Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
I moved us as Teresa was getting worn out walking up the long path to the

We came from here

I have been doing a bit of driving but not sightseeing, just getting a few things done over in Hamilton.
Once the Spring arrives, I will be out and about further afield.
The new car is a dream to drive, but will take time to figure out what half the switches and buttons do.

Teresa, its great you are working, but do watch yourself as the tiredness can affect your actions.
I hope it soon clears up and I guess its mainly your body having gotten used to not working the usual work hours, so its rebeling a bit.
I bet Sugar is missing you during the day now.
You'd better watch out for little mischief

Nev, beautiful pics of the bills.
I love the bill flowers even though they dont last long.
My bill Hallelujah is going to need splitting in the Spring as it has taken over all the pot now.
I notice a touch more green on it now that the sun is weaker.

Trish, another snake ?????
You definitely are the snake lady...
They probably think...aha... this place looks like it may have lots of froggies to eat.

Brian, lovely to hear you had some sun at last. The rain might do damage but still , the plants appreciate it after they recover from the downpours.
Nice to hear you are going to start on the new shadehouse. like the others, I love seeing pics of the progress.
I do miss all my shadehouses, but in reality, I could not manage them all now.

Hello to everyone else looking in.
Its my day for the hospital group, so I had better start moving.

Take care and stay safe.

again, just a few old pics..... aechmeas gamosepala, recurvata and organensis.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Friday... I can sleep in tomorrow, if Sugar lets me.

I stopped to have a close look at my Bil & the colour is a bit reddish so time for a shift out of the direct sun.
It has been unseasonally warm here - 19C - 22C are astonishing for May.

I read all the posts & now can't remember what I was going to say.

Trish - it really is python paradise in your area. fascinating photos.

Nev - you know me too well... all the Bils you posted were attractive but the spotty broms always seem to catch my eye.

Jean - Sugar had company today as my hubby took the day off.
He took her with him out to the hangar while he did a few things with the plane.
After that they stopped off at the dog park & Sugar had a great time playing with other dogs.

take care all

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Yeah weekend is finally here and I am relieved because it’s been a hectic week and the only thing that has kept me going is coffee, where would I be without that heart starter in the morning it’s magic stuff and one large sized cappuccino usually keeps me going all day but if it’s just instant coffee I need more than one cup to keep me going.

It’s my Mum’s 75th Birthday today and wish I could be there to help her celebrate; I gave her a call this morning and we had a good chin-wag like we normally do and she is getting ready to pot up all the broms I sent her. I am looking forward to seeing her end of June when she comes to stay with us, just wish it was sooner because I really miss her beautiful face and the way she makes me laugh.

Hi Nev hope you did not get side tracked and got heaps achieved with the nice weather; I am hoping to get heaps done over the weekend and no rain in sight as per usual.

I too have gone for a ride on a helicopter before and want to do so again because the views are amazing when compared to being on a plane.

He he yep “Snake Lady” over here, it’s been a big year for them with more out and about than usual this time of year.

Our neighbours are renting and the Bindi has gone out of control, I get annoyed because the trailers creep through the fence into our garden beds so I am forever pulling them out, there was one stage I was constantly having to pull them out of my shoes but situation has improved somewhat since I had a nice word to the tenants when I took over a pair of my pluggers that were covered in them and said to them that the next time this happens I will be ringing the Real Estate to complain if they don’t complain to them as with each renter that comes through it’s the same issue over and over again so I think the Landlord needs to get the place sprayed but I don’t think the Real Estate gives a crap the main thing they get their commission nothing else matters.

Pleased to hear you like the Vriesea pics I posted, I have not tried my hand at hybridising yet because there is never enough of them spiking just yet to do so but definitely food for thought down the track as I have enough of them now to get a good selection to choose from and try. I think the one’s you suggested crossing would be a great combination, it’s just getting the timing right with the flower spikes as some I have had much longer than others and some are still just pups.

Yes wait till you hear my “Snake Story” over the weekend, you should get a good chuckle out of it and I will see if I can find some more pics, I did take a couple of videos so will see if I can convert some to pics as they are on my phone so everyone gets a proper idea of what actually happened, I got a good laugh out of it and it made me realise that I need to go to spec savers and get my eyes re-tested and get thicker lenses LOL.

Great array of pics you shared of Ae. Recurvate var. benrathii, what a truly amazing tough little plant it is, I can’t get enough of them around the garden and have them everywhere including in the trees. I do luv it when they get that deep purple/black look about them.

Hi Jean thank you ever so much for starting a new Thread for the month of May, can you please DMail me the notes on how to do so to help out whenever I remember to do so as I feel bad that only you and Teresa do so and would like to help just don’t know which buttons to click and would probably stuff things up without instructions to go by.

Isn’t it soothing and relaxing to stare at one’s broms and like you I talk to mine and have sometimes been known to hold them up like a baby and tell them how beautiful they look LOL, sure the neighbours think I am crazy between that and the Pythons and Goannas I have had many encounters with. They do come to me if they have any snake issues though so no hiding the fact they have probably seen me in action LOL.

Yes ANOTHER Snake Encounter, they just can’t get enough of me he he, Joe just stands back now as he reckons I have my technique down pat but gets a good giggle out of the exhaling breathing I do when I tackle the larger one’s, possibly it’s to stop me letting out little squeals but I know I laugh a lot during the catching stage as I picture in my head how crazy it must look but calm the laughing with the exhaling so I don’t lose concentration, but must sound like I am going into labour except breaths are much further apart HA HA HA.

Hope you had a lovely time at the hospital group, can you please tell us what you get up to as am sure you all have a great time together for sure and how many in the group now?

Pleased to hear your new car is a dream to drive and let us know if you discover any fantastic buttons/switches it has.

Lovely shots of your Guzmanias, I only have about 3 different one’s in my collection and my favourite of all is a NOID that is a giant grower that produces the most lovely big deep strawberry coloured flowers and it looks fantastic grown in a pot as a mass. Lovely pics too you posted on 7/5, very pretty flowers on all of them.

Joe brought me about 40 x 100mm plastic pots today so I can continue re-potting trays of Neo. seedling’s so I can see I will be doing a lot of this over the weekend and the perfect time now given the weather has cooled down a bit.

Hi Teresa hope you have a good sleep in tomorrow and that Sugar does not wake you up too early, our girls usually wake us up about 6.30am ish so we can be at the beach by about 7am, too funny how they have these inbuilt clocks in them, smarty pants they are.

He He yes most definitely Python Paradise over here as you say, they come in all different shapes and then there are all the pretty Tree Snakes; maybe once or twice a year we may get a venomous one come through but normally just the wetland type varieties come through. Recently on the news someone found a 5mtr Python in their yard in Townsville, if I saw one that big I would keep my distance and call in the professionals but for sure would be taking many pictures of it because I have never seen one that big before.

Anyway time to put the kettle on yet again.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Pics 1 - Neo. 'Cane Fire' pup fully grown, mother only gave me the one nice pup and I left it on as long as I possibly could to achieve such a good size.
Pic 2 - Bill. 'Hallelujah’ - adore the spotches & dots
Pic 3 - Neo. 'Purple Glaze'
Pic 4 - Vr. Tasman hybrid
Pic 5 - Vr. 'Ha'aheo'

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Well the fine weather held for yesterday and I did end up getting some gardening done and I can now see a bit of progress in what I’m doing. Another six plants went into the green bin so a little bit more space was made.

Jean – Thanks so much for creating a new thread; I had noticed the other one was getting a bit long but didn’t say anything as I always seem to be the one giving someone else the work to do by making a new one.

You say your pic’s are oldies, but they are still interesting to look at and I for one don’t care if they are old or not.

I hope you have a nice day with your hospital group; you will be able to show them all around your new car and make them envious. I had an old brom mate once who said his two favourite smells were from new money and a new car, so inhale and enjoy the smell.

Teresa – It seem like Miss Sugar has Mummy and Daddy twisted around her little finger. The next thing you’ll be telling us is that Daddy took her for a helicopter or plane ride!

Trish – I’ve just turned 75 also so tell Mum I reckon 1940 was a pretty good vintage year for people.

Yes neighbours who don’t worry about weeds are a problem, I know as I have one on the north side of our place. I probably mentioned I’ve just been again trimming back Lantana which is sneaking over our side fence, but this time I painted the cut ends with Glyphosate in the hope it will travel to the roots and kill the plant. Has anyone tried this method before and does it work?

Two things to remember with hybridising Vrieseas, firstly you can store pollen in the fridge until a suitable Mother plant becomes available and secondly, they need to be pollinated at night (the experts say around 9.00pm is best) as in the wild they are pollinated by large moths and small bats.

You say you got a video of your snake exploits; can you email it to me and share the laugh?

Your Neo. ‘Cane Fire’ clearly demonstrates the advantage of leaving pups on the Mother plant longer than normal. I do the same now and although you may not get as many pups, you do get good ones; as they say “Quality not quantity”.

I can’t say anything about Bill. ‘Hallelujah’ that hasn’t already been said; a beautiful Bill. also a fantastic parent; and what about Neo. ‘Purple Glaze’? Another beautiful plant from that “Master of Variegates” Chester Skotak.

