Posted 03 February 2007 - 07:01 AM
My memories of Teddi go back to the mid 1960's when I first came on the palm scene and first met Teddi. She was the executive secetary of the Palm Society and pratically ran the Palm Society at that time. It was a very small society then and mostly centered around Florida. It was not until the early 80's that we became the "International Palm Society."
I remember visiting Teddi, and her husband Ted, who lived on an island off the Venician Causway which connected the mainland with Miami Beach. They had a lovely home with Biscane Bay lapping at the back of their property with a perfect view of the skyline of Miami in the background. Teddi's property was packed full of beautiful palms, and she loved to show them off. I remember one of her bedrooms was packed from floor to ceiling with back issues of Principes as it was her chore to send Principes to it's members, a momumental chore at the time, as this was before computers and instant printing.
I think it's safe to say that Teddi could be characterized as "A character." Her mind moved fast and she could talk a mile a minute, always asking questions with her inquisitiveness. She would always bounce around on many subjects at the same time and sometimes I felt "wrung out" after a visit with Teddi. She had the ability to squeeze out information from people, but she was always fun to be around and recieved great respect from those who knew her. She was really a very dynamic lady with great charm and sociability and a wonderful sense of humor.
After her husband passed away, Teddi sold the property on Biscane bay and moved to a retirement village south of Miami where she continued to be very active with the Palm Society, Fairchild Gardens, and other interests. Soon her patio was filled with rare potted palms and was overflowing. After a presistant lobbying campaign, she presuaded the retirement village association to allot her a plot on the property to plant palms and soon she had a minature botanical garden just a few steps away from her residence. (This is where Ken Johnson enters the picture, because I think he did most of the labor of digging holes and planting the many palms that Teddi wanted). Teddi was in her 70's by this time, but did most of the watering and fertilizing. If I'm not mistaken her Siphokentia was the first to bare fruit in S. Florida. It was a very rare palm at the time in Fla. and I remember we all marveled at how small the fruit was as we had never seen them before.
Somewhere along this time frame Teddi was in Europe and located a Chamaedorea stolonifera growing in a botanical garden in Germany. At this time it was thought C. stolonifera had become extinct in it's native habitat and there was only one clone growing in the USA. The German clone looked different, as it was somewhat smaller and had "ruffles" in the fronds. Teddi was born in Switzerland and I believe she spoke the German lauguage, so she presuaded the curator of the botanical garden to give her a stem of the plant and she brought it back to the USA. Soon it was propigated and was spread around to Fairchild Gardens and to palm society members. To this day this clone is refered to as the "Teddi Buhler clone." I proudly own one as do others in Florida and California, thanks to Teddi.
I used to visit Florida more often than I do now, but the last time I remember seeing Teddi was at a palm society meeiing at Fairchild Gardens some years back and I had the pleasure of chatting with her. I will always treasure having known this wonderful lady who enriched my life as well as many others.