Merino, Australia

I dont know about the rest of you, but I am looking for spring.
I know we need winter for our plants, but I need a bit of warm now.
I saw a tree out in full blossom the other day along the roadside. Probably one of those that grow wild from seed thrown from cars. It looked so pretty in the dull weather.
My jonquils have been out for months and the roadsides are pretty with all the wattles in bloom.
Maybe this pic will encourage Spring to hurry up.

We came from here ....

Enjoy your day.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog training was cancelled today, grounds are too wet & the weather is not nice.
Hubby & I raced out to do the shopping when their was a lull, the rain stopped & the wind died down so it wasn't to bad.
It was nice to come home to a warm lounge with the pellet fire going. Sugar was pleased to have us back, she had eaten her veal bone & took a nap in her crate & was ready to come out again.

Brian - you are amassing quite a collection of broms, some really lovely colours & markings on the plants you have chosen.
Happy birthday to your 'old lady' from another one who will be the big 50 in a few months.
We were talking about how to celebrate & my brother suggested hubby take me to Hawaii. I had to explain to hubby what the joke was as he had forgotten about the old tv show.

Trish - your pups are very lucky girls... nice new coats, good food, runs on the beach.
Good thing Sugar can't read or she'd be packing for a trip to move in with you.

Jean - your felt wall hanging is lovely, I think you should enjoy working with merino, such a great fibre & it takes dyeing really well so you get some fabulous colours.
I had to smile at your story of washing the camellia... my hubby once found me scrubbing a rose, I had a bucket of warm sudsy water & an old dishwashing brush & was scrubbing off the white scale that it was infested with.
He really thought I'd lost the plot :)
Your Bil Hallelujah is such a nice plant, it looks great no matter what level of colour it has.

Nev - it will be interesting to hear what your friend who specialises in Alcs has to say about grass pups on Silver Plum, I wonder if conditions have to be just right for them to happen, could explain why some people never see them & assume they aren't possible & yet other people have them & can grow them on.

Maybe we need that magic carpet to come out of retirement & take us all on a tour of each other's gardens... although I think waiting for better weather might be a good idea ;)

take care all - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – We’ve had a nice day here today, the sun was shining and it seems the wind has finally gone and the temperature was 12C. at noon but it’s starting to cool off a bit now at 4.00pm.

I spent the day preparing the containers for the seed I intend to sow tomorrow and I’ve harvested capsules from 17 different crosses. I expect there will be plenty of seed left over so for those of you who want some, best get your containers ready and as soon as I wash and dry it, I’ll post it off to you.

Teresa – Best you look after yourself so that head cold doesn’t develop into something more serious. Have you ever wondered why the common cold has been around for so long and can make us feel so rotten and yet we are supposed to believe there is no cure for it. My theory is that there have been plenty of cures but the big pharmaceutical companies won’t manufacture them because of all the money they would lose on all of the other products they sell just to ease the symptoms.

As I indicated previously, I sent an enquiry to Rob Smythe about my Silver Plum in an attempt to see if it will produce pups or not and I received an answer which is both good news and bad news and here is his reply:

First the good news:

Nev - You have a beauty there. The real Mc Coy. I have never seen it in Queensland. If anyone says it’s wrong tell them to get the real one. I have only seen it on BCR. Most of the Queensland ones I presume are selfings and they don't have that heavy frosting.

Now for the bad news:

Hair pups.

I have a theory on this. I think it is too cold for the very high altitude plants to hold hair pups. They would freeze off so it has forgotten what to do. Common for your plant from 2,300 metres not to hair pup, sometimes not to pup at all.

So there it is, right from the guru’s mouth, but he did say "SOMETIMES" not to pup at all, so there is still a slight chance. Just in case I’ll just have to be contented with taking a heap of pictures so I have something to look back on.

Brian – Gee you’re game calling your wife “the old lady” if it was me I’d be out in the cold.

I hope your weather takes a turn for the better like ours has, and like me you can get out in the yard and do a bit.

I’ll have to start looking around and see if I can find a Devine Plum to act as a replacement when my Silver Plum eventually “rides off into the sunset”. It shouldn’t be too hard to get hold of one as it came from Dillings in Northern NSW and was from a crossing of Alc. vinicolor x Alc. ‘Silver Plum’ and hopefully it produces pups.

It will be interesting to see what your Neo. 'Marble Throat’ x ‘Barbarian' turns out like when it’s mature. I have both ‘Marble Throat’ and ‘Barbarian’ and it will be interesting to see if the Barbarian passes on any of its fine markings.

Trish – I’ll bet the girls enjoyed their “sleep in” and then the walk on the beach as much as you and Joe did.

I’m more confused than ever now about my Silver Plum; I’ve been told by some friends they do pup while others say they don’t and Rob Smythe also throws a curly one into the mix suggesting that the ones in Qld called Silver Plum, are probably “selfings” and not the real thing. To complicate it even further, you know of a chap in your area growing them from grass pups. So it seems there’s still a little light at the end of the tunnel for me and I’ll just have to wait and see if mine does produce any offspring which aren’t from seed.

You were right about the Crested Pigeon, he brought his wife in today so hopefully the word will spread and the whole family will start visiting. They were here a few years ago but then they stopped coming and I thought it was just a chance visit for a short time.

Jean – Firstly, thanks so much for starting a new thread, I was only thinking how long it was becoming and hoping someone would soon start a new one.

As for you craft skills, is there no end to your artistic talents? You’re a bit like a magician and just keep pulling rabbits out of your hat to keep surprising us.

I guess we’re lucky here with our water as it’s very good and we don’t get any of the calcium build-up that a lot of growers do. I remember when we were in S.A. the water there was terrible, and all along the brick wall of the homes were stained with a rust colour from where they had been watering their gardens.

It’s starting to get cold here, so time to shut a few windows and get ready for the approaching night.

All the best to you all, Nev.

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

We went to the beach and market today but left it for a little later in the morning because it was windy and cold when we first woke up but it backed off a bit by about 9.30am. The rest of the day was spent in the garden watering the broms in the igloo, dead-leafing broms and potting up pups, then back inside to do a little more house chores and get dinner on a little earlier than usual for a change.

Hi Jean it’s always nice to find something to do inside when it’s too cold to work outside, like Mum the other day she ended up potting up some of the pups I sent her in her sewing room as she has it set-up very well in there, everything in its place neat and tidy and when she pots broms she rigs the area up not to make too much of a mess and has her system down pat; she also pots up her seeding’s in there as well as has many seedlings to care for now and wants to still grow more from seed because she gets so much joy out of watching them grow.

The felt wall hanging sounds very interesting indeed, painting with wall sounds fascinating and I am sure you will master the skill no worries whatsoever given your a whiz at painting.

Shame about the town water at your place but at least like you say it does not hurt them at all just looks awful and I don’t blame you not dragging them out each time it rains; but each time you post pictures of your broms they always look lovely as the pics you just posted now so I would not worry about it. I too wipe the leaves of my broms when I take them to the market as I want them to look their best. That’s lovely the story about you washing the leaves on your Camellia and what your hubby said; it would have done it the world of good and the leaves would have been able to breathe again and great to hear that it put on a wonderful show of flowers for you year after year.

I adore your felt picture, it has everything in it that I luv, tree, birds and a great deal of wonderful colour, I think it’s well worth framing behind glass maybe in one of those window box type frames to keep the elements off it. I am very intrigued and fascinated by the method and something I have not seen done before.

Thanks heaps for starting the new thread, very kind of you to do so and nice not to have to scroll down all the time.

Hi Teresa, shame dog training got cancelled today but probably with the way you are feeling better for you to keep warm indoors.

