It was great for conditions from Sydney and points south but it wouldn’t have been any good for the Queensland climate.

I think the best idea would be for Joe to ask local growers what they use and remember if using that extra layer, doubling it up doesn’t mean “twice the shade” e.g. two layers of 50% won’t give you 100% it will only give you about 75%, so that’s another thing you have to work consider as well. Below are a couple of links to sites that may help:
http://www.cmac.com.au/blog/choosing-right-shade-cloth-for-your-plants
http://www.cmac.com.au/nursery-equipment/shade-houses

Trish, the wet/dry vac I have is a Karcher was only about $80 in 1999 when I bought it. They are still sold by Bunnings and most stores that sell vacs (albeit a later model) but the price hasn’t changed much as they are now probably made in China and not Germany. As the volume of suction, I fitted a piece of suction tube from a different vacuum which can be adjusted by a slide control on the handle from very weak to very strong. Joe could probably just bore a hole in the plastic tube and control the force by covering or uncovering with his finger. I have found it to be a great bit of equipment as it doesn’t have a bag to empty and has been trouble free ever since I bought it and it’s used regularly for cleaning up my garage of nails, saw dust, bits of wood, potting mix and all other sorts of rubbish it was never designed to handle. Well worth the money. There are now a range of models but mine is a 20 Litre capacity and came with a spare cartridge which has proved very handy.

The old “Apple in the bag trick” to promote flowering has been around for years and although I’ve never used it myself, I know of others who have, including one “know all” who disregarded what she was told and left her plant in the sun (because it was winter) and steamed the brom. to death.

As for mounting brom’s on trees, I have some notes somewhere on this topic and I’ll dig them out and post them when I can.

Nice pic’s once again and what’s the name of the beautiful big burgundy coloured plant in the middle of Pic.2. Also the plant in Pic.4 (Top left), is it a Hohenbergia?
Brian – It sounds like you’re getting the same weather was we are down here. I went out the front to get the paper this morning and the brom’s were literally glowing in the rain; it certainly shows them at their best.

I had also heard some nurseries used acetylene to induce flowering but I’ve never witnessed it being used. I suppose it would be easier to get hold of commercially as it’s used extensively in the boiler making industry. It’s a pity I didn’t know about this when I was at the steelworks as I could have set up a closed off section out of plastic in the corner of the ambulance garage and hooked it up to an acetylene bottle. But then knowing my luck, someone may have gone out there for a smoke and blown the whole place up.

Just explain to your wife that grass is the most unproductive thing you can grow and suggest a nice big shade-house as well as a nice vegetable garden; two things you can both share and reap the products from; what’s more, you don’t have to bother about cutting the grass.
When I built my first shade house out of pipe for my orchids, securing the shade cloth was a real “pain in the bum” as it has to be laced on with fine tie wire. Now they have clips that fit around the pipe and just snap together to capture the shade cloth.

I know you’ll probably think the first picture today is very boring; it’s of a Billbergia zebrina growing in Brazil in habitat. However when you look closely you will see that it’s growing on a pile of old bricks that someone has dumped there. What are the chances of a single seed finding its way onto those bricks and actually growing to maturity and flowering? Certainly food for thought.

Finally four more Thai pictures to add a bit of colour.

All the best, Nev.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Another wonderful day spent in the garden after coming back from the beach and a drive into town to buy a couple of garden statues to put in the garden that are currently being made, I will take pics once we have them set-up around our pool and garden; something different and I like different and something that caught my eye that was out back at the side of the shop and when Joe saw the statue he liked it just as much as I did but it was not finished yet so we may have to wait a week or so.

I finally finished the garden bed I was working on yesterday, took me far longer than I had expected but I wanted to do a thorough job with then while I get the chance. Tomorrow will be spent potting up all the pups I took off (about 30 +) and finding nice new positions for them.

It was overcast all day today which was lovely and had rained overnight and then again at about 5 today it poured for about 30 minutes and by the looks of the clouds around will hopefully rain some more tonight. Too much cloud around to see the Lunar Eclipse but rain is so more important at the moment as our town’s dam is low and they are talking about possibly having to pump water across and possible water restrictions.

