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The 11th Annual Searle Brothers Plant Extravaganza!

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Dave-Vero

Kona is quite a bit larger than Chopper, the store dog at Don's Paints here in Vero.

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Palmarum

Sunday...

The last day of the Extravaganza brought more Forum member surprises and of course, Bill Sanford for the masses. The mornings on Sunday are often slow, part of the reason why we open at nine. The restocking effort continued until about lunch time.

- 10:00AM: Fresh from Deerfield Beach, Forum member Jerry Behan (Jerry@TreeZoo) arrived early on Sunday to check things out. He was surprised to see Bill of course.

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- 10:17AM: He spent some time talking with Bill and FM. Dave (Dave-Vero).

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- 10:22AM: It gets a bit trickier to navigate a loaded cart down a crowded sidewalk when you have a pointy plant on board.

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- 10:26AM: Licuala grandis becomes a favorite of many new to the Extravaganza after they first set eyes on those glossy undivided leaves.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 10:30AM: The Sunday crowd started to trickle in slowly. Many go for the landscape plants first, after a brief stint in the Bromeliad section.

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- 11:01AM: The tent in the shadehouse serves as a meeting place for Forum members and palm enthusiasts. Sometimes we refer to it as the "V.I.P. Club". Jerry rests his feet while talking with FMs. Rob van der Borg (Borgy230) and Mike Harris (waykoolplantz). Rob is deep in thought and doing his best 'thinking man' impersonation.

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- 11:03AM: There's something different about Bill's red shirt this morning...

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- ...Oh never mind, the back of it is still correct.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:05AM: The sweet smell of BBQ smoke caught my attention and I followed it to its source outside the shadehouse. Along the way, I met customers who had some interesting palm questions.

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- 11:07AM: Jeff describes growth characteristics and details on how to take care of this Pseudophoenix ekmanii to its new owner. Species of all kinds found new fans this Extravaganza.

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- 11:10AM: "No Press at lunch."

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- 11:11AM: The last of the hamburgers. They didn't last long.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:59AM: Jeff is thankful that volunteer and FM. Scott Cohen (Scott Cohen) had finally arrived. He doesn't have the best attendance record.

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- 12:00PM: High noon, and the activity at the Extravaganza is going strong. The customer on the right stops to discuss his new Pritchardia beccariana with Jeff.

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- 12:14PM: The real tall palms for sale in the shadehouse can sometimes present a small problem in getting them out. Usually the leaves will just bend out of the way, or at most we have to lay the plant down to get it out the door. We had to do the latter with this Dypsis pembana to get it to the holding area.

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- 12:16PM: Bill Sanford, traffic cop. Bill directs these customers on the best way to exit the shadehouse with their two large Thai Mountain Giant Fishtail Palms, Caryota obtusa (gigas).

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:17PM: Follow Bill's voice and he will lead you through. Sounds like a line from a movie.

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- 12:35PM: The flowering exotics and oddities placed along the side road were picked through fairly well throughout the weekend. I know there were a few only available in small quantities, usually showcased by a display plant of larger size.

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- I turned around to find a pair of palm fans examining the specimen palms located in the landscape next to the BBQ area. The one pulling the cart had mentioned noticing the growth rate of his favorites. Noticing how the palms in the nursery landscape have grown in the period of time between Extravaganzas, gives customers added information on the growth rate of palms in general. They also enjoy seeing what the small palm they are getting will look like when older.

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- 12:39PM: Areca vestiaria. This large plant pulled as a replacement for one sold on Friday, had a newly unsheathed inflorescence with opening flowers. In other words, photo opportunity.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 1:54PM: When you forget to bring a cart with you into the shadehouse, sometimes you have to do things the old fashion way. I finished a great lunch and added a few more palms to replace those that had sold. After doing that, I followed a pair of customers down the sidewalk to answer questions about this Chamaedorea stolonifera. I noticed at the beginning of the conversation that they really wanted it. They were not the only ones however. Out of fear that the other party would take their palm while retrieving a cart, they decided to carry it to the holding area themselves

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- They made good time weaving in and around customers and obstacles. At this point on Sunday, I started to notice the larger holes along the sidewalk.

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- 1:57PM: The holding area. At close to two in the afternoon, the holding area saw some large stashes being put together and added to.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 2:12PM: With less than two hours remaining in the Extravaganza, an added sense of urgency took hold. Customers were finishing up their lunch and started to make their last runs through the different plant sections. This one order saw influence from many different areas, including palms.

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- 2:43PM: One more Licuala. The grouping of Licuala peltata var. sumawongii in the shadehouse is always a crowd favorite. We often direct customers to visit the large specimen that grows next to the nursery office. They come back in awe of the species and will often leave with one of their own.

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- 2:53PM: Donnie and son, often the first and last people you will see as you enter and exit the nursery. Volunteer Donnie and his son Thomas have been family members volunteering at the Extravaganza weekends for a long time. They are stationed at the nursery entrance under the tent near the gate and are quite a comic duo.