Yes the Girls are spoilt rotten for sure but we would not have it any other way because they deserve all the good things in life and don’t ask for much; Joe and I always say that we treat our Girls better than we treat ourselves. Sugar can come visit any time, sure the girls would luv her and by the sounds of things she is not doing too bad herself chomping on her veal bone and having a nice spot to sleep later in her crate. Many people stopped to chat with me at the market today but wanting to pat the girls and many asked where we had got Lexi’s jacket from, she looks adorable in it and it covers her long body very well compared to her other one which fell a little short in the bum region.

Yes wouldn’t it be nice to have a magic carpet to visit each other’s gardens any time we liked, I would not get any work done as I would be off carpet setting all the time LOL.

Hi Nev great feedback from Rob Smythe on your Alc. Silver Plum and thanks for sharing the feedback with us all. The Alc. Siler Plum’s we got from our friend has that wonderful silver frosting on the leaves although they are all still quiet young, I will have to take some pics to upload on the weekend; next time I ring him I will quiz him some more on his seedlings.

Yes the Girls really enjoyed the sleep in as much as Joe and I did and again this morning; they find it hardest to get out of bed during the week when we work because we are up so early in the mornings.

Great to hear there is more than one Crested Parrot visiting you now; soon you will have them nesting and little babies visiting with them soon which will be nice.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Pic 1 - Neo. 'Flivority'
Pic 2 - Neo. NOID

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shellharbour, Australia

It looks just like you and me today Trish, the other must still be cuddled up in bed in the warmth (including Miss Sugar) Ha! Ha!

Trish - That invitation I posted for anyone wanting some Neo seed is also open to your Mum if she would like some as well as there is plenty for everyone.

I’m also doing a trial with seed I’ve had stored in the fridge for over two years. Nobody seems to know the exact shelf life of brom seed when refrigerated and each six months I spread some around with my friends for them to try in the local area.

This time I’m sending it to my interstate friends to see how it performs in a different climate, so once again if anyone would like to try some you are welcome to it so just let me know.

After Jean’s mention of her water and how it dirties the brom leaves, I remembered an article I once read that was written by a New Zealand brom grower called Len Trotman about a solution he made and used successfully as a repellent against Slugs, Snails, and also to avert quilling in bromeliads

It has since also been found very good for cleaning the foliage on bromeliads and killing mosquitoes in the cups of brom although, it wasn’t not originally designed for this.

Although I haven’t had cause to make it myself, the recipe is below if anyone wants to give it a go

Len Trotman’s recipe for mosquitoes:

500ml of Sunlight Liquid (dish washing)
200ml of Household Cloudy Ammonia.
100ml of Citronella or Pine-O-Cleen disinfectant.
Pour the contents into 5ltrs of cold water.

As this mixture is very concentrated use only at 2 to 4 tablespoons per litre of water in your watering cans. It can also be mixed with your liquid fertilizer, and can be used weekly if desired. It is not detrimental to your bromeliads even at the seedling stage.

You will notice when spraying, that foam is generated, but this is not a problem as each of the stages in the life cycle of the mosquito is dependent upon the surface tension of the water. The adults rest on the surface to lay eggs and the other forms hang below the surface. If the surface tension is broken, then the life cycle is interrupted.

All the best, Nev.

Merino, Australia

Good morning all.
I am sitting in the sun again . Its so nice coming straight in the window.
Yesterdat started off cold but turned into a nice cold but sunny dya.
Today is starting off right and may be a bit warmer later. If so, I will sit out in the sun and do a bit of sewing of a few little felt birds and flowers for a mobile .
thanks for the nice comments on my new wall hanging.
This was done just with cutting and sewing all by hand, but the ones I am going to try are done with needle felting which I had never heard of before. It involves using a sharp barbed needle and using it to combine a base and wool laid over it to make a scene or pattern. With the needle punching through, it felts the wool together to the base.
The ones I have seen done on the internet are lovely.

Nev, interesting to see how your alcantera behaves eventually. It seems from the info, there may be a chance of pups. Maybe the plants now living at lower altitudes will decide they can have pups.
Its a frost outside this morning and I am still amazed at the lack of damage my broms have had. The only casualty I can see is the aech La Tigra which has one burnt leaf.
All the others do have some overhead shelter from the eaves and shadecloth.
You cannot see from the pic I posted yesterday of bill Hallelujah, but he and the two with him are out in the open too right below La Tigra.
There is no sign of any frost burn on any of them that I can see.
My lovely orchid that I posted a while back , is also out in the open and it is thriving. The flower stem is nearly all open now with no sign of any damage from the weather.
Wonderful things, our plants.
From that recipe, it looks like I was inadvertently helping the broms as I used to use a similar spray on the spider mites back at the old house. The broms always got hit with whatever I was using, be it insect prevention or fertiliser. I have always also used Seasol everywhere and on everything.
I was being a good friend to the broms and didnt know it....lol

Trish, how lovely that your mum can do her broms inside.
I used to sit in the garage back at the house as it was sheltered from all weather.
It is much nicer for your mum to be able to be warm inside with her broms.
I can understand how she enjoys watching her seeds grow too. Its a fascinating thing to see.
You must post a pic of the girls in their coats.

Teresa. I bet Sugar has a bit of a smile when you have to go out and she can stay in the warm.
Hope your cold soon clears up. Its miserable to have it when you have to be going out.

Brian, how is your shadehouse building going , or have you stopped for while until the weather warms and the family are settled ?
I hope the "old lady" realises you call her that with love...lol
My hubby used to call me his better half and I called him my dishwasher , as he did like to do the dishes...dear man.

Time for another handwarming cuppa and I may go out in the sun when it warms a bit more.

Take care and stay safe.
A few more old pics.

neo perfection..... neo eleuthropetala, neo Hawaiian pectinate

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Christchurch, New Zealand

worked a longer day today, I have a job interview tomorrow & wanted to make up the hours ahead of time.

Trish - those are two lovely Neos you shared.

Jean - a friend of mine showed me how to do needle felting... we were using fur from her cat...
and made a cat from cat fur :)

take care all - Teresa

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Home late tonight and after such a big day all I want to do is rest these tired eyes of mine but just a quick jump in to say a quick HI and catch up with you all tomorrow when I have more time to read everyone's posts and reply.

It's raining a little outside, unexpected but nice.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It seems that DG is playing the same old games once more and I can’t upload any pictures again as the “Choose a File” button has vanished. I’ve even tried using Google Chrome to fix the problem like I did last time, but this time it isn’t working. I don’t know why it just seems to be this forum all the time as I am on three other brom forums and have never had the same problem. Maybe they’re just trying to turn our little forum away.

Jean – I tend to think the same way as you regarding my Alcantarea problem and am hoping like you say that maybe the plants now living at lower altitudes will decide they can have pups; I guess only time will tell.

I find it very interesting being on a couple of other international bromeliad forums as well as this Australian and N.Z. “off-shoot” of DG (even though they too seem to be slowly dying).

I’ve been belly-aching about the cold weather we’ve been having here for the last couple of weeks but when I read what other growers in some of the other countries have to do, my concerns pale into insignificance.

I started a thread on another forum called “Tell us about your growing conditions” in an attempt to better understand what some of our overseas brom growing fiends have to contend with and I thought you may be interested in some of the responses.

One grower wrote: Since my winter temps get down to -20F (-29C), into the house they go for winter. Because of this I have only a handful of plants and there is room for them in east facing windows. I have been growing brom’s for about 7-8 years since I picked up an Ae. fasciata. Six of my brom’s are various generations from that single plant and three of those are flowering.

