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2010 Journals

January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010

VOL 50 NO 2
Exploring in Brazil…

FROM THE REGISTRAR – Gerry Stansfield

As promised this month we are
going to talk about some of
the very fine hybrid billbergias
that Alan Cliffe has made. Although
they have been named, they cannot be
registered just yet as the BSI Registrar
Geoff Lawn requires a photo of the
actual flower, and that may not be until
next year, however Geoff has agreed to
hold the names pending a photo so we
can call the new billbergia hybrids by
their true names of Billbergia ‘Desire’
‘Brazen’ and ‘Envy’. But let Alan tell
us all about his hybridizing process.

Why breed Billbergias?

Have a look at the vivid opal colours of
some of the billbergia hybrids on fcbs.
org. Then ask yourself “How do I get
some plants looking like this?”

One of my favourite billbergias is B.
‘Domingos Martins’. It was discovered
on Kautsky’s mountain near the town of
Domingos Martins in Brazil and initially
named as a new species B. domingos
martensis. It was subsequently renamed
as a cultivar of B. vittata. The plant
is characterised by its compact form,
green foliage with a purple throat, dark
spines, and both white spots and white

horizontal lines. Wouldn’t it be great to
have a red or a purple one?

I was lucky enough to buy a specimen on
my trip to Bromeliads XIII in Brisbane
in Oct 2005. However none of the
Australian breeders would part with any
of their brightly coloured hybrids. Peter
Waters said, ‘You know what to do – just
breed one’. Not so easy as it sounds,
given that I had only a single plant and
billbergias only flower for a few days.
Fortunately my luck was in. When my B.
‘Domingos Martins’ came into flower in
2007 so too did my B. ‘Hallelujah’.

I pollinated some flowers and sent out
an SOS for any other brightly coloured
flowering billbergia. With another stroke
of luck, Barry Uren had a B. ‘Afterglow’
(vittata x ‘Poquito Blanco’) x amoena v.
viridis) also in flower. The B. ‘Afterglow’
hybrid seedlings are more vigorous
and advanced than the B. ‘Hallelujah’
hybrids, which also have some very
attractive plants coming along.

Finally, in 2010, I have some of the
brightly coloured hybrids I was after.

Alan Cliffe

Billbergia ‘Brazen’Billbergia ‘Desire’Billbergia ‘Envy’

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc

Bromeliad Journal – February 2010 issue

From the Registrar – Gerry Stansfield 2
Editor’s Page – Murray Mathieson 4
Notes on Society’s March garden ramble 4
Bromeliad Society January meeting notes – Dave Anderson 5
More ideas on growing from Seed – Robyn Firth 7
Bromeliad Society Dinner notice – February 20th 8
Exploring in Brazil with Peter and Jeanette Waters 9
Society officers, subs and Journal directory 13
Group News 14
Broms up North. A Whangarei wonder – John and Agatha Lambert 17
Bromeliad 2010 ‘Fiesta’ notice 20

The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and
do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand


Please see the Group News section starting on page 14 for more details, venues and


20th/21st Society ‘Fiesta’ show and
sale at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall,
Balmoral, Auckland. See page 20 for
more details.
20th Society Dinner at Tusk (Thai)
restaurant. See page 8 for details.
23rd Society meeting at Greyfriar’s
Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill
roads, Mt Eden, starting 7.30pm.
Monthly choice competition:
Neoregelia concentrica hybrids.
Dave Anderson will speak about the
trophy winning plants at ‘Fiesta’ 2010.

28th Hawkes Bay Group meeting.


7th South Auckland Group meeting.
14th Society garden ramble. See page
4 for details.
17th BOP Group garden visits.
22nd Wellington Tillandsia Group
23rd Society meeting at Greyfriar’s
Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill
roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm.
Monthly choice competition:
Aechmea orlandiana and cultivars.

FRONT COVER: This month we take you on a photographic expedititon in Rio
de Janeiro state, Brazil with Peter and Jeanette Waters. See the article and photos
starting on page 9.


So, what happens when the
President is so busy organising our
annual ‘Fiesta’that he doesn’t have
time to write the words for his regular
‘President’s Page’. Instead of a half page
of white space you get a hastily written
fill-in from the editor, that’s what.