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- Donnie should have his own reality TV series. If you have had the pleasure of meeting him, you would agree with me.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 2:54PM: Even with only an hour left on Sunday, we still had to restock plants; especially if they were requests. With the thinned out sidewalk, Jeff is able to drive his golf cart down to drop of these Red Sealing Wax Palms, Cyrtostachys renda. Thomas and Donnie are back there to help inspect his trimming.

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- 2:55PM: During the day, we began to pull some of the remaining extra plants from along the sidewalk up to the front.

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- 2:56PM: Scott and his borrowed Mardi Gras beads. He has to stand out no matter what he is doing.

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- 3:02PM: He was flipping them around in a circle, I managed to get a shot when they were 'up'. I do not know why he was wearing the gloves constantly. The customers began to thin out some, so at least not too many people saw him like this. Until now.

RDG2009-03-08_14-02-58.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 3:22PM: The last of the Aroids. The Aroid section comprised of this area and those tables in the back, but it has been thinned out considerably. That large Red Sealing Wax Palm was sold and is awaiting delivery.

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- Turning around, the Cordyline section was decimated and had only one remaining plant. We pulled these remaining Anthuriums from along the sidewalk to fill the space.

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- 3:40PM: This corner of the intersection held the Red Sealing Wax Palms, and was left empty.

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- 3:41PM: I continued to photograph what was left, while a few customers browsed the different sales areas.

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Ryan

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TikiRick

All of my goodies purchased at the sale went into the ground the following day....perfect timing for this week's rains!!

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Palmarum

- 3:41PM: We did our best to keep the tables full, but gallon-sized palms were favorites this Extravaganza. The very rare species had only one or two plants and then that was it.

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- The side sidewalk had one large palm left on it, but it was purchased already and awaiting pickup later in the week.

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- 3:43PM: Rob makes one walk through looking for customers to let them know closing time was approaching.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 4:15PM: The nursery is now closed and the 11th Annual Spring Plant Extravaganza has come to an end. It is amazing how fast it came up and went by. I would hope many of the customers felt good about the plants they got to add to their yards and collections. Even with the economy the way it is, I know for a fact it makes you feel better on the inside when you can bring home a new plant. It is eerie to see the main road so empty after such a great weekend.

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- 4:16PM: The last of the customers make their way to the parking lot. I couldn't help but think of the accumulated mileage between all the customers and Forum members who made such long trips to be here this weekend, especially the new record holder Bill Sanford. He set the standard for what might be a regular thing for Californians and Forum members living in places even further away. I will be waiting patiently for who might match or break his record.

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- 4:17PM: All the Searles, their family members and volunteers all make the Extravaganza the way it is today. There are many more that could be in this photo, but it was a spur of the moment shot: l-r Rob, Melissa, Jeff, Scott, Andrea and Mike. Bill Sanford was not in this shot because he was still wandering and gazing at palms...

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- Till the next Extravaganza in the Fall... I should have had them wave in this shot, but Scott was doing his thing again, dork.

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A long special weekend needs a special occasion to end it appropriately...

...next, the group heads over to Jeff's neighborhood to play some volleyball...

...stay tuned to see Forum members playing in the sand...

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 5:02PM: "Let's play!" Jeff comes over the hill from his house and challenges everyone to volleyball. Playing the sport has become a Sunday afternoon tradition lately, and was a perfect way to unwind after three days of the Extravaganza.

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- Volunteer and FM. Scott Cohen (Scott Cohen) declares himself a team captain. No one joins his team. It is a strange transition to go from plants to beach volleyball, but it is not any more unusual than paintball.

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- Scott goes to serve a few times and gets it over the net a few times.

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- Andrea Searle with the save!

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 5:20PM: Jeff runs back to return this serve as fast as possible.

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- "Call It, say help if you need it!" In the next game, Rob becomes the speed demon and runs back to return this hit.

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- Scott goes airborne. All those years of ballet training finally come in handy.

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- Ok, enough with the amateur hour, here comes Bill to set the standard. He goes to serve with vigor.

RDG2009-03-08_16-56-42.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 5:56PM: -Smack- Bill follows through on the serve and launches it perfectly. Where does the sand end and his legs begin?

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- "grrrr!" Get angry at that ball Bill...

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- Is it in, or is it out?

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- Rob sets himself up to serve, he needs to maintain the coolness at all times.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 6:04PM: Time to pick new teams. The last two were rather unmatched.

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- From zero to sixty, in 5.4 seconds...

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- Look at that sand cloud, Bill can really move when he wants to.

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- "Ah ha... no ball can get past me. Nevah!"

RDG2009-03-08_17-09-58.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 6:10PM: "Avast mateys!" "I'm the dread pirate Whitelegs! I spot sails on the horizon, to yer posts ya scurvy dogs! Har!"

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- Bill gets ready to cover Kelly when she hits the ball up towards the net. It is fun to watch when they have several volleys in a row.

