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Palmarum

The 21st Annual Spring Plant Extravaganza!

presented by...

Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. & The Rainforest Collection®

March 1st, 2nd, 3rd - 8th, 9th, 10th - 2019

Southwest Ranches, S. Florida

 

In South Florida, winter was kind and bestowed upon us a rather warm season in which to grow our Palms and our other favorite tropical plant groups. The month of February preceding the sale was exceptionally hot and dry. Irrigation systems were working overtime. A relatively small price to pay compared to what damages may be inflicted by the bitter cold. I am writing this now on the fourth weekend of March during a great day, where temperatures are mild thanks to what will probably be the last hurrah of cool weather.

Simply put, the Spring Extravaganza was unbelievable. We had a very diverse selection of plant material for a spring sale, thanks due in part to the warm weather and the increased production of different plant groups. This spread of tropical plants was well-received by a large mass of attendees who came throughout all six days, with the majority visiting during the first three days and the second Saturday. Palms were of course the favorite group and were represented by over 282 species, varieties and a few hybrids spread across the varied sale sections and appeared in well-over 300 different size groups, i.e. one gallon, seven gallon, etc. Certain palm species appeared in as many as five sizes, to really give the average Palm Nut a decision to make. Other popular tropical plant groups included the Crotons, the Tropical Flowering Trees, the unending stream of new Bromeliads, the exotic Flowering Shrubs, the beloved Ground Orchids, Heliconias and Gingers and the Tropical Fruit Trees. Even the Landscape plants, the second largest group, were hit rather hard. Throughout the sales area, over 680 signs were put on display with their corresponding groups. For the plant-seeking enthusiast, the choices were many.

 

Friday, March 1st

- 7:42AM - 7:46AM - The early morning before the opening of a plant sale, there is nothing quite like it. The air was still and the sales area was bustling with the typical early action that begins each sale day. The first Friday was primed with as many personnel as we could assemble, in both staff and volunteers. The volunteers are vital to the event, as much of what we strive to achieve would not be possible without them. (A) With a few minutes left until the rush begins, volunteers begin to take their assign positions. (B) Jeff Searle greets a new volunteer and gives her a brief tour of the sales area and a summary of procedures. (C) Amadeo tries to garner a reaction from Carson Searle as he seems distracted, as Michelle Searle and Amber Searle look on.

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- 7:50AM - 7:58AM - As we gathered at the intersection by the holding area, we began to see the crowd gather at the gate. (A) With the lens I had on at the time, I do my best to see that far. The sales area was checked and rechecked. Everything I usually do in the morning was ready including the brochures, plant lists, etc. (B) As the morning sun was blocked by the nearby grove of trees, I took a shot down the main road bordered on both sides by the landscape plant section. (C) I stood close to the golf cart selected to travel down and open the gate (so I wouldn't be left behind) and saw the same group seen above, this time joined by Travis Searle on the right.

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- A minute later it was time to head to the gate. With Jeff at the wheel, myself on the back and Andrea Searle riding shotgun, we headed to the gate. As we approach, more and more customers exited their vehicles and walked to the gate. I saw some begin to stretch and limber up. (B) At his post near the gate, Randy Searle waits for the rush to begin. It is hard to make out, but you can see the line of cars outside the fence. There were a lot of them. Certain attendees are content to wait until after the initial rush to enter the sale and thus hang out in their vehicles for a few minutes. The morning coffee and breakfast biscuit are a must. 

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- 7:59AM - Leaving Andrea to open the gate, we spun around to stay ahead of the group. (A) Andrea opens the gate and the first group enters the nursery. They all keep pace with one another as they head down the main road.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 7:59AM - This series of photos shows the head of the pack as they make their way into the sales area. It only takes them a minute to reach the carts.

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- After they select a cart type to suit their mission, the customers head off down the main road and towards any number of areas. The vast majority pass by the holding area and either head straight, or make the first turn down the side road. (B,C) In the brown shirt, collector and grower David Prall gets a head of the pack and vanishes into the plant selection with more attendees close on his tail.

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- 8:01AM - The main road was strewn with customers, from the gate to the holding area, as differently-timed groups enter the nursery one by one. (B) Collector and plant event photo subject in aeternum, Steve Resh waves to Travis as he moves past.

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- A good portion of those in the initial rush made the first turn and headed to the front entrance to the main shadehouse, carts in tow. Now and then, a customer would stop and ask for directions to a group or to a specific plant. I talked to a few who had very specific shopping lists, some were dedicated in being first to that one single species.

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Palmarum

- 8:01AM - After the initial surge had moved on, I decided to follow it over to the shadehouse as I knew location requests awaited my presence. (B) The shadehouse entrance had turned into a parking lot for carts, as it usually does. The traffic was divided among those checking out the Crotons on the left, the Aroids on the right, and those heading past -- towards the Palms along the sidewalk.

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- 8:03AM - It seemed busy everywhere, so I made my way to my post at the white tent near the tables. (A) As I was squeezing through, I noticed this 3 gal. Ficus dammaropsis sitting on one customers cart.

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- 8:05AM - At the sidewalk intersection, it was busy. It was close to being shoulder to shoulder, cart to cart. (A) In foreground, left, Forum members Doug & Tracy Sutherland (Tracy S) look over the palm list and plan their strategy accordingly as FM. Mike Harris (waykoolplantz) walks back to his cart, one-gallon palm in hand, photo center. I think that was a 1 gal. Licuala sp. 'Fairchild Garden'. (B) Doug guards the cart as Tracy runs off in search of her palm quarry.

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- 8:09AM - As more arrived at the tables, the selection of gallons and small plants began to thin out dramatically. A few species were represented by only a single specimen and were snatched up in a hurry, leaving behind only a sign, a stake and a smattering of dirt. (A) In the red shirt, all-around plantsman, volunteer and FM. Tim O'Donnel (kwtimo) assists customers in need of info, direction and decision making.

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Palmarum

- 8:12AM - Location requests had me marching up and down the sidewalk finding plants, with a spare minute or two to take a photo. One loaded cart had a mix of small palms and other plants, while another nearby (B) was in use transporting a photogenic 15 gal. Pelagodoxa henryana. People were stopping to admire it as they were looking for their own palms. The ever continuous interest in what other people were getting, had us on standby to pull another one. Soon after, standby mode turned to immediate mode.

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- 8:15AM - A very tall Hybrid Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys sp. 'Hybrid' was placed on the sidewalk a day before Friday. It was in a 20 gallon pot and was smack against the shadecloth, 15 ft. (4.5m) above the sidewalk. It was tagged for sale but was actually pulled to sell a smaller, 5 gallon plant. A function it performed most honorably. I couldn't possibly fit the entire palm into a single frame, so I was trying to do it in sections. (B) In one such section photo, local plant world aficionado Greg K. got in close and posed with it; a tall character in his own right.

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- He was at it again. Steve carries a 7 gal. Dypsis basilonga to his cart. I just managed to move over in time to get the photo. After arriving, I took a portrait of the palm (B) as it awaited transport. In the lower left, also on the cart, a double 3 gal. Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii waited for the same ride.