Two Neo 'Raphael' plants grown from the mother bought 3 years ago round things off. The Neos get about 4-5 hours of direct sun in summer while the Ae. fasciata get 2-3 hours of sun. All are potted in a mix of equal parts pine bark, peat based mix and perlite with a bit of compost and charcoal thrown in. The pots are plastic. Rain water/snowmelt goes in the cups while allowing some water to spill into the soil and a dunking of the pots in water every 6-8 weeks (more often in summer) is the watering regimen. Fertilisers are given at 1/4 strength only 3-4 times a year………… And I thought I was doing it tough this year.

Teresa – Pleased to hear you have another job interview. Is it with the same organisation or a different one altogether?

I’ll bet Miss Sugar hopes you are unsuccessful.

Trish – It’s good you can drop in even if it is just for short while as it’s always good to hear from you and the others. I planted all of the Neo seed I mentioned and there’s plenty left over so as soon as I clean it and put it into little packets, I’ll send some up for you and Mum.

It seems that my “whinge” at the start of this post had had an effect as the “Chose a File” button has magically re-appeared, so once again I can post pic’s.

Time to go and todays pic’s are something a little different. Although not everyone's "cup of tea", they are of a few Ae. nudicaulis x gamosepala hybrids I made a few years back.

Pic.1 is a bit unusual as it has an attractive pink colour through the foliage and looks nice even when not flowering, while Pic.2 Shows the flowers on this plant which again are unusual as they are an unusual grey/white in colour.

Pic.3, the flowers on this plant have an unusual colour combination of pale apricot with mauve petals, Pic.4 has slightly darker coloured flowers with cream petals and Pic.5 is brighter still with orange flowers and yellow petals, so quite a wide variety. The flower spikes all seem to have a similar form to gamosepala whereas the plants seems to more closely follow the nudicaulis form. All are very vigorous growers and grow well in a pot or basket hanging from the shade house roof.

All the best, Nev

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi Nev - the interview was a different company, both would require catching 3 buses to get there...
I wouldn't be heart broken to miss out on them, if a job is advertised in an area that is a bit tricky to get to I don't normally apply but so many of them don't mention where they are, especially agency listed ones.

Glad the Choose a File button came back, those are interesting flowers you shared. I also like your plant in pic 1 - I like plants that are interesting even when not flowering.

Take care all - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - I just had to post this: Here's a new shot of my old Vr. carinata this year (even better than last year). If Brian's looking in he'll see what it can do with a bit of age and no special treatment.

This plant is growing hanging just below the roof in my shade house, rarely gets watered (only when it rains) and probably 4 doses of Seasol each year.

All the best, Nev.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Just home from work at 7:30pm so get some quick tea into me and then I'm off early to bed.

Working Saturday also because of Roaster Shutdown so this week/weekends going to be a right off but planning to spend Sunday sleeping in and then the rest of the day in the garden.

Catch you all possibly tomorrow night for a proper chat as too tired tonight.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Nev, that's a nice shot of the Vr. carinata, I will leave this one alone then. Gives off a fair bit of colour for an otherwise drab looking plant.

That's interesting about the person that grew plants when it is -29c outside. Just couldn't live in those temps.

Teresa, catching 3 buses to work is a bit rough, especially in winter. Seems like the job agencies give out little info and everything done by email.

Jean, haven't been doing anything to the shadehouse lately, been too busy. I have seen where they use plastic pallets straight on the ground. Might use these until I can get some benches organised. They are also cheap at $10 ea.
I like the look of the different types of artwork you are doing.

Trish, don't work too hard, take it easy over the weekend.



shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It was raining here this morning (23rd) but now,(12.30pm) the sun is shining and it’s nice and warm. I’ve just got home from the museum and will probably sort out a few of my Ae. recurvata and similar types in readiness for re-potting.

Trish – They say, “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” I wonder if it works the same way for women. I suppose you’ll be able to tell us in the next few days.

Brian – In 1988 we went to Brisbane to see the World Expo, and while there we visited many exhibits. It was the Queensland exhibit that sticks in my mind to this day mainly because of all the tropical plants and orchids, but apart from that, it was the first time I had ever seen Vr carinata. It seems they had taken a huge wooden pole (something about the size of a wooden power pole) and had covered it with thousands of Vr. carinata plants, all in flower and it was such a magnificent sight that it still remains vividly in my mind today. Certainly a great little species which is well worth growing.

I never thought about using plastic pallets straight on the ground; I have a couple that were given to me and I was going to make a bench out of them, but just another of my many projects that didn’t get done.

Well here it is now the 24th and no more new posts so I’ll just pop in a few pic’s of some of my more hardy Aechmeas to give you something to think about.

Pic 1 Ae. recurvata, Pic.2 Ae. ‘Inky’ , Pic.3 Ae. ‘Little Green Ruby’, Pic.4 Ae. ‘Blushing Pineapple’ and Pic.5 Ae. ’Little Surprise’.

All the best, Nev.

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. Its bit chilly but no frost today. Yesterday there was and it stayed on the ground for a while according to one of the other ladies here. I left early to go over to Mt Gambier. It was chilly when I left but by the time I arrived after a beautiful suny drive, I was able to go about shopping without my jumper on. The drive home was the same and even when I arrived home, I didnt need my jumper until the sun was strating to go down.
I saw a lot of bird life on the way across. Hubby and I always looked out for all the different birds that would appear in the wet area each year.
I finally saw some brolgas too. Hubby said they used to be very plentiful years ago, but I had never seen them down here. Lots along the wetlands up in the north of WA and NT . It was so nice to see them just walking along inside the paddock fence looking for food in the wet areas.
There are always lots of swans, mountain ducks and ibis, so they were there yesterday too.
Plenty of rosellas right on the road edge too.

I am off again today as its my hospital group day and I enjoy getting down there.

No new pics , but I will have to take a few soon as I am going to try to sell off the larger broms and make room for the pus i will have to take from their mums.

Nev, I love you pics of the aechs . My little recurvatas are looking great.
I will move them around to the front in summer, so they get more sun in the mornings.
I love the colors in your Blushing Pineapple and Little Surprise.

Hello Brian, Trish and Teresa.
Better be off
Take care.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

hi all - been having a frustrating time trying to log into web pages - my anti virus was blocking everything until I reinstalled google chrome.
so far so good but it wasted half the evening.

Nev - I wonder if we crossed paths at the expo in Brisbane.
I didn't plan on a trip to Aussie but there was something about Expo 88 on the tv & I went & booked my tickets that week.
I was lucky to be able to stay with school mates so had a great time catching up with them as well as spending a few days exploring the pavilions - I remember the Queensland one - it was lovely - such long queues for the popular countries but worth it for most of them.
Not that I'm biased but the NZ pavilion was one of the best :)

I do remember standing in line at a bank in town & piped up -"which pavilion was this again..."
got a few laughs from those around me.

take care all

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It looks like another nice day here today. Yesterday started out nice also but a a cool southerly breeze came up and made it quite unpleasant out in the yard after a while and I didn’t get much done except a bit of dead leafing.

Jean – I’ve never seen Brolgas in the wild and it’s something I would have always loved to experience ever since I saw a video my friend took of them up north somewhere where two of them were doing a spectacular mating dance; it’s really amazing what us blokes will do to get the lady of their choice. I didn’t know they came that far south so with a bit of luck some might come to some of the swampy areas around here.

The main thing I like about Ae. recurvata and similar types is their toughness. They seem to be able to withstand extremes of temperature (either hot or cold) without sustaining any damage. Although some of them have some beautiful flowers, I still think Ae recurvata is my favourite as nothing beats the brilliant orange coloured foliage that announces the approach of flowering.