I appreciate that this is a very busy
time of the year, not only for all those
members involved in planning, running
and participating in ‘Fiesta’ 2010, but
for all bromeliad growers and collectors.
The hot weather is welcome but has also
been demanding on gardens and broms
and I know there’s a lot to do to keep
things looking good. On behalf of the
editorial team, can I say how grateful we
are to all those members who contribute
articles and photos for our Journal and
also to those who open up their gardens
for us to visit and record. Without you

all our Bromeliad Journal would rapidly
decline in quality and interest.

On another note, observant readers may
be aware that with our February 2010
issue we’re now publishing Volume 50
No 2. Not bad for a society that has been
going only 48 years. How did we get
to ‘50’? Peter Waters looked up his old
Journal archive and it seems that around
1995 we started putting numbers on the
issues and the editor of the day decided
that it would be ‘Volume 35’, when
simple maths suggests it should have
been ‘Volume 33’. So there’s a useless
but perhaps mildly interesting piece
of information. I’ve now filled up my
‘white space’ and it’s time to go. Have
a great ‘Fiesta’ and please take care in
the sun!

Murray Mathieson

Sunday March 14th – 10am to 1 pm
Gardens we’re visiting:
. Michelle Tohi, 30A Akehurst Ave New Lynn(Michelle’s garden will feature in Heroic gardens)
. Craig Thorburn, 12 South Lynn Road, Titirangi(there will be a charge of $5pp at this garden)
. Graeme Barcley, 6 Splendour Close, Henderson
Please try to keep visiting to these times.

Bromeliad Society January
Meeting News – Dave Anderson

K esson Sharp chaired the
meeting and welcomed
members and visitors. The
Fiesta is being held at the Mt Eden
War Memorial Hall in Dominion
Rd as usual. Set up is on Friday 19th,
with the Fiesta open to the public on
the 20th and 21st Feb. This being the
last meeting before the Fiesta, Kesson
requested for volunteers to help at
the weekend. Please contact him if
you can be of assistance. Annual
subscriptions are due at the end of
February with a $5 discount applying
to those who pay before the end of
the month. Barry Uren spoke about
the species conservation project that
he is managing and asked members
to please return the aechmea spread
sheets as soon as possible. They are
very slow in being returned! Jocelyn
is organising a ‘Garden Visit’ to three
member’s gardens in central and west
Auckland on March 14th. Lester Ching
has copies of Andrew Steens’ first
book for sale at $15.00 each.

I discussed the ‘Show and Tell’ plants.
First up were five different grass-like
tillandsias with the owner wanting to
have them identified. Apart from a
Tillandsia juncea that was identified
by its form and spent bloom the others
could not be named as many of them
look very similar to each other and can
only be differentiated when flowering.
Some of the grass-like tillandsias that
have been in NZ for many years are

T. festucoides, remota, chaetophylla,
linearis and setiformis to name but
a few. For display I had taken in a
Neoregelia sapiatibensis that was just
finishing flowering. This attractive
species looks quite superb with its
wavy green leaves and pups on long
stolons. It shows that neoregelias can
still be most appealing without having
highly coloured leaves. The species is
endemic to the coastal sands of Rio de
Janeiro where it grows on the ground
where shade is abundant.

Following the ‘Show and Tell’, Peter
Waters gave a PowerPoint presentation
of his and Jeanette’s recent visit to
Brazil in November last year. Just

Heather Cooke won the special
raffle. The door prizes went to Sandy
Stonham, Nerena Morris and Robbie


Open Flowering: First John Mitchell
with Billbergia ‘Hallelujah’ – always
a most attractive plant. Second was
Heather Cooke with Neoregelia ‘Bob
& Grace’. Also in the competition
were Guzmania sanguinea (Tricolor);
Neoregelia ‘Rosy Morn’ and ‘Princess
Grace Superb’; Nidularium ‘Ruby
Lee’ and Vriesea vagans and ‘Sunset’.
Open Foliage: Peter Coyle was
first with a Vriesea ‘2003 Tasman
Hybrid’ – this plant was voted ‘plant
of the month’ with its beautiful wide
predominantly white leaves. John
Mitchell was second with Aechmea

Cont’d P6

Cont’d from P5

orlandiana ‘Gene’. In the competition
were Aechmea ‘Bert’ (variegated);
Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’;
Neoregelia ‘Manoa Beauty’ and
xNeoophytum ‘Firecracker’.
Tillandsia: Lynette Nash was first with
Tillandsia brachycaulos. Second equal
were Lester Ching with Tillandsia
‘Wildfire’ and Lynette Nash with
Tillandsia limbata. There were also on
the table Tillandsia cardenasii, lucida,
streptophylla, and tectorum.

