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An introduction to the world of bromeliads

  • Sep 22, 2013 · 3:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

At this meeting group member Fred Rump will show us over a thousand bromeliads, many of them quite rare, as well as 400 orchids growing on his 7.5-acre property. We'll learn how he planted and raised them all using his simple methods, all of which can be replicated in our own gardens. For each genus he'll teach us about its ideal placement, the proper planting materials, the most effective propagating methods, and appropriate management techniques. We can take home some literature sheets with more information.

Fred didn't come by this knowledge easily. When he bought the property, he enthusiastically cleared the area and did lots of planting to create a very lush semi-tropical garden. Then came three brutally cold (for Florida) winters, which wiped out practically all the work he had done. He was so devastated that he almost swore off gardening. He was pleased to see that the few bromeliads he planted had survived. Fred concluded it was because they were low to the ground, under the protection of trees. He successfully planted more bromeliads in good locations, searched out more rare varieties as he traveled around Florida, and now has what is probably the largest collection of bromeliads in our garden group.

We'll also admire the hundreds of orchids Fred is raising, and learn how to plant, care for, fertilize and propagate each type of these exotically beautiful flowers. Many are cold-sensitive tropical varieties that thrive with some striking rain-forest palms every winter in the warmth of his greenhouse. We can also help feed the long-finned koi breeding in the garden's pond. We'll feed ourselves as well, because snacks and drinks at each event help stimulate lively conversations. If you have favorite foods or beverages, you can bring some along to share with others.

As at all our meetings, members will bring their excess plants for the plant-exchange table, and take home other plants for their own gardens. Group leaders Peter and Suzanne will bring ten folding chairs for the formal (sit-down) part of the meeting, but we'd appreciate members bringing more chairs if they can.

PLEASE NOTE: The group has never before had so many members signing up to attend a meeting. Fred's place can accommodate everyone, but parking is limited. We'd appreciate members sharing rides to and from the meeting if you can. Offers and requests for ride-sharing can be posted on the web site's Carpooling page at http://meetup.com/FloridaGardeners/messages/boards/thread/31613332. Thank you.

To let Fred and his wife Marlies know whether you can or can't attend this event, please click either Yes or No on the RSVP link in the upper right corner of the screen. All our events are free for everyone, so your interested friends can attend as well. Please indicate the number of guests you're inviting when you RSVP. We expect this to be a very informative meeting. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, September 15, so please make a note on your calendar now.

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  • Ella

    Fred, I live in Belize, Central America, and even though we have an abundance of bromeliads in the wild, there is very little interest in growing them in the gardens and identifying them. I would like to find the way to visit your garden, talk to you and learn about your collection. Is it possible for me to visit your garden, or is it only open for special events?

    1 · December 20, 2013

    • frany

      hi Fred got ur message when I went to reply it told me "i could not" but yes I would love to come by and get some mexican sunflowers. though the one you gave has taken off and I believe I can take cuttings from it, right???

      2 · December 21, 2013

    • Ella

      Yes, Fred, I am lucky to live in this bromeliad paradise. But I want to start a collection here - to bring attention to those wonderful plants. I started an orchid and tropical plants garden 7 years ago- and it made an amazing transformation in people's minds- they started looking at plants with more respect and appreciation. So, as the botanical garden with orchids is functioning very well, i want to start a bromeliad garden now. So, I want to meet the experts before I start. So, I am glad to see your quick response, and will be communicating with you via email then. Thank you!!!

      2 · December 21, 2013

  • Missi

    So sorry I missed it! Too much to do, too little time!!!

    1 · September 23, 2013

    • Leah R.

      Missed you Missi!

      1 · September 26, 2013

  • Bonnie Breedlove H.

    I'm new to Florida (4/13) this was my first meeting. I enjoyed touring his beautiful garden (I'd love to do it again) I know a lot more about my bromeliads now and I have hope that someday my place can also look like a park.

    1 · September 23, 2013

  • Fred R.

    One other comment I would like to make is to say thanks to Peter & Suzanne who come to every meeting and bring all of the paraphernalia like name tags and sign up material with them. I for one appreciate this continuous effort.

