The Croton Society Spring Meeting - May 14th, 2011 - Mike Harris Residence

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Palmarum, Jun 30, 2011.

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  1. Palmarum

    Palmarum Moderator

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    S. Florida - Zone 10a/b
    ... Post-Tour - Jeff Searle Residence...

    The tour exited Palm Circle and followed the trail that lead west along the back of the yard. They did the walk and talk as professionals. The conversation switched from crotons to palms and back to crotons while they walked and sipped beverages without one spill. We covered a lot of territory along the back trail and saw many of the colorful plants. Some of the commentary referred to plants as they were recovering from cold damage. Jeff moved along with the group and pointed out cultivars including 'Thea', 'Rembrandt', 'Father's Day', 'Bonita', 'Cornbread', 'Duncan Macaw', 'Embassy', 'Dreer #6', and a 'Colonel Lindberg'.

    - 4:39PM: The grey clouds that had moved into the area began to open a little more as time went on. There was a very intermittent drizzle that begin to fall replacing the random rain drops. It continued during the tour and it was ignored by everyone as their focus was on the plants. A few drops made it through the canopy to land on a showy 'Satan' that was right next to the trail. #370

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    - Visitors who saw something interesting off the trail would stray off to check out a plant. At one point we lost track of where Judy Glock had gone off to. Jeff was pointing out cultivars as we headed towards the bamboo. He is seen here pointing out a few more smaller unknown cultivars along the trail which lead to a large 'Geisha Girl' on the left.

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    - 4:40PM: A 'Claude Lorraine' was being looked over not far away as I got closer to the 'Geisha Girl' for another photo. The unique leaf shape and variable color caught the eye of Alise and John as we were walking past the plant. Jeff wanted to point out a specific plant to Judy but she was hidden in the brush somewhere...

    Jeff bellowed: "Judy!" Judy responded with a quick: "Yeah?" Jeff: "Come here..."

    This was the standard form of communication for the post tour and for much of the meeting as well.

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    - The tour took a turn by the bamboo and headed back towards the pool and patio, not far from where we started. Small but not unseen, a bright 'Milky Way' captured the gaze of both Keith and Jim. The two of them started to edge Jeff on for some 'Milky Way' material. Jim pointed out emphatically Jeff could put three air layers on the tiny plant. Keith was anxious to secure a possible trade so he told Jeff to put a cutting in the mist house.

    Jeff: "This is Milky Way."

    Jim looked down at the plant: "Put an air layer on it." Jeff: "It ain't big enough..."

    Jim: "What do you MEAN?"

    Keith: "You could get at least three on there."

    Jim: "I could get three on there." Jim was boasting his prowess with air layering while looking over the tiny plant...​

    Jeff: "I don't do air layers unless they are like three feet tall, come on guys... When I sell a plant, I'm selling a REAL plant. It's like this big around, four feet, come on." Jeff was moving his hands around measuring a make-believe air layer.​

    Jim examined the plant even further: "You could get three air layers going..."

    Keith: "At least three in the mist house." Keith continued while alluding to rooting cuttings instead of air layers.​

    Listening to this exchange was interesting because it was half humor and half desire for the plant. The two plants in front of and to the right of Jeff are two more unknowns awaiting a name or identification.

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    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  2. Palmarum

    Palmarum Moderator

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    S. Florida - Zone 10a/b
    ... Post-Tour - Jeff Searle Residence...

    - 4:42PM: I kept a close eye on both Keith and Jim as they were tempted to take a cutting off the 'Milky Way' right then and there. The extra attention warranted an extra photo or two of the plant. The spotting did seem rather unique and did resemble late nights of looking into a clear sky while star gazing into the galaxy. #373

    The tour moved on in and around the planted beds loaded with different croton cultivars including 'Survivor', 'Covergirl', 'Joe Friday' and a 'Finished'. Judy asked where the 'Colonel Lindberg' was located.

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    - Always the croton perfectionist at heart, Judy takes a close look at every plant she can't instantly identify from a distance. She went over this unlabeled -Unknown- inch by inch, looking for anything familiar or a characteristic of a known cultivar.

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    - 4:43PM: Judy moved over looking at the next plant when I went in closer to take another view of the -Unknown-. This shot clearly shows the color and leaf shape. I had recently asked Jeff if this croton had a name and it remains unnamed to this point in time.

