I don’t know about you but I’m a complete sucker for a decent plant display. Imagine my delight to find a lush and colourful bromeliad collection by the WA Bromeliad Society smack bang in the middle of my local shopping centre last weekend.
Bromeliads (pronounced BRO-MEEL-EE-ADS) are NOT difficult to grow and are fabulous in vertical walls, shady side gardens and under trees and in frog gardens. Like succulents, many of them are very forgiving, and these ones (bottom right pic) under the tree are Bilbergias, probably one of the toughest brom species. Probably our most commonly known bromeliad one is the pineapple and to my knowledge, the only edible one in this family.
Back to the bromeliad display. While the sensible part of me reminded myself that I had absolutely no more room for any more plants, the greedy gardener part of me thought otherwise…. I just can’t resist unusual plants, particularly beautiful and locally bred ones like the ones which soon found themselves filling my shopping basket.
While I was there, I took a quick video and interviewed Vic Przetocki - a walking bromeliad encyclopedia – to get all the dirt on how to grow these lovely plants. I'm still learning how to put the thing on youtube so for now, you'll have to be content with these still photos.... I love this one of Tillandsia woman - isn't she beautiful?
If you are interested in learning more about how to grow these beauties, or indeed, buying some interesting specimens which are hard to find at the local garden centre; the WA Bromeliad Society meets at 2pm on the 3rd Sunday of each month (except for December) at the Rotary Hall in Sandgate St, South Perth.
There are expert talks, plant sales, a library, afternoon tea and demonstrations by members. My idea of heaven.
So, if you feel like exploring a whole new feast of plants which, once they're in the right place, usually take very little care, why not experiment with some bromeliads?