Although I've mostly talked about the garden at my mom's place, my balcony is the garden I get to see every day as an extension of my home. I can't grow veggies and herbs since its north facing, and succulents usually end up a bit leggy, but its perfect for my epiphyte collection since rainforest plants are accustomed to deep shade anyways! Since I am perched on the second floor of an apartment building, I figured an epiphytic theme was just perfect. I hope to someday make wall art using epiphytes much like designers use succulents in living walls. Here are some shots.
Up top you can see a coupe of my rhipsalis, or mistletoe cacti draping down luxuriantly over a fiddle leaf fig, my ti plants, some palms, seedlings and a collection of bromeliads. Hanging baskets give an extra dimension to the rainforest garden, bringing to mind branches festooned with exuberant growth!
This is my favorite "container", a rainforest in a centerpiece. Its a hollowed out piece of tree fern trunk filled with some bark and planted with vriesea bromeliads, rhipsalis, easter cactus, an encyclia orchid and some white tillandsias. Its very easy to care for, and I've gone weeks without watering it before. I'm honestly not sure what species of bromeliads are included in it, but the vriesea responds to the epiphytic situation by having nicely colored leaves. In spring or summer they'll bloom again, possibly alongside the fragrant encyclia that its growing with.
Here's a hanging bromeliad ball of a nice white tillandsia. I used to mist it dutifully every day, but it seems fine without the extra attention.
This is the mistletoe cactus that I did a profile of earlier, and its putting out a ton of new shoots! I think its time to take some cuttings before it gets too heavy!
This is my seed starting area, using an awesome bakers rack that resembles a fire escape.. To the left are some rhipsalis and dragonfruit seedlings I started from fruits, to the right of that is a surinam cherry seedling, also started from a fruit. To the right of those is a collection of natives started from collected seeds including wild coffee, magnolia and coontie. I hope to someday plant this same container in a garden, many repottings later of course. In the back and to the right are various succulents getting started, and the empty containers are failed seedlings, unable to survive the fungus gnats. Does anyone know how to get rid of those darn bugs?
Three of my vrieseas are starting to bloom! I got a bunch of these for a buck each last year after Christmas, so its nice to see it pay off.
A lineup of Oncidiums and bromeliads. The oncidiums have proven to be just as easy as bromeliads to care for, which is to say that they are super-easy to care for.
I hope you enjoyed the tour! Remember that you can create a sanctuary no matter where you live by bringing nature into your living space.