Miniatures: First was Peter Coyle with
Neoregelia ‘Gorrion’ and he was also
second with Neoregelia ‘Alley Cat’.
In the competition were Neoregelia
lilliputiana, ampullacea, ampullacea x
‘Tigrina’, ‘Tigrina’ x ‘Black Knight’,
‘Tassie Tiger’ x ‘Wee Willy’, ‘Truly’,
‘Annick’, ‘Wild Tiger’, ‘Pepper’,
‘Chiquita Linda’, ‘Ounce of Purple’

Ever thought about visiting
beautiful Norfolk Island?

June Allen is leading a tour to Norfolk
Island between October 9 and 16. There
will be a special itinerary of garden tours
and bush walks. June is a keen gardener
and she has lived for over two years
on Norfolk Island. The price is from
NZ$1868 per person ex Auckland and
this includes airfares, transfers, 7 nights
twin share accommodation, garden tours
and trips, breakfasts for 6 days, a lunch
and three dinners, some morning teas,
five specialty tours and entry to the A&H
show. The tour is being offered by The
Travel Centre, Norfolk Island. Contact
June Allen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (phone

(09) 443 4451) or The Travel Centre
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (toll free from
New Zealand 0800 0088 10).
and ‘Pheasant’.
Neoregelia: First equal were Peter
Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Totara Twist’
and Alan Cliffe with Neoregelia
‘Africa’. Second was David Goss
with a Neoregelia Skotak hybrid.
In the competition were Neoregelia
‘Garnish’, ‘Tiger Cub x Black Knight’,
‘Sanguine Night’ and ‘Inferno’.
Novice: Laura Weber was first with
a Vriesea ‘Summer Bliss’ and second
was Graeme Barclay with Neoregelia

The Plant of the month went to Peter
Coyle with Vriesea ‘2003 Tasman
Hybrid’ – one of the white wide leafed
hybrids that Andrew Maloy has bred.
Congratulations to all the winners.

NEXT MEETING: Tues 23rd Feb.

More ideas on growing from Seed

– Robyn Firth. Reprinted and adapted from ‘Bromeletter’, the journal of the
Bromeliad Society of Australia, November / December 2009.
I am relatively new to serious brom
growing but I’ve done quite a bit
of seed raising and I have adapted
some techniques to suit the special
needs of broms. This is my way, not
necessarily the accepted way, however,
I have had great success!

Tillandsia, collect the seed as soon as
the pod opens. I think the fresher the
better for germination. I place the seed
directly onto pieces of old palings.
They will stick and hold when mist
sprayed with water. I use a large plastic
container and lay the pieces of paling
horizontally. You can have just a few
drops of water in the bottom of the
container, just enough to make sure the
the wood stays damp but not wet all the

When the seed germinates mist daily.
When the seedlings are growing well
you can hang them up but they will
need misting daily. You can foliar feed
at low strength occasionally.

Vriesea pods open and have a feathery
seed like tillandsia and need no
preparation before sowing because
they are so slow to grow. I find I need
an open mix. It’s important to use
a shallow container with plenty of
drainage holes. Spread the seed on top

and mist spray and they will adhere to
the soil mix. Do not cover the seed with
mix. Use a clear plastic bag and make
sure it’s supported away from the soil
mix. A couple of fine stakes will do.
You could use a large plastic container
but it needs to be fairly clear. The seed
will germinate fairly quickly and can
just be left to do its own thing until you
start to harden them off gradually.

Neoregelia, Aechmea and other
broms that form berries need to have
their seed washed and dried in order
to be able to spread them. It’s best to
spread the seed thinly and not sow too
many as it’s hard to throw them out
once they’ve germinated. Squeeze the
ripe berry and the little brown seeds
will come out and you can place them
in a small jar with water and one drop
of dishwashing detergent. Shake and
keep rinsing until water is clear and
then spread the seed out to dry. Then
spread seed thinly over a free draining
mix, cover and wait. The seeds usually
germinate quite quickly. Leave the
young seedlings until well advanced
before pricking out to community
trays. When they germinate, broms
have a primary root which soon dies
when secondary roots develop. Don’t
forget to label all sowing with name,
date and source of seed.

Sale of Lorna Grey’s plants

Bromeliads and other exotic
plants, some collectors items.