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- 8:26AM - I photographed the bloom on a 3 gal. Aphelandra sinclairiana as it passed by on a cart. We had quite a few of these attractive shrubs for sale and it turns out quite a few was not enough. (B) Jeff discusses the plant world with friends as activity inside the shadehouse showed no signs of slowing down. Spaces along the sidewalk began to form and over time they got wider and wider. We began to pull to replace where we could.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 8:28AM - There was activity in every part of the sales area. In addition to the sections that held the rare and unusual, there were those looking for the common and everything else in between. I talked to some who just wanted to get a jump on others who would come on the weekend. I followed a question to the full sun palm section, then soon after (A) spotted the activity along the main road to the west... (B) then turning around, eastward, watching everyone dive into landscape plants. (C) Kylie Searle assists one customer with picking out Pentas.

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- 8:32AM - Location info and other questions had me back inside the shadehouse in no time. Along the sidewalk, volunteers and FMs. Jim Glock (jglock1) and IPS President Ray Hernandez (SubTropicRay, Ray Tampa) discuss the society, the future biennial and palms in general in between doing the same with familiar faces, friends and customers... such as with (B) long time collector, grower, society member and FM. Geri Prall (SW_FL_Palms). (C) A quick shot down the sidewalk showed serious palm nuts in action, along with some glare.

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- Jeff was talking with Geri when his friend Autumn (burgundy shirt) passed by in a hurry, shopping with enthusiasm and excitement. It led to a barrage of commentary by Jeff, which in turn caused Autumn to laugh and return even more sarcasm. (B) A young palm collector selects a 1 gal. Ptychosperma waitianum.

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- 8:38AM - A trip out to the side road was delayed by traffic. (B) In addition to Crotons, people were gathering up the more exotic flowering shrubs and foliage plants that occupied the side road. (C) Further down, the rarer Tropical Flowering Trees were being looked over.

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- 8:41AM - The section in front of the BBQ area was dominated by a large Carpoxylon macrospermum. It was pulled and placed to not only sell the 3 gallon plants, but to showcase the species to those who may not already be familiar with it. (B) A 7 gal. Phlogacanthus turgidus, or Lavender Bells, gets chosen and loaded.

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- The side road adjacent to the holding area is always a hub of foot and cart traffic, with plants and carts flowing into the holding area, with others passing by. (B) No cart, no problem. A customer carries her new stock to the holding area. She has a 3 gal. Bleeding Heart Vine (Red form) Clerodendrum thomsoniae in her right hand, and a Aechmea 'Del Mar' in her left.

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- 8:42AM - Standing at the road intersection, I was doing circles, following the action and taking photos. The morning continued to unfold as customers arrived with greater and greater frequency. (A) If they were not in the Bromeliad section on the right, they were looking over the landscape plants on the left. (B) The front corner, where the side road and landscape plant sections meet, is where many of the first time plants are put on display. Those tall purple racemes belong to a grouping of Indigo Spires Sage. (C) I turned in time to capture Steve free-handing a 7 gal. Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, on its way to his stash in the holding area.

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- His stash was one of many forming in the holding area. By late-morning, early afternoon, space in the holding area was at a premium. That larger palm towards the right of the stash is a 7 gal. former Lytocaryum, now Syagrus weddellianum. (B) One of the larger aluminum carts served as a mobile holding area of its own. In the center, a 7 gal. Singapore Twist - Cordyline stands out. This cultivar was once very rare and increased propagation has furthered its reach, making it easier for anyone to have one.

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Ryan

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- 8:48AM - Another cart, packed full with plants of all types, waits to see where it may go next. (B) I took a quick walk through the holding area, seeing what palms and plants were popular on this sale day. The loading zone was busy, golf cart and trailer, cart, tractor, cart, customer, one after another with no break.

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- Palms, palms and more palms. This one cart was mostly palm species of different genera. (A) The two closest to the camera were two, seven gallon plants, a Brassiophoenix drymophloeoides on the left and an Areca sp. on the right. (B) In the other view, a vibrant 7 gal. Salacca magnifica was showing off its undivided leaves and their silver undersides. It was adjacent, at its base, to a 3 gal. Archontophoenix purpurea and a 3 gal. Cyphophoenix nucele.

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- 8:56AM - Ray moves past in one instance, as I was describing a landscape palm to one customer, as more move into the Heliconias and Ginger section on the right. (B) Nursery guard dog Dumbo2 makes her way through, checking on everything as the sale goes on around her. (C) The earliest orders make their way to the checkout line.

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- At the loading zone, Travis keeps everything organized as plant orders are dropped off and others are assembled and placed on trailers, before heading to the checkout. (B) Like clockwork, the next set of orders are made ready and then loaded. The trailer was divided into two groups, the first had a mix of different trees, including a 15 gal. Glenn Mango, a 7 gal. Copernicia ekmanii, and a 15 gal. Teddy Bear Palm, Dypsis leptocheilos... while the (C) second had a mix of Crotons near the back of the trailer.

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- 9:02AM - In addition to the sale going on, there were other smaller, customer-related events going on at the same time. They seemed to be planned meetings of friends, family members, coworkers, etc. who decided to meet up at the nursery; using the 'Ganza as a location. They were noticed in passing, hearing bits of conversation, calls across the sales area and so on. (C) Kylie plays hide-and-seek while using the hairy trunk of an Old Man Palm, Coccothrinax crinita, as cover.

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- 9:04AM - Solid, undivided or bifid leaves seemed to be the trend for the day. A 15 gal. Hydriastele beguinii var. 'Obi Island Form' slowly makes its way out of the shadehouse. (B) The cartload seen earlier needed a helping hand as one of the tires began to go flat. One at a time, a small gang came together to pull and push the heavy cart over to the holding area...

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- ... with some added elbow grease it was maneuvered over to the loading zone. The plants were then transferred to a trailer. (B) Drawn back to the shadehouse, I noticed the H. beguinii var. 'Obi Island Form' seen above had moved a few feet. In the background on the right in red, volunteer Judy Glock shades her eyes as she looks over something on a customer's phone. Looking at customers' phones and photos to help identity a plant, an ailment, a pest or beneficial insect is common practice nowadays. It would be nice, however, if they had the photo ready before asking you to wait for them to find it.

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- 9:10AM - Occasionally, to get that one palm to the holding area, a cart is not enough. Doug employs a tree dolly to transport a 20 gal. Licuala cabalionii from within the shadehouse to his stash. An old and established specimen, this palm dates back to when the first seed of the species became available.

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Ryan

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- 9:10AM - Spread across a trailer, the one order seen above makes its way onward to the checkout line. (B) Travis notices the large palm heading his way and tells Doug to drop it right near the road to make it easier to load. (C) Customers look for a spot in the holding area to start building their stash of plants.

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- At the start of the checkout, Larry Searle dives into the large group of plants and goes one by one, tearing off the tag ends and matching prices to plants, while volunteer Julia adds the amounts to the receipt. Riding along on the rear end of the trailer, a 3 gal. Dypsis pinnatifrons and a 3 gal. Licuala sallehana, await their turn to be counted.

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- 9:12AM - A sign laying on the ground grabs my attention, so naturally I have to go and pick it up. I snap one photo down the main road, before heading back to the action by the holding area. (B) I returned to find Travis and new volunteer Linda transferring plants from cart to trailer. With Jeremy at the wheel, they finished moving at least two groups of plants before it all headed on out.