    1 · September 23, 2013

  • Fred R.

    Too bad so many people who RSVD'd didn't show up. We had gathered many more chairs than needed. I'm also sorry that I was such a zombie with my back killing me I cut the walk short and just wanted to get back and sit. During the night I thought I was better but getting up this morning taught me otherwise. I guess I have to spend a few more days just resting. I hate that. In any case, I want to do this again. There is so much more to show you. Rena - can you contact me at [masked]? I think I will take you up on your offer.

    1 · September 23, 2013

    • Suzanne and P.

      Like you, Fred, I'm almost 80. I'm impressed with how much work you've done in the garden at your age. Suzanne feels men our age should start to slow down. I think our bodies are telling us we have no other option. The members who attended this meeting really appreciate the great effort you put into hosting it. Here's hoping your back feels better soon. We look forward to you hosting another meeting about a different group of plants in your garden. Many thanks.

      September 23, 2013

  • Suzanne and P.

    Only 38 of the 53 members who said they'd attend this meeting showed up. It's important to revise your RSVP on the web site (with one simple click on "No") if your plans change. But we still had a record number of members attending this very informative event. Meeting host Fred Rump made an impressive presentation, teaching us about the various families of bromeliads. The tour through his 7.5-acre garden was extensive and enlightening. We learned what can be done (with a lot of hard physical labor) to turn a rampant jungle into a beautiful garden. Click on the thumbnail picture above to see dozens of photos taken during this meeting. As in all the albums in the web site's Photos pages, you can click on each photo to enlarge it, then click again to enlarge it further. Those who didn't show up for this event missed a great meeting.

    September 23, 2013

  • Matt

    Great. Learned a lot.

    1 · September 23, 2013

  • frany

    I sure wish I could have been there.

    1 · September 23, 2013

  • Leah R.

    Fred did a great job with his presentation AND gardens. One can see he has put a lot of time and energy into his place.

    2 · September 22, 2013

  • Marianne V.

    Ok, but you would have loved the dessert tray I had made for us by Fresh Market! I guess the folks attending the Buckingham Bar's Blues jam session today will enjoy it; I'm a diabetic!! Be safe!

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Fred R.

    OK, it's official. We'll see you all next Sunday. Maybe there is some football on this afternoon which we can watch.

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Suzanne and P.

    Yes, Fred, we feel this storm has made the decision for us. THIS MEETING IS BEING RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. We'll notify all the members by email. We hope everyone can attend.

    2 · September 15, 2013

  • Mary N.

    Storm is very strong by Naples airport. Too strong to go out. If Fred can reschedule, I would prefer to wait until next week.
    Mary

    2 · September 15, 2013

  • Missi

    Is it still on despite the rains we're getting?

    1 · September 15, 2013

    • Fred R.

      I just went to buy some more ice as this mornings load already melted and then I hot soaked. I prefer we reschedule for next Sunday. Peter has to make the call though. He's the boss.

      2 · September 15, 2013

    • Missi

      I agree Fred! It isn't safe with the lightning plus according to the weather satellite maps, it is going to be going on for probably the rest of the day.

      2 · September 15, 2013

  • Leah R.

    Are we still a go? Flooding in Naples Park already.

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Fred R.

    Folks, it is raining cats and dogs here with thunder and lightening to boot. I'll leave it up to Peter but personally I think we should reschedule for next Sunday same time same place. I can put everyone under a roof but the garden is soaked and if it doesn't stop we can't go out anyway. [masked][masked] (The gate is open in case anyone shows up)

    2 · September 15, 2013

    • Kelly

      I agree Fred - there is quite a storm.

      2 · September 15, 2013

  • Fred R.

    I've changed the seating area from the middle of the bromeliads to our lanai. I'm afraid the no-see-ums will be a bother as they certainly bother me and I need to spray my legs before venturing out there. I don't see them but my legs start to itch immediately. Sometimes I wonder if it's in my mind. You may want to also protect yourself for our garden walk. We'll figure where to put everybody. I hope Peter will come a little early as he has the most experience in these things.