Your Vriesea ‘Haaheo’ bred from a crossing of 'Royal Hawaiian' x 'Pahoa Beauty' and made by David Shiigi, a well-known Vriesea breeder from Hawaii. When fully coloured it is a most unusual combination of colours often described as creamy/pink.

Your Tasman hybrid comes from a very popular N.Z. grex which produced 32 registered hybrids See: ( and is the effort of more than one breeder, judging by the BCR which shows the breeder as A. Maloy et al, Coyle, P
I’ll finish today with the history and some pic’s of a very strange Billbergia - I bought a plant of Billbergia 'Ralph Graham French' a few years ago and have found it to be the most unstable plant I have ever seen. No two pups it produced were ever the same and the plant in the pictures is one of the two most recent pups taken just before the original Mother plant died.

The pictures are of the same plant taken from different angles to show exactly what I mean. It has banding, stripes, variegations and plain colours and although it is an oddity, it has some sort of weird attraction as well.

I have a second plant which was a pup from the same Mother plant and that's doing the same thing. I've removed the plain yellow pups from the other plant in the hope it will produce a normal pup but as yet, no luck.

I had suspected the almost all yellow pups I removed would have died just like albinos do when removed from the Mother plant, but so far they haven't and it's been a month since their removal. We're going into winter here now and I wondered if that had anything to do with the fact that they haven't declined yet.

I only intended keeping these two plants to show people what an unstable plant can do, and as soon as my bench space gets tight again, they were going into the bin, but now I'm wondering if I should keep them to see what else they can turn out. What do you think?

A very confused Bill. ‘Ralph Graham French’

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - I vote you hang on to that confused Bil 'Ralph Graham French'.
It is so unusual, wonder how it would go as a parent..

Hubby has gone out to the hangar to play with his plane, I am going to the mall & want to get him a birthday gift.
I have no idea what to get, but I will have a good look around.

Hopefully I'll have time to come back & post properly tonight.
If I am awake enough to type...

Take care all

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Typing this message on our Tablet because Joe's using the Laptop to copy from one drive to another so a bit of a bugger as takes me ages to type on this friggen thing, so will keep my thread short tonight otherwise I will go cross eyed trying to type with one finger.

Had a lovely day today, starting first by going to the beach with the girls, then off to the vets for their jab, spray up the noise and thermometer up there butt LOL Then when we got home we spent the rest of the day in the garden and I merrily potted broms till nearly dusk and watered the garden after raking leaves to put in the compost heap.

Tomorrow I want to pot up the seedlings and find nice spots for the big pots done today.

Hi Nev HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! What date does it actually fall on again, so sorry I missed it this year, cheeky you kept very quiet about it but no getting away with it next year if I get my way LOL. Mum's was on Friday 8th. My Brother's was on the 4th and Dad's is on the 16th so very busy month May is. Anyway hope you had a lovely day and by the sounds of things the weather was nice which is great. I will tell mum about 1940 being a good vintage year for sure LOL.

Thanks for the great advice about hybridising with Vriesies, will most definitely have to look at collecting pollen & storing for crossing later, can you please tell me how long the pollen can be stored for?

Yes I totally agree with your comment "Quality not Quantity" when it comes to growing good quality broms, it really does make a difference.

Thanks for all the great info on the Vriesea pics I posted yesterday, I look forward to seeing them hopefully reach their full potential and will down the track post progress pics.

Your Bill. 'Ralph Graham French' is so very interesting and what's the harm in keeping them for longer and see what happens, you never know how nature will act and they may survive and become something magnificent, I already like the look of them and they look really healthy so well worth holding on to them for sure.

Oops just dragged this paragraph down by accident, not sure how but did LOL: Sounds like you got a bit done around the garden and freed up some space which is great.

By all means Nev I will email you through my Python video, sure you will get a good laugh out of it especially after I recite the story tomorrow here when I get to use the laptop that is, bad Joe he he.

Hi Teresa hope you got a good sleep in this morning or did Sugar wake mummy up?

A BIG Happy Birthday to your hubby, what day does it fall on? Hope you find the perfect present.

Anyway I must head as typing finger is over it, time to put the kettle on; catch you all tomorrow.

Hope I have not missed responding to anyones paragraphs as hard to keep scrolling up and down all the time to check? Sorry no pics as nothing stored on this thing.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Christchurch, New Zealand

Trish - thanks for the birthday wishes for Hubby. His b'day is the 11th.

Sugar slept all night & even stayed on the bed when the alarm went off.
I turned it off & rolled over for a few more zzz's as I can be at dog club on time with just an hour to get ready.
I don't change the alarm setting from what I need during the week or I forget to put it back for Monday...
don't want to oversleep & get to work late.

Seems non garden minded neighbours are a common theme.
Mum's bug bear is the English ivy & convolvulus coming through the boundary fence.
She cuts it back & digs out runners & poisons them but they still invade her garden.

I think I might be the 'bad' neighbour on one side. I planted clematis along the fence, it looks so pretty in flower but it really is a thug.
My lovely neighbour tried to warn me - but I went by the label that down played the invasive nature of the beast.
And it wasn't the common Clematis Montana, but scented varieties - one pink, one white.

My neighbour hasn't complained but I suspect it has made extra work for him to keep the clematis from scrambling up his trees along the fence line.

Hubby is off to the hangar again, while the weather is warm it is the perfect opportunity to get things done.

I'm trying to get used to my new lenses - first time wearing progressives & finding the world blurring if I move my head.
My vision had deteriorated so it is quite nice to have things at a distance appear in focus. I can just look down instead of taking my glasses off to read & print is much clearer now.

take care everyone

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Well the weather is still fine here but getting cooler as forecast. The south west breeze feels like it’s coming off snow but OK when you can find a spot in the garden out of it.

I’m still tidying and re-arranging my garden plants and doing a bit of shade house maintenance as I go; it should look good if I ever get it finished.

Teresa – Yes I’ve decided I might just hang onto those Billbergia plants and see what other surprises they have in store for me, could be interesting, on the other hand I may just stabilise a yellow Billbergia, you never know.

I know what you can get hubby for his birthday……………………….. his own plane! (One that's already assembled and he doesn't have to put it together; alternatively a good model of a favourite one he can make on those cold NZ nights)

Trish – Here I sit in front of an old PC dinosaur doing my post and having no trouble at all, I don’t need a tablet, laptop, iPad, iPod, mobile phone or any of that modern stuff and what’s more I can still do “running writing” with a pen and paper which makes me more clever than some of the younger generation.

We had a young bloke come to the museum for some work experience and at that time our computer was down due to a blackout. So I wrote him out some simple instructions and after a glance at them he turned to me with a horrified look on his face and said, “I can’t read this, it’s running writing”. I was stunned; don’t they teach kids anything at school anymore?

Thanks for the happy birthday wishes, but it’s no big deal I like to forget about them at my age; it’s just another day.

As for storing pollen, if you can get onto the site below taken form an old Garden Web post (2007) this is discussed by various growers including Lisa Vinzant who is an internationally recognised hybridiser from Hawaii. Speaking of pollen she says, “Don Beadle is the one who told me that it could go a couple of months in the fridge and a couple of years in the freezer”. So coming from an expert in the hybridising field that’s handy information.

I was going to take a few more pictures today but got so involved in what I was doing I forgot all about it, so it looks like old file pictures today.

Firstly, does anyone want a few Tillandsias? I know where there’s plenty but you’ll have to travel to Venezuela to pick them up see Pic.1, Pic.2 is Edmundoa lindenii rosea, Pic.3 Neo. ‘Sarmentosa’ x ‘Cracker Jack’, Pic 4 Neo. cruenta ‘Broad Leaf’, Pic.5 a nice coloured little plant I made from Neo. ‘Thunderbird’ x Self.

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Hello .
Its cold down here and looks like more rain.
We are getting showers, but the wind , although not strong, is very cold.
I guess I should remember its nearly

I know what the problems can be with neighbors and wandering plants.
I used to ask first about cutting or removing, but some people are deaf to anyone elses suggestions, so I resorted to good old Roundup.
It works well, just remember to look surprised when the plants next door die back.Not nice, but better than struggling with plants that wont stay in their own yard.

Teresa, I had to laugh at your comments on planting clematis...
I planted the dreaded clematis Montana once. Knowing nothing about clematis, it looked so pretty along the fence at the Botanical Gardens in Portland.
I brought some pretty fluffy seeds home and luckily, planted them in the same place as a group.
The seeds grew and I pulled all out except two nice strong looking ones.
They sat around for a year ot two, then decided to grow and grow and grow.
Realising I had triffids, I got rid of them.
Had not seen the seed pods on my " dear little" plants but soon found the results coming up everywhere. Took me about 3 years of watching to get rid of them all.
I hope you are feeling more energetic now you have been working for a while. Takes time for the body to adjust.

