The Bromeliad Society of Australia Incorporated.
Affiliated with The Bromeliad Society International(U.S.A.)
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BSA0909 Cliff and Joan Norden.
Cliff and Joan are among the oldest members of The Bromeliad Society of Australia.
In fact Cliff's collection of Bromeliads started when he moved into his new home, in 1953, long before there was a BSA.
He had a dual interest in Bromeliads and Orchids, particularly the Native ones, and went on several Nth Queensland field expeditions searching for the fabled Cooktown Orchid and saving many from farming destruction.
Cliff has made a very special donation for this years BSA Spring Show display and I recently visited his Strathfield home to collect them.
Sadly Cliff has had to get rid of his vast collection due to failing eye sight and illness, nor can he regularly come to BSA meetings.
But the spirit is still more than willing ! Members can find Cliff and Joan having lunch downstairs at the Club almost EVERY meeting day. In a way they DO still come to every meeting, but without climbing the stairs and struggling through my long meetings!
Their Strathfield home was enlarged several times by Cliff - mostly to give space for his hobby. And the large backyard - every inch was consumed by high roofed shade and glass houses. He was even forced to go higher, a second floor of massive sun-facing wire racks was built above Joan's clothes line for the most sun loving plants. I have no idea how he accessed them !
I can only dream with envy of walking from their lounge straight into a tropical paradise and getting lost in the multiple different jungles of exotic plants.
Sadly the shadehouses stand empty now (does anybody need them ?)
Below are a few photos of the remaining ghosts of this jungle.
An unknown Ananas. There were plans to get rid of it, but no one was game to approach it's lethal thorns, or attempt to repot it. The big old leaves have been removed, the young ones are only about 2 meters long with hypodermic needle along their length !
Cliff had several of the large night flowering Cacti seen around Sydney. Obviously this palette was not wasted and has always been smothered in Bromeliads. Several times these giants have been cut down when higher than the house, and each time they held masses of Bromeliad colonies growing on, and in them.
Cliff's special gift for this years display. - Some of us may remember him describing the self sown Tillandsia at a meeting several years ago. His Tillandsia shed their seed to the wind and tried to populate Strathfield ! The most successful colonised the old bark of Frangipani trees. The tree shown fell over the driveway many years ago, but was so happy that he left it.
If you want to see this phenomenon - come to our Spring show !
Click on an image for full size pictures.