September 06, 2014

Bromeliad Tree in Progress

It's put together. I decided against concrete and Liquid Nails.

The purpose of making a bromeliad tree, besides wanting to make one was to see if I could squeeze more plants into a vertical space. In this pic, there are six Neoregelias. I think I added two more, 4 if you count the pups attached to a dying plant. There is a pot of Epiphyllum oxypetalum on a shelf behind which distracts from the Bromeliad tree. Many distractions are in its future as other plants move in.

I was so excited today when I realized that this old plant had 2 pups instead of the one I'd seen last week. I pulled off all the dead leaves and pressed into a space. I'm hoping the pups can take hold as the old plant dies off.

After all the Bromeliads were in place, I pressed lichen over the bare soil. I'm not sure this will be a permanent feature. It looks artificial.

Left over are 3 full sized Neoregelias,  2 small pups and a tiny pup growing from the root of a dead one.

I don't do well with the steps in the process getting recorded. I'm trying to fiddle with dirt and stones and pieces of brick and the camera just gets in my way. The light was poor, very cloudy.

Here's what I did:

  • Jammed the wood piece into a fiberglass pot that I gave a spritz of spray paint and fitted into a space I'd cleared for it in the greenhouse. I decided that if I put concrete and made this thing all in one piece, I would never be able to move it.
  • Filled in the spaces in the pot with bits of old bricks and mortar pieces I'd salvaged. Left room at the top for at least one large plant.
  • Once I was sure the wood piece was secure, I started placing plants. I learned, too late, to put the top plants in first so soil doesn't fall into the cups and leaves of the plant below. 
  • Plants are wedged into spaces where I thought they could best take root. So far they're in place with just damp soil. I'll decide whether they need spahgnum moss around the root mass as time goes by. I decided that chemicals in Liquid Nails might not be good for plants. Twine, raffia and wire are all possibilities.
The greenhouse is in disarray. Everything had to shift to free up this one space. Kitty was upset because his regular pathway to high places was destroyed. Maybe it will all come together before late October.


Alison said...

I'm sure you made the right choice in not using concrete and liquid nails. I'm planning to wrap the roots of mine in moss and maybe even a layer of burlap first, under the moss. Of course the first thing I need to do is find a nice sturdy branch or piece of driftwood. I like the lichens. It may look artificial because you're not used to seeing lichens and moss covering the branches of trees. Here it's very natural, we see it all the time. I think yours could benefit from some Spanish moss hanging from it. So far I love what you've done, even if the kitty doesn't.

outlawgardener said...

Your bromeliad tree is looking very nice & I like the lichen but maybe that's just because of the photograph. It'll all come together in the greenhouse! It always does, right?

Jean Campbell said...

I went back and looked and the lichen looks better in person than in the picture.

I think Spanish Moss, too, Alison. I just didn't take time yesterday to go gather moss (does that make me a rolling stone?).

Alison, I thought about shipping you a lichen laden piece but when I looked at shipping costs, it might be cheaper if I rode the bus up there with it in my lap.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

It looks like a living sculpture...I am not just blowing smoke..those are extremely nice....

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