Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bromeliad me!

The brain has  been silent in the past few weeks but this week it was jump started by great sites. important one.  Monday was a very exciting day at work.  My team and I had the opportunity to visit a few green houses in Samoa.  It was a day for shiny eyes, a nice change from the pink eye disease! (I I have been resilient thus far) There were soft pinks, peach, dramatic burnt orange, sweet lavender, gutsy black, earthy browns, royal velvet blue and misty white plants to covet.  You can imagine the 'ooohs' 'ahhhhs' and 'wow wows' from my team when we feasted our eyes on the beautiful plants. Interestingly, there were not many native  plants under the green nets.  Perhaps the native plants can grow easily, requiring less assistance from the growers unlike those that are imported.  Imported plants require more attention and care so they can adapt and grow successfully.

One plant that is new to Samoa, taking up residence in all the green houses is the very flamboyant  Bromeliad.  If it was a person, I'd compare it to an unpredictable designer of futuristic things or creator of  impracticable outfits that can never be worn with a normal face.

The Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) are a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species originally from the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and in west Africa.  The most well known bromeliad is the pineapple. The family contains a wide range of plants including some very un-pineapple like members such as Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish nor a moss). In general they are inexpensive (not in Samoa), easy to grow, require very little care, and reward the grower with brilliant, long lasting blooms and ornamental foliage. They come in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants (Bromeliad Society International, 2014).   Like Samoans, Bromeliads have learned the art of adaption which means they can grow in a number of different climates. 

Within the last hundred years, bromeliads have become more widely used as ornamental plants. Originally only found in royal botanical gardens or the private greenhouses of wealthy Europeans, their popularity has spread to the masses. Today bromeliads are more available to the enthusiast than ever before. New species are still being discovered and plant breeders are developing ever more stunning hybrids to choose from(Bromeliad Society International, 2014)

 I have a few of these plants in my garden and I have to say both the leaves and flower compete for attention.  A well painted plant that is great for pot plants or shaded gardens around the house.  Similar to my other favourite plant, anthuriums, bromeliads enjoy mild sun shine and a lot of shade, depending on the species. 

Some of the common species of bromeliads include Earth Star, Urn Plant, Scarlet Star,Flaming Sword, Blushing Bromeliad, Pink Quill (Booth, 2006)We had a great time visiting the green houses.  The day ended too soon with a brilliant sunburn and we were still discussing the gardens two days after.  Since Easter is upon us, this visit reminded me that the end result is not necessarily the best reward.  Think of the hard work that goes into creating and tending to all these gardens.   Robert Louis Stevenson said  “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” While so many of us are out smelling the flowers, we do hope more people are planting some.  If we don't plant, we'll have nothing but grass.   As much as we'd like to find out the purpose for most  things, I'd like to think that plants exist for our enjoyment.  Happy Easter everyone.

Ehhh..your grandmother was hot too!

My vision fulfilled When Dr A (fiancee) proposed 2 new years ago, I suggested a photo shoot of some sort. Of course being shy with ...