Nev, sounds like you are getting some of our weather.
I donr see any of your sunshine down here though.
Any sun we get now is very tepid winter sun.
The plants are liking the weather though. A little rain , a little sun, just what they like. .
I know I said I would leave pups until Spring to repot, but looking at them now, they are going to be large adults by the time they get their own pots.
Love the pic of the tills. It would be wonderful to see all the broms in their natural habitat.
I have seen lots of pics of them covering trees in glorious abundance.
I like your brom with all the puzzling colors . It cannot decide which to
I would keep it just for fun anyway.

Trish, I bet your Mum is having such a great time with her new lot of broms.
Enjoy your time with her on your visit.

Brian, have you started on the new shadehouse yet ?
When hubby and I built the first one, he said I would never fill
6 shadehouses later, I was still looking for more room.
Its certainly an addictive hobby, gardening. No matter which plants you fall in love with, you simply must have more...

I am off to Hamilton today , so better get moving.
I hope you are all getting the weather you want and if there is any spare warm sun, I'll have it .

pics are my latest new triple brugmansia, my autumn flowering clivia and two tills.
Stay safe.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Did not get time to chat with you all yesterday as had heaps on and not enough ours in the day and by the time we got home it was pretty late and things to get ready for work the next day.

Hi Teresa, great to hear you and Sugar are all rested up. We took the girls in for the vaccinations on Saturday and come Sunday they both felt under the weather and sleep for most of the day and did not want to go outside to play like they normally do when mums in the garden playing with her broms.

Ha ha sounds like the Clematis is growing out of control, are you going to keep it or get rid of it and plant something else easier to maintain and enjoy?

Good to hear you got new lenses and hopefully you get used to them soon. I still have to book in to get mine checked again as it’s been awhile since they were last checked.

Hi Nev sounds like you have been very busy indeed and doesn’t it make a difference no matter how much you get done at least it’s something and a step closer to getting things done.

Pleased to hear you are holding onto the Billbergia’s, they look healthy enough to do so imagine if you do stabilise a yellow Bill., that will be something special indeed and where can you go from there.

Yes I know technology has come a long way and it can take up a lot of your time if you are not careful so we often have gadget free days so as to not end up with square eyes LOL. That’s funny the young bloke not being able to read your running writing, I too get that here sometimes at work and I shake my head and laugh.

Thanks for the link from the Garden Web post (2007), I will have to take a look when I have a bit of spare time and take some notes on storing pollen.

Great pics you posted, WOW look at all those Tillandsias, imagine when they all flower like that in a row, would be nice to see. Adore the colours in your Neo’s, especially that Neo. ‘Thunderbird x Self’; and what an unusual flower on Edmundoa lindenii rosea, not something you see every day.

Hi Jean I rang Mum on Sunday and the rain was bucketing down the whole time we spoke for 1hr, really heavy and came with it wind also; Mum ended up staying rugged up inside and naturally did not want to venture out at all in the dangerous weather but I hope she still get visitors like my brother and her boyfriend during the course of the day. Mum did say she potted up all her broms I sent her and is happy they are all miniatures so she can easily find room for them. She did say that her Neo. ‘Bullis’ Margaret’ that I gave her a couple of years ago is doing exceptionally well and is full of wonderful colour. Thanks I am really looking forward to catching up with Mum end of June and into July, I just wish I could get more time off work but unfortunately we will be in the middle of a Roaster Shutdown at work so will be needed at work, but I have taken a couple of days off, a Friday and a Monday and then we have the weekends together wish will be nice.

Lovely pics you posted and how beautiful is your latest new triple Brugmansia, the flower looks so delicate, how long does the flower last? Also what a pretty Clivia and good looking Tills’ also, have you seen the Tills’ flower before, always something nice to look forward to but easy to miss because they are so small?

Anyway before I forget let me tell you all my encounter of what happened with that little Python picture that I recently posted on this forum. I discovered it hanging there early morning when I was getting ready for work, wrapped in my sarong after going for my usual morning swim I saw it hanging there with no movement whatsoever; the snakes head appeared lifeless, almost dehydrated and possibly dead but the body looked healthy but no movement whatsoever; anyway I could not see anything but the one lifeless looking head and it was hanging up height on the fairly lights that are situated around our pool, so I decided to grab something to poke it with and the only thing I could find was a dead leaf off my bromeliad ‘Painted Fingernail’, so after grabbing this I headed back to the snake and used it to gently lift and poke it’s lifeless head and so no movement whatsoever after a few attempts, then I remember saying something like “Oh you poor thing, your died” and proceeded to turn off the video I was taking on my phone to free up my hands so I could unravel the snakes tail from the fairy lights and properly dispose of it so it did not stink the place up or attract our dogs; except for when I reached up high on my tippy toes to undo it’s tail with both hands all of a sudden the snake came alive dropped and unravelled before my eyes right in front of me but still hanging onto the fairy lights with its tail and suddenly dropping something right in front of me and the Python hung there looking at me like “What the frig are you doing to me”. Anyway I stood there laughing for a while recovering from such a surprise and then it dawned on me where is the other snake it had hold of or was it something else it had hold of and the head that I was tapping that I though was dead might have been alive? Anyway I got a video also of it slivering along the fairly lights and trying to hide in the crevice of the roof guttering and then turned the video off and looked for the other thing it had dropped but could not find anything and even checked my Sarong because I thought it might have got caught up in the tassels as it fell right in front of me. Later on when I got to work I showed one of the girls the video without my glasses on and she said out loud “Trish there are two snake heads in your video not one, one up top and one down low and the one up top is a larger head than the bottom head, how could you not see that”, I explained to her that the snake was hanging up high in the fairly lights so I really had to stretch my hand out to take the video, then I replayed the video later (with my glasses on) and saw the bigger snake head up top smiling teeth and all, right where my hand would have been trying to unravel it’s tail and surprised it did not have a go at me given I was that close so lucky me that the snake must have just been too busy to try and attack me. It ended up being about 3 ½ foot in length and I got two video’s of it so Nev I will try and email you both videos, sure you will get a good laugh out of them. And the moral of the story is I should have gone to Spec Savers, think my eyes need checking LOL.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


A few variegated broms today to share.

Pic 1 & 2 - Neo. 'De Rolf'
Pic 3 - Neo. 'De Rolf' with more white, adore this one
Pic 4 - Neo. purchased as Neo. 'Gray Nurse'
Pic 5 - Ae. 'Rodco Inverta'

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – What an afternoon and night yesterday; 95 -100km winds, more trees down in the area and more mess to clean up in our yard. The worst is there’s more of the same forecast for today. What crazy weather we’re having, beautiful warm and sunny one day and freezing cold winds that would blow a dog off his chain the next.

Jean – I have a question, and as you’re the “Roundup Lady”, you’re the one who can probably best answer it. I didn’t use Roundup mainly because I don’t agree with what Monsanto is doing world-wide with their GE of crops, but the product I used was Hortico which also contains Glyphosate, the same active ingredient in Roundup. I recently cut back my neighbours Lantana which was looking over my side fence, and using a small paint brush I painted the cut ends with concentrated Hortico Glyphosate based weedicide, in your experience have you tried this method of application and what success rate did it have?

I like your pictures, especially your triple Brugmansia; certainly something different. Is that one you bred yourself?

Trish – Yes it wasn’t so much that the young bloke couldn’t read running writing, it was the astonished way he said it, as though it was some rare foreign language. Both myself and a friend standing nearby couldn’t believe what we were hearing.

Just to add a bit more to that picture of the Tillandsias growing on the power lines yesterday, I once saw a picture of a similar thing (I think in Mexico) where their equivalent of our electricity provider workers were going along in a truck and spraying them with a weedicide as the weight was getting too much for the wires.

I can’t wait to see the video of the “The Lady Snake Hunter”, sounds like you interrupted the randy little buggers trying to make some babies, Ha! Ha!

You’ve posted pic’s of some nice variegated plants this morning Trish especially Neo ‘Grey Nurse’, another Skotak hybrid using Neo carolinae as the seed parent. I also like the colours in the Ae. 'Rodco Inverta', it’s a beautiful Aechmea, but unfortunately like many other Aechmeas, doesn’t like our cold winters.

They are a couple of nice clones of Neo DeRolf you have there also. I have a couple of different clones but they aren’t as nice as yours and I fear one is reverting back to a plain Neo. johannis. This isn’t surprising as it appears quite a variable plant when you view the pictures of the various clones on the FCBS Photo Index at position 863 and the pictures on the BCR at:

That’s about it for today so I’ll finish with today’s pictures which were taken a couple of years ago. Pic’s 1 and 2 are my front gardens, Pic’s 3 and 4 are Aehmeas fasciata and recurvata growing in the old Peppercorn Tree in the back yard and Pic.5 is the area leading into the Frog Pond.

All the best, Nev

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Just a quick reply this morning as its time I wa sgetting ready to go out. Hospital group today.

Nev, to answer your question re Roundup.
I have used other products that contain glyphosate, which, as you say, is the main ingredient in Roundup. They do work , but I think a bit more slowly.
We always bought ours at the local Agriculture store. I think its a bit stronger than the version in the shops.
I always add a bit more anyway.
I have used it undiluted on the stumps of small trees etc and it has killed them off.
On persistent plants, keep applying when you see new shoots and it should eventually get rid of the problem.

The brugmansia is one I have grown out myself from imported seed.

