Flowering now

Some photos from a wander round my garden this week – having planted some seedling annuals at the weekend I can say that last night’s rain was timely but now we’ve had a day of good soaking rain, that’s probably enough!

Several Tillandsias (air plants – cousins to bromeliads) are offering some bright and unusual flowers.

Tillandsia heliconoides. Photo: Sandra Simpson

This pretty little Tillandsia above has green foliage (the vast majority have silvery-grey foliage) and may be one of the most neglected plants in my garden. It sits in an ornamental pottery bowl (no planting medium) and I leave it alone, apart from occasionally spraying it with the hose in summer!

But I reckon the most neglected plant in my garden may be this bromeliad below. The plants were in another (better) place until I got sick of the way they’d spread so were divided up and put under the oak tree – low light in summer, pretty dry all year round and no protection from the cold. And yet … they still flower.

Aechmea gamosepala, a bromeliad. I’m pretty sure the original plant was from Andrew Steens when he was selling through garden centres. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The alien-looking flower of Tillandsia punctulata, which will last for many months. Photo: Sandra Simpson

If a Tillandsia breaks or falls apart, don’t worry. You’ve now got two (or more) plants. They really are fool proof!

My friend Audrey has done something nifty with her beautifully grown collection (inside a small plant house) – recycled a greetings card sales stand to a Tillandsia plant stand.

A recycled card stand makes a nifty stand for Tillandsias. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Went up the back of Pahoia on Tuesday afternoon and passed a property that’s growing a commercial quantity of Phylica plumosa (among other things all in neat rows) – the tall plants looked lovely with the sunlight catching the fluffy flowers.

Phylica plumosa Golden Plume in my garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Phylica is native to South Africa where there are two types that look pretty much the same – Phylica plumosa and Phylica pubescens . Read more at this informative website.

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