Teresa – I think if I had the time over and knew what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the Expo. Although there were some great exhibits, it was a bit of a nightmare for us as we took our young daughter and her friend and all they did was whinge all the time about waiting in the terrible long queues and as you know they were extremely long for the best of the exhibits.

I think we stood for almost an hour to get into the N.Z. exhibit but it was worth it and like you, I think it was possibly the best (from what we saw anyway) I only really remember three that really appealed to me and that was the N.Z. one, the Queensland one (because of all the tropical plants and which the girls found terribly boring) and the one from New Guinea which we all found very interesting.

I bought a wooden carving which I still admire to this day and which is of a Bird-of-Paradise and was the emblem of the Tambarnum Village (Which no longer exists). It cost a lot more than I could afford but the main reason I bought it was I could see the workmanship in it and being more naïve than I am now, I thought the purchase would help the people of that little village. Knowing what I know now,and how much these people have been exploited by people selling their arts and crafts, they probably only got couple of dollars from the whole sale price after all the other so called "administrative" costs from the “blood suckers” were deducted.

Anyway, that’s my whinge for the day and I'll finish with a few pic's. The first two pictures are of a couple of hybrids I made a few years back by crossing Ae. caudata pollen onto Ae. recurvata. The flowers are different but unfortunately only one of the plants had the orange coloured leaves of the recurvata. Pic.3 and 4 show some recurvata plants well and truly established in the Peppercorn Tree. They are more visible now since all the dead wood was cut out of the tree and I’m hopeful there’ll be a nice show of orange foliage this year. Pic.5 shows the Bird-of-Paradise wood carving I bought in 1988 at Expo.

All the best, Nev


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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - interesting plants those you have pictured - they certainly look well established on your Pepper tree.
Love the Bird of Paradise carving, I bought a pineapple shaped fruit bowl & a plain round bowl from the Fiji pavilion, nothing like the workmanship of your piece.

We had a great day for training, it was at least 18C, once the cold easterly died down it was really warm.
I had to peel off two layers - I had on a wind cheater & a merino jacket over a merino long sleeve top & a merino t'shirt.

take care all - Teresa

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. The sun is shining after a day of showers yesterday.
The way the weather is behaving here lately, I expect more showers will appear later.
At least the wind has eased . I went across to Casterton yesterday and going across the tableland is always extra windy when the wind is about.

Teresa, I am glad I dont have to wear as many layers of clothing as you did. I find what I need to wear in the cold is enough as one feels so bulky . Its a pleasure to get a nice day where one can get rid of the bulkiness and just enjoy being outside.
Nice to hear the weather turned pleasant for your training day. I hope Miss Sugar is learning more manners ...lol
Hope you cold is improving too.

Nev, love the carving .
Yes, seeing the brolgas was great. I have seen plenty up north and they just wander about on the side of the road looking for frogs etc. Hubby said there used to be plenty of them down here and he always saw them , but they seemed to disappear , so I never saw a single one anywhere until the other day.
When I told one of the nurses at the hospital , she was excited and rang a friend to tell her the brolgas were back.
Apparently its said here that if they are coming down along with the swans, it is going to be wet.
I'll have to wait and see as all the years we used to see the swans and other water birds, it had been really wet.
Probably not quite wet enough for the brolgas then, though.
I will be watching next time as I will be going over in a week or so.
This time I must remember to take the camera and hope the birds stay still for me.

Nothing much doing with the broms. They are just sitting patiently waiting for summer.
We had a frost again a few days ago and still no damage to any of the plants that I can see.
My orchid flower spike is still doing well and it stands at the end of the wall and cops all the wind.

No new pics today so back to the old ones.
I do miss seeing all these, but am glad in a way, as there were too many for me to look after now.
take care and keep warm.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Jean - the great thing about my merino layers are that the are really fine, we had people in the shop assume that the superfine single jersey fabric was cotton.
So 3 layers is like wearing just one thickness.
My jacket is a heavier weight interlock - so about as thick as a sweatshirt but heaps warmer.

I wear my merino t'shirts in summer as well, I find them better than cotton at keeping me cool & dry.

It will be a sad day when they finally wear out as I can't see me paying over $100 for a replacement...

Lovely broms in your pictures - I bet you didn't realise how much work you put into looking after them until you weren't doing it anymore.

Take care all - Teresa

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

I did not get to pop in over the weekend as all I wanted to do after working Saturday was to sleep in on Sunday and spend the rest of the day in the garden with Joe, the Girls and of course my Broms. Not working this weekend so that’s good as I’m pretty buggered.

Hi Brian, thanks I took it easy yesterday after working the Saturday and really did have a lovely Sunday, it was nice getting a bit of fresh air and getting away from all gadgets for a bit and I did not even want to go anywhere or do anything other than be at home and in the garden as I just needed some quality time out and it was nice to have a bit of a sleep in. How’s your shade house coming along?

Hi Nev, unfortunately I am no richer for working Saturday, will just take a day in lieu down the track if I remember to do so. It’s just something that our CEO expects from his workers during our Shutdowns and he did make a point of visiting site and popped into our office to see who was in or not which I expected he would do.

Great to hear you got all your new seeds planted; would luv some seed for Mum and I if you can spare some, very kind of you indeed to offer; I will start getting some trays ready for them to go in and ring mum to get her to do same; thanks heaps. I will send some stamped envelopes in the post to you if that helps any on the weekend.

I really liked your Pic 4 of Ae ‘Blushing Pineapple’ and Pic 5 of Ae. ‘Little Surprise’ as their colours are very appealing and something different.

Hi Jean, you sound like you have been very busy indeed, but it’s great that you are taking some time out doing the things you enjoy doing and bird watching while you’re at it.

Don’t care if your brom pics are new or old I still like opening them up and having a closer look.

Good luck with selling off your larger broms; does that mean you are just freeing up space or are you planning to get some more, I suppose though if you are keeping the pups off the mums then it won’t be long before they take over that space.

Hi Teresa I hope you’re having better luck logging onto web pages.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Pic 1 - Ae. 'Rodco Inverta'
Pic 2 - Neo. 'Rosy Morn'

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - It's cool here this morning and just 8 degrees C when I got up, although it looks like the sun will warm things up when it gets up a bit.

Got nothing done yesterday accept attend appointments for test results (which were all good) and the diabetes specialist doesn't want to see me for another year.

I'm still hobbling around on a crook knee which I'm hoping a cortisone injection on Friday will help. I had a similar problem about three years ago and had an injection then which was great so I'm hoping for a similar outcome this time. The trouble is that with a wonky knee, it limits what I can do as I don't want to have a fall on top of everything else, that would really bugger things up.

Anyway, just dropped in to say good day and post a few pic's. The first four are different forms of Ae recurvata var. benrathi and Pic.5 is a favourite of mine called Ae. Aussie Ruby'

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Trish - I wonder if the CEO appreciates the extra time you put in...
I have found some bosses do, my hubby works for a company that will put on a pizza day for all the workers or pay for drinks at a social club function...
other bosses don't seem to realise that workers have lives outside the job.

I finished my job in town - they have moved office & don't need me anymore.
They did say if anything came up they would love to have me back, that is always nice to hear.
Anyway I had an offer of a job on Monday so will start my new position next Monday - decided to give myself a week off, I won't be entitled to holidays for a while & there are a few things I would like to get done.
I will have to catch 3 buses to get there - but I did that to get to the interview & it didn't seem too bad.

I do like the broms you posted, the Ae 'Rodco Inverta' has a pretty colour combination with the pink stripe in the middle of the leaf.
Neo 'Rosy Morn' looks so glossy & healthy, it would be a great one to break up a group of green foliaged plants.