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    - 4:44PM: I followed Judy to a location a few feet away from the plants seen above and found this 'Colonel Lindberg' growing in seclusion. #377 It was a bit dark in this spot and the slower shutter speed made for a slightly blurry photo. I could hear members of the tour getting further away as their sounds were getting drowned out by the waterfall. They were heading off in different directions, mostly towards the south west corner of the yard.

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    (6:08:11)
    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  3. Palmarum

    Palmarum Moderator

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    S. Florida - Zone 10a/b
    ... Post-Tour - Jeff Searle Residence...

    The tour group continued its westerly track along the center of the yard, stopping only to investigate the more unusual cultivars and to look into the turtle enclosure. They ventured into the south west corner of the yard where one of the more recent croton collections had been planted. Many of the plants there were still small so I skipped on photographing them for now. They mentioned a few of the cultivars planted in the area, including a 'Cutler's Giant' and a 'Green Satan'.

    - 4:49PM: We left the corner location (seen in the distant background) and made our way along the western edge of the yard where Jeff had planted some additional crotons and parts of other collections.

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    - 4:52PM: The tour took its time and turned away from the western edge and headed back towards the pool. We entered a newer grouping of crotons planted next to the turtle enclosure called the Grady Drake Collection. On the edge of the collection was this brilliant 'Veitchii'. #380

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    - 4:53PM: The collection was planted right along the turtle enclosure and the Red Foot tortoises were putting on a show, in a matter of speaking. The crowd was looking over the plants in the collection while discussing the art of making turtles. Many of the plants in the collection are very striking yet unnamed cultivars. A long line of 'Madam Fernand Kohl' had been planted along the edge of the enclosure fence, acting as a very attractive hedge and to provide genes in making new seedlings. #381 Phil Stager had mentioned how this croton had been popular with hybridizers as a base to make new cultivars.

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    - 4:54PM: "Pssst... Hey are you awake down there?" [grunt]

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    The small enclosure housing the Albino Hedgehogs was visited soon after as the tour reached the pool and patio once again. They did not hang around for long as they headed past the pool and went straight to the area right off the west end of the house. Andrea showed the nocturnal pair of omnivores to the group. Crotons planted behind and near the pool were pointed out including a 'Bimbo', 'Spirale' another 'Super Petra' and an 'Arthur Howe' was mentioned. Jeff's phone rang and it was Ron Kiefert. He was up at the gate so I went up there to meet him and to let him in.

    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  4. Palmarum

    Palmarum Moderator

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    S. Florida - Zone 10a/b
    ... Post-Tour - Jeff Searle Residence...

    I met Ron at the gate and we made our way through the back yard and to the west side of the house. By the time we caught up to the tour they had passed through croton areas by the bamboo forest and started to head back east along the front of the house.

    - 5:01PM: When we arrived they were having a debate as to the identity of this croton. It was labeled as 'Tiffany' and those in the group were considering the leaves made it look like 'Lt. Paget'. Keith mentioned there are two forms of 'Lt. Paget' to add to the confusion, he continued to say the 'Lt. Paget' form he grows has smaller leaves and a deeper yellow color. Jim and Judy compared this plant to the ones they have in the Keys. They said their 'Lt. Paget' doesn't have red petioles and that the coloration is diffused on that plant, while the coloration is splotched on their 'Tiffany'. Phil said this plant had different leaves than the 'Tiffany' specimen he had at the auction, but the color was the same.

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    - They were in agreement that the leaf coloration and size was indicative of 'Lt. Paget' but that cultivar does not have the red petioles that 'Tiffany' is supposed to have; seen here. Jeff mentioned the plant was growing in a lot of sun and would look different and probably better if it had some shade. The debate was left as is and they moved on across the front of the house.

    Jim: "It's the Moose!" Jim shouted at Ron as he and I got close to the group.​

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    Our feet once again felt the texture of brick as we made our way along the walkway that led from the front door of the house around to the garage. The group pointed out an 'Excellent' croton with a lot of red color and one other plant that had an all-green sport. They joked with each other and went back and forth threatening to name the all-green sport after one another. Andrea was pointing out some of her favorite palms in the front yard including a nice Rhapis sp. and a Licuala peekelii. They came across a yellow flowering shrub that has a uniquely spiny seed pod. Jeff told the story of how he obtained the shrub at a croton meeting and described the seed pods and their curved, barbed spines that will vigorously attach to anything that happens to go by. I need to get the name on that plant.

