It's hard to believe that it was just over a year ago when I sent Fern Richardson photos of my balcony garden for her book, Small Space Container Gardens. It's even more unbelievable to see a full page profile of my very own balcony on page 137! While the book is a wonderfully inspiring treasure trove of eye candy, I can't in good conscience give a review since it would be a bit biased. Instead, I'll tell you how my balcony has changed and... what the heck. I'll give a copy to one lucky reader too! If you like the neat little projects that I've been posting here at The Rainforest Garden, you just have to check out the lush ferns and bromeliads in the chapter devoted to vertical gardening. Or the chapter about succulents. Or edibles. I really do love the whole book, and not just page 137. The photo of my balcony in Small Space Container Gardens was shot from a distance, and it gives a view of hanging baskets and tillandsias draping down and filling the space. The second photo isn't of my own balcony, but the Woolly Pocket surely wouldn't look out of place! I loved my balcony back then, but it's really come a long way in the last year. Let me give you the grand tour and I'll reward you at the end with a chance to win the book! Present Day While the plants are mostly the same, I have since moved the Tillandsias and many of the hanging baskets to let in more of that valuable light, and I've added heavy metal baskets to the ledge to organize and support my burgeoning collection of horticultural treasures. I've also planted many of my bromeliads and saplings in the apartment complex. Since my mother was losing her home, our property manager was more than willing to let me add a garden of unusual tropical plants to the grounds. The area pictured is essentially devoid of any soil, since the tree's roots have filled every available space. Luckily, these bromeliads and ferns don't need soil! Dendrobiums perfume the air, epiphytic cacti and bromeliads surprise the residents with their sporadic blooms, and the nearby palms, gingers and Alocasias impart a lush tropical feel. Most recent of the changes to my balcony was the addition of a huge hunk of driftwood which I've planted with an Ardisia, Rhipsalis and bromeliads. Two wall brackets hold the installation in place and evenly distribute the weight. The Ardisia rootball had already been growing sans-container wrapped in sphagnum moss, but now I've tied it to the driftwood and tucked in more moss between the spaces. Wrapping it all up with a bit of twine. Afterwards I tucked in a few bromeliads and checked the time. The whole project took less than thirty minutes, and I still had time to make another rainforest drop! Okay, so you want to win the book? You don't have to jump through any hoops or anything, just leave a comment and I'll randomly draw a name on May 2nd. Even if you don't win, it's only $13.57 on Amazon, for those of you with both a small garden and a small budget. .
Species: Epidendrum sp.; Botanical Family: Orchidaceae; Common name: Reed Orchid, Epidendrum Orchid, Clustered Flowers Orchid
When my kids surrendered — actually, fled — the back yard in early adolescence, I replaced them with perennials. At first, anything that survived and flowered became my favorite. Then I demanded...
cultivated, South Miami, Florida, USA.