Hi Jean, hope you are having a lovely Easter and sure you are in the garden playing with your beautiful broms and roses or starting a new painting of some sort with that creative mind of yours.

Hi Brian does your wife like broms as much as you do? I have a bit of a giggle with Joe because I moved out of the nursery where I started growing orchids and the odd brom but then decided broms took my fancy more and now they have taken over our yard and my life but I truly do like growing and caring for them and get great joy out of seeing them growing and pupping well but there is only so many one can keep so I keep the best of the pups and sell or give away extras that I have. I have put aside a good hundred for the next market I hold, not too sure when that will be but would like to see them colour up a bit more before I do decide to take them to the market.

Hi Nev, what a surprise your Neo. ‘Gun Powder’ producing a NOVAR pup, would luv to see a pic when you can.

Pleased to hear you liked my long post from yesterday, it’s great when I can to properly plan catch-up with everyone as normally I am pretty time poor as you know. This long weekend is really doing us both the world of good and I am loving waking up early and going to bed late and not been exhausted the next day because I am relaxed and sleeping well at night and getting all that fresh air is wonderful.

I often see mums with kids in the back seats of their car not wearing seat belts and jumping around like wild critters and just shake my head in horror; some people should not be allowed to bring kids into the world and it makes me sick to the stomach how oblivious they are to what’s going on around them, sure drugs and alcohol play a big part in their stupidity.

Yes Joe did get some funny looks in the supermarket carrying all those Boggie Boards and I got a good chuckle out of it as well.

I could very easily live life happily in the hills surrounded by animals with not a human in sight and have fond memories of all the wildlife I used to look after back in my younger days; but the biggest joy in our lives are the Girls and the unconditional luv they give us, they are great stress relievers and we treat them with the utmost respect that they deserve and it does not matter what day of the week it is we always make time for them and do something they like doing no matter how tired we are.

Wow those clumps of broms you described sound huge but must look fantastic when they are in full flower; sure you will find people interested to take some off your hands and help free up some valuable room around your garden. I do luv the look of ‘Sheba’ grown in clumps and sure it would look fantastic grown around the base of a golden cane palm or something similar and would give it the perfect opportunity to climb and impress.

Thanks ever so much for the feedback on shade cloth for Joe’s orchids, Joe’s idea was to run a shade cloth curtain across as needed but was still undecided. I will get him to check out the website links you provided and he can decide from there; thanks once again from the both of us. Thanks also for the wet/dry vac details, possibly something worthwhile for me to purchase as brom cleaning can take me ages doing it with a paint brush like I am currently doing.

Thanks would appreciate when you can to see notes on how to mount broms on trees to check if there is an easier way of doing as the more stable they are the better no matter whether they are in a pot or tied to something they need good stability to thrive well.

The big plant you asked about in Pic 2 from yesterday is Neo. ‘Royal Burgundy’. And yes that plant in Pic 4 (top left) is Hohenbergia that I have had for years that to date has not pupped but has always looked fantastic all this time.

Another nice lot of Thailand pictures so full of wonderful colour.

Oh I forgot to ask, hope you had a great Brom Society Meeting today and look forward to hearing how it all went.

Time to head off as it’s 12.20pm and we might look at going to the market in the morning so need to be up reasonably early.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Trish

Pics of cleaned up garden bed, must have saved them wrong as attached sideways, taken with my phone so may have been how I was holding the phone???

Just took a nice pup off Neo. 'Lorena' in Pic 4 as well as in Pic & 3.
Pic 5 is Neo. 'Prinsler', pretty one and a great pupper.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. I am just going out for my walk in a few minutes. Thought I'd take time to come and see whats going on here.
I often think of doing something and then get sidetracked, so I had better do a post before my mind wanders off in a different direction...lol

I am a bit later with my walk as I was out looking at my brugmansias and decided to water them while I was there.
I am watching them all closely as the plants are a mass of buds and I want to get pics of a couple that have not flowered before.
I always go out at night to smell the wonderful perfumes as thats when the all the mix of scents are strong. They do this at night because in their native habitat they need to attract the moths that pollinate the flowers at night.