    1 · September 14, 2013

    • Suzanne and P.

      Suzanne and I will arrive early as usual, Fred, so that we can distribute ten folding chairs, everyone's name tags, and membership/discount cards for the members who haven't yet received theirs. With 45 members scheduled to attend this meeting, you hold the record for the most popular event the club has ever had. Congratulations, and thanks for offering to host. Hosts are the club's most valuable members.

      2 · September 14, 2013

  • Marilyn

    How can I get heliconia to bloom.I've been waiting a couple of years with no results

    September 9, 2013

    • Fred R.

      Do they get plenty of water?

      September 9, 2013

  • Fred R.

    new palms
    Kentiopsis oliviformis - Miraguama Palm Sept/13
    Zombia antillarum - Zombie Palm Sept/13
    Coccothrinax crinita - Old Man Palm Sept/13
    Copernicia macroglossa - Cuban Petticoat Palm Sept/13
    Beccariophoenix alfredii - High Plateau (Hardy) Coconut Palm Sep/13
    Acrocomia aculeata - Macaw Palm Apr/13

    2 · September 6, 2013

    • Missi

      The Zombie palm is on my wish list! I have a macaw palm that just started taking off in my back lot. It is a youngin but is finally established & growing! I'd love to know more about the hardy coconut palm. Is it hardy as in, cold hardy? I Googled it. Beautiful plant!

      September 6, 2013

    • Fred R.

      Mine are all babies.

      September 6, 2013

  • Fred R.

    This morning the stitches come out (which is why I woke up in the middle of the night to write this) and I will be able to get out there and work a bit again. Got some bamboo and new palms to put in the ground to add to what I already had. More will be coming as there always is. I can't believe it's been almost 4 years since I planted my first two bamboos as a test. They survived the three consecutive 25 year cold waves we had, are doing great and now will have siblings.

    Bambusa lako - Timor Black Bamboo 11/11/09
    Bambusa eutuldoides 'viridi-vittata' - Asian Lemon 11/11/09
    Bambusa emeiensis 'Flavidovirens' 6/20/13
    Bambusa eutuldoides 'viridi-vittata inversa' - Asian Lime 7/2/13
    Thyrsostachys siamensis - Monastery Bamboo 7/2/13
    Bambusa textilis - (unknown variety fr. Rob Branch) 9/1/13
    Bambusa oldhamii - Giant Timber Bamboo 9/1/13 (1000 character limit sort of cuts the posting length. This is 892 characters)

    2 · September 6, 2013

    • Missi

      P.S. Glad to hear you healed well! Now don't go to crazy planting!

      1 · September 6, 2013

    • Fred R.

      Doctor says to lay off on lifting anything over 10 pounds for another week or so. So, I won't spread the mulch I have piled up. It's heavy and wet.

      September 6, 2013

  • Fred R.

    The following bamboo will join the group next week after I pick them up from the East Coast.

    Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea - Maxima Bamboo; 7 gallon-$65
    Dendrocalamus sp. 'Parker Giant' 3 gallon- $75 ;
    Dendrocalamus giganteus - Giant Bamboo (Quail Clone) 7 gallon-$100
    Dendrocalamus giganteus - Giant Bamboo (Florida Clone) 3 gallon-$75
    Dendrocalamus asper - Asper Bamboo , 3 gallon- $100
    Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata' - Golden Hawaiian Bamboo 7 gallon-$45

    They are truly tropical and we'll see what survives our sub-tropical environment. That should be it for a while and we go back to doing more bromeliad beds. The bamboo will need irrigation which I have to figure out yet. Bamboo likes water. None of this winter dry spell stuff for them. A garden is a work in process but Florida is the place to do it. See you guys on the 15th and if you can help with some snacks my wife would appreciate it. Fred

    2 · September 6, 2013

  • Brian L.

    We will bring spare chairs. If you need anything else just let us know.

    August 23, 2013

  • Fred R.

