Welcome to the Next Century!
President - Jay Thurrott -904/761-4804
Vice President - Bud Martin - 407/321-0838
Secretary - Bob Roberts - 904/446-8626
Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 904/673-2648
If you are anything like me, it’s always takes a while to get used to writing the new year when I write the date on something. This year there’s no telling what I’ll be writing if I get distracted while writing the date!
The new year is traditionally a time where folks pause, take stock of what was accomplished during the past year, and look forward to challenges to be met in the new year. Now we have, not only a new year, but a whole new century in front of us – isn’t that amazing!
A Little Bit of the Past…
It is often said that those who ignore the past condemn themselves to repeat it in the future, but in the world of bromeliads would that be such a bad thing? Over the past 100 years there have been some dynamic individuals who are largely responsible for bringing these fascinating (and addicting) plants to our homes and greenhouses. True giants in their own way – some of whom who risked their lives in largely unexplored lands in hopes of discovering new plants. And discover them they did. Florida’s own Mulford Foster and his wife Racine were responsible for the introduction of many new species. Tales of their travels and observations along the way make for fascinating reading and are frequently recounted in the BSI Journal. There were others who spent untold hours developing fantastic new hybrids of astounding colors and leaf patterns. Again Foster’s name rises to near the top of the list along with Ed Hummel, Skotak, and there were others who freely gave of their time to promote the use of bromeliads in the landscape and home and educate others in bromeliad culture and propogation. Where would we be today without Victoria Padilla and her beautiful bromeliad books. If you have copies of these, cherish them for they are no longer in print. Carol Johnson was instrumental in organizing the miscellaneous Florida bromeliad societies into the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, the primary driving force and source of funding for control of the "evil weevil", metamaceous calzone
Mike and CiCi’s Billbergia ‘Strawberry’ put on quit a show starting Dec. 1st Nice looking plant and an outstanding bloom! Isn’t it odd that some bromeliads bloom each year at exactly the same time and others just bloom any old time they get around to it? Aechmea fosteriana has bloomed for me during just about every month of the year except Dec. and now, true to form, it's blooming unexpectedly again – surprise! And …Ae. 'Orlandiana is blooming' right alongside it. It’s easy to see how the inspiration for Ae. ‘Bert’ came about. Tillandsia stricta x T. ixioides was introduced to me by Frank Cowan about three years ago and now has begun to bloom with charming little pale-yellow flowers clustered around pink bracts that look a bit like T. stricta – very nice.
Can’t tell the plants without a tag… Make sure those plants you plan on selling (or donating for sale) have a tag with the name of the plant on it. Need tags? We got ‘em – 30 for $1.
Best wishes to the Roberts’. They are putting up a greenhouse and, by the way, are building a new house while they are at it!
Happy New Year to Frances Sanjurjo. It was good to see you at the November meeting. I know it’s a long drive from Orange Park – that’s dedication!
Do you have a plant that you’ve lost the tag to? Take a picture of it the next time it is in bloom and bring the photo in to a meeting. Maybe we can get you a positive ID. Maybe not – then we can try sending the picture off to the Florida Council webpage as an unknown bromeliad and see if anyone else recognizes it. Still no luck? Then let’s send the plant off to Harry Luther at the Bromeliad Identification Center in Sarasota and see what he thinks it is.
March 16th – 19th…Don’t forget! Mark it on your calendars now. That will be the flower show at the Ocean Center (I never have been able to get the name straight). Everybody’s Flower Show, the Daytona Flower Show, the Home and Garden Show – whatever its called - plan on entering plants for judging and plan on bringing plants for sale. We’ll be staffing our sales booth there and we need your support – even if it’s only moral support. Plan on helping out in some form! We’ll need volunteers for "security" for the horticulture display area (you can’t wear a badge or carry a gun, but you can speak sternly to those patron who insist on pinching leaves from plants). We need sales people for the booth and help in setting it up and…you guessed it…taking it down again. Join the party! It really is a lot of fun!
Thanks – to everyone who brought in a Show and Tell for the November meeting! This is always one of my favorite parts of a club meeting – I can’t help it, I just like to see other people’s plants and hear about what they are growing and problems they have run into.