Trish, your snake encounter sounds hilarious.
Lucky they were occupied though or you may have had nasty bite.
I am sure they had nothing complimentary to say about

Better move. Hello to Teresa and Brian.
Trish love your De Rolf. Heres mine looking good too.


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Brisbane, Australia

Hi all,

I don't have time to read all the recent posts at the moment, I will try to get back tonight. Just wanted to share a pic of a Neo De Rolf seed pod that germinated while still in the brom cup. I have recommended this site to a couple of people and hope they join the conversation.

Busy, busy, busy ... I now have about 2000 broms and am run off my feet keeping up with their needs ... still have this compulsion to buy though, gotta be nuts.

Bye for now, Shirley

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Christchurch, New Zealand

well the lovely warm weather we have been enjoying came to an abrupt end today.
Storm clouds rolled in bringing a plummet in temperature & heavy rain along with several bouts of hail.

Nev - had to laugh at your 'running writing' anecdote.
When I started high school in Sydney my English teacher went into raptures over my lovely running writing...
I was so embarrassed and quite shocked to held up as a shining example of penmanship as back in NZ my writing was always marked down as messy & poorly executed.

Jean - that's a pretty brug.
I was quite sad when the brug forum wound up as I really enjoyed following the progress of the different growers & hybridisers.
I still haven't met anyone growing brugs here but I know there are some as I saw a lovely one on display at the Ellerslie Garden Show a couple of years ago. And I also spotted one growing in the garden of a house for sale when I was browsing the real estate web pages.

Trish - your snake story is hilarious, very glad you weren't bitten as I have heard that python bites are not only painful but likely to become infected.

Shirley - nice to see you posting, that is quite interesting about the seed pod germinating in the brom cup... wonder what happens to such pods if they aren't removed?

Cheers all

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Just home from work so will catch-up with you all tomorrow, had a quick flick through the posts but want to get some dinner into me before bedtime so look forward to catching-up with you all tomorrow, and fantastic to see Shirley posting again, hope your back for good Shirley and great that you may be able to get others to join this friendly forum, please keep in touch won't you.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It seems the wind is abating a bit and not so strong today but the temperature’s a few degrees colder so I’ll still have to find a possie in one of the shade houses out of the wind again today by the looks of things.

Jean – Thanks for the info on Roundup; maybe because I applied my stuff to the cut ends in a concentrated form it could work then, fingers crossed.

Wherever that Brugmansia came from, it’s certainly a beautiful plant. Were the seeds you planted supposed to produce “triples” or was it a “one off” wonderful surprise?

That’s a nice ‘DeRolf’ of yours also; it seems like I the ones I bought must have been “duds” because they've never looked as good as any of those posted here over the last couple of days.

Shirley – It’s great to see you back again after such a long absence and please don’t leave it so long before you post again as we all enjoyed your past posts and wonderful pictures.

I know what you mean about “busy”, I have well over 2000 brom’s but I’m not run off my feet as I’m flat out walking these days. I’m busy re-organising my garden plants so I can more easily walk between them instead of stepping over them and often stumbling and having a fall. Hopefully the re-organising will make the plants more easily accessible; like they say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”.

That’s certainly an interesting seed capsule picture you’ve posted and for anyone who hasn’t seen this sort of thing before I’m sure they’ll find it very strange.

I have seen similar capsules before and they were also red in colour and not the usual green. I read somewhere that the red colouring comes from some plants that have (I think it was) Neo. cruenta in their lineage.

Twice when sowing seed direct from the capsule I have also seen tiny plantlets formed inside the seed capsule when it was opened, but I was at a friend’s house on both occasions and I didn’t have a camera with me.

Thanks for recommending this site to others, I hope they do come and visit as we could certainly do with a few more members.

Teresa – Yes the “Weather Girl” did say the winds were blowing our cold windy weather across the ditch toward N.Z. and for once she must have had access to accurate information. It didn’t mean our winds had gone though as Jean was sending another cold front up to us from Victoria and it’s expected this afternoon.

To give you a possible scenario of what could happen to the seed pod of Shirley’s if it hadn’t been removed, I would say you have to remember what happens when you sit a rootless small pup or a plant cutting in the water vase of a brom plant.

Whatever goodies are in that water will more often than not initiate root growth, so I imagine it’s quite possible that those small plantlets would keep growing (if they didn’t get washed out during watering)

Trish – It’s still nice to hear from you even though it’s a fleeting visit. I’ll bet you and Joe get a huge welcome from the girls when you get home from work each day and I expect you also have to spend some time with them as well so they don’t feel left out.

I’m anxiously awaiting the email with your snake video attachment as I’m sure it will be a real “hoot”.

Anyway that will do for today and I’ll finish with a few file pic’s once again as I still haven’t taken any new ones. Pic’s 1, and 2 are different clones of Neo ‘Gespacho’ sometimes spelled (‘Gespacio’), Pic.3 is a ‘Gespacho’ pup, Pic. 4 shows what can be produced when ‘Gespacho’ is crossed with ‘Break of Day’ (not my plant) and Pic 4 is for “Trish the Snake Lady”; I’ll bet she wouldn’t be so quick to catch this Brown Snake.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - the Neo Gaspacho x Break of Day is a stunner.

I have been told there may be some more work for me once my 3 weeks as relief receptionist is over.
The company is moving to a new building & they don't have room for all the paper files so they are all being scanned...
there are a great many files & scanning is time consuming...
I have made a start but they feel having a person dedicated to the job would be the best way to get through it.
Fingers crossed management in head office agree with them.

Take care all

Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Bloody freezing here tonight.

Jean, I have started moving 20 bushes to clear a space, hopefully I don't kill them off.
Nice looking photos of your flowers.

Nev, you are right about the hand writing, our kids writing just doesn't aim up to everybody else I know that are older. It just isn't a big deal at the schools around here. I suppose they think everything will be typed instead of written.

Trish, I bet hubby is glad that you can handle all these snakes that make themselves at home.

Hi Teresa, good luck with the glasses I'm sure you will get used to them. I can't believe how quickly my eyes have deteriorated over the last couple of years.

Hi Shirley, nice to here from you again.

Pic 1 Rein's Pride ( recovering from being burnt)

Pics 2+ 4 Not Sure

Pic 3 Making some room for a shade house

Pic 5 Bit of a trial garden to see what colours up

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Just letting everyone know ahead of time that I am going to be off line from this Thursday and back on line next week and chatting with you all again then promise, nothing to be concerned about I will fill everyone in later.

Hi Nev I wish we had Tillandsias growing like that in the wild as costly little things to buy and I really want to collect more of these interesting plants and they don’t take up much room which is great; my grand plan it to make some round hanging balls with them made out of coconut fibre but it’s going to take years to fill the surrounds of the ball with Tills’ but I have seen some collectors with these hanging in their gardens in trees and I really like the finished product, especially when they flower.

I will look at uploading the Python video’s next week if all goes well; goodness knows what I interrupted in the video except I am still wondering what the Python dropped and where it went???

Pleased to hear you like the recent variegated brom pics I posted in my thread, I have a habit of calling Neo. ‘Grey Nurse’ Gray Nurse instead as that was what was written on the label when I first got it and now I appear to have been brain washed LOL. Shame you can’t grow Ae. ‘Rodco Inverta’ where you are, it grows like a weed around here, I originally had 2 x Big Mothers and one of the mothers produced something like 9 good sized off sets and kept a few nice pups for me and sold off the rest; they are touch plants but you still have to watch out for burn as they really can’t take full sun without getting a scorch mark or two; I currently have mine growing under 70% shade-cloth but have already drawn back the shade-curtains because of the surrounding tree protection cast by the beautiful melaleuca trees situated in the wetlands directly behind our property.

My Neo. ‘DeRolf’ plants have been very good to me producing lovely variegated offsets; with the occasional non-variegated outset thrown in there that still fetch good coin at the market as still a very pretty looking brom without variegation and just the pink splashes of colour and that beautiful overall green/line colour. Happy to keep you a pup down the track if you like off one of mine if you want to replace your plant at some stage, the variegated one I mean?

Adored the pics of your garden from a couple of years ago, has much changed is there in arrangement since then to what you have growing in the garden beds now? I always find garden beds to be a forever changing canvas what we put there as they grow and our tastes change and always find it interesting to look at my then and now pics of how different the garden beds look each year.

Yes the girls give us huge welcomes when they get home and are both waiting at the door that eager to see us and if for some reason they are not there I play hide and get a good laugh at how long it takes for them to find me, the longest it's taken them to find me is 10 minutes because I hid in one of our big esky's with the lid cracked open, I was very sore by the time I did managed to get out LOL.

Ha ha, yes me and Brown Snakes don't get along, anything venomous I stay clear of for sure. I have a good story to tell when I get back about a bloke in Townsville who got bitten by one recently, remind me when I get back and I will tell the story.

Fantastic Neo' pics you posted, look at all that fantastic in your face colour.
Hi Jean pleased to hear you liked my snake encounter story; yes lucky for sure I did not get bitten but it seemed pretty preoccupied doing something, I just don’t know what exactly that something was LOL?

