"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Just hanging around


We were given a piece of an airplant - Tillandsia - many, many years ago (like 20 years ago lol)

As it grew, I broke off / picked up pieces of fallen plant and slung it wherever a suitable spot caught my eye.
If youo look carefully at the pic you can see the
 flower - plus plenty of buds which have yet to open)
Two of the places I put a piece was on the ficus benjaminus plants which reside in pots by our front entrance patio steps.  (Ficus benjaminus have such invasive roots we dare not plant them in the garden.  There is a park in Cape Town - Ardene Gardens - that has fig tree with similarly invasive roots.  The roots are almost large enough to hide in http://www.ardernegardens.org.za/champion-trees/ and then look at the Moreton Bay Fig).  My motivation for putting them round the base of the ficus benjaminus was so that they could act as soil shade plants.  That has worked well too.

This year we have been rewarded for the first time with our perseverance with the Tillandsia.

One of the plants has flowered.
Doesn't it look amazing!!
A closeup of the Tillandsia airplant flower 
It's hard to believe that such a prehistoric looking plant can produce such a delicate, orchid-like flower.

Naturally, I immediately scoured the other 7 plants we have dotted round the place, but only this one has flowers.

Stunning - and so well worth the wait.  Why it took so long to flower I have no idea?!  And why the others aren't flowering - with the same care (or lack thereof) as this plant, I also can't figure out.

They are not difficult plants to grow - and are quite drought resistant.  We merely hung them up and sprayed them with water whenever we watered other plants round it.  We have never fed it either - we didn't know we should lol

If you'd ike more info on the Tillandsia :

http://maree-clarkson.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/air-plant-tillandsia.html

By the way - for those readers of my blog who live in, or near, Cape Town - if you visit the Ardene Gardens, try and spot the really o-l-d tap on one of the paths that run through the gardens.  It has fascinated me since I was a child playing in that park on our frequent family weekend visits.  I did, once upon a time, take a pic of the tap - but, given that it is at least 30 years since I took the pic, where it is now I haven't got a clue...

4 comments:

1st Man said...

I had NO idea those bloomed. I had one for a few years that I took care of and then when I moved from one apart to another, i think it blew off or fell off and I lost it. I like the idea of them for soil shade.

The flower is stunning, thanks for sharing!!!

Dani said...

1st Man - You're so right - they are wonderful soil shade plants, but they don't grow in the soil.

Fancy you having had one too - that's amazing :D

possumqueensa said...

Wow, those flowers are really beautiful. My local charity shop has one dangling in front of their door. One dark night, wearing a balaclava, I shall slip out of my house and snip snip.

Dani said...

pqsa - I'm sure if you ask them, they'll let you have a piece. Otherwise, find your way here... ;)