    Just had a hernia operation yesterday and I'm not supposed to lift anything for the next four weeks. So my garden will come to you as is which is normal for this time of year as it's been too hot/humid with too much rain to be outside working anyway. As with most gardens, mine is still and forever under development. So far 37 people have registered to be here. Quite a crowd. I don't have 37 chairs sitting around so it would help if some of you brought garden chairs with you. We'll either sit around the pool or out among the bromeliads. Nothing formal here. Otherwise I look forward to meeting you all.

    August 21, 2013

    • Suzanne and P.

      We'll bring ten folding chairs to the meeting, Fred. Perhaps some other members can bring a few as well.

      August 21, 2013

    • Fred R.

      When we go to a group meting I usually have a set in the car - just in case they are needed.

      1 · August 21, 2013

  • Fred R.

    As to parking - I'll have my gate open and there should be plenty of space in the back by my main garage but if you wish to scoot out of here early you might get blocked in. In that case you can park off my driveway between the night lights and circle out around the gazebo. We'll leave an open path there. If we run out of room there is always the street.

    August 21, 2013

  • Suzanne and P.

    Now that so many new gardeners from farther afield have joined the group, many members might consider sharing rides to and from our meetings. Everyone can post their offers or requests for ride-sharing on the web site's Carpooling page. It can be reached by clicking the link marked "Discussions" near the top of the screen, then clicking "Message Board."

    August 11, 2013

  • Brian L.

    Cathy has begun to grow bromeliads and is excited about seeing your garden.

    1 · August 1, 2013

  • kimberly c LOCAL FOOD E.

    I am really looking forward to meeting everyone and learning more about growing healthy plants here.

    1 · July 25, 2013

  • Lisa O.

    Joe and I are very interested in the bromeliad and orchids and are looking forward to this meeting.

    June 30, 2013

    • Missi

      Okay! That is my issue! I'll move it up front!

      June 30, 2013

    • Fred R.

      Some Aechmeas like the sun. Most Neoregalias don't.

      June 30, 2013

  • Lisa O.

    I used to have a bromeliad patch when I lived on the east coast. I brought a few of my favorite here but need to protect them in the winter. My prize bromeliad is the Blue Tango.

    1 · June 30, 2013

    • Suzanne and P.

      Blue Tango is also our favorite bromeliad, Lisa. Two of ours are currently blooming beautifully, and have survived three winters here in Naples with no protection.

      June 30, 2013

    • Fred R.

      Aechmea 'Blue Tango' is a hybrid of Ae. fendleri which is native to tropical Venuzuela. As Peter has said, they survived the last few freezes here in inland Collier County which says something about their desire to survive with minimal care. This is the main reason I'm growing bromeliads. :-)

      June 30, 2013

  • Fred R.

    I miss my garden. I wonder if my caladiums broke through the thick palm leaf mulch I covered them with mainly to prevent wild weed growth around them. I asked a neighbor to check but they didn't know what caladiums are. I said look behind the arecas. I got back, 'what are arecas?' It's time for me to leave NJ.

    June 3, 2013

  • Suzanne and P.

    We could use a couple of loquat trees, Neil, which we'll add to our garden's fruit orchard. Thanks.

    May 31, 2013

  • Fred R.

    They grow like weeds don't they Neil?

    May 30, 2013

  • Fred R.

    There is always something going somewhere Geri. We live to make choices. :-)

    May 30, 2013

  • Geri P.

    I'd like to attend, the garden looks beautiful; but, the 3rd Sunday of the month is the Calossahatchee Bromeliad Society meeting. The following weekend is FCBS Extravaganza in Indian Rocks.
    Sorry

    May 30, 2013

  • Fred R.

    I told you we would do it Missi but I don't know about Peter's comment as to how easy it all is. Orchids can drive you crazy. Bromeliads seem to be more forgiving and do their own thing.

    May 24, 2013

  • Kelly

    Love orchids!

    May 24, 2013

  • Missi

    YEA FRED!! :)

    May 24, 2013

  • Fred R.

    I'll certainly be there.

    May 20, 2013

  • Suzanne and P.

    This meeting should convince everyone how easy it is to raise bromeliads and orchids, so that we can all aspire to have a garden as beautiful as Fred's.

    May 20, 2013

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