Nev - isn't it nice when your Dr doesn't want to see you for another year - doubly so when you are dealing with diabetes...
hope the cortisone works well for you knee - if they get it in just the right spot it works wonders.

lovely collection of Ae recurvata var.benrathi, each is attractive in it's own way. Really love the blue of the Ae Aussie Ruby flowers, makes me wonder why ruby & not sapphire :)

Just a wild guess but do the leaves have a red tone?

take care all - Teresa

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Can’t chat for long as have our Quarterly BAS to get done and only have the next few days to do it in so todays thread will be short and sweet and I will pop in when I can the rest of the week.

Hi Nev great to hear you got the all clear from your doctor until next year, that’s fantastic. Hope you get some relief and more mobility to your knee after your injection, sure it must be frustrating not being able to get around properly and sure the pain must be hard to tolerate and hope you are feeling better real soon.

Luved all the picture you posted yesterday of the Aechmeas, I am truly fascinated by these plants and if you happen to have a spare pup of Ae. ‘Aussie Ruby’, could you please put my name on the Wish List for one thanks if you are happy to part with a pup that is?

Hi Teresa apparently the CEO was supposed to organise Pizza for lunch for all those who worked Saturday but in the end nothing happened and we eat the lunches we brought in. Apparently they will take us out for dinner sometime but it’s normally after hours and if partners aren’t invited then I do not go as they should not be able to govern who is invited after hours as I find that very rude and decline going if that be the case as we do have a life outside of work.

Congratulations on the new job, so wrapped for you I am; take a good book to read on the bus trips, how long will it take you to get there each day, I hope it’s not too long.

Thanks pleased to hear you liked the brom pics I posted yesterday. Ae. ‘Rodco Inverta’ is a wonderful landscaping plant that I use throughout the garden and it gets a beautiful flower spike on maturity with all these purple berries all over it’s cone. Neo. ‘Rosy Morn’ is also a fantastic landscaping plant as grows well over 1mtr, and you are so right it is a fantastic plant to break-up any green foliage around and that’s exactly how I use it around the garden, in amongst our palm trees and hedges.

How’s Sugar girl doing is she keeping snug and warm and what has she been up to of late?

Anyway better get started on this dreaded BAS…

Hi to Jean and Brian and anyone else looking in.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Pic 1 - Neo. 'Morando' - the one in the garden's coming into flower at the moment so will have to remember to take a pic.
Pic 2 - Neo. 'Grace'

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Tascott, Australia

Hi all,

Weather has been good here for the last couple of days, bring on spring.

We spent the weekend down in Sydney for a wedding which all went off very nicely. The room we stayed in had a brilliant view and was a present from our son. Plenty to do down there with the walk around from Circular Quay past the Opera House and Botanic Gardens a favourite.
The Rocks has a lot of market stalls and places to eat (and people), good atmosphere though.

Teresa, that's good news about your new job, hopefully the transport thing isn't going to be a problem for you. Might be able to get a lift with someone who goes your way.

Nev, good luck with the knee injection, 'see you in 12months is a good thing to hear from 'the quack'.

Oh well alarm is going off better go and do some work, hi to Jean and Trish.

Pics are of Sydney harbour and a couple of bromeliads
in the Botanical Gardens.


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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone.
Well its back to rain again here. Not much, just showers to annoy you wen you want to go outside.
I'm off to Hamilton again today so will enjoy a nice lunch and a poke around in the shops.
Yesterday was one of my days at the hospital group and we spent a fair amount of the day sorting and pricing things for the fete next month.

I am also gathering more supplies at home for my foray into the world of needle felting.
It is a fascinating craft and a very old one . Felt has been used for a long time,way before most woven materials .
It was probably an accidental find when animal fibres got wet and compressed.
Its lovely to find something I have never tried and can do inside during this cold weather.

My broms are just sitting around waiting for Spring and it may be an early one as the roses are all putting out plenty of new shoots , with spring bulbs also looking like they will have flowers soon.

Nev, I hope the cortisone helps. I had it done on my shoulder a few years ago and it was amazing the difference it made.
Great to hear good news on the diabetes front too.
Take care getting around as you dont want to be having a ground view of the broms.

Teresa, That bus trip sounds very long , but sometimes travel is necessary for work these days. I hope a job much closer turns up for you .
Give Sugar a pat for me and maybe a nice doggie treat. Your cold weather merino gear sounds great, and would keep you nice and cosy.

Trish, I can see you hovering over those seed trays getting the beds ready for the new seeds...
I bet your Mum loves seeing new babies coming up when she plants her seeds too.
Take care of yourself and Joe. Nice to see that you do take a bit of time to yourselves , as you deserve it.

Brian, how is the shadehouse coming ?
It would have been a lovely time going around the Botanic gardens on your weekend away.
I love looking at gardens , but there are none around here.
I used to spend time in the large Botanic Gardens in Melbourne , but that was many years ago.
There some lovely gardens in Mt Gambier that I must get over to see when the warmer weather arrives.
I do remember seeing a few bromeliads there.

Quite cold here this morning but no rain yet. It will probably wait until I go outside...lol

More old pics .... flower on aech recuvata and some of the aech nudicaulis varieties I had.
take care and keep warm.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Cool, & very windy today but sunny so walked Sugar to the park & did some training & playing - the way I train now the two things are combined, training is a great big game.
Sugar spotted someone coming into the park & started off in their direction - I called & she spun & returned.
Lots of praise & treats for that...
later we looked up & a council ute had come in, a chap got out & Sugar growled & took off toward him barking ferociously...
I called & then gave her a whistle & back she came so lots of treats for that.
Not sure why she took a dislike to the council chap but I am so glad she responded & came back - the park is one of a few that permits off leash dogs - but they must be under verbal control.

Trish - I do like those Neos, especially Neo Morando... I have a weakness for spots and stripes on foliage.

Jean - sadly I get car sick so can't read on bus trips... I tend to listen to my ipod or watch the scenery go by.

take care all - Teresa

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – At last they are forecasting few nice warm days, which however will be followed again next week with another cold snap. We didn’t get the rain we were promised so it looks like today will be spent watering which I’m really not looking forward to as I’m sure it will reveal quite a few plants with cold damage; however, that’s life.

Teresa – Congratulations on getting a job; it seems that in NZ like Australia, jobs are becoming as “scarce as hen’s teeth”. It’s really quite depressing when each night the news seems to be telling us of another business closing down or drastically cutting staff while the politicians continue to give themselves pay rises instead of doing anything to help fix the country.

Regarding the name ‘Aussie Ruby’, I had thought exactly as you do and commented to a friend at the last brom meeting. I think you’re probably right as the leaves do seem to have a red tone towards the tips. I have only had my plant a short time, but perhaps when it’s grown in very strong light the leaves will take on a “ruby” colour, I must try it and see.

Trish – I’ll certainly put you down for a pup of ‘Aussie Ruby’; however I’ve not long had the plant and don’t know how long it will take to pup.

Regarding “work lunches”, my son works for a Sydney construction company and if the job is on or ahead of schedule, once a month on the Friday, the boss puts on a prawn lunch, or as the workers call them, “Prawn Parties” where huge quantities of prawns are consumed by the workers. It all sounds very good but I don’t know what happens when you are allergic to prawns like I am, maybe they get you a couple of “Spring Rolls” Ha! Ha!

They’re a couple of nice plants in your pic’s Trish; I’ve grown Neo. ‘Grace’ for many years and it never ceases to please me with its brilliant colour.

Brian – I haven’t been to the Sydney Botanic Gardens for probably fifty years and my recollections are of mainly trees and shrubs, I don’t remember any brom’s; but then I wasn’t interested in brom’s then so probably didn’t even know what they were.