Luved the pic of your Neo. ‘DeRolf, lots of beautiful white that I always find most appealing to the usual green/lime look they get about them.

Hi Teresa pleased to her you got a good laugh out of my Python story, I am sure I will have many more stories to tell down the track as they really do like making regular visits around the same time each year, usually late Feb, March into April.

Hi Shirley that's fascinating the germinating seed pod of Neo. 'DeRolf', got to luv nature, where there's a will there's a way. My goodness you sound crazy busy with the amount of broms you have now, I don't know how you manage?

Hi Brian yeah hubby is pretty happy I handle the Pythons ok by myself but does help when they get too big as I value my life and can tell the difference by a test I carry out when first grabbing it by the tail, if I can't keep a firm gip on it's tail constantly than the snake is too big for me to handle alone. Great pics you posted also, that's a fantastic slice of room you have for your shade house, I am so excited for you.

Anyway gotta run, speak to you all next week.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Pic 1 - Vr, 'Fantasy x Illusion'
Pic 2 - Vr. 'Speckles x Milky Way'
Pic 3 - Vr. 'Jack Angel Green Envy'
Pic 4 - Vr. 'Jacks Angel Grex'
Pic 6 - 'Dad's Favourite'

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi Teresa and Brian - Also anyone else looking in but not posting. Come on start typing we need your input to keep this forum going as it was intended.

Teresa – Good to hear there’s a possibility of more work. Scanning files is very time consuming but at least it’s work and what’s more it may well lead to other work, so good luck.

Brian – Yes hasn’t the weather got colder during the past few days, I think last night was the coldest night we’ve had so far this year; there was a bit of snow up on the highlands yesterday and this is where the freezing conditions and cold winds are coming from I think.

I think kid’s writing is just one of today’s problems; too much reliance is being put on technical aids and the manual aids are being left behind and often forgotten. I remember when I first started in ambulance work an old (ready to retire) I.D.A. station officer said to me, “never forget the basics son, as mechanical aids can always fail” and he was proved right; we were resuscitating a patient many years later and the resuscitator malfunctioned and stopped and we had to revert to manual Mouth–to-Mouth resuscitation, and I was extremely pleased that I had followed his advice, (and so was the patient).

Just imagine what would happen if all of the computers, iPads, calculators and other modern technology that everyone relies on so much were to suddenly stop just for a day, in many cases we would have to revert to handwriting and arithmetic and doing things manually and I wonder where some of the young ones would be in that situation.

I remember when the Medical Centre I go to had a computer malfunction one day last year and the Medicare documents couldn’t be processed electronically and had to be done manually, there was only four of the older doctors and one nurse who knew how to do it manually. All of the seventeen young doctors had never had to do it nor had the nine young nurses and clerical staff of seven. It threw the place into chaos and that was when I thought what a mess we’d be in if this happened country wide.

I know how wonderful technology is and how we depend it so much, but I still think all workers should still know the basics; but then I’m just an old dinosaur who doesn’t even have a mobile phone.

Your Pic.1, Neo. ‘Rien’s Pride’ has always been a very popular little brom’s in our area even though it’s been around for quite a while. It was bred from a crossing of two Neo.‘Fairy Paint’ plants with each other and registered in 1991.

I think the plant in Pic.2 could be the species Quesnelia marmorata; it is variable with some clones having the curly leaf ends like the famous Ques. ‘Tim Ploughman’ but the usual form looks like your plant (See my Pic.1). It has flowers similar to Billbergias and makes a magnificent show if allowed to grow into a clump. Like many of these “tube type” Quesnelias it doesn’t like being disturbed, in fact when a pup is removed it can take up to a year for it to put down roots and start growing. Like Ques. Liboniana it has the tendency to “grow out of pots”; this is just its way of telling you it would be happier if it were mounted on a suitable tree where it will grow happily if undisturbed.

In Pic.4 the plant is most likely one of the many Aechmea orlandianas which come in various patterns. There is also Ae. ‘Bert’, which looks similar but is a hybrid of Ae. orlandiana. They all like bright light to attain the best colour and patterning, and will grow well hanging high up beneath the shade cloth roof of a shade house. (See my Pic.2)

You need to file your Pic.3 as the “before” picture of your shade house construction site. It’s interesting to take progressive pictures and besides you can post them here so we can all enjoy them.

The garden in picture 5 seems to be in an ideal spot with some protection from shrubs and trees. It’s worth remembering that if you plant your plants “pot and all” in the garden, the roots can be up to four degrees warmer in the cold weather and four degrees cooler in the hot weather. With a new garden such as this, remember to keep a close watch on the plants because when the weather warms up and the sun changes direction,this is when plants can sometimes get sunburned.

To finish up today the pictures are Pic.1 Quesnelia marmorata (Unfortunately not my plant), Pic.2 My collection of Ae orlandianas hanging up beneath the shade cloth, Pic. 3 Neo. ‘Kiko’ just starting to colour up and Pic’s 4 and 5 showing some Neo’s hanging beneath the shade cloth cover between my two shade houses.

All the best, Nev.

P.S. I've just noticed Trish has posted also, so I'll post this and get back again later today as I have appointments this morning and I'm running late for breakfast as usual.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
The sun is shining at the moment. Its very chilly though.
We have had plenty of rain in showers, nothing heavy, but still welcomed by all the palnts.

About the brugmansia flowers... Usually if you cross something with double or triple flowers, you have more chance of getting more. Brugmansias set seed in large pods which take up to 4 months to ripen. The pods can be fat, thin, round or quite long depending on the particular cross. Every seed is different so the chances of getting something exactly like the parents is a lucky dip.
One of the horrors we that grow the brugs have, is the people who put up lovely pics of the flowers then advertise the seed inferring that thats what you will get. The only way to get something the same as pictures is from direct cuttings.
I suppose its the same problem with a lot of plants , with growers not bothering about names etc, just money.
There are those out there also selling other peoples brugs with a new name . We have seen countless examples of this, but there is little anyone can do, even registering a named brug doesnt stop them.
Off the

My lovely brug pictured was grown from imported seed as here in Australia there were not many different ones . Now we are able to export our own Aussie seeds.

Nev, my broms are a bit confused as neo Noble Descent is flowering again.
It had already flowered months ago, but I see a couple of new flowers have opened.
All my pups are getting so large some are starting to try and push mum out of the way.

Shirley, lovely to see you here again. We missed your beautiful pics.

Trish, you are so lucky that the venomous snakes dont visit you much.
I know the pythons can bite and are dangerous to smaller creatures, but one does not want visits from the more deadly species.
Down here, if we see any snake its probably venomous.
Luckily they keep out of the way mostly. The ones I have seen over the years, I have watched carefully and let them go on their way.
A lot of bites are from foolish idiots who panic at the sight of a snake of any sort, or those who think they are smart and try to grab them.
There are, of course, the accidental encounters which may lead to a bite, but I have found that common sense about snake habits, will keep you from harm.

Brian, you are going to have a lovely shadehouse. Your better half will love it for some of her tender

Teresa, hope the work keeps coming for you. As they say, any job is better than none.

Not much news from here about my broms.
I am off again this morning to an appointment.
I seem to be out a lot lately and not because I am using the new
Its just that quite a few things are going on at the same time.

A few old vriesea pics today..

pic 1 of my favorites vr Angela

pic 2... vr Ginotti

pic 3... vr Gultz

Keep warm and safe.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Jean - Vr Angela is pretty , love that shade of pink.
I like Vr Gultz too.

I am enjoying the job but it is leaving me too tired to do much in the evening - I seem to stare blankly at my laptop & lose my train of thought.

take care all

Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Thanks Nev for the info on Quesnelia marmorata, looks the same as when mine flowered as in the first 3 pics.

Jean, other half isn't into plants much at all, will have to think of something to act as a decoy while I kill the whole backyard haha.

Trish, your Vrieseas are spectacular as usual

The pictures are finally able to be uploaded from this IPad


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Back again after my interrupted post yesterday morning where I omitted answering Trish.

Trish- I can’t make out this DG site; when I first looked yesterday morning there were only two posts; Teresa and Brian; then just as I went to post, yours appeared, and the times aren’t even close. Anyway, that’s my whinge for the day and now back to brom’s.

I have a spare Tillandsia plant or two but they are only common ones, I think one is called ‘Stricta’ and I don’t remember if the other one has a name on it, but you’re welcome to a couple if you want them.

I didn’t notice your spelling of ‘Grey Nurse’ until you mentioned it as I've become used to plants sometimes being registered with the American spelling which is Gray and not Grey like we spell it; it’s no big deal though until you are looking for a plant in a “search” and then the wrong spelling can make things difficult.

As for Ae. ‘Rodco’ inverta, it’s not just that one that doesn’t like the cold here the same applies to the other Ae. lueddemanniana c.v’s such as MEND, MEND inverta, 'Alvarez', 'Blanca Alvarez' & 'Pinkie'. I’ve tried most of them with the same poor result.

As for the garden pictures I posted, the only change is that the seedling culls I planted behind the mauve border have all grown very big (a few blanchetianas and large Neo’s) and the Ae. recurvatas in the other garden have gone and been replaced with some large Neo’s and a couple of different Ae bromeliifolias. I’ll try and remember to take a picture today.