    - 5:05PM: During most of the tour, we had at least one dog for an escort. For the latter half we had Kona following us and in this instance he had gotten got real close to Phil. He was leaning against Phil with his full weight (all 150 lbs, 86kg) as he was getting a much wanted butt scratch. The group moved off the walkway and went into one of the front yard sections with many crotons and palms while making their way back to the driveway.

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    A large and impressive Arenga australasica met the group as we entered the first section. We passed through underneath it and the tour goers started pointing out cultivars including another 'Freckles' and another 'Judy's Beauty'. They discussed the ways of telling 'Pinocchio' apart from 'Freckles' and the problems of keeping a large irrigation system running smoothly. The croton scale menace was a topic that came up again and again throughout the day and was mentioned now as they found some dead scale on one plant.

    - 5:08PM: As we were talking and discussing all sorts of subjects, the group eventually made it back to the driveway by the front gate. The party size began to diminish as visitors John & Alise Ryan had to leave. Before they left, the group asked if they were on the Palmpedia Croton Forum. Alise said she had been told about the Forum before and Phil added it was a great place to learn and you don't have to be an expert to use it. Jeff stated that if Phil can use the Forum, anyone could. As they were talking about Palmpedia, Rob posed next to this showy specimen of 'Jungle Queen'. I didn't capture it in the shot, but he had his hand on an exceptionally large leaf near the bottom of one stem.

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    The remaining members of the tour crossed over the driveway and looked through the landscape by the north-east corner of the property. They picked over different plants including a blooming Queen's Wreath, Petrea volubilis and a popular grouping of Zamia inermis. A towering trio of Bismarck Palms, Bismarckia nobilis, that are near the turn in the driveway were in heavy bloom after just having their inflorescences removed. They cover a large area filled with crotons and different plants.

    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  5. Palmarum

    Palmarum Moderator

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    S. Florida - Zone 10a/b
    ... Post-Tour - Jeff Searle Residence

    - 5:17PM: The now smaller tour walked up the driveway and went past the Bismarck Palms. They made it to where the driveway ended and met the trail that leads to the patio; where the post tour started almost an hour earlier. To the right of where Jim was standing is a Reinhardtia paiewonskiana that sheltered the next croton of interest...

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    - To the left of the trunk was a 'Ann Rutherford' that was getting scrutinized by the experts. They were explaining how this cultivar should have more red in the leaves. We continued around the trail and made it back to the patio again.

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    - 5:19PM: The tour began to break up into smaller groups and then they went off in different directions. I followed Jeff, Phil and Keith as they walked across the front of the pool. As they made it across, they took a few minutes to look over the croton on the right side of the waterfall named 'Gloriosa'. They went back and forth with details verifying the name. Jeff mentioned the croton 'Royal Flush' that was planted not far away, then they took off to find it in the yard. With the slower shutter speed the water appeared to be like powdered sugar.

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    - 5:22PM: I followed the three of them as they went to find the 'Royal Flush' which was planted not far from the turtle enclosure and the Grady Drake Collection. They compared the 'Royal Flush' with another croton they had been discussing. The last posted photo of the day, which was also the last croton photo of the day, was the recently named and very colorful 'Grady Drake'. #391 It is the focal point of the collection and was named after the originator of this croton group. The trio decided to get a drink and headed towards the house.

    I wanted to check in on what the other visitors were doing and also felt like a break after eight straight hours of taking photos and notes. I went back towards the house to find most of them relaxing inside.

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    Just about everyone was inside the house and relaxing, cooling off under the air conditioning with chosen beverage in hand. They were sitting in the living room watching the weather channel on TV or moving around the kitchen making drinks. The clouds had collected outside and we were watching them move via the weather channel radar, hoping for rain. The late day conversations ran the gamut from plants to people. We also talked about the meeting, how well it had gone over, how nice Mike Harris's yard looked and how much fun everyone had. The Croton Society and its future was also discussed and how many new members might have signed up because of the great meeting.