As you say “The Rocks” is an interesting place especially on Market Days, however like most of Sydney these days, there’s people, people, and more people, and being a country boy, I’m afraid city life isn’t for me and I can’t get home again quickly enough.

Jean – It’s good to have another hobby as well as gardening and you are luckier than most, with the skill to do various crafts as well as your painting which always provides you with something inside to keep you occupied during the cold Victorian winters.

I’m hopeful of getting some relief cortisone injection; I had one in the same knee a few years back and it was great, but then I’ve had five in the spine and only one worked for a few days. I’m told it’s still very much a “hit and miss” technique and they just have to get the exact spot.

Time to go again and a few old file pic’s to finish with.

All the best, Nev.

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Well book works out the road for a bit so that’s great as I’m over paperwork at the moment because it’s never ending as I am always neck deep in it at work and to coming home to more can be a bit exhausting at times. Weekends nearly here so looking forward to getting tomorrow over and done with.

Hi Brian great to hear the trip and wedding went well, looks like a lovely spot you were staying with great views. I adore Sydney for its markets and places to eat; whenever Joe and I go we have the best time and normally go there with just our clothes on our backs and empty suitcases and fill them up and come home as the shops are fantastic there.

Thanks for sharing pictures with us of the bromeliads in the botanical gardens, like you whenever I go to these sort of gardens I am always on the lookout out for what bromeliads they have growing as well as I really like visiting the cacti gardens in those sort of gardens because you get to see plants growing and flowering that you don’t see every day.

Hi Jean I am so pleased you are enjoying the needle felting so much and that you can do it indoors when it’s not nice enough to venture outside; I did not realise it was used well before woven materials and great that you’re getting right into the craft and bringing it back to life but sounds like it’s becoming popular again. Anyway looking forward to seeing your next project as really liked the last one you did.

He he yes normally I do hover over my seed trays getting the beds ready but with this shutdown at work it has pretty much absorbed most of my time and energy but now that it’s nearly over I should have more time and energy to get back into a normal routine. This is a perfect time to sow seeds before it gets too hot as gives them a chance to germinate and grow enough to toughen up a bit before summer arrives. Yes Mum gets very excited when her brom seeds germinate and normally rings me as soon as they do, she has a real knack at caring for them and growing them on to be nice healthy seedlings and is always disappointed when some of the smaller seedlings die but I always tell her that nature has a way of doing that with the weak seedlings leaving only the strong to survive and it’s natures natural way of culling things and that she should not feel back about something she does not have control over.

Thanks Joe and I are taking things easy best we can and plan to take things easy over the weekend with no big plans.

Lovely pics you posted even if they are old pics like you say I still always enjoy opening them up and having a close look at them all; how pretty is the flower on the Ae. In pic 1.

Hi Nev I have not told Mum yet about you kindly going to send us some seeds for Mum and me to try growing, she will be over the moon about that and always talks very highly about you Nev and can’t thank you enough for all that you have taught her about broms through me as well as the wonderful manual you wrote on how to grow bromeliads from seed; that’s the only reason why we both have been so successful growing broms from seed and we can’t thank you enough for teaching us so much, you have been a real mentor and a wealth of knowledge compared to what we have read in books or googled. I printed your manual and bound it in a book for her a couple of years ago and it sits proudly in her book shelf like my copy does for quick reference anytime we go to sow seeds and forget what we did last time.

Nev thanks for putting my name down for Ae. ‘Aussie Ruby’, only if it’s not too much trouble and you don’t mind; I don’t mind waiting as long as it takes, that’s why our Wish Lists are so great it’s when we can and I find a lot of Wish Lists I have from other people take a while to fulfil because most of the time the plant they are chasing I have not had for that long and I want to get pups off it first for myself before parting with any just in case something happens to the mother plant but eventually I have additional pups I am more than happy to part with and this helps free up room around our garden.

Your son’s work lunches sound yummy and what a great way to thank workers for meeting targets / deadlines, there should be more of that occurring with companies but a lot of them can’t be bothered and some can’t even manage a simple thank you now days, I am pretty lucky where I work as they do appreciate the hard work we put in and do thank us often and ask us out to dinner/lunch etc. as thanks and we also take days in lieu down the track if we want.

Pleased to hear you liked the pic of Neo. ‘Grace’, I too have always been impressed with the brilliant colour this one produces and everyone should at least have a couple in their collection because of that brilliant in your face colour that always brightens up the garden but also the overall natural sheen it gets always impresses me the most and I think these two qualities is what makes it such a stunner. Great pics you posted also even if as you say they are old, Pic 1 is that Neo. ‘Cats Pyjamas’ or something along those lines, it’s breathtaking and so unusual.

Hi Teresa pleased to hear Sugar had so much fun at the dog park; she sounds like a very protective girl who luvs her mummy very much but you sound like you have good control over her as she is quick to listen when you give her the command to come back, so she knows you’re the boss and she respects that by the sounds of things.

Pleased to hear you liked the look of Neo. ‘Morando’, I will have to post a progress picture of the one coming into flower in the garden so you can see what it looks like when it fully flowers to see if you still like it. I too luv spots and stripes all on the one bromeliad as the detail really catches my eye and stops me in it’s track.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!

Neo. 'Prince of Darkness' - old pic - this one's pupping at the moment and the pups are ready to take off now.


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone – It’s another beautiful day here today and I’m a bit disappointed I can’t get out in the garden, but I’ve been told I have to “take it easy” for 24 hours after the knee injection I had this morning.

I guess it’s a bit of a trap because it feels so good (because of the local) that I just want to get out and do the things I haven’t been able to do recently, but I was warned that this would be the worst thing I could do, so best to obey what the doctor tells me.

Trish – The Aussie Ruby already has a reasonable sized pup which I will keep for a spare, but as soon as the next one comes up, it’s yours.

I’ll get the seed off to you next week sometime but I don’t know whether it’s fertile or not as I’ve only just planted my lot last week, so fingers crossed that it will all grow.

I’m also going to use you and your Mum as “Guinea Pigs” because as well as the fresh seed, I’m also sending some surplus seed that has been stored in the fridge for quite a while now and I’m keen to see if it’s still good or not and don’t have the time or the space to do it myself.

I have grown it in the past and it was fertile then and there were some nice plants came out of it so hopefully there’s still a few more to come, however it was mainly part of an experiment to see just how long seed would stay good for when stored properly in the fridge.

That picture of Neo ‘Cat’s Pyjamas’ isn’t one of my plants, but one that Lisa Vinzant from Hawaii bred. It is most unusual, but unfortunately, to my knowledge isn’t yet available in Australia.

Your picture of Prince of Darkness reminds me that I have some small seedling of a cross I made of Neo. Prince of Darkness x concentrica which I must check on.

Anyway time to go again and a few more old pic’s to finish with, this time they’re all species Neoregelias. Pic. 1 Neo nivea, Pic. 2 Neo. correia-araujoi, Pic.3. Neo. compacta, Pic.4 Neo macwilliamsii (Not my plant and very different to the usual form) and Pic 5 Neo bahiana (Cobwebs and all)

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - That Neo Cat's Pajamas is a stunner, the colours & markings are so vivid.

Hope the cortisone injection has hit the right spot - well done you for following Dr's orders & resisting the temptation to use it too soon.

Trish - my training methods have changed so much over the years, teaching good recalls isn't about making the dog do it "or else" anymore... and i started an online training course that has taught me how to make recalls even more fun - and more reliable as a result.