That’s a great collection of Vrieseas you posted, real ”drool” material, but I think this Dad’s favourite is Pic.5 also.

Jean – Everything you say about Brugmansias applies to Brom’s as well. I’ve heard heated arguments between inexperienced growers about how hybrid brom. seed will definitely be the same as the seed parent which I know is a lot of rot as I’ve made my own crosses and know that no two hybrids are the same, but it’s no good trying to explain to these types of people as they don’t want to listen as they already have their mind made up. The difference with brom’s is that the only way to get plants the same as the seed parent from seed, is if that plant is a species and the flowers were selfed and not contaminated with other pollen. The only other certain ways are to use “offsets”; or also tissue culture which in most cases will produce a replica of the parent plant.

It’s interesting you’ve put up a picture of Vr. ‘Angela” as I saw a picture of one of Jack Koning’s crosses of Milky Way x Angela the other day and it was a very nice plant. Jack always had high hopes of it as a parent and this has all now been justified with the results as shown in Pic.1; (Jack's picture not mine.)

Here’s an interesting little bit of trivia for you; Did you know that Vr.‘Gulz’ was imported from the Hans Gulz Nursery in Germany in the late 1970’s by Olive Trevor, Brisbane, as V. platynema var. variegate?

When it first flowered it had a branched inflorescence so the species name seemed inappropriate and it was registered as a hybrid by Olive and named ‘Gulz’ after the German nursery. Also did you know that Vr. ‘Ginoti’ was bred way back some time prior to 1940 from a crossing of two species; Vr. fenestralis x Vr. platynema v. rosea?

Teresa – You seem to be displaying some of the symptoms of not enough vitamin “B”. A simple addition of this to your diet could have you jumping out of your skin again. There are eight different types of Vitamen “B” so always check with your doctor first so see which one you need to take and if there could be side effects.

Brian – Yes, looking at your pictures I would say your plant is definitely Ques. marmorata. As I haven’t flowered mine yet, a question now for you; just out of curiosity, how long did the flowers last, are they just short lived like Billbergia flowers?

My C.E.O. wasn’t into brom’s either, although she did like the orchids when I grew them and has a few succulents herself.

Since I have been less mobile though she does do a lot of the weeding which is much appreciated and I’ve noticed that whenever anyone comes to look at the brom’s she always speaks of them as “our brom’s” and likes to explain about them. So don’t be fooled, I think your wife (like mine) might (down deep) really like them but just not admitting to it.

You should call your Pic.4, “The building site through the eyes of a brom” and is that Neo. ‘DeRolf’ in your Pic.5? ……..It’s a nice looking plant.

You seem to have mastered uploading pictures from your iPad, do you mind telling us what you did to sort out the problem so that it may help others.

That will do me today and I’ll finish with a few more pictures. Firstly one (for Jean) of Jack Koning’s latest creations Vr. ‘Milky Way’ x ‘Angela’.

Pic.2 is one of the taller Ae nudicaulis species which came to me with the very appropriate name of Ae. nudicaulis ‘Giant’, it is a tall growing plant and although the one in the picture is only about two feet high, I do have another which is just on three feet but wasn’t in flower when the picture was taken.

Pic.3 Ae.‘Jean’; this is an easy to grow plant which does well in a shady location and maintains its nice burgundy foliage colour which is just as much a feature as are its flowers and berries (Pic.4). When I first got my plant it was tagged as Ae, Chianti var ‘Jean’, however when I checked up on the BCR I find it has been registered as Ae.‘Jean’.

It’s another plant which suffered an identity crisis for some years. This plant was imported to Australia from the USA in 1981 and was originally named xNidumea 'Jean'. Old documents show that Hummel was the hybridist and as is usual with this hybridist, the parents are for some reason never listed. So if you have this plant named as xNidumea ‘Jean’ or Ae. Chianti var. ‘Jean’ please change the name to Ae, ‘Jean’.

Pic.5 is another Billbergia and although still just in bud, will like most Billbergias, produce beautiful but unfortunately “short-lived” flowers. It is Bill. rosea, an easily grown species which likes strong light and is a very tough plant.

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Its raining again. Still the fine sprinkle we have been getting . Its fools you into thinking you wont get very wet if you duck out in it, but its just as wet as heavy rain, just takes a little more time to wet you

Nev, I an surprised that you find ae Mend doesnt like the cold as I had 3 of them at the house along with a couple of others you have mentioned which dont take to the cold. They were all only under a shadecloth roof and thrived in all weather.
I suppose it must depend on the individual plants.

I love my vr Angela and she has been a good producer of pups. She does tend to keep a lot of the color through winter too.
I have one of her large pups here now. I also had a lovely cross Chieftan x Angela, which had a lot of Angelas color.

Nice to see the great pics and I do like the color of ae Jean.
vr MilkyWay x Angela is very pretty.
I had a couple of Milky Way crosses but didnt bring any here.

Brian, like Nev, my other half was not into plants but enjoyed showing off the garden full of "our" plants

Buy your wife a beautiful plant for a birthday or anniversary. A sure way to encourage an addiction to some sort of plant.
Get her something pretty but easy to look after.
You never know, she may just outdo you with a future collection of her favorites then.

Teresa, take care of yourself. Nev, is right in suggesting you may need a vitamin. Check with your doctor.
I think we all get a bit like that at times.
Give Miss Sugar a pat.

Trish. say hello to your mum and I hope the weather in her bit of Vic improves for her.

I am off again this morning.
Just waiting for the delivery of my new armchair.
The pair I brought when I moved are okay for visitors but not so comfortable for longer periods like watching TV or reading.
I have a very nice recliner coming , so hopefully will be cosy for winter days.

Take car and stay warm.

pic 1 is an old pic of two pups from vr Chieftan x Angela ( sorry , not a great pic, but does show the lovely color)

pic favorite vriesea which lives here with me...vr White Chestnut. Its a lot bigger than when the pic was taken.


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Christchurch, New Zealand

hi all, it has been bucketing down here today and really cold.
It was nice to get home to a warm house as hubby gets home earlier & lit the pellet burner.

Nev - I take B group vitamins so don't think that is my problem.
I think it's just the longer day, working at a new job that takes a fair bit of concentration & the hour & a half trip home on the bus - or two buses depending on which route I take.
Added to that is not sleeping well - between a snoring hubby & restless dog I haven't got a hope of a solid 8 hours!

anyway Vr Milky Way x Angela is rather nice - it would look great next to something in a dark green or even a lime green.

Jean, Vr White Chestnut is the kind of plant I like with such strong striping.

cheers - Teresa

Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Not looking good for work in the yard today, a bit of rain about.

Nev, I would like to say I worked out the iPad, but I have no idea. They do an update which must have fixed something.
The Quesnelia marmorata did only flower for a week or so, I thought I must have killed it.
The pic does show a Neo. 'DeRolf' pup, seems to like the position.
I like the look of Ae. 'jean' and will have to start looking about for plants that keep a bit of colour in lower light.

Jean, I think you are right, get the yard to look good and the wife will come around.

Teresa, I feel better doing 10hrs of manual work than 2 on the computer, that's a big day with all the travel on top.

Oh well the sun is trying to come up, so better go and do a bit.


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Still pretty chilly here with the south west wind coming from the snowfields, however I was able to get out of it in a shade house yesterday and do some more cleaning up and re-arranging of plants. That’s the good thing about gardening; you can always find something to do.

Jean – There are many plants that I should be able to grow in our area; however I must be just in a microclimate that doesn’t suit them. We are on the top of a rise in Shellharbour Village and although great for an ocean view, we do unfortunately cop all the cold winds coming from the south west and I think it is this increased wind chill factor that makes it just that bit too cold to suit a lot of plants especially some of the Aechmeas, in particular the chantinii group and the lueddemanniana hybrids mentioned previously. The plain green and the pinkish coloured lueddemanniana species will grow OK in the garden; it’s their variegated hybrids that I have difficulty with.

I too like Vr. ‘Angela’ and in my opinion when it’s grown well in good light, it’s a beautiful plant and like you say, also a good producer of pups.

Your suggestion to Brian to buy his wife a nice plant for a present is a good idea, and might I suggest a nice white Phalaenopsis orchid. The new hybrids are easy to grow and are available all over the place now. Gone are the days when you needed a hot house to grow them and they will grow quite easily inside when in flower and in a shade house once the flowers are finished. My daughter gave my wife one for Mother’s Day three years ago and it’s already flowered five times off the same spike. Once the flowers finish (don’t cut off the old spike) just move it outside to the shade house and a few months later a secondary spike will appear from a dormant “eye” on the original spike. Certainly a good investment, but Brian beware; your wife might then get into orchids and take over your new shade house and kick out your brom’s.

Teresa – It seems you’re already one step ahead of me with my suggestion of vitamin B but you did say you take B “Group” vitamins. I was thinking more of a specific vitamin B; as I said previously, there are eight different types of Vitamin “B” and they all work differently, so maybe your doctor could advise which is best for you.

