Rise of the Bromeliads

Lately I have been doing a lot of gardening. It's incredibly satisfying. We’ve moved into a house with a small attached greenhouse, and that has inspired a growing collection of plants both edible and ornamental.

It was a bit of a rocky beginning as I tried to learn to control the heat in there. It's a small space and can heat up really fast. Fortunately there is a small fan hooked to a thermometer for venting periodically. Between that and spraying water on occasion I think I have things regulated pretty well.

So far I have in there a couple of Basil plants which are thriving and have already seen service in a few meals. There's a jalapeño plant which is flowering now, and should start fruiting soon. A tomato plant is showing some signs of being not entirely miserable, and a few other flowering plants are also doing fairly well.

This past weekend we went out to Saturday Market, and picked up a Tillandsia plant, also known as an air plant, from Curious Garden. These are plants that grow entirely on other plants, but aren't parasitic. They feed on nutrients taken from dust in the air and on the surface of whatever they attach to and take water from the ambient moisture and occasional rainfall. There are a few hundred species of them, found in a variety of climates.

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This one I am not sure of the exact species, but it's real cute. It came in a nautilus shell, but they had all kinds of hand blown glass enclosures for them as well. It seems to be pretty easy to care for so far, only requiring water a couple times a week and a good soak once a month.

I can definitely imagine becoming addicted to collecting these little guys, they’re so weird and pretty. They almost seem alien, especially presented as this one was in his little shell.

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