Visiting plant people in other countries (was: What's the deal with Hippeastrum arboricolum?)

Lee Poulsen
Fri, 23 Jul 2010 07:55:51 PDT
Can I just put in a strong encouragement/suggestion for the idea of 
making the attempt to visit plant people if you ever get the opportunity 
to travel to another country (or even to another part of  your own 
country, especially for the large ones like the U.S. or Australia for 
example)? Plant people, for some reason I don't know, seem to be several 
notches above the average person in being really cool human beings.

I haven't gotten to do this as much as someone like Mary Sue has gotten 
to do. But it has been, without a doubt, one of the funnest things to 
do. Whether you're traveling elsewhere just to do it, or because work or 
something else gives you the opportunity to do so, I think you will find 
it to be a wonderful experience.

Work has sent me to Argentina several times in the past year. So I made 
the effort to spend an extra day in Buenos Aires on a couple of 
occasions. On one of these, I managed to spend quite some time with the 
elusive, but extremely knowledgeable Alberto Castillo. It was a 
wonderful experience. He even showed me his collection! (Should I have 
not revealed that, Alberto?) And although most of it happened to be 
dormant when I went, it was truly a marvel to see. I was on my best 
behavior, however. So even though many items caused a great amount of 
bulb-lust, I managed to not steal anything at all.    ;-)   (He did give 
me some seeds from some seedpods that happened to be ripe during this 
visit.)  And we talked of many things. We even debated a little, but it 
was totally worthwhile and even enjoyable, and I hope to have another 
opportunity to see him again in the next year.

On a more recent trip, I managed to finally get together with the 
Mariano who wrote (below). Like Josh Young, he is another young 
(20-something) plant lover. And quite a joy to have a conversation with. 
In fact, we talked and talked and talked so much that he had to ride 
with me to the airport for my flight home so we could keep talking. I 
barely made my international flight, but it was totally worth it to have 
met and conversed with Mariano. (BTW, both of them speak outstanding 
English, even though they were kind enough to let me mix in some of my 
poorer Spanish into the conversation. And we talked of many other things 
besides just plants, believe it or not.  ;-)   )   And of course Mariano 
and I teased/tantalized each other with some of the desirable things 
we're each growing that the other would like to have.

The reverse situation is just as much fun: Inviting a foreign plant 
person to stay with you if they visit your area. Or at least come visit 
your collection. (I've had both Uli from Germany and Bill Dijk from New 
Zealand stay at my place and had great conversations about plants and 
other things. And even Mary Sue herself came down to southern California 
on one occasion and visited my collection.)

So if you ever get the chance to go to Argentina (a wonderful country), 
you should really try to hook up with Mariano or Alberto (if he'll let 
you)   ;-)  or other people who also live there. (I'd like to watch Josh 
and Mariano meet and talk...) Same for anyplace else. As good as the 
contributions on PBS are from people from all over the world, it's an 
even better experience IMO to meet any of them in person.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a wrote:
>    Mariano:
> Thanks so much for the timely contribution.  It's great to hear from all corners of the globe in one day.
> Arnold
> Hot sweaty New Jersey 10 miles from Manhattan
>     Wishing I could have been of any help and sending my warmest regards from a cold night in Buenos Aires.
>     Yours sincerely, Mariano Saviello

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