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- 9:14AM - Next up, a mixed group of plants, containing a bit of everything. Amber begins writing the receipt as one customer points out that the Kula Gardenia is part of a different order. (B) Larry grabs it and carries it over to another cart nearby. (C) Larry returns and begins tearing tags and counting plants, which included the Pelagodoxa henryana seen earlier and stuff from many other plant groups.

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- 9:15AM - "Whoa, big palm coming." Amadeo's response to seeing Doug heading his way with another large palm via the tree dolly, this time a giant 25 gal. Hydriastele dransfieldii. Amadeo gives him a hand and helps lean it off the dolly, placing it next to the L. cabalionii, which now looks a lot smaller.

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- 9:18AM - Volunteer Linda took over the holding area as her own. She had it all arranged and grouped into sections. She knew everyone's plants and where they were, where one group ended and another began. A customer enters and immediately is guided to an open spot, plants and bucket in tow. (B) A palm duo shared one cart in the holding area, the closest one being a 10 gal. Hydriastele kasesa.

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- Every time I turned around, there seemed to be a large palm on a cart, either by itself or with a group of other plants. One moment it was a 10 gal. Licuala grandis, and in the other it was a 7 gal. Hydriastele sp. 'Highland P.N.G.' and a 7 gal. Pinanga sp. 'Thai Mottled'.

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Palmarum

- 9:22AM - A classic scene from the Extravaganza, repeated over and over.

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- 9:35AM - Unusual Ferns were popular this spring.

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- 9:53AM - Multitasking at work.

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- 10:02AM - There doesn't seem to be a limit to how many plants one can stuff onto a cart. (A) I am fairly sure there wasn't a kid in there. (B) A landscape plan consisting of Bromeliads was laid out in the holding area. (C) I am not sure what they were pointing at but it seemed interesting.

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Ryan

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- 10:15AM - A customer makes a run to the holding area with a cart full of different gingers and Pentas as she and Travis trade funny comments. (B) Volunteer Mark (fairly obscured) carries a 7 gal. Double Tahitian Gardenia to a waiting trailer.

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- 10:18AM - A small traffic jam at the loading zone required Saul, Travis and Mark to carry plants over the orange fence to a nearby trailer. (B) Amber and Larry begin writing up a large order. It had plants from everywhere, with a large amount being flowering shrubs and vines.

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- It took a minute or two, but the plants were carried over and placed onto a trailer. (B) The order had a little bit of everything, plus a few palms, including a 3 gal. Licuala paludosa, a pair of 1 gal. Satakentia liukiuensis, a 3 gal. Licuala grandis, and a 1 gal. Kerriodoxa elegans with the silver leaf undersides. To the left of the Singapore Twist - Cordyline at the corner of the trailer is an unusual species Bromeliad, Aechmea tayoensis.

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- 10:20AM - As the pace of the sale began to climb, multiple lines began to form at the checkout. They each got longer due to sudden surges of activity. Those undivided leaves at the back of the trailer belong to a 3 gal. Neoveitchia storckii. (B,C) When you want to fill a space quickly, few plants can do it like a Heliconia, in this case, a H. psittacorum. We were unsure as to the cultivar name, so we labeled them as plain species plants. The name didn't seem to matter, as the customer wanted all of them.

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- 10:21AM - It was time to start loading an order, a large order. It had been building in the holding area all morning. It sprawled over a large patch of real estate, so it became easier to make a path through the holding area to drive the tractor and trailers right to the stash. Amadeo began loading the Bromeliads and continued with a grouping of Golden Senna Trees, Senna surattensis.

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- With all the H. psittacorum selected and loaded, they went straight to the checkout.

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- 10:24AM - A large scale restock was needed on the 3 gal. Aphelandra sinclairiana. They had two locations in the sales area and the one across from the holding area sold out. Tim and Ray were drafted for the mission to go get more. They went off to a back shadehouse and returned with a trailer full, tagged them, then placed them in the spot.

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- Back to the large order in the holding area, Saul had joined Amadeo in loading the various plants. The next group was a large batch of the new Ground Orchid hybrid, Spathoglottis × 'Pop's Favorite'.

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- 10:26AM - Answering questions while hanging out within the holding area had me witness all sorts of plant-related interactions. Carts arrived, while plants left. In the cart directly in front, a White Shrimp Plant, Justicia betonica rides on the corner along with a 3 gal. Chamaedorea deckeriana, a 3 gal. Licuala (probably a L. peekelii), a 5 gal. Cyrtostachys sp. 'Hybrid' (in behind) and most likely a Aechmea 'Blue Tango'. (B) Amber and Larry keep things organized at the checkout, as customers investigate the Fruit Trees on the left. 

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- Another full cart, either on its way to the holding area or to the checkout. It held a ready-to-go planting bed. (B) Gingers were certainly popular this sale, the section was depleted by the end of the first weekend. Customers seemed to be in a hurry and opted for the 'instant gratification' procedure; they just bought everything we had of each type they wanted.

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- 10:28AM - Plants, roll out. With Amadeo at the helm, the large order seen being assembled above, gets transported from the holding area to the checkout. He drives slowly making sure not to let the taller plants fall over or more importantly, not hit anyone...

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- ... he makes the turn with two full trailers, then brings the order in line at the checkout, which was a little backed-up. (C) A batch of 3 gal. Java White Copperleaf, Acalyphas, round out the order at the end of the second trailer.

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Palmarum

- 10:29AM - A sudden surge of outgoing material created a jam at the checkout. Customers were making their way through as carts and trailers began to line up.

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- Multiple lines were forming, usually with larger orders on the right with smaller ones on the left. Some of the more complicated orders were those involving friends and plant shopping cohorts who needed to carefully separate their plants. The ongoing memory game of "Who gets what?" was well played.

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- 10:30AM - The soil pad along the main road is the return spot for carts, but at this moment, most are being used or out at the parking area on their way back in.

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- A bit of elevation allowed for a better perspective on the situation.

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- 10:31AM - "Did I get two or three of this one?" (B) Volunteer Julia grabs a clipboard, a stack of receipts and attacks the large order, with Amadeo for backup.

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- One order after another, the busy morning, became the busy early afternoon. The next order was a mix of landscape plants and a group of Areca Palms, Dypsis lutescens, and a Brownea sp. (C) Starting at the rear and making her way forward, Michelle begins writing up the order.

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- 10:33AM - "Trailer up..." With that command, an empty trailer was brought up to the loading zone. This time, it was for a heavy assortment of rare and unusual palms and plants bound for FM. Tracy's (Tracy S) incredible collection up in Stuart. I am not sure where or how they will all fit in her yard, but I know they will be well taken care of. She will probably need to annex one of the properties nearby.

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- Every palm and plant accounted for? Check. The order made its way out, with a parting shot of a Cobra Bird's Nest Fern, Aplenium nidus cv. 'Cobra'.

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- 10:45AM - 11:01AM - A run of questions and location queries had me running all over the sales area. Time was flying by. It got busy along the main road as I was describing the differences in landscape plants. (B) Tim helps a customer with a group of palms from the shadehouse. In addition to the 10 gal. Cyphophoenix nucele currently on the cart, Tim stopped to pick up a 10 gal. Dypsis prestoniana (obscured).

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- 11:04AM - A familiar face and beard among the palms. IPS Director, Past-President, author and FM. Paul Craft (Licuala) chats with current IPS President and FM. Ray Hernandez (SubTropicRay). Paul was doing a bit of shopping himself during his visit to the sale. (B) Ray carries another 7 gal. Salacca magnifica out the side entrance.