Nev, you asked about neo Black Brazil. Its one I just liked the look of and was hoping it would eventually get really dark. I have no idea whats its origins are. I will keep the pups in stronger light when potted up , in hopes this will darken them. They have been in shade so far and are not very attractive.
Thanks for the info on fosperior perfection. I will alter the tag and file pic.
When I bought aech Zera, I knew it was one of the nudicaulis lot but it was such a littel plant, I wanted to watch it grow into its stripes.
La Tigra was much bigger when bought and already a good looking fellow.
My bill amoena stolonifera variegate has put up a new pup on a long stolen. Must get a pic.
The pup was on the side away from me when I was looking at all the broms. It wasnt until I started moving them that I saw it. Very small as yet but will look pretty later as it grows to show the color and stripes .
Interesting comments on neo Gunpowder and it producing some novars.
I had one which only had a few dull stripes on some leaves. I should have complained to the seller, but I was just starting with broms and I did hope it would produce proper pups.
I suppose you could call it a half novar...lol
Not pretty, so it went in the sale. ( maybe it wasnt rightly named ??)

Brian, nice to see you had rain. Hope you are getting on with your shadehouse. Maybe a corner for your wifes favorite plants will ease the way into having it there.

Teresa. enjoy your time at the air show.
My Robert would have liked it but planes dont do anything for me.
I would rather be under the bonnet of old cars...lol

Its getting quite cloudy outside, so I had better get myself motivated and walk.

pic 1... the odd neo Gunpowder I had...

pics 2 & 3... just for a change, heres two of my beautiful brugmansias yesterday.
Lots more to flower so going to be a colorful and well perfumed time . Very pretty Maya with her variegated leaves and a white aurea.

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend.
Jean.


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – The weather seems to be picking up this morning; no rain since about 2.00am and the cloud seems to have lifted so maybe a fine day for our family BBQ after all.

The meeting yesterday was down on numbers as expected due to it being a long weekend plus the fact that it was pouring rain for most of the day, so loud at times you couldn’t hear anyone talking; fortunately we have just purchased a new amplifying system which helps overcome this sort of problem so it was OK in the end.

The topic for the meeting yesterday was “Different types of Brom’s”, and members were asked to bring in a plant for a show and tell with any plant they had that was different to the normal commonly grown ones. We saw Catopsis, Orthophytums, xNeophytums, , Canistrum Acanthostachys, Canastropsis, Cryptanthus, Androlepis , Ronnbergia, Bromelia, Edmundoa, Hohenbergia, Ursulaea, Portea and a Deuterocohnia.

It was certainly a very unusual and interesting way to spend a couple of hours in out of the rain with the plants ranging from beautiful to just plain ugly. I still don’t think I’ll change from my favourite Neoregelias though as I think that overall when you consider the range of colours and ease of growing, they are hard to go past.

Trish – I’m pleased you had good weather and were able to get out in the garden for some nice relaxing work and I’m looking forward to seeing your garden makeover )complete with new statues) sometime in the near future; like I always tell visitors about my yard, it’s a work in progress as something’s always being changed.

I didn’t realise that it was so dry in your area there’s a possibility of water restrictions if you don’t get some good rain soon, seems they are something I’ve forgotten about with all of the showers we have been having this year. Although the weather report says that we are getting less rain this year than in previous years, we seem to be getting overnight showers more regularly than I can remember for a long time.

Just another mention about stupid driving; in the 1970’s we had a judge down here who made it a point that any young bloke booked for drunk driving or other serious offence who came before him, as well as the fine, he had to go to the police station and sit through and watch a video of a post mortem of a road accident victim.

After twelve months of this, dangerous driving infringement statistics dropped dramatically but it wasn’t long before the “do gooders” made so much noise to the” powers that be”, that the judge was asked to refrain from using the video as part of the punishment. A shame really as it had been an effective tool to make these young blokes stop and think.

It was some years later (around 1999-2000) when in the ambulance station at work one night I was talking to a man who was once one of these “young blokes” and he said that watching that video was the thing that shocked him the most and made him more aware of the consequences of dangerous driving than anything else, and even then (many years later) every time he got in a car he remembered that video and as he said, “switched into safe mode”.