    I was getting comfortable on my slice of the couch and while listening to others talk about the day, I went over in my mind how it was from my point of view. From my perspective the meeting went over flawlessly. It did not stick exactly to the schedule, but I have never attended a meeting or plant related event that did. There were more attendees than had I expected and it was pleasant to see the familiar faces again along with the newer ones. The food was great and I believe everyone in attendance would agree that the atmosphere of the meeting was perfect. This was probably the first meeting that people had actually wanted it to rain, and it did not. Since at the time we were in a serious drought and were desperate for precipitation. With that fact aside, the weather could not have been better, except maybe for it to be a few degrees cooler for those who were not used to the heat. The auction was spectacular as the large amount of donated plant material made sure of that and people did not shy away from opening their wallets. The post tour was a nice idea even though I found out late about it and had not planned on attending. I think if more people knew about it in advance they would have made it over. I was already tired from the meeting so I didn't take that many photos during the post tour and tried to fill in that part of the topic with more description.​

    I still do not know the majority of the croton cultivars I saw and photographed during the day and probably never will. As I am not a croton person, I will always be on the outside looking in and it does give me a different, separated view over the croton world. I do know more croton names now and thanks to 'doing this topic' and looking at the same photos over and over again, it might allow me to apply the random name to plant more often. Maybe.​
    --- ------ ---
    It was time for some of us to go after an incredible day. I followed Phil and Keith out of the house as they were leaving also and we passed Ron Kiefert in the driveway. He was unloading all the borrowed gear from the meeting, namely the stakes, etc. from his truck. The dogs followed us as walked down the driveway, as we talked with Jeff and Rob as they had left the house and were walking around talking plants. I could hear the neighbors' kids yelling from across the street looking for Jeff and Andrea.

    Everyone gave their farewells and headed through the gate. We continued to talk plants and a few minutes later we were out standing in the street as Phil, Keith and I headed to our respective vehicles. Jeff's neighbors' daughters were walking over looking to borrow Jeff's yard as a background to take photos as the youngest daughter was all dressed up for prom. Someone was doing wolf whistles. I had a sense of being drafted for photo duty so I moved closer to my car while Phil and Keith waved and got into their car. The daughters walked over to the group with the elder one armed with a small camera, while the group "ooh'd" and "ahh'd" over the younger one. I got within ten feet of my car door when I heard Rob say...

    Rob: "Ryan, take some pictures. Come on." {damn} ​

    Andrea, Jeff, Rob, Kelly said simultaneously: "Ryan!"

    Andrea: "Ryan! Ryan get your camera out!" Judy started laughing as I once again took my camera out of the bag.​

    There was a flurry of shouting from everyone around using my name mixed with "photo" and "now".

    Andrea: "Oh my gosh, I forgot... Ryan's here."

    Well, after getting my camera set up and ready to go, I started taking photos of the younger daughter by the street. It was suggested that we looked for other backgrounds inside the yard and in we went. I spent a long while going through the yard yet again and taking a lot more photos...

    What happens when you carry a camera around all the time,​


    Ryan

    ---<
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    BUMP - And I almost forgot to add - great job Ryan. One of the all time greatest "Palmarum Presents."
     
  7. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,644
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Ryan - Great job and many thnaks for all the pics and running narrative.
     
  8. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Thanks for bumping this. The first time I did not have time to read it and then I forgot about it. Excellent post Ryan! Thank you so much for capturing this. Now I really know what a good time I missed!!
     
  9. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    LOL... I can see Jim Glock telling Jeff the little sapling was big enough for air layers.
     
  10. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ryan,

    What a great thread! I can understand all the hours it must of took to put this thing together. It was certainly fun that day to see everyone and spend so much time looking and talking everything crotons. All I ask is the next time your photographing me, can you make sure my eyes are openned??? Jeeez.
     
  11. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,644
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    ..and remind those of us over 40 to suck in our guts a bit more.
     
  12. palmisland

    palmisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,258
    Location:
    West Boca Raton 10b
    Brilliant coverage Ryan! I can't imagine how much time & brain power it took to put this together. Thanks

    -Randy
     
  13. Judy Glock

    Judy Glock Active Member

    Messages:
    124
    Ryan, great job with the pictures and narrative. We need to make you an "official photographer" for the croton society. Do you work cheap:)
     
  14. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    10
    Ryan... Well done! Your narrative was great. You have a great capacity to put it all together. It was fun looking at the pictures. Met some really nice people, all crazy 'bout crotons. Would've been nice to make it to Jeff's'. Chris
     
  15. Jerry Shilling

    Jerry Shilling Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Summerland Key, FL zone 11
    Ryan - thanks! That was very well done. I was so disappointed that I couldn't attend...so the effort you put into this is really appreciated.
     
  16. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Ryan, please follow your photo journalism calling.
     
  17. Sergey

    Sergey Active Member

    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    Siberia, Russia
    Ryan – Thank you very much for this great posts! I had a real feeling of presence
     

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