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- 11:10AM - I managed to get ahead of Tim and his cart of palms. He was heading to the front area. Wait, that guy in the blue shirt holding a palm looks familiar...

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- The palm-laden cart arrived at the loading zone with a hitchhiker. At some point during the journey, a 7 gal. Verschaffeltia splendida got on board.

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- 11:11AM - The blue shirt belonged to Dr. Carl Lewis, Ph.D., Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. He, along with a group of Fairchild personnel, were attending the sale. He is chatting with Jeff while holding a 3 gal. Loxococcus rupicola. It may be for his own collection, or it may be on its way to the garden, or it may have a date with a DNA test.

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- 11:14AM - The weather was cooperating, for Friday and for all six days.

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- The registers were humming along. As lines formed, they were divided between those paying with cash, check or card. If they were not already on the mailing list, customers had a chance to add their addresses to it, on the small table on the left. (B) Often the line at the registers will combine with the line of golf carts and trailers by the loading zone.

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- 11:16AM - Amadeo, Jeff and Travis load and organize multiple orders onto one trailer. The plants were set pot-to-pot to make room, as Jeff keeps a count. (B) I stood on a short set of nearby stairs to look around. The line began to move steadily along the side of the mist house.

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- 11:16AM - Turning around on the stairs, I got a good vantage point to see the action down the road and by the holding area. (B) This load was ready, time to move it on down to the checkout.

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- 11:27AM - 11:35AM - Multitasking questions while eating lunch, I noticed how the activity along the tables continued for most of the afternoon. I began to see empty sections of tablecloth from here and we started to make a list of what gallons and small plants we could restock. There were not many. (B) Ray and volunteer and FM. Scott Cohen (Scott Cohen) hang out for a minute under the white tent. I am not sure who that knee belongs to. Clouds were forming in the afternoon, but no rain fell. They seemed to just blow in and then out again, cooling the sale as they went.

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- 11:54AM - 1:19PM - Outside along the main road, Travis tackles a few questions about landscape plants. As lunch time approached, the sale began its typical Friday lunchtime pause, as customers either leave to find food, or eat their lunch at the sale. (B) After lunch, there was another surge of customer activity. Scott carries not one, not two, but three 3 gal. Itaya amicorum down the sidewalk for a customer, stakes and signs included, which I grabbed in passing. Do not be alarmed, he usually looks like that.

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The latter part of the afternoon was spent helping customers and restocking. It was an all hands on deck operation, trying to restock as much as we could for Saturday morning. Many of the plants were palms pulled from multiple shade houses, including some that just had to travel a few feet from ground cloth to sidewalk. In certain cases, an entire species group of different sizes were pulled, needing the sign to be placed back out again.

- 4:10PM - With less than an hour left in the first day of the sale, the pace had slowed down considerably. We continued to have customers throughout the sales area until closing, plus we got the customary 'after work' crowd. A situation repeated throughout the day, a trailer gets loaded out in front of the holding area. This time it was mostly Crotons selected by Naples Zoo's own horticultural manager Darryl Windham.

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- 4:16PM - One day down, five more to go. This late in the day, customers in attendance were outnumbered by staff and volunteers, so there was a lot of help to go around. Down the main road, one crew was in the process of restocking the full sun palms and some of the landscape plants. On the left, the field-grown Silver Date Palm, Phoenix sylvestris, anchored the corner for much of the sale, until it too, was sold.

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- If it's a machine, moves dirt, or has lights and sirens on it, Carson wants to watch it or play with it, or both. With an assist from his great-uncle Larry, Carson steers the New Holland loader around the sales area. That is a look of concentration on Carson's face, and overpowered enjoyment. The hard part came later, when people tried to get him off of it.

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The Friday evening Post Tour that takes place over at Jeff's house went on with a large attendance, tons of food and lots of plant world conversations. They did a tour and a bit of the 'walk and talk' with drinks in hand. I didn't take any photos as I was parked in front of the appetizers for most of the time, waiting on an incredible dinner, provided and prepared by Jim & Judy Glock.

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Palmarum

Saturday, March 2nd

- 8:06AM - 8:08AM - Arriving to the nursery over an hour before opening gave us additional time to restock. The usual prep was done, including getting all the sales related elements ready, staging the BBQ area, getting the donuts, and so on. All the golf carts were committed elsewhere, so an aluminum cart was used to get some of the freshly pulled plants to their sale locations. Scott begins tagging the plants as Jim and Amadeo come over to assist. (B) Stash found. I came across someone's group of plants as I was setting up elements and getting things ready within the shadehouse.

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- 8:36AM - Saturday morning is always slower than Friday morning, but we still had customers waiting at the gate. The intensity picks up as the morning goes on. There were repeat sale goers from Friday already in attendance.

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- 8:39AM - A cart carrying a pair of Podocarpus was exiting the holding area when it was decided it would be easier to transfer them to a waiting trailer.

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- 8:41AM - The same procedure was carried out for a grouping of Rojo Congo Philodendrons and other plants.

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- 8:47AM - 8:52AM - The Bromeliad section was rearranged slightly, bringing most of the remaining plants from the back to the front. (B) An order of various plants were assembled rather quickly by a return customer. The stash was emptied from the holding area and loaded onto a trailer...

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- ... before heading to the checkout. (B) Amber writes, as Larry counts.

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- 8:55AM - The remaining 3 gal. Beccariophoenix alfredii were brought over by Judy and Ray and placed in front of the giant one that resides as part of the landscaping. Ray wanted a photo of the large B. alfredii so Judy posed along with it. (B) I took a second shot, trying to fit the entire palm into the frame. Trunk, a few inches at a time, began to appear after some of the older leaf bases were removed.

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- 9:14AM - Kylie rides along with Tim, as they hunt down more plants. That was her third bag of Doritos. (B) Volunteer Candy (red shirt) multitasks between selling Bromeliads, designing landscapes and talking plants with customers.

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- 9:21AM - "Three, two, one...  lift!" The remaining Queen Crape Myrtle Trees, Lagerstroemia indica, were sold. They were separated from the other Flowering Trees and carried out to a waiting trailer. A few of the remaining Heliconia and Ginger cultivars had to be moved out of the way. (B) A cart rolls by carrying a pair of 7 gal. Ptychosperma macarthurii and a Vietnamese Gardenia.

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- 9:21AM - 9:32AM - A palm laden cart makes its way over to the landscape palm section. It was carrying, among other plants, two 3 gal. Chamaedorea alternans and two 3 gal. Saribus rotundifolius near the back with the fan leaves. (B) A stash within the holding area is not measured by size or rarity, but by need and want. A little flagging tape goes a long way, a lot of it makes a statement. Those two palms behind the Silver Wing Fern, Asplenium nidus cv. ‘Silver Wing’, are Licuala sp. 'Fairchild Garden'.

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- 9:34AM - Two different photos of the same 25 gal. Copernicia ekmanii. I couldn't decide which one to use, so I posted both.

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- 9:53AM - 10:00AM - Returning customer Autumn loads another cart full of palms and heads to the front area. She grabbed one of the 15 gal. Hydriastele beguinii var. 'Obi Island Form', a 3 gal. Dypsis mirabilis (obscured, with the thin stem) and a 3 gal. Licuala grandis. (B) Meanwhile at the front area, the activity level of the sale began to pick up.