27th February 2010
10.00am to 2.00pm
at 9 Bristol Ave, Brookfield,
Otumoetai, Tauranga

Enquires to: Wilma Fitzgibbons ph. 07 5422243

Bromeliad Society Dinner

‘Fiesta’ weekend – Saturday February 20th

We have booked the Tusk Restaurant (Thai)
590 Dominion Road, Balmoral – parking at the rear
for a meal starting 7.15 pm, Saturday February 20th .
($29.50 for banquet meal).
This is the Saturday evening of the ‘Fiesta weekend’.
Society members, partners and friends are all welcome.

If you would like to attend the dinner
please contact Dave Anderson (09) 638 8671.

Exploring in Brazil with Peter and
Jeanette Waters

In October 2009, Peter and Jeanette Waters went to Brazil and joined a
bromeliad exploration expedition with the renowned Elton Leme. At our January
2010 society meeting, Peter gave us a very interesting talk and showed us some
great photos of the trip. We’ve picked out a selection of his photos and added a
few captions and comments to try and give all our members a bit of a ‘taste’ of
what searching for bromeliads in Brazil is all about.

This was actually Peter’s second apparently not unusual and Peter says
trip to Brazil. The latest that Elton Leme fully expects to find
expedition concentrated on a new species when he ventures into
section of mountain and forest area new ‘unexplored’ areas. Some of the
in Rio de Janeiro state, about 200 to areas visited were national parks and
300 km inland and north east of the Elton has government permission to
city of Rio de Janeiro. The expedition enter these areas and is also able to
took six days and there were four take out a few specimens of any new
people in the group. A number of plants found for conservation/research
new species were discovered. This is purposes.

Brazil’s bromeliads are concentrated in
the coastal forest areas, which are under
threat. This map is alarming. The yellow/
brown areas show the extent of the
coastal forest in 1900. The small green
‘pockets’ are the areas of forest remaining

The area explored was north east
of the city of Rio de Janeiro and
inland, about 200 to 300 km,
between the latitudes of 21 and
23 degrees south.

Cont’d P10

Cont’d from P9

Exploring in Brazil... photos by Peter and Jeanette Waters

Learning where to look …bromeliadsperch up in trees and on rocks.

Alcantareas abound on rock faces.

Picturesque villages like Teresopolis lie
beneath unusual, craggy mountains.


The undergrowth can be daunting.
The expedition used local guidesto help find the way.

Bromeliads do fine up in theclouds and on Mt Morumbeca.

De-pupping a billbergia on a fallen log.
Note how team members wear protectiveleggings … in case of snakes.

Survivors! Encholirium horridum
on a cliff-face.

Cont’d P12 11

Cont’d from P11

Exploring in Brazil...

Elton Leme with Vriesea arachnoidea Peter Waters with Quesnelia edmundoi
var intermedia

Alcantarea farneyi is only
found on mountain tops Alcantarea aff heloisae

A sea of pitcairnia



Patron: Patricia Sweeney
President: Kesson Sharp (09) 818-8051
Vice Presidents: Dave Anderson (09) 638-8671

Jocelyn Coyle (09) 416-8272
Secretary: Glenys Guild (09) 810-9669
Treasurer: Peter Waters (09) 534-5616
Librarian: Noelene Ritson (09) 625-8114
Life Members: Patricia Perratt, Len Trotman

Patricia Sweeney
Scientific Officer:

Peter Waters (09) 534-5616

Committee: Don Brown (09) 361 6175
Alan Cliffe (09) 479-1451
David Cowie (09) 630-8220
Chris Paterson (09) 625-6707
Sandy Stonham (09) 627-9658

Cultivar Registrar:

Gerry Stansfield (09) 834-7178
Seed Bank: Bev Ching (09) 576-4595
Species Preservation:

Barry Uren (09) 520-0246
Auditor: Colin Gosse


New Zealand:

Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February).
Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).


AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to
the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.


All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,

P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or
articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or
policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.


