This is only one of the lushly planted displays at the orchid show this weekend, complete with prize orchids and all manner of houseplants acting as a gorgeous verdant backdrop. It seems like their displays get better and better!
Above is a closeup of an orchid in one of the displays, bearing the most delicate lacy flowers imaginable. I wanted to feel the airy blooms so badly, but refrained from doing so... these "hobbyists" are hardcore and I'm sure they're packin'.
One of the vendors sold these amazing orchid mounts, consisting simply of long bamboo poles of an arm's thickness, hung vertically with openings carved out from each chamber for orchids to perch in. I really wish my budget was more flexible, though the price wasn't unreasonable at all. I'll keep this in mind for the spring festival at Kanapaha next year.
Of course you can simply mount your epiphytes on branches like the did in in the garden's tropical greenouse, seen in the photo above. By the way, I'm almost positive that this bromeliad is the same one that was in my centerpiece.
Another great alternative is to grow bromeliads in hypertufa pots, like these ones by "Almost Ancient Pots", based here in Jacksonville. Usually they're used for succulents, but epiphytes would also love the excellent drainage afforded by hypertufa.
Need some bromeliads to plant in your bamboo or hypertufa planters? The Gainesville bromeliad society has been my first stop every spring and fall, and most of my hardiest bromeliads come from them as many of them have been grown outdoors in the member's yards. The other brom societies might have bigger plant sales, but the Gainesville chapter really know their stuff when it comes to cold hardiness.
This stunning aechmea blanchetiana was next door. If you head to the booth immediately to the right of the brom society, you'll find a very knowledgeable gentleman whose name I do not recall, which stinks since I got a vriecantarea "inferno" from him last year and an arenga engleri from him this year. For those of you unaware, arenga engleri, or dwarf sugar palm, is a pretty cold hardy feather palm that clumps. More on that later, and back to the epiphytes.
Speaking of epiphytes, check out this brilliant epiphyllum, also known by the vague name of orchid cactus. I think I found something else to save up for.
I'll do a few more posts on Kanapaha, but I just thought I'd share this with you...
Guess who got garden of the month on the Costa Farms website? I did! I never win anything, so I'll probably be on an egotrip for the next week or so, since I'm so great and all. Here's the link, and make sure you sign up so you can submit your garden too! There's also a lot of great info on your favorite plants, along with some growing tips!