On the other hand, if you were a bromeliad, I would say you are still getting acclimatised to the new job and the travel time. Alternatively, you could make Miss Sugar sleep in her own bed on the floor and put a peg on hubby’s nose. Ha! Ha!

That’s it for today and a few older file pictures to finish with. Pic.1 is Neo.'Pink Fantasy' AKA 'Pink Fantasia', Pic.2 is Neo. 'Aleena' (Mini), Pic.3 shows the attractive and unusual flowers of Quesnelia liboniana (which like Ques. marmorata, also like to grow "out" of the pot) Pic.4 is Neo.'Gee Whiz' making a statement in a group shot and Pic.5 is Neo. NOID. Anyone know its name?

All the best, Nev.

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shellharbour, Australia

I've done it again; missed another post, this time the one from Brian, sorry mate.

Sounds like you're having similar weather to us; last night while watching TV it poured rain for about twenty seconds and then nothing more since, how's that for weird?

It doesn't look like any rain about down here so hopefully more yard work will get done.

It sounds like the Ques. marmorata is like the Ques. liboniana as its flowers only have the life span of a Billbergia as well. It's no wonder why people often get these two mixed up with Billbergias as the short flower life combined with the growth habit they do look similar.

There’s no names on your pic’s today, is the second one Ae ‘Burgundy’? That’s a couple of nice pups on you xNeophytum, is it Ralph Davis?

If you’re after plants that will keep their colour in lower light, you can’t go past Ae ‘Jean’, always looks nice, easy to grow and a prolific “pupper”, what more could you want?

Some others worth considering are, Nidularium campos portoi, Nidularium innocentii var. striatum and Nidularium ‘Miranda’. All are atractive plants and look good even when not in flower. Another good one worth growing is Nidularium longiflorum; although the foliage is just plain green in colour, it does have a long lasting flower which looks like a large red Tudor Rose and lasts for months. It has undergone some name changes and there’s talk of changing it back to Nidularium innocentii.

A few pic’s of the above to finish with, Pic.1 Nidularium campos portoi, Pic.2 Nidularium innocentii var. striatum, Pic.3 Nidularium Ruby Lee. Pic.4 Nidularium longiflorum and Pic.5 Nidularium ‘Miranda’

All the best, Nev.

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Tascott, Australia

Hi Nev,

Yeh not sure about the first 2 pics I posted, the 2nd one is probably from your mate, John.

The 3rd one is 'Gary Hendrix' and has 3 pups on it, wonder what it would look like if I left it as a clump as I have another one the same.

Pic 4 is Neo. 'scarlet manooka'

The plants in your pics 1 and 3 look good and my Daughter's name is Lee as well.


Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Since all the trees have fallen over here recently the council have mulched them and left in large piles at local parks for everyone to pick up. My question is whether fresh mulch is ok to cover your gardens in. They would be mainly large gum trees I imagine.

Second question is when you receive broms in the mail, what method do you go through
(watering, pests etc)


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Here we are again, almost halfway through the weekend and still all of those unfinished jobs in the garden to be done. That’s nothing to worry about though, as they’ll still be there next weekend as garden jobs are very patient and don’t mind waiting. The only ones that do get a bit impatient are the weeds which still continue to grow and can eventually take over if not controlled.

Brian – It looks just like you and me today so on with the discussion.

That second plant I mentioned that you said you got from my old mate John is probably Ae. ‘Burgundy’; I say probably as we won’t know for sure until it flowers, but the foliage looks like that of Ae. ‘Burgundy’ and I know that John did have that plant.

xNeophytum ‘Gary Hendrix’ is like most brom’s and will look good in a clump. The only thing you have to watch out for is that the new pups have space to grow. To help with this, as soon as the old Mother plant starts to die and only if the pups are of sufficient size, cut the old plant away to create more space. While it’s left there the the pups will keep sucking all the “goodness” out of it until it just looks like an unsightly bit of dead grass. If it’s starting to die and there are already multiple pups, it’s unlikely it will produce any more so its life is over anyway.

I don’t know Neo. 'Scarlet Manooka' and can’t find it on either of the bromeliad photo indices so it isn’t registered. What do you know about it and do you have a picture of it coloured up?

To answer your question about fresh mulch, there are some things you need to be aware of; firstly as new mulch starts to decompose it will generate heat (which is sometimes quite considerable) and for this reason it needs to be kept clear of the actual garden plants as it can burn them.

The second thing is that it will create “nitrogen drawdown”, simply put; this means it will draw the nitrogen from the garden soil beneath it during the breaking down process.

In 2009, Angus Stewart, from Gardening Australia explained it this way:

“Most gardeners are familiar with the benefits of mulch:
It saves water, prevents weed growth and keeps soil temperature even. But Angus reckons there’s a major pitfall with the mulches which are commonly used in our gardens. As soon as you put woody materials such as sawdust, bark and woodchip onto the soil surface, micro-organisms, fungi and bacteria actually try to compost them. To do that, they need to draw nutrients out of the soil. This is called nitrogen drawdown, because nitrogen is the major nutrient they need.
This results in a competition for nutrients between plant roots and the mulch that’s sitting on top.

A much more in depth explanation can be found at:

When receiving plants in the mail, there are several things you can do to rejuvenate the plant and safeguard your collection.

Initially I soak the whole plant for a few hours in a bucket of water in which a cup of raw sugar has been dissolved, this will quickly re-hydrate the plant.

Next is the inspection and treatment for possible problems. At this point different growers follow different approaches; some can’t be bothered to take any precautions or quarantining a plant and just add it immediately to their collection.

Others will quarantine a plant and adopt the “watch and wait” method to see if any problems develop and then treat accordingly.

Personally I like to take the preventative route and although not an advocate of spraying poisonous substances over my whole collection on a regular basis like some growers do, have no problem treating new individual plants with a systemic insecticide as a precaution.

The main problem to look for around the roots, is “Root Mealy Bug”, this is an insect which does its damage beneath the surface instead of above it, and are similar to the Mealy Bug we sometimes see which are usually covered in a white woolly substance. Root Mealy Bug may attack any roots but prefer the dryer areas of the mix just below the level of the soil, especially where the root and the stem meet. Although they occur throughout the roots, they are most obvious along the edges, and can also appear on the inside walls of the pot and even if they can’t be seen, evidence of their presence is often seen by a fine white coloured web on the inside of the pot. Root Mealy Bugs are sap feeders and it is this that causes the problem as they continue to do their damage to the plant beneath the surface of the mix and out of sight.

When I treat a new plant, it doesn’t matter whether it is infested with Root Mealy Bug, Scale or any other insect or not, all plants get the same precautionary treatment because even if there are no insects visible, there can still be eggs which need to be dealt with as well. I remove as much of the old potting mix as possible and then thoroughly hose the whole plant. I then mix up a reliable systemic insecticide in a container large enough to accommodate the whole plant and completely immerse it for at least a half hour.

I then allow it to air dry after which I repot the plant in my own fresh damp potting mix. I then put it in a quarantined area separate from my other plants for about a month and if no problems are apparent after that time it is moved in with the other plants.

During the quarantine period the plant is moved initially to a semi shaded area where it will remain for a week and then the light is gradually increased during the quarantine period. Usually you don’t know under what light levels the plant was previously grown although leaf colour is a good indicator with light green leaves suggesting high light and very dark green leaves suggesting low light, but far better to increase the light gradually to be on the safe side.

That’s it for another day and today’s pic’s are: Pic.1 Neo.’Rain Cloud, Pic.2 Racinae fraserii, Pic.3 Neo. ‘Tangerine’ x ‘Mon Petite’, Pic.4 An Aechmea totem with a plant of Ae ‘Burgundy’ in the garden at the base and Pic.5 Neo. ‘Thunderbird’ x Self.

All the best, Nev


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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Just been for my walk and there is a frost down in the town . I am in the town , but up on the hill so the frost doesnt get as bad as further down.
It was quite nippy once I was down in the town , but walking gets you warm quickly.
There are mushrooms growing all over the place on lawns etc. I had a look at one and it definitely looks like a mushroom.
I used to love picking them and with the kids, would walk miles around the hills in what was then, out of Melbourne, but is now part of Melbourne suburbs.
These days I prefer to buy mushrooms, so I know what I am getting .

My broms are not being affected by the cold , being under the eaves , but I do have some frost cloth to toss over them in needed.
Today looks like being a beautiful sunny day as was yesterday.

Brian, I have used various mulches over the years and I found that besides what Nev says about the nitrogen, You may find that eucalyptus mulch can sometimes make a surface cover that water will run off, depriving your soil of vital moisture.
I found the best mulches for me were plain straw, pea straw or lucerne hay. These seem to be able to allow the water through.
Here, on my small garden bed and pots, I have used sugar cane mulch.
Be careful using lawn clippings also, as they too can form a thick cover that stops water penetrating properly.
If you have a place to pile your mulch, mix a couple of different types and turn it often, like a compost heap. This helps the breaking down process as the bacteria doing the job will come from under the pile . The mulch will still be breaking down once you spread it, but probably not so much nitrogen taken from the garden then.
Lucerne hay gives nitrogen back to the soil, so is great around plants.
This may be all disputed by some, but its what I have learnt from doing it myself.
You can only try and see what works for you.