For all editorial and advertising, the first
Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee

Dave Anderson
Murray Mathieson
Peter Waters

Regular Writers

Gerry Stansfield


Murray Mathieson


Dave Anderson

All enquiries and contributions welcome, please
contact any member of the editorial committee
or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise,
Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email:
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Display Advertising

Rates are:
Full Page $60.00
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Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’

Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for
members of the Society (max. 30 words).
For advertising enquiries and material, please
contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366
or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group News

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group

– Jo Elder
Garden visits: March 17th, 10.00am

1. Lisa Sutherland, 14 Maungawhare
Place, Otumoetai
2. Gloria Petersen, 25 Parkvale Road,
3. Johanna Elder, 4 Hinewa Road,
Hawkes Bay Bromeliad Group

– Judy Newman
Despite the prediction of rain, the day
of our last meeting was fine and in fact
very warm. Members met at Grace
and Wade Smith’s home in Napier to
see their lovely garden and very well
grown bromeliads – in ground, in
baskets and glasshouse. The garden
has been rejuvenated after the dreadful
frost damage last winter and is looking
very attractive. A lot of hard work
has gone on there! We then drove to
Taradale for the meeting at Yvonne
Richardson’s. Yvonne specialty is not
only bromeliads but also masses of
tuberous begonias, in the garden and
baskets – a wonderful sight. She has
a large area of fairly newly planted
bromeliads on a mound made round a
large tree. Also planted there are quite
a few vireya rhododendrons to give
extra colour and they will make that
area spectacular in a few years.

The meeting mainly dealt with
our upcoming trip to Auckland.
Unfortunately because it is Art Deco
Weekend quite a few members will
be unable to come with us. We had
two new members join that day so we

hope they enjoy our friendly group.
It is great that our group continues to
grow. There was no competition at this

Next Meeting: 28th February at
2.00pm at Julie Greenhill’s out at
Eskdale. This is so new members can
see Julie’s extensive collection.

The Wellington Tillandsia Group

– Phyllis Purdie
Our January meeting was held at
Ginny Rastall’s place in Paraparaumu.
Plants discussed were:

T rodrigueziana, a plant native to Nth
Mexico bore long spikes baring purple
tubular flowers. This was the small
form.T butzii (silver) was silvery leafed
and had a branched long inflorescence
baring silvery white bracts and white
flared blossoms. Andrew Flower said
his plant had grown spikes which
hadn’t flowered for several years but
when he shifted it down lower this
year it had flowered. T butzii was
green and grown down low and it had
flowered. The pseudobulbs were also
spotted green.

T edithiae from Bolivia, a hangingbranch, produced a scarlet
inflorescence with scarlet flowers.
A smaller plant was T albertiana
which bore a single flared red flower.

T cardenasii, a silvery plant was
flowering with a light purple flower
arising from a branched short
inflorescence. T caerulea was grown
from seed sent by Eric Gouda. The

stem was long and presented with blue
flowers, flared with a white centre.

T velickiana had silvery leaves. The
inflorescence was silvery/pink with
a long purple flower. T pedicellata,
a very small plant with simple flared
yellow flowers. This plant is self fertile.
It was grown from seed sown in 1991
and was a large clump now. T vicentina
produced long tubular flowers arising
out of orange/red bracts on a longbranched stem. T x T5000 had 4 very
long stems from a silver foliage. The
inflorescences were branching and
had white flowers tipped with purple.
T straminea. A plant with a very long
stem, branched with white flared
flowers tipped purple. It was a parent of
T x T5000, and was a little bit smaller.
T ‘Mess-it-up Red’ a T magnusianahybrid had a bunch of leaves which
coloured red when flowering. It was
flowering with long purple tubular
flowers from the centre of the plant.

T ‘Sesca’ (T schiedeana x T baileyi) had
a short green bract with light yellowish
tubular flowers and purple bases. T
plagiotropica had a pure white bract
from which came pure white tubular
flowers. After the Sales Table and
afternoon tea we all explored Ginny’s
garden and glasshouses which were
full of lovely coloured bromeliads and

Next Meeting: March 22nd at 1.30
pm at Andrew Flower’s, Main Road,
Pukerua Bay

South Auckland Bromeliad Group

– Marion Morton
We had a scorching hot day for our
first meeting of the year. Our first visit

was to the home of Jeanette Lenz and
her interesting garden. It’s beautifully
laid out and there is so much to see.
The brugmansias were a picture and
the many bromeliads were set off
nicely under palms and other shrubs
and trees. Jeanette has lots of pottery
pieces scattered through the garden,
some of which she has made herself,
including a most unusual top to her

Our next visit was to the home of
Pearl and Herbert Geange where we
held our main meeting. Their garden
has a great variety of succulents,
cacti, and agaves as well as lots of
bromeliads. They had quite a few
stunning bromeliads that had been
purchased from John van Schie at
Ohaupo. Pearl’s peanut brownies were
also a very firm favourite with our
members, as was her Christmas cake.