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- 10:00AM - In the center amidst multiple orders, volunteer Julia moves from one to another as more customers enter the sale. (B) The next order seems very colorful.

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- 10:02AM - It was full of Crotons and Cordylines. It was a great way to add a splash of color in a hurry. Larry writes up the order as I contemplated the meaning of instant gratification. This scene reminded me of a small plant society back in the 1990s which focused on these two plant groups. (B) Certain plant varieties and species were beginning to sell out, even after being restocked. As one group was cleaned out, plants from other groups or entire stocks were moved over to fill the void.

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- 10:12AM - Travis carries a 7 gal. Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa, from its block across the road in the landscape palm section to a waiting trailer. (B) Perpetually drawn to any interesting-looking plant, customer Autumn finds herself among the Gingers and aided by veteran plantsman and volunteer Derek Burch. (C) Now with two loaded carts, she needs help to move them towards the front area.

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- 10:23AM - Rarely, plants pulled to restock a group are redirected to the holding area, as they were in need or want of a customer. The golf cart is backed up to the loading zone where some of the Euphorbia punicea and Cassia roxburghii were off-loaded. (B) When in doubt, grab it. At the last minute, a 15 gal. Dypsis carlsmithii was added to an order. This palm will gain a regular common name at some point. I thought of 'Stumpy' but I don't think it will catch on.

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Ryan

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Really full garden

I am curious how many years does it take to get an Copernicia ekmannii to reach that size ?

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Palmarum

- 10:25AM - The late Saturday morning was sliding into the early midday, and the urgency of sale staff and volunteers reflected the increase of customer traffic. Slow pacing became faster walking, a faster walk became a quick jaunt across the sales area. (B) Carson had to be taken off the trailer, because he wasn't priced correctly.

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- 10:31AM - 10:38AM - The demand for palms had me posted in and around the shadehouse for much of the day. Judy assists one collector by adding palms to their cart. (B) During one sprint session back and forth along the sidewalk, I noticed that two separate Calyptrocalyx polyphyllus specimens were sporting two red leaves at the same time. Around this time I began to pick up the scent of BBQ as lunch was being started.

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- 11:25AM - When I made it out to the barn, I noticed the early lunch crowd already in attendance. More were expected, as package after package of hotdogs and burgers were made ready for the grills. Kylie was on her own schedule, featuring the Searle favorite Mountain Dew. I lost count on how many Doritos she was up to. (B) A surge of activity caught my attention back at the holding area.

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- Along the main road, a full load of Small-Leaf Clusias, Clusia rosea, was on its way to restock the group when it was halted to allow a customer to grab some. Volunteer Mark was in the middle of three things at once as he runs past. (C) Spontaneous seating areas can appear almost anywhere in the sales area, before they need to be moved for loading, unloading plants, etc.

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Ryan

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Palmarum
21 minutes ago, scottgt said:

I am curious how many years does it take to get an Copernicia ekmannii to reach that size ?

Jeff might have more accurate data, but that specimen could be 7 to 10 years from a small, established one gallon plant that is past the seedling stage. C. ekmanii is not the slowest species within the genus, but is certainly not the fastest either. When they are in periods of being root-bound, they can shoot up their oversize dramatically. They can max out a seven gallon pot with roots rather quickly. They must have exceptional drainage, at any size or growing location and protection from prolonged or severe cold weather. I have witnessed planted specimens slowing down as they shift to putting on as many roots as possible. Some of the best specimens I have seen were in a massive private collection in Palm Beach county. They were at least 15 years old (planted as large individuals) and were at full diameter, sans any visible trunk.

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:27AM - Activity during the sale spawned a spontaneous confab among the red shirts. (C) You know you enjoy plants when your shopping cart begins to overflow into one nearby.

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- 11:29AM - Lunchtime. The seating areas under the barn and elsewhere began to swell with hungry attendees.

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- The parking lot of carts along the side road is inevitable. A quick pause to get a bite to eat, and then you're back at it. 

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- 11:30AM - Before getting my own lunch, or second breakfast, I captured the line forming at the window.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:41PM - 12:44PM - Even with the BBQ lunch in full swing, the sales area, especially the shadehouse sidewalk was busy. A crowd gathers in front of the tables, mixed with those looking at palms and others just happy to chat about them. Veteran volunteers Judy and Jim Glock talk with FM. Randy Wiesner (palmislandRandy) (orange shirt) and his wife as Derek ducks under to squeeze through. (B) Judy multitasks as she chats, describes plants to customers and guides them to different palms. (C) Customers ask plant-related questions to the gang operating the BBQ. Many of them do not know plants much, so they often redirect them to others wearing red shirts. They mean well, but sometimes their replies can be quite funny.

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- 12:55PM - Under the white tent, conversations abound. They ran the gamut from palm to plant, to PRA's and everything in between. In the center and finishing his lunch, FM. Dr. Peter Balasky (madman), explorer of everything Madagascar, regaled us with stories from his recent adventures. (B) Familiar palm person from the Biennials and PRA's, FM. Frank (Trópico) (far right) joined the group a few minutes later.

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- 1:10PM - After lunch, the sale showed no signs of slowing down. (B) In the landscape palm section, a customer selects a pair of Ptychosperma elegans. Tim and Jeff run over to help carry them to a waiting trailer.

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- 1:12PM - After two quick trips back and forth, they were both loaded. The palm selection was followed by a series of questions, fielded by Jeff.

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Ryan

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Gonzer

Ka-ching!

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Palmarum

- 1:13PM - 1:17PM - The weather for the afternoon was perfect, even with a slight chance of rain. The temperature was average, certainly not hot, but the UV level was rather high. Perfect weather for tropical plants. We were actually in need of rain at the time in S. Florida.

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- 2:13PM - Each time I went out of the shadehouse to capture what was going on, I ended up back inside with a question to answer or a plant to find. I noticed a large mass of material leaving the side-entrance to the shadehouse. By the time I caught up to it, it was near the holding area. It consisted mostly of Ptychosperma macarthurii in seven gallon pots, among other plants.

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- 2:24PM - 2:26PM - In the afternoon, there were slow periods that occurred after lunch, with a strong surge later in the day. (B) One customer wanted a lot of Regal Shields, Alocasia, and I do mean a lot. You can guess who that pointed finger belongs to.

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- 3:37PM - 4:13PM - Palms were by far the dominant plant group of the day, weekend and sale. No other group came close. They went home with a vast cross section of the customer base; from the die hard collectors with wish lists in hand, to the homeowners that shopped for mere eye candy alone. In one cart, palms were the only plant group. It held a good collection for the full sun landscape: from back to front, left to right, a 7 gal. Copernicia prunifera, a 3 gal. Livistona rigida, a 3 gal. Gaussia maya (obscured), and a 7 gal. Hybrid Coccothrinax borhidiana. Hybridized with what? We do not know. (B) As the day was winding down, Larry returned from the parking area with Kylie, Karen and Candy.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

Sunday, March 3rd

- 10:00AM - The first hour of Sunday morning was slow as usual, minus the ongoing restocking and a few early bird customers. After the shadehouse was ready, I went around looking for details to photograph. I started near the white tent, looking over the spine-laden crownshaft, internode rings and leaf undersides of a large Verschaffeltia splendida.