Nev, love the pics of the nidulariums. I did have a few of them and they seem to be quite hardy.
My nid. innocenti grew quite large, so was not one that came with me , even though it was a beautiful brom.
I love the colors in nid. Ruby Lee.
Again , one that did not come with me.

Teresa, I hope that going back to work is getting better for you now. Its always a shock to the system when you change what the body gets used to.
Be a change for Miss Sugar too, after having you around to wait on

Hello Trish and anyone lese out there.
I am off to sit in the sun and enjoy it while its here.

Keep warm.

a couple of old pics of the broms.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

lovely fine day here after a cool misty start...
No training for Sugar as we held our AGM - I was nominated as President & with nobody else putting up their hand for the position I am it.

Interesting information on mulches - I have weed mat down in the back yard with bark on one section & gravel on another.

My woodland corner has a good layer of leaves that has built up over the years with several deciduous trees in my yard & on the street donating to the cause every autumn.
I helped as well by raking leaves from the drive & the verge in front of my place - and the neighbours.

cheers all - Teresa

Tascott, Australia

Congratulations President Teresa, sounds like you are the perfect person for the job.

Nev and Jean, thanks for the info on the mulches and postal deliveries. I already have put some of it down but will pile up the rest until it ages somewhat. Maybe a dose of fertiliser high in nitrogen might do the trick.

Jean, is frost cloth similar to shade cloth? (There isn't such a thing as a stupid question)

Nev, I can't find anything on the net about 'scarlet manooka', must be something else.
Picture below is from when I purchased it.


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It looks like the weather is still being kind to me and yesterday I was able to water half of my collection in readiness for a good “Seasolling” today as part of my preparations for winter.

Tomorrow I’ll water the other half and then on Thursday they’ll cop the Seasol also.

Jean – Gee now you’re bringing back memories of the mushrooming days of my childhood. Where we lived was in a dairy farming area, and I don’t know if it was the cow manure or what, but the country always seems to be covered in “mushies” after a nice shower of rain. Unfortunately this same area is now covered in houses and not mushrooms and I have to go to the local fruit market to buy them, but it’s not all bad news as there are now many more different varieties available to feed my addiction.

When we went mushrooming we would walk down the railway line and pick a bucket or two of wild peaches from the trees on the side of the tracks, and leave them to be picked up on our return trip. If the Blackberries were ripe we would pick some of them as well; so that kept Mum busy when we got home as she would stew the peaches and also make a blackberry pie, or sometimes make a peach pie or a peach and blackberry pie (all great tasting pies, and my mouth’s watering as I remember them). A great plate of mushrooms on toast and the pie for desert was a pretty decent meal……………………Memories.

Back on track again and onto mulches; when I lived at Dunmore we were just up the road from the station and the rail trucks would bring in loads of Lucerne hay for the local farms. During the unloading from the rail trucks onto lorries there would be a lot of spillage on the ground which we would rake up and use as mulch on the vegetable garden as well as including some in our Cymbidium mix. As it belongs to the Pea family, Lucerne also has a good proportion of natural nitrogen and it really made things grow. Even now it’s much more economical to buy a bale of Lucerne hay at the produce store than sugar-cane mulch or pea straw at the nursery.

They’re a couple of nice “pic’s from the past” you’ve posted and they are a great record of how plants looked when growing under various conditions and certainly good to use as a comparison from how you grew them preciously to how you grow them now.

Teresa – I’ve noticed in all organisations I’ve been in, that attendance is always down at the AGM and when it comes to electing officers for the coming year everyone seems reluctant to put their hand up for a job. Everyone likes to accept the benefits of a club environment but it’s usually the same old few doing all the work.

Raking up leaves and composting seems to be a thing of the past these days as people are “time poor” and it’s easier to buy a bag of ready mixed compost than make your own. Gone are the days when every back yard had a vegie garden and a couple of compost heaps brewing; just a sign of the times I guess. However, before we had “Green Bins” we had to compost the leaves and grass clippings as that was the only way to get rid of them and help the environment as well.

So now that you’re “El Presidento” do you get to wear the “Grand Poobah” hat as well? Congratulations for taking on the job and doing your bit to keep things going in your club, you are now one of the important “few” who do all the work.

Brian – Just because you can’t find anything on the WWW about 'Scarlet Manooka' doesn’t mean it must be something else, it’s just that it hasn’t been registered and could be someone’s “pet name” for a plant they have, without a name.

There are thousands of plants around with names that aren’t registered. As registration isn’t compulsory many people don’t bother (even some of the very big hybridisers), the thing is that it does help to ID a plant as well as giving some of its history which is useful when hybridising. By not registering plant names, you are just adding to the confusion of duplicate names that’s getting larger and larger each day.

Personally I think if someone has a plant worth giving a name to, they should register that name also as it’s a free service, can be done on line in probably less than ten minutes and only needs a photo, a description and a few details of who the hybridiser was and what parents were used if known.

That’s it for today and I’ll finish with a few random pictures from the past of some of my Vrieseas.

All the best, Nev


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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. Just a quick few minutes today as I have to leave early this morning. Have a few things to do before going on to my hospital group.
Today will be craft day and there are lots of things we make for the fete later in the year. I have been doing some handpainted cards as well as pics for a calender.

Just to answer your question Brian.
I had not heard of frost cloth until a few years ago, when I read about it being used on brugmansias in the US.
Not needing any at the house, I didnt bother about it, but here , it may be handy .
I went on eBay and looked it up. I was able to buy a roll of 20 metres about a metre wide for just $8 plus a few dollars postage. When it arrived, I was surprised, expecting something a bit more substantial.
It is a very light, white cloth which feels like cotton wool been stretched out and ironed.
Sounds funny , but I think it will work well.
Some sort of polyester I think.
I will use a few cane stakes to hold it above the broms and brugs.
By clipping it to the sides of the shadecloth, the wind will not blow it away.
A couple of bricks will hold it down for the broms.

Congratulations President Teresa.
I am sure you will be one of the best presidents they have had. You have the knowledge and common sense needed for the job.

Better move or nothing will get done.

Keep warm everyone

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Brian - have you tried searching Scarlet Manuka?
It crossed my mind when I saw the Manooka spelling that perhaps someone was either being a bit creative or couldn't spell... perhaps whoever wrote the label spelled it phonetically.

Nev - I love the colour contrast on pic 5, I know I've seen that one before & it really appeals to me.
I miss having a compost heap - Hubby thought it was 'messy' & after we landscaped the back yard there wasn't anywhere to put one.
We have a big bin for our green waste - the city council invested in a top of the line composting system & we can put bones in as well - meat & fish etc that you wouldn't put in your home compost because of the risk of attracting pests or creating a terrible pong.

I'm enjoying my job - but ran out of work this afternoon & found myself nodding off - had to dash upstairs to make a coffee & do a tidy of the kitchen to wake myself up.

Hubby has been sick with a sore throat & head cold that laid him low & then developed into a nasty cough.
He's had 2 days off work & his snoring & coughing have left me a bit sleep deprived.
He's feeling better tonight so hopefully we can both get a good night's rest.

Sugar has been the winner - extended snoozing on our bed with hubby for company.

cheers - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – Yesterday was another productive day for me here and I got half of my collection Seasolled. We had a bit of drizzle over night but as it isn’t raining now, hopefully I’ll get the other half of the plants done today and I can tick off another job as finished.

Jean – With your artistic skills, I think you are definitely in the right place at your “craft meeting”. What a great idea for people to come together and have a catch up chat while making something useful to later be sold at your hospital fete. I hope your pic’s for calendars include some pic’s of brom’s; you can spread the word about these wonderful plants in this way as every time people look at their calendar they will see a brom, and this might prompt them to try growing some.

Just to add a little bit more info to your answer to Brian about “Frost Cloth”, Last year at our local Bunnings, I saw they also had it for sale. I just forget the price now but I remember thinking at the time that it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be. It was in the same section that they display their nylon bird netting and artificial grass.

Teresa – That’s a good point about the name label, as these are notorious for having the incorrect name, and there’s a saying among brom growers which says, “Never trust the name on a label” always check it out to verify it. Unfortunately it isn’t listed under that spelling either.

The Vrieseas in my Pic’s 3 and 5 yesterday were both pups taken from the same Mother plant, Vr. ‘Orange Sundae’. The plant in Pic.3 was grown in low light and the plant in Pic.5 in high light. It just shows what an influence light has on foliage colours of some plants.

I don’t think there’s anything which can make you feel more miserable than the “common cold”, it’s usually accompanied by general aches and pains as well as a stuffed up nose and sore throat and makes you feel absolutely “rotten”. Although I wish “Hubby” a speedy recovery, I’ll bet Miss Sugar doesn’t think the same way as she would much sooner have to stay on the bed and look after him.

Today’s pic’s are a few of Jack Koning’s new Vrieseas hybrids plus a couple of “ring-ins” I found on the WWW that I had to share with you. Pic.4 for those of you who like eating squid, and Pic.5 named, “Me and my little friend”.

All the best, Nev.

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