Our thanks go out to Jeanette, Pearl
and Herbert for having us at their
place. The raffles were won by Lyall
Mitchell, and Herbert Geange.

Next Meeting: 1.30pm on Sunday,
March 7th .We will start at the home
of Win Shorrock, 40 McDevitt Street,
Manurewa, followed by a visit to Dawn
and Eric Ashton at 25 Friedlanders
Road, Manurewa.

Far North Bromeliad Group

– Eric Stephens
The start of a new year saw 31 of us make
our regular trip to the ‘real Far North’,
to Okahu Downs and the residence of
Jacqui O’Connell and Kevin Butler,
at Aloe Aloe, their bromeliad nursery
and general horticultural home stay.
En route we made a short visit to a

Cont’d P16 15

Cont’d from P15

hosta and epiphyllum nursery in the
Victoria Valley.

In opening the meeting, President
David sent a special greeting from
us all to long time enthusiast Colleen
Frew – recently admitted to Baycare
hospital at Haruru Falls.

All will be aware of the prolonged
drought that we have been experiencing
in the North – Jacqui and Kevin
have worked very hard to keep their
extensive landscaped gardens looking
great – with water being in such short

‘Show and Tell’ included a fine
specimen of Nidularium innocentii var.
lineatum, and Vriesea glutinosa. David
showed two large flowering specimens
of Billbergia pyramidalis – later raffled

for club funds. These plants enabled
us to revisit the previous confusion
about the former misnamed B.
pyramidalis ‘Striata’ – now confirmed
as the cultivar Bill. pyramidalis‘Fosters Striate’.There was also a good
specimen of Aechmea ‘Purple Heart’
on the table.

As we settle to our year’s programme

– we are hoping to confirm a visit
from Andrew Flower – at Fulbert
Bromeliads, on April 11th, and
Peter Waters in June/July when we
temporarily take our meetings indoors.
Our February meeting will be held
at the Te Waimate Mission House –
with opportunity to visit the Mission
House in its 1840 furnishings, the St
Johns Baptist Church, and the vintage
rose collection and historic trees.

Broms up North… A Whangarei Wonder

– Photos and article by JAGA
About a year ago we ventured
north as part of a large group
from the Bromeliad Society
and we visited this wonderful garden
belonging to Bev and Brian Hutchings.
The property left such an impression
on us that we have made a return
exploration over the Christmas break
this year.

The quarter acre property located in
Kamo on Three Mile Bush Road is
well known within the local area and
you can’t miss it, the many alcantareas
in the front yard are a ‘beaming red’
after basking in the summer sun. An
imperialis (rubra) in the high corner
is about to flower with a 2m stem,
distinguishing the property as you
approach and in fact can be seen from
the township intersection below. The
property has a through lane on one
side and we noticed people admiring
the garden as they strolled along. After
our original visit we were very curious
and a tad jealous about how all their
broms got to look so good. Well a big
part of the answer is the north facing
gentle sloping site with a very tropical
30° C+ while we were there. In fact, this
summer there has been no significant
rain since the beginning of November
‘09. There are a lot of rock gardens
and larger individual landscape rock,
retaining the day’s heat and all helping
to keep the broms, especially the neos,
very warm. Brian and Bev are both kept

busy for hours removing debris from
the plants, dead leafing and moving
around some of the more sensitive ones
as the UV increases. They also opt to
protect some of the ground planted
ones with sun umbrellas although in
most cases the over planting is more
than enough to protect them.

Bev and Brian have had the property
for 36 years and it was Brian who began
collecting from the late Avon Ryan
some 20 years ago, so there are many
of Avon’s neoregelia hybrids spread
about. Bev wasn’t much taken with
broms back then but over the years has
changed to become a ‘bromaholic’,
especially partial to the foliage leaf
vriesea hybrids. The whole site is
well planned out with well designed
gardens containing many broms with
small zones of grass for walking. We
were al1 struck by the brom form,
brilliant colours and lack of damage
for plants grown outdoors. The clever
choice of colours and species mixed
together is a delight and, we suggest, a
must see for all members. So if you are
in the area, give them a call and they
would be delighted to show off their

… a must see
for all members

See photos P18 and P19

Cont’d from P17

Broms up North… Bev and Brian Hutchings

– photos by JAGA

2010 Bromeliad


Saturday 20th &
Sunday 21st Feb
9.00am to 3.00pm

Mt Eden War Memorial Hall
489 Dominion Road, Balmoral, Auckland.
Adult $5.00. Free parking


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