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- Wait for it...wait for it...

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- -Smack!-

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 6:21PM: Here was one play that I got in on, kind of. My eyes are stuck on my camera's viewfinder making sure not to miss the action. Bill goes to return this hit, but miscalculates a little...

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- ...the ball spins off his hands and heads in my direction. I am watching him and Scott look towards me, (not paying attention to anything else) and the ball comes down right smack on the top of my head... doink!

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- Bill goes for the dig and just misses it. I think Jeff asked him what the sand tastes like.

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- The ball just rolled over the edge of the net and Carlos runs to get it in time, Bill supervises.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 6:41PM: Go Rob! I was losing the decent light in a hurry, even with the extra hour of daylight, it wasn't enough to keep shooting. I lost track how many games were played, but it was a good amount. One team went out on top winning most of the games and the other team kept wanting to even the score. I took about 550 photos in the hour-plus time spent playing.

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- The end of the last game shows Bill on the ground defeated in the last photo from Sunday. I think he still wanted to go again. So many people were playing they had to alternate three different teams. It was a great time having Bill around to add a level to the already wonderful weekend. I know he had a great time and he shared it with everyone. I saw it on the faces of everyone he came in contact with. In a good way. :winkie:

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To everyone who came, I hope you had a great time at the Extravaganza. To those who could not make it, I hope these photos gave you an idea of what life is like during and after each day of the Extravaganza. See you in the Fall...

Ryan

--<

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BS Man about Palms
- 6:10PM: "Avast mateys!" "I'm the dread pirate Whitelegs! I spot sails on the horizon, to yer posts ya scurvy dogs! Har!"

RDG2009-03-08_17-10-02.jpg

- Bill gets ready to cover Kelly when she hits the ball up towards the net. It is fun to watch when they have several volleys in a row.

RDG2009-03-08_17-10-58.jpg

Ryan

Thats it. I'm painting my legs brown if I come back.

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Palmarum

How about just a tan color? :lol:

Ryan

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BS Man about Palms

OK I thought it over.

I'll be Back.

Thanks Ryan!

PS- you should post some "monday " pics too.

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Kris

Very nice visuals...And iam happy watching them,especially kona has grown phenomanally_i love him ! :)

Dear Ryan & Bill thanks for the visuals & the commentry !

Lots of Love to you guys,

Kris :)

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BS Man about Palms

OOps- Big pics strike again... :(

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Palmarum
BS Man about Palms Posted Yesterday, 10:10 PM

...PS- you should post some "monday " pics too.

I haven't even gone through those yet, but it would be possible. I have to see how many came out fine.

BS Man about Palms Posted Today, 09:15 AM

OOps- Big pics strike again...

Unlimited bandwidth my butt... I will fix it, hold on...

Ryan

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MattyB

OK, that's it. Next year I'm coming out there and you shall be crushed!!!!!!!! It's not only a game Faulker!!!!!

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Jeff Searle

Matt,

Great picture of what looks like a very competitive game going on. Now, who's the guy in the middle that's jumping like Superman? We can't tell because we can't see his face. Anyone we know? That's not Sanford in his earlier college days is it? Wait a minute, is it?

Next year......So-Cal takes on the powerful So-Fla team ??? :)

Jeff

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BS Man about Palms
Matt,

Next year......So-Cal takes on the powerful So-Fla team ??? :)

Jeff

Wait, I was on that "undefeated" team , not you, remember? :blink: But I'd be happy to be your unicycle sidekick.... :lol:

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bubba

That unicycle stuff takes the cake! How many beers?

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BS Man about Palms
That unicycle stuff takes the cake! How many beers?

Bubba, I'm a "dry runner" myself, but Jeff had a few. (If you "stomach it" note my drink in the tummy shot.)

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Borgy230

always a great time!

I have been helping with this sale since I was 15 years old!!! so thats 7 years now, going on 8!!! There is never a dull moment, I always am sad when Sunday afternoon comes along and its all done! Already looking forward to October!

Rob

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DoomsDave

Ah!

Happiness is watching a full nursery turn into a half-empty one, with a reverse bank account . . . . . .

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DoomsDave
Thank you so much for posting these photos, Looks like it was a great event. I haven't checked their website yet, but they must have been some pretty good deals to attract such a mob. ( course the palms themselves looked great on sale or not..)

What was behind the yellow tape?

They have a great nursery.

If they weren't 3,000 miles out of my way, I'd have come to the Ex . . . . .

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palmboi

yes thanks for the photos, tho the camera person mainly seemed to get my back side lol loading and moving lots of palms for GKPA here in St Pete, I', the tall blonde with the rattail, black baseball hat and black T shirt and love the comment about the freight train. We did make a great haul with wonderful palms and prices, Thanks to you all , I am sure we can squeeze a few more in Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum. we may consider renting a covered truck next time tho, we really crammed my nissan frontier full .There is 13 palms in there!!

Please be sure to put me on the mailing list.

rick nale

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