I just wish I'd known about force free training with my first dogs.
Mind you I was often criticized for being too soft on my dogs so that actually makes me feel better.

take care everyone

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - Not a bad day here today, fine but overcast and ideal weather to give the garden a bit of Seasol and fertiliser which I've been doing all morning.

Teresa - It looks like the needle is helping as the knee isn't as bad as it was previously, I haven't done much since I had it on Friday. Yesterday was our annual general meeting of the bromeliad society so that plus our usual meeting took up the best part of the day and for most of the time I was sitting anyway, so it fitted in with the doctor's instructions OK.

I've been standing and feeding plants all morning without any problems, but I'm not going to push my luck so I'll take it easy for this afternoon and hopefully back to normal tomorrow.

Nothing else to report so I'll just finish with some pictures of some Aechmeas I grew from seed a few years ago.

Pic.1 is Ae. bromeliifolia albo-bracteta, Pic.2 is Ae. bromeliifolia Rubra, Pic.3 is Ae distichantha var. distichantha, Pic.4 is Ae distichantha var. Intermedia and Pic.5 is a selfing of Ae. Shelldancer.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nev - the knee sounds promising... here's hoping the needle hit the right spot!

Your Ae. bromeliifolia albo-bracteta appeals to me - I immediately thought of the movie 'Day of the Triffids'. If they get up & start walking around the garden - run ;)

Sugar has been a good girl today, did well at training & then was very well mannered when we had visitors this afternoon.
I think she is a bit tired as instead of napping when training was over she came out & supervised us rearranging the garage to fit in Baz's new work bench.

Now that there is space to move and a work bench I can see him out there working on Auster bits on summer afternoons.
We went flying yesterday - the aero club holds 'resurgents days' with cheaper flying with an instructor to get lapsed pilots back in the air & hopefully enthused enough to regain their licence.

I took photos with my cell phone as we flew over CHCH city... so many areas with rubble or just nothing there. Including one of the worst hit suburbs - there are streets with no houses & in some areas you can see it is returning to swamp land.

take care all - Teresa
ps did any of you feel the earth move in QLD.
Quite strong shakes from the sound of it.
If you did feel the shaking, imagine that happening several times a day & night for a couple of years & you will have an insight into what it was like here.

Christchurch, New Zealand

forgot to post the pics...

1 & 2 - what was the suburb of Dallington, almost all residential red zone areas have been cleared.
3 - where I used to get off the bus for work... at the top of the 'park', that green area is an cleared block that has been grassed over. Looks better than the bare rubble most other empty areas have.
4 - same area showing the 'Cardboard Cathedral', centre bottom. diagonally opposite what looks like a yellow area is the site of the CTV building that collapsed killing 115 people.
There is a memorial to the victims on the site now.
5 - AMI stadium at Lancaster Park... the stadium was ruined by the Feb 2011 quake & will be demolished.
The 'hallowed' turf was destroyed by liquefaction.

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This message was edited Aug 2, 2015 6:51 PM

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Lovely weekend spent mainly in the garden watering plants, raking leaves and of course tending to my broms. Caught up with friends for dinner Saturday night we had not seen for a while so that was nice.

Hi Nev good to hear your taking things easy and listening to your doctor, you will be out there before you know it and sure you have been thinking what you want to tackle first and have come up with a bit of a plan of attack for then.

Thanks Nev for putting my name down for a pup of Ae. Aussie Ruby and can’t wait to receive seed on the mail, much appreciated as always. Yes by all means use Mum and I as “Guinea Pigs” so see if some of the older bromeliad seed is still fertile or not, we will let you know how we go for sure.

Did you get to check out how you’re Neo. Prince of Darkness x Concentrica small seedlings are going, hope they are doing well for you and sure the combination would be lovely as both plants individually are special on their own.

Nice lot of pics you posted, that Neo. Macwilliamsii in Pic 4 that you said is not your plant is so different to the usual like you say; I wonder why such a difference has occurred?

Hi Teresa your training methods sound great and I always like reading what you get up to with Sugar, she sounds like a well behaved girl that tries to please her mum as much as she can and she sounds like she has a beautiful personality.

We did not feel the earth move in QLD up my neck of the woods; I can’t imagine what you go through in CHCH City, very scary stuff and those pictures say it all, very, very sad indeed.

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


Pic 1 - Neo. 'Jaws'
Pic 2 - Neo. 'Red Furnace'

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Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. Been a busy few days so I didnt get to post or read anything.
Nev, lovely to hear you are feeling more able to get about while still following doctors orders.
I do like the pic of bromeliifolia in your first pic . It does look like the triffids in dwarf form....lol.
I loved that movie and had a good laugh at those plants taking revenge on humans.

I can imagine a whole group of our broms getting up and walking around.
I am sure we would all be safe as we take such good care of our plants.

Teresa, I see you sent a few of your rock& roll shakes over. I have been in a coupl eof earthquakes and I do sympathise with anyone who has to live through even the smaller ones all the time.
It can be really scary when things around you start falling . I lived in an area of WA which experiences quite a few and was there when one of the towns was leveled .
It was like a giant steam engine coming at you with all the noise.
I was outside holding down my small aviary during the episode so was lucky. We lived a few miles away from where all the damage was done but things were still falling around the place.
Nice to hear you had a great day flying. I bet Sugar is glad to stay on the ground though.

Trish will, you and your mum will be surrounded by plenty of lovelies when you grow Nevs seed.
I love the color in your neo Red Furnace.
I must admit I have not had a close look at my broms for a few days as its too cold out the back and no sun to warm things up.
The sun was out here for a while earlier but its all cloudy again now. It showered all day yesterday.
I will get out and have a look at the broms soon , but at the moment they are not doing much anyway.

Take care and keep warm.
I am off to get another cuppa and do some sewing.
I am working on a large felt teddy bear.

More old pics . 3 of the aech fasciatas I had. 3 different ones but very much alike ( probably were all the same , but I bought them as different ones )

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Christchurch, New Zealand

hi all - my first day of work went ok...
lots to learn but my boss used to do this job before he became the manager so knows what needs to be done & how to do it.
They have a new computer stock system in place - I am at an advantage learning it as it's all new to me, they have to try to forget how they used to do things and remember the new stuff.

Baz picked me up tonight so he got a chance to see where I work & I was allowed to give him a quick tour downstairs.

Watch out for those shakes - we are over them here, no strong ones for a while.

Take care all

Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Back at work (sad face).

Hi Jean it would be great if broms worked around themselves save me running around so much on the weekends putting them here and there and everywhere he he.

Yes both Mum and I will be totally surrounded by lovely's when Nev's seedlings have grown up, we will just need to both buy the blocks next door to accommodate them all LOL.

Pleased to hear you liked the look of Neo. 'Red Furnace', it has grown and coloured up considerably since that picture was taken and I have it growing nearly in full sun under a spindly small palm tree that's about my height.

Sure your broms are looking lovely, just remember what time of year it is. Mum told be yesterday she is impressed with some of the colour in hers as well as her seedlings are starting to colour up nicely.

Nice pics of your Ae. fasciatas, I only have one in my garden that is pupping as sold the rest at the markets.

Enjoy making Teddy, would luv to see a picture of finished product if you don't mind sharing.

Hi Teresa pleased to hear you had a good first day at work, you sound happy and so great that Baz got a tour of the place; I am so pleased things are working out for you.

Must head off as Joe is screaming for the PC and giving me that look, you know that look of sharing :)

Pic 1 - Neo. 'Manoa Beauty'

Take Care & Happy Gardening!


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone - It's cold here this morning (by our standards anyway) and the forecaster says it’s the coldest morning this year with snow in many places where there isn't normally snow and we are paying the price with the cold winds coming from those cold snowy areas. I suppose we are lucky in another way though as we don't get cyclones or earthquakes like our Qld and NZ friends.