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- On the opposite side of the tent, a recently mature 20 gal. Dwarf Betel Nut Palm, Areca catechu cv. 'Dwarf', was sporting a new spathe, covering an unopened inflorescence. This cultivar received a fair share of attention during the first two days of the sale, as there was only one three-gallon plant left by this morning. (B) The rounded spathe had been rubbed, cupped and fondled so much that it was gaining a shine. I was worried someone was going to yank it off.

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- 10:12AM - 10:15AM - Carson stands watch, for any approaching donuts. (B) The early crowd had enthusiasts, gardeners and homeowners. A few from days before, getting plants they needed to fill that remaining space in their landscape. The collectors that couldn't make it on Friday or Saturday found me with optimism, asking nicely if we just happen to have a certain plant remaining in stock. (C) "Digger!" Carson yells out his favorite word for any type of excavator...

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- 10:16AM - 10:20AM - ... as he sees Larry driving the New Holland towards the shed. I was witnessing a first time situation... we were running out of fertilizer, after only two days. To satisfy demand, some of the nursery's own fertilizer was taken from storage and added to the pallet with the sale stock.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 10:21AM - 10:24AM - I am always in search of binder clips. I use them for the signs and I never seem to have enough. I have been training Carson to look for them and I think it has been going well. (B) Getting ready for the day, Amber applies the ever-so-important sunscreen to Kylie.

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- 10:24AM - 12:04PM - Scott helps a customer with a mixed selection of plants, including a 7 gal. Fishtail Palm, Caryota mitis. (B) The collectors were out in force for Sunday. Close to lunch time, I was surprised how many were in attendance. A cart hangs out near the tables, carrying a 15 gal. Burretiokentia vieillardii and some Doritos.

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- 12:05PM - Past noon, lunch time came quick on the short day. Customers continued to come and go along the side road as those dining under the barn enjoyed their BBQ. The appearance of the parking lot appeared once again.

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- 12:07PM - Within the barn, the first food rush of the day was underway. As the scent of BBQ made its way through the sales area, more were sure to come.

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Ryan

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Jeff Searle
4 hours ago, Gonzer said:

Ka-ching!

Well.….when I think of the appropriate answer, Ill get back to you.:yay:

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Gonzer
8 hours ago, Jeff Searle said:

Well.….when I think of the appropriate answer, Ill get back to you.:yay:

Always stoked to see a successful sale Jeff.

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Palmarum
On 4/1/2019 at 5:54 AM, Gonzer said:

Always stoked to see a successful sale Jeff.

I wonder how Jeff Spicoli would react to a plant sale, if he was a palm nut. A palmy version of "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:08PM - With lunch going on just a few feet away, Scott assists customers from near and far with their plant related inquiries. (B) A plant-filled cart ends up parked in the middle of the side road. (C) "Honey, don't worry... we can get another cart."

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- 1:27PM - A sub-plot developed during the Extravaganza. With Mark's help, Travis decided to try and get his old ATV up and running. (B) Mark, not volunteering for the sale on this particular day, brought a spread of different tools and equipment to try and get the ATV's engine running. Travis was keeping his distance as a lot of carburetor starting fluid was in use. It's just a tad flammable.

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- 1:35PM - The Coccoloba pubescens positioned near the holding area featured a new red leaf. It was still rapidly unfurling and seemed to grow a few inches per day. First photo with flash, second without, same settings otherwise.

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- 1:39PM - 2:54PM - Even a hardened nursery dog needs a good cuddle now and then. Jeff holds Dumbo2 like a baby while answering a customer's question from across the road. (B) Blaze, a new Acalypha - Copperleaf cultivar for the sale, was quite popular with customers. It is a dwarf cultivar and its colors are brilliant when exposed to full sun.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 2:56PM - As plant groups were selling out, we were pulling more and more from all over the nursery. This unnamed Buddleja cultivar found its way into the sales area. I could probably post the photos separately to try and get the name, but this should suffice. If you happen to know the cultivar, post it here or send me a message. I tried looking it up, but there are too many Buddleja out there with purple, lavender, lilac flowers.

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- 3:19PM - 3:23PM - After spending most of the day working on it the engine would not start. Mark had done quite a bit of work on the entire ATV, but not more than a sputter or two came from the engine. (B) When in doubt try more gas! There was still more they could try, but it would have to wait for the second weekend.

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- 3:44PM - There were fifteen minutes left in the first weekend of the sale when I came across Scott and Jeff hanging out in the holding area. Usually Scott is not within arm's length, so its harder for him to get smacked.

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- 3:45PM - One weekend down, one to go...

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Ryan

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Tracy S

I love reading these blogs on the sale. Of course when I look at all the plants I bought at the sale it becomes obvious that I might be a palm addict.:blush:

Great sale Jeff.

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Palmarum

Friday, March 8th

- 10:55AM - The four days between weekends were busy, as time was focused on restocking and resupply where possible. There were the groups that were easy to resupply and some that were not. A few things instantly made themselves available, such as this 3 gal. Chambeyronia macrocarpa var. hookeri. It had opened a new leaf at some point between Monday and Thursday, and it screamed "pick me!" It found itself tagged and placed along the sidewalk near the intersection. Few things do more for increasing enthusiasm for the palm family than a red new leaf.

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- 10:57AM - 11:03AM - Slow and peaceful described the second Friday. The recurring game of 'Are there customers in the sales area?', was easy to play as they were in attendance throughout the day, even at lunch time. As it was the least busiest of the six days, the compliment of staff and volunteers was at its lowest point, but they still out-numbered or equaled customers at most times.

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- 11:04AM - 11:06AM - In front of the shadehouse entrance, Jeff talks with an eager and excited customer. The customer had noticed an interesting plant (pointing towards it) out in one of the growing areas of the nursery and wanted to know what it was and did we have any for sale. After going back and forth, they decided to go and find out what it was. (B) Local plant person of legend, Lou examines the sign card belonging to a small group of Purple Epidendrum Ground Orchids. She was already heavy into plant societies and clubs when I was very young. Don't tell her I said that.

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- 11:53AM - 11:56AM - The moment a plant person transforms from a garden hobbyist to a palm enthusiast, captured in a photo. The customer moved from one palm area to the next, selecting specimens she just had to have. After going back and forth along the sidewalk within the shadehouse, she exited and found the full sun palm section. She needed a hand loading a 7 gal. Azul Palm, Coccothrinax macroglossa onto the back of the cart, joining a 1 gal. Coccothrinax clarensis and not one, but two 3 gal. Itaya amicorum. (B) The same customer and her other half spend a moment with Jeff. Notice the book in the gentleman's hand... Palms of South Florida by George Stevenson, a newer version of the 1974 principle guide for S. Florida palm fanatics. A great starter book for anyone getting into palms. My copy is quite worn.