As you say, the clump of Neo. Sheba I have is huge; and in my opinion it’s one of the most underrated Neo’s around. You wouldn’t know by looking at it and feeling how thin the leaves are, just how well it stands up to extremes of weather. My plant is out in the open with no protection whatsoever, it gets full midday sun and has been through two heat waves without suffering any damage. As an added bonus, it’s also spineless and takes on a beautiful pink hue and a darker red centre when grown in the sun. But if you wish to grow it in a lower light position, it’s still a nice albo-marginated plant which still clumps up well. As well as all this it’s a very fast and easy plant to grow and quickly fills up a gap.

It’s a c.v. (cultivated variety) of Neo. macwilliamsii and surprisingly doesn’t appear on the BCR as having ever been registered as a parent.

I thought that plant I asked about was Neo. ‘Royal Burgundy’, it makes a great contrast plant in the garden and will grow to quite a large plant when planted directly into the garden without a pot. The Hohenbergia in your picture looks like the Hoh. correia-araujoi that was brought in to the meeting yesterday. The grower said the same thing as you, “had it for years without flowering or pupping” and down here they are very sensitive to cold weather.

Great pic’s you’ve posted again, I love the Neo’s. 'Lorena' and ‘Prinsler’, what a contrast f colours.

Jean – My Neo. ‘Gunpowder’ NOVAR didn’t even have a single variegation on any of the leaves and as I’m so short of space I convinced myself the best place for it was in the bin as I do have another with a nice pup as well as the other nice pup from the mother that produced the NOVAR. (Sorry Trish, too late to show you a picture as it’s on the bottom of the bin and you wouldn’t even recognise it as a brom now).

There are dishonest sellers who sell these NOVAR plants and tell the unsuspecting buyers that the variegations will appear as the pup matures and I’ve never seen one do that yet. However I have read where occasionally some NOVAR plants can again produce a variegated pup like its mother but I’ve never had one do it.

Neo. ‘Perfection’ is oner that commonly reverts back to a NOVAR, but it’s been documented in several papers where it is known for the NOVAR to again produce a variegated pup, although I have a few ‘Perfection’ NOVARS which are still producing NOVARS but no variegated offspring.

All I know about Brugmansias is that they are poisonous and listed in the top 10 deadliest plants in the world. I’ve only ever seen the creamy white colour and another which is a pale apricot colour growing in this area and both were small trees about four metres in height. I never knew they came in other colours, could be grown in pots or were highly perfumed so you see, I’m still learning new things every day.

That’s a good idea with the pups from Neo. Black Brazil, by growing them in different light levels you’ll soon work out which area gives you the best colour and hopefully a very dark one.

Your Billbergia amoena stolonifera variegate sounds like an interesting plant. I had a Bill. amoena stolonifera (registered in 1976 as Bill.‘Stolonifera’) a while ago but it was just a plain green plant. The interesting feature of it was that it did make extremely long stolons (up to six feet long). It was a nuisance though because when growing in a pot, on a bench, these stolons got tangled up with other plants and made life difficult.

I also have a friend in the Brom Society who has the red form as well, but the stolon on that one was only about 12”-18” long, but a nice coloured plant just the same. It was registered in 1978 by Don Beadle and called Bill 'Stoloniferous Red'. Is this the plant you have? See it on the BCR at: http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=BILLBERGIA&id=1137#1137

They’re nice pic’s of the Brugmansias, I’m looking forward to seeing the new colours you have.

It’s now afternoon and the family have all just gone home so it’s time I finished this long winded post. Some time ago I mentioned how different light levels could change the foliage colour of Vr. ‘Evita’ and today I’m posting a couple of pic’s of Vr. ‘Orange Sundae’ another plant that changes foliage colour depending on the amount of available light. Pic.1 shows the normal foliage when bench grown in the Vriesea house beneath 75% green shade cloth and Pic. 2 shows a division from the same plant grown hanging high up beneath 75% beige shade cloth in the Neo. shade house. Pic’s 3, 4 and 5 show different coloured Vr. Ospinae var.gruberi plants.

All the best, Nev

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