I'm a bit cranky with myself as yesterday I found quite a bit of cold damage on my plants as a result of the unusually cold weather. I usually prepare for the very cold and very hot weather by giving my plants a few good feeds and plenty of Seasol, however this year due to various health problems it didn't get done and I'm now paying the price. The upside of course is that I know most of these cold damaged plants will bounce back with some new pups when spring comes, so at least all is not lost.

I think the time is now right to share with you an article I wrote a few years back about preparing plants for extremes of weather. I know the programme I used works as I saw the amazing results for a couple of years in a row, but then I got a bit lazy as other more pressing matters intervened and the programme wasn’t followed until now where I have the present situation with cold damaged plants which I’m sure could have been avoided if I’d kept up with the programme


Well, we’ve been through a very unsettled summer (weather wise) and who knows what winter will have in store for us. It was this thought that prompted me to write these few lines about what we can do to help our brom’s through these sometimes extreme weather conditions and difficult times.

I initially started thinking about this after our recent two heat wave days, but more so after I had read an article written by a doctor about the plight of impoverished children in third world countries and their extremely high mortality rate.

This doctor said in his view, the high mortality rate was mainly because these children were malnourished; this lowered their resistance to disease and weather extremes making them much more at risk to diseases than well fed children from other countries. He said the way to alleviate this was to simply build up their immune systems by providing good food, combined with a good tonic; this would then boost their immune system which in turn would help them build up resistance to combat these various diseases.

This then set me thinking that if this would work for humans, why it wouldn’t work for other forms of life such as plant life or more specifically bromeliads.

When I first started growing brom's I was told, you don't need to fertilise your brom's, and if you do you will only lose the colour. Well I took this advice from growers who I thought knew much more than me and when the cold weather came I had a few losses like some other growers did, and just assumed it was a normal thing that brom growers experienced. This went on for a couple of years until I noticed that some of the growers of the better quality plants didn't seem to be getting these losses like my friends and I who were following the advice we had been given.

Finally I decided to try something a bit different to what we had been told, and following the suggestion the doctor had made about the impoverished children, I set about putting a system in place to provide food and a “tonic” to help boost my brom’s resistance to the extremes of weather.

I reasoned that if a plant was also malnourished, there was every possibility, that in its “run down state” it would react in the same way as the “impoverished children” when confronted with extreme weather conditions and be less likely to be able to withstand them without sustaining any damage either. The thought about changing my cultural methods was probably hurried along after memories of a heatwave we had in about 2006 (I think it was) and like many other growers, my plants suffered quite a lot of heat damage. About five months later this was followed by one of the coldest winters we had ever had in our area and consequently my plants then again suffered damage from the excessive cold as well.

It was during the heat wave period I had read about a natural product called “Seasol”. I read where it is made from two species of seaweed – Bull Kelp and Knotted Kelp. The Bull Kelp used to make Seasol grows in the clean oceans around King Island and the west coast of Tasmania. It is collected from the shores of remote beaches – it is not harvested from living marine forests. Knotted Kelp grows in shallow intertidal waters. When it is harvested with care being taken not to remove the whole plant – the base is left intact so that the kelp re-grows. In effect, the kelp is harvested by “pruning”. The main claim was that Seasol was promoted as a “tonic” and not a fertiliser.

There was a long list of benefits but the main one that attracted my attention was the claim that “Seasol is a powerful pick-me-up during times of plant stress”. It went on to claim that it is a plant “booster” which promotes tougher more resilient plants, healthier growth, stronger roots, bigger, better blooms, higher yields and can be used in all gardening situations and at all times of the year.

It was also claimed that Seasol contains natural compounds and trace elements which promote thicker, stronger cell walls. Therefore plants are better able to cope with stresses such as heat, drought and frost, as well as some insect and disease problems.

After reading all of this I decided I had nothing to lose, so I bought some and sprayed every plant in the yard the day after the 2006 heatwave and again two weeks later. I mixed it at the rate recommended for “stressed plants” and the results were nothing less than remarkable. In next to no time the results were obvious; climbing beans that had been hanging limp and dying from a trellis had perked up and were beginning sprout new side growth after just a couple of weeks and the brom's, although some were severely damaged by the heat, after a few weeks were also showing the formation of new pups. After a while things seemed to be getting back to normal and then the cold winter hit, and once more the brom's copped the brunt of “Mother Nature”; this time in the form of cold damage. Once again I got out the Seasol and applied it in the same way and once again with the same great results.

This experience now caused me to think about how I could provide better cultural methods which would help protect my plants during these times of stress. Rather than “shutting the gate after the horse had bolted”; I needed to be proactive rather than reactive and I based my changes around how that doctor thought the problem with the children could best be solved.

Thinking back to when I was a child, I (like some of our older members) remember regularly getting a dose of “Cod Liver Oil” as a “tonic” to keep me healthy, and it worked as I rarely ever got sick, not even a common cold. So I thought if a tonic can help to build up resistance in children, why wouldn't it work for other living things such as plants? The other part of the equation was food; if any living thing is deprived of food it will naturally become weaker and its resistance to disease is decreased also. I applied this to what happens with plants; comparing the potted plant (in our case brom’s) to “the child with no food”.

When a plant is grown in the garden it has the opportunity to send out “feeder roots” to forage for food if there isn't sufficient food where it is growing, but when grown in pots (like the most of our plants are), it has no such opportunity, and depends wholly on what we provide. So from then on I started a regular monthly foliar spraying programme using this product called “Seasol” as a “Plant Tonic” and used it alternately with one of the many foliar fertilisers available to provide the food.
The monthly cycle I started and still use is as follows:
Week 1 Seasol
Week 2 Half strength fertiliser
Week 3 Seasol
Week 4 Half strength fertiliser.

I could probably save myself a lot of time by mixing the fertiliser and the Seasol together but as I use different fertilisers from time to time and don't know if they are all compatible with the Seasol, I prefer to play it safe and keep them separate.

I am neither a doctor or an expert brom grower; all I know is that since I started this programme my plants have never looked better and they came through the recent two heatwave days virtually unscathed except for some plants fully exposed to the midday sun in the front garden. All I have to do now is wait and see how these plants will handle winter *.

I think it is a programme worth trying as it's just common sense that if a plant has sufficient food and is fed a “tonic' it must be healthier and be able to withstand extremes of weather much better than the plant which is given nothing else except the occasional watering.

*During the next two years we had colder than normal winters (not as savage as this year but worse than usual) and my plants survived with only very minor cold spotting in some cases.

So there you have it; a system that works, but because I became “slack” and didn’t use it this year, I’m now paying the price.

I’ll just finish with a few pictures of different types of Ae. fasciatas. Pic.1 is growing in the garden and is one of the spineless types, Pic.2 Ae. fasciata var. purpurea, Pic.3 A.e fasciata variegata, Pic.4 Ae. fasciata Rubra and Pic.5 are a couple of fasciata variegated pups with some promising pink colouring which unfortunately faded away as they matured.

All the best, Nev.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

3 days into the new job... my brain is spinning but I am enjoying it & feel at home there - not like when I tried being a checkout operator & it was all I could do to stop myself running screaming from the building.
Tried a new way of getting home tonight, took two buses instead of 3 - slightly longer route but took the same amount of time, traffic was better & the best was that the buses weren't crowded so I had a seat to myself both trips.

Trish - Manoa Beauty lives up to the name, very nice.

Nev - more invaluable tips on brom growing - I bet it would help other plants as well.
Love the variety of Ae. fasciata you shared they all have their charms.

take care all

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