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Author Topic: From the horses mouth teh truth about Berties Bronze and BGB  (Read 805 times)

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Received this from Sakkie Nel and this is the truth about these famous plants
The origin of “Bertie’s Bronze”.

The late Bing Wiese bred this plant in his nursery with orange bronze (Ox - blood) flowers with a very dark green throat.
The late Joe Pretorius worked as an architect and lived in Charles Street Menlo Park. Although Joe’s first love in the plant world was orchids, he did succeed in obtaining about 350 quality clivia plants from various raisers. One of these plants was an offset (sucker) obtained from Bing Wiese of the Bronze plant.
Joe Pretorius died in 1996 and his widow asked Bing to evaluate the clivia collection on a basis that he and the late Uncle Ammie Grobler would buy everything.
Eventually Bertie Guillaume and Geoff Meyer bought Joe’s plants for double the price of the evaluation. Bertie calls his plant “Bertie’s Bronze”. “Bertie’s bronze” already made six offsets and Geoff’s three since 1996. At the auction in Pietermaritzburg KZN in September 2002 Bertie sold a Bertie’s Bronze offset for R13600.00 to Joe Dana of California. (Joe Dana also paid the second highest price R8600.00 for a yellow Caulescens of Bertie Guillaume.)
Unfortunately Bing’s plant has never produced another offset for himself or anybody else and as the plant is sterile to its own pollen, no seed were ever produced. The mother plant eventually died and it left Bing Wiese empty handed as far as his famous “Bronze” is concerned!
I spoke to Bing about registering his named clivias with Ken Smith but he is not only reluctant but actually refuses, because he says he foresee “one hell of a train smash” Bing Wiese always said that he prefers to be rather a “grower than a shower”.

The story behind "Bronze Green Boy”
Clivia Society Newsletter Volume 12 No 4 summer 2003 pp. 7-8.

In September 1998 my wife Geraldine and I were walking our dog and passed a home where a number of clivias were flowering in the garden. We were looking over the fence admiring them and were invited in by owners, Mr.  & Mrs. Hannes Slabbert.  They were not overly keen clivia growers but enjoyed the display of orange clivia in their garden.
While looking at the clivias we spotted one with an unusual brickish color. Hannes told us that he had bought three orange Clivias at a nursery in Johannesburg before moving down to George and one of them turned out to be the clivia with the unusually dark color. We were offered a shoot, whereupon I took the smallest shoot, and suggested that Hannes place the rest of the plant in a pot in his atrium. This he did, and I promised to give him a shoot of my Red 'Geraldine'. I did not realize the potential of the plant we were dealing with at the time.
After our introduction to Hannes he became interested in clivias and paid a visit to Hennie Koch to purchase a few plants. Hennie went out to the house and saw the potential of the plant. In exchange for a larger shoot Hennie gave Hannes some of his good plants. Hennie then sold this plant for R6 000 while he was in Johannesburg.
During September 2000 the shoot I had taken in 1998 flowered for the first time, and I took it down to Cape Town for their show. This set the cat amongst the pigeons. It was a hit from the time it was first seen. On my return to George I had a phone call from Louis Swanepoel offering me R3 000 for the plant, but it was not for sale. At the same time I gave him details of where I had obtained the plant. He contacted Hannes and exchanged a number of his good plants for a very large shoot. I received a phone call from Louis to decide on a name for the plant. I was keen to name it 'Chardenay' but after discussion with Hannes and Louis the more descriptive name of 'Bronze Green Boy’ was given. The shoot shown by Louis won the 'Best on Show’ at the Championship Show in Pietermaritzburg in 2002. I believe an offer of R25 000 was turned down. Louis has arranged to have a portrait of this show winner painted.
Thus the demand and value of 'Bronze Green Boy' was established. The plant that Hannes kept had a problem but sent up four shoots to counter the problem, as we all know clivias do. Hennie sold the four shoots to different growers at R10 000 each.
'Bronze Green Boy' is a plant deserving of all the praise that it gets. The plant that Geraldine and I have, won the 'Best on Show' at the Port Elizabeth show this year.
It is with deep regret that I inform Clivia Society members reading this article about the death of Hannes Slabbed. Quite soon after making contact with him he was diagnosed as having cancer. He passed away in August. With the help of his interest in clivias he, with the support of his charming wife Rica, showed great strength in fighting this dreaded disease. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Rica and family. We look back at the last three years of his life knowing that he enjoyed every minute of his interest in clivia.
The above information is the history of 'Bronze Green Boy’, which I trust is of interest to clivia growers.
Ian Vermaak.


Off – sets of Bronze Green Boy.

Louis Swanepoel’s bronze won the best on show as well as best green throat on the show in KZN in 2002 and he refused an offer of R26 000.00 for his winning plant from Joe Dana.
The late Hannes Slabbert of George was a humble, genuine gentleman who Louis still remembers with much fondness today. Hannes Slabbert bought five plants about forty years ago from a small nursery near the Hartebeespoortdam and planted them in a flowerbed. One of them later proved to be the wonderful bronze colored flower plant of Louis. Hannes knew that Louis imported some Chinese stock and he swopped a bronze mother plant with Louis for some Chinese plants. Louis talked to Hannes about a name for the beauty and suggested “Slabbert Green Boy”, but Hannes would have nothing of it and said that Louis must please choose a name for it. He was very satisfied with Louis’ choice of “Bronze Green Boy”. The first offset of Louis’ plant went to Glynn Middlewick who also calls his plant “Bronze Green Boy”. Pikkie Strumpher, Mick Dower and Gert Esterhuizen are proud owners of offsets from Glynn. Other members who also bought offsets from Louis are Dawie Strydom, Chris Viljoen, Chris Smit, Keith Rose and Maylene Turner.

Glynn pointed out that Bertie’s Bronze and Bronze Green Boy are very similar in appearance and very difficult to distinguish from each other. Both are infertile (to its own pollen) and prone to fungus attack.

My very good friend Oom Frans Gerber passed away on the 9 th November 2003.
Oom Ammie Grobler died in September 2004.
Bing passed away on Saturday the 17 th June 2006

By putting this in writing I am not trying to discredit anybody or anything. I am merely dotting down facts as club member friends gave them to me. I spoke to people like Bing Wiese, Bertie Guillaume, Oom Ammie Grobler, Oom Frans Gerber, Geoff Meyer, Louis Swanepoel, Claude Keytel, Tino Ferero, Koos Geldenhuys, Chris Vlok and Peter Lambert.
If There are Members who has Photos please post
Thanks Sakkie for the permission to post this article
Regards
Martin

Martin
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Re: From the horses mouth teh truth about Berties Bronze and BGB
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 15:09:15 »
The original Bertie's Bronze in USA.  For privacy reasons, this picture is all I can share.

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Re: From the horses mouth teh truth about Berties Bronze and BGB
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 16:41:59 »
Thanks Maria
It has a stunning colour, no wonder it is so Popular after many years
Thanks for posting
Regards
Martin
Martin
cell 0839375216
home 0126561904
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Re: From the horses mouth teh truth about Berties Bronze and BGB
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 16:57:45 »
You're welcome Martin.  I don't think this is it's true color in person though as the former owner seems to be not into taking good pics of his collection.  Looks like a flash was used in taking this picture.  This Bertie's Bronze was planted in the ground.
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