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Ryan

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    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. & The Rainforest Collection® presented (barely)...
      The 22nd Annual Spring Plant Extravaganza!
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      Prior to the Spring Extravaganza, the nursery had attended two very successful plant sales, one in Key West, the other in Ft. Myers. Both events drew heavily on the plant selection and both depleted the selection just as heavily. There were more than enough Palms available for the Spring 'Ganza, but the prior two sales did make a dent in quantity across the Palm family and other plant groups -- namely Crotons, which were a target of many during the two sales (especially in Ft. Myers, which is a Croton haven). There were over 315 Palm taxa (species, varieties, hybrids) available at the opening 'bell' on Friday morning. Some were represented by one size, others as many as five different sizes; from 4-inch to 200 gallon and most sizes in between. Certain taxa were present in the sales area in large numbers or blocks, while others had only a single plant residing on a table, with the duty to hold up its sign by itself. There were of course, a few unlisted specials that didn't make the sale list, but not many. Throughout the sales area, the different sections were packed with material. Every section had new species or varieties. I lost track of how many cards (or signs) were put out, but it was a lot. I ran out of stakes and almost ran out of clips. The total content of material was just about record-breaking for a Spring 'Ganza (except for Crotons).
       
      Friday, March 6th
      - 7:55AM - The morning of the first Friday was a mess from my point of view. I was running way behind schedule by the time I made it to the nursery. I had to make a stop beforehand, which I usually never do, so I was rushing through everything after I squeezed through the gate. As a bonus, as I was heading out the door on my way to the early stop, the news announced that the first cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Florida, at this time it was two cases near Central Florida. The sense of "Oh crap" was carried to the nursery. On my way west through Broward County, I noticed a thick line of dark clouds further to the west, seeming to heading right for the nursery (and the 'Ganza). The sense of "Oh crap" had strengthened to "Oh shit" as I drove faster hoping to beat the rain to the nursery. I had a lot of material with me that could not get wet. I managed to get to the nursery and to the shadehouse's white tent without getting rained upon, as it seemed the rain had shifted to the north somewhat. I rushed to set up the pre-sale stuff the best I could and grabbed my camera to head to the gate. I took a few 'bookend' photos of the area in front of the tent to start the process...

      - Normally, when I have the time, I like to photograph the sidewalk area in the main shadehouse to get an overall look of the Palm selection before it gets attacked. Clean sidewalk, all the Palms in their spots, signs all ready, etc. But this time I had to defer as the sale opening was upon me. I took one shot in front of the tent, showing the Dwarf Betel Nut Palms, Areca catechu var. 'Dwarf', on the left and the Red Sealing Wax Palms, Cyrtostachys renda, on the right. (B) I did an immediate 180º turn, took another photo looking back up the sidewalk and then headed that way. Those red spots in the distance are red shirts belonging to volunteers Judy & Jim Glock. They were going ahead of me to the sales area entrance to greet customers.

      - 7:57AM - I knew I was going to be late to catch the crowd coming in, but I had to try. As I exited the shadehouse and made the turn, Kylie Searle was heading towards me, letting everyone know the customers were coming. We were both moving fast as I took the photo. I kept this shot as it gives an idea of how dark the skies were. They were much darker just ten minutes earlier. (B,C) I reached the holding area and caught a partial crowd making their way to the sales area. Shooting from the hip, I photographed through golf carts to capture Jim Glock greeting customers. The initial crowd through the gate was smaller than usual, but there were a lot of cars parked outside. I figured the dark clouds either kept some in their vehicles or delayed those making their way to the nursery.

      - Like usual, the first group of arriving customers dispersed and headed off in all directions. I turned around and followed a few of the initial customers to the shadehouse entrance. Judy Glock was following them in as well, heading to the Croton section to assist collectors in finding their most wanted cultivars. (B) The shadehouse entrance became a parking lot in seconds. The cloud cover was still apparent as it cut the light to low levels, making a speedy customer, croton-in-hand, blur as he moved to his cart.

       
      A link back to the Spring 'Ganza topic in the For-Sale sub-forum: Spring Extravaganza - For-Sale Topic
      Ryan
    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. &
      The Rainforest Collection®
      presents...

      The 22nd Annual Spring
      Plant Extravaganza!
       
      March 6th, 7th, 8th – 13th, 14th, 15th,  2020
       
       
      Palms and plants galore, let the season begin. The first two months of the year have been exceptionally busy in the S. Florida plant world. Day to day, week to week, it has been one plant-related event after another. This is always welcomed, along with a particularly warm and mild winter. Although we might not be ‘out of the woods’ just yet, reaching mid-February is always a milestone when calculating potential cold snaps. The winter has been mild -- yet on the dry side, but most of the palms here can’t complain. There has been one cold snap of note so far, during the fourth week of January, timed right at the beginning of the trade show TPIE which it usually occurs. I woke up to find 35°F (1.7°C) in my front yard. It didn’t last long and the day warmed up fast, so I had no damage, even on my sacrificial tell-tale plants.
      The nursery has been busy with plant sales around the state; with the Edison Estate Garden Festival two weekends ago in Ft. Myers and the always phenomenal and fun Key West Sale this past weekend. The plant selection process for these two sales were combined in a way to help accelerate the same process for the upcoming Extravaganza. The core of the selection has begun and will continue for the next two weeks leading up to the first Friday of the sale. As soon as I have the first draft of the palm list, I will post it as an attachment to showcase it as fast as possible. I have already received inquiries as to what plants will be offered this Spring, and I am sure there will be more. In addition to the plant sale, the topics of conversation I am sure will focus on a number of things, including the upcoming Biennial, which is about three months away.
      The Searle Brothers Plant Extravaganzas have become exciting plant events and a great way for IPS Members, Palmtalk Forum Members and fellow tropical palm & plant enthusiasts to come together and meet in the South Florida area. The events have always been a great way to spend a weekend (or two) in the company of those who share your passion for gardening and collecting tropical ornamental plants. To describe the events as just mere plant sales would be an understatement; as they have become much more in the form of social events for our friends and family. Forum members, friends and fellow plant collectors have all come from far and wide to attend and we are continuously surprised in the distances they will cover to share in the event. In regards to the following details, I have tried to include as much information about the upcoming Spring 'Ganza as I could. If you see something that you know should be included and it is absent, please post the idea(s) here or contact me, Jeff Searle or the nursery with the methods listed below and let us know...
       

       
      South Florida Location:
      Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc.
      6640 SW 172nd Avenue
      Southwest Ranches, Florida 33331
      Western Broward County
      *see Map below...

      Spring 2020 Schedule:
      Friday, March 6th - 8:00AM - 5:00PM
      Saturday, March 7th - 8:00AM - 5:00PM 
      Sunday, March 8th - 9:00AM - 4:00PM
      also, the following weekend...
      Friday, March 13th - 8:00AM - 5:00PM
      Saturday, March 14th - 8:00AM - 5:00PM
      Sunday, March 15th - 9:00AM - 4:00PM
       
      Barbecue Lunch:
      Our Famous Weekend Free BBQ Lunch
      First Weekend: (Saturday 11:00AM - 2:00PM) & (Sunday, 11:00AM - 2:00PM) (or until supplies last)

       
      Contact List:
      Nursery Office #: (954) 658-4319 Nursery Fax #: (954) 680-2750
      Nursery Website: https://www.rainforestcollection.com
      Jeff Searle: phone #: (954) 658-4317 Email: palms@rainforestcollection.com
      Private Message - Jeff Searle: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/messenger/compose/&to=23
      Ryan (Palmarum) Email: palmthetree@yahoo.com or PM me a message through the Forum
       
      Directions:
      The map below is a general street map of western Broward County, Florida showing the location of the nursery (Palm tree symbol). Using Sheridan Street would be the best option to get to the nursery if you are heading west through the area. If you are taking the Florida Turnpike, use the Griffin Road exit from the north, or the Pines Blvd. exit from the south. If you need any additional directions, please contact the nursery, Jeff or I (Ryan). When you get close to the nursery, look for large power lines as they run east and west above the nursery. Parking is along the shoulder of 172nd Avenue in front of, and down the street from, the nursery entrance. If you intend to arrive early before sunrise (and many usually do) be wary of hard-to-see speed bumps along 172nd Avenue and there is a possibility of a speed trap as well. There has been considerable construction along I-75 so the exits near Sheridan Street and Griffin Road have been changed slightly compared to previous years. Express lanes have been added to I-75, they may or may not make the trip faster.


      Plant Availability, Photo Requests:
      For plant availability including a copy of the ever-growing list of palms, cycads and other information regarding which plants and species will be for sale, please contact the nursery, Jeff Searle or I (Ryan). The plant selection process has already begun and will continue right up to the last day before the first morning of the Extravaganza, (sometimes even on the mornings of each event day if the need applies.) The sale lists for palms, cycads and crotons will be made available as soon as they are completed. Special selections might be pulled for sale as requests, but only if the plants are available. There will be certain species, varieties and cultivars that will only be available in limited quantities. These rarer plants will likely sell out quickly in the morning hours, so be sure to arrange your wish list accordingly. Plant groups may have been moved around the sales area, relocated or added in with others. In order to speed your way to your favorite plants please ask a nearby staff member or volunteer as to their location.
      Like with previous events, I will be able to provide preview photos of the actual plants for sale. They will be posted in this topic for those who are interested. Send me a message or an email with the names of the plants you would like to see. Sale booklets or sale lists will be made available at the Extravaganza. They will include the list of palms, cycads and crotons for sale. Brochure holders positioned along the main shade house sidewalk will have the booklets/sale lists and other information on display. As soon as I have a basic draft list of species and varieties for sale, I will be able to email or PM it to anyone who would want a copy and will post it here as an attachment. Each plant will be priced with either a lavender tag or will have the price written on the pot and/or on the display card or sign.


      Featured Plant Groups:
      The plant selection at the Extravaganza is constantly growing and changing. The largest and most diverse group is by far the Palms, of which there will be over 300 species available in various different sizes. The plant selection will include genera, species, hybrids, cultivars and varieties representing various plant families from around the world. A large number of Croton cultivars will also be on display as their demand has increased production to new levels. There are always new plants to be added to the selection, as the demand for new, exotic and unusual material remains constant...
      Palms:
      Aroids: - Bromeliads:
      Butterfly Plants: - Cycads: - Crotons:
      Cordylines: - Ferns: - Orchids:
      Heliconias, Gingers and other Zingiber order members: -
      Tropical Flowering Trees, Shrubs, & Vines:
      Succulents & Sansevierias:
      Landscape Ornamentals: - Tropical Fruit Trees:
      Rare and Unusual Exotic Species:
      One-of-a-Kind and Hard-to-Find wonders of the plant world: - … and much more:
      There is always a chance a newly cultivated & recently discovered species of tropical plant will make its way into the sales area.
       
      The Sale Flyer:
      The nursery will soon mail out sale flyers to everyone on our mailing list. If you are on the mailing list and do not receive one, please let Jeff or myself know. In addition, if you would like to be placed on the mailing list for future Extravaganza flyers, please send a message to Jeff or myself with your address.

      Plant Carts:
      We do provide a limited number of carts for customers to use, but it is recommended that you bring your own plant shopping conveyance. The carts do go quickly in the morning of each day, soon after the gates open and during busy periods. During the day when they are returned from the holding area or from the parking lot, they are placed back on the concrete pad across from the register area or near the holding area along the main road.

       
      Accommodations:
      A comfortable Hampton Inn is located within a short driving distance of the nursery. It has been used by our customers, volunteers and family members in the past who travel a long way to reach the 'Ganza and who require a comfortable place to stay. The Hampton Inn Pembroke Pines/Ft. Lauderdale West is located at the intersection of I-75 and Sheridan Street. (see map above...) It is further inside the commercial area connected via NW 146th Avenue off of Sheridan Street and is next door to the Cracker Barrel restaurant. If you like to inquire about the hotel, follow the link below:
      Hampton Inn Pembroke Pines - Fort Lauderdale West
      Link: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/fllwehx-hampton-ft-lauderdale-west-pembroke-pines/
       
      Previous Extravaganza:
      The Fall 'Ganza from last year was immortalized in a Forum topic made a few months back. It was a great fall plant event and it was wonderful to have so many in attendance. We had visitors from all over the country. I have included a link to the sale topic from this past Fall, showing the action from the event.
      Fall Extravaganza 2019
      Link: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/61805-the-21st-annual-fall-extravaganza-palms-company/


       
      Information and Invitation:
      If you need any more details regarding plants, directions, or anything that I have not included above, feel free to contact the nursery, Jeff Searle or myself by the methods listed above. Feel free to post any messages, questions, etc. in this topic. Jeff Searle, I and all the family members and volunteers look forward to meeting everyone including new and familiar Palmtalk Forum members and IPS members at the upcoming Extravaganza. Be sure to find one of us and introduce yourself. You will be sure to find other Forum members at the event as well, possibly walking right past you down an aisle or grabbing for the same plant. The entire Searle family and the mass of volunteers will be waiting to help you find that perfect plant.
       
      We hope to see you there!
      Ryan
       
       
      ╠══════════════════════════════════╣
    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      Edison & Ford Winter Estates
      Spring Garden Festival
      February 8th & 9th, 2020
      Fort Myers, Florida

       
      Link to Estate website: https://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/garden-festival-2/
      For the third time (overall) Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. and The Rainforest Collection® will be attending the Garden Festival at the historic Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Ft. Myers, Florida. This is our first time exhibiting at the Spring version of the Festival. The term Spring is used lightly, as it is the second weekend in February, but this event was scheduled to coincide with Thomas Edison's birthday (February 11th). The Fall Festival was just two months and one week ago, so it feels as if we were just there. It is probably the shortest-spaced Spring/Fall plant event in S. Florida. Our second Fall Festival was incredible, and even better than our first the year before. We were so busy I took few photos. We have been told by staff members and other vendors that the Spring Festival is often the larger and busier of the two.
      This topic was started a little late, as this is a crazy time of the year and this is one of the earliest plant sales we have ever done. The global plant trade show known as T.P.I.E was just last week and everyone got sick from it, blah.. myself included. As the sickness wanes and the room stops spinning, we are beginning to think of what plants to bring to the show. No surprise, Palms will be the featured plant group, with specimens of all sizes, with emphasis on bringing as many different species as we can. Crotons will also have a major spot in the booth, as they have a historical importance throughout the Edison Estate. The selection process is still fluid and changing every day, until the plants are loaded next week. We are taking any suggestions for what plants or plant groups to bring. If you think of anything, post it here or send a message. We are also taking advance sales on material we are bringing, plus we are doing Pre-orders on plants that we can bring across the state for those who are interested. To inquire about a Pre-order, contact Jeff Searle directly at the following methods...
      phone: (954) 658-4317 (or) email: palms@rainforestcollection.com
      Questions? Ideas? Post them here. Whenever I find out more info about what plants we are bringing I will try and post it here before the show.
      Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/RPRekH4pDQK2
       
      Ryan
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