Epiphyte Inspiration From Kanapaha

Since you all had horrible excuses for not visiting Kanapaha this weekend, and I am kidding by the way, I'll treat you to some inspiring photos and ideas brought to you by the innovative vendors and the local chapter of the American Orchid Society, since there was also a stunning orchid show!

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!


  1. That looks as though it was a great show to attend, pity it is soooo far away. I love that idea of orchids in little slots in bamboo - we have lots of bamboo lying around, so I might have to try to make one.

  2. oh sorry I meant to also say congratulations!

  3. Congrats on winning the garden of the month!

    The cactus orchid is really beautiful. I love the aechmea plant also (pictured before the cactus orchid). Thanks for showing all these cool plants!

  4. Congrats on your garden of the month win. That's great. I really enjoyed this little tour and all the lovely plants and flowers from this show.


  5. Congratulations Steve! Your tropical garden in the northern part of Florida is very worthy of the award. So go ahead and keep the big head for a while.

    Thanks for the tour of the Kanapaha show. Great idea on the bamboo orchid hangers. I need to be on the lookout for something just like that now that I have more orchids.

  6. Ooh, love that red epiphyllum! And that amazing fringy orchid! It reminds me of the blooms of the fringe tree. Do you know its name? I spent last weekend just north of Jacksonville, on a coastal island of Georgia. It is amazing that they seem to be in a very similar growing zone for the most part as my area, yet so much farther north. I did visit a nursery there and was tempted by a striking (though nameless as usual) bromeliad. It would have come home with me were it not so pricy. I do wish we had better plant shopping here in the valley.

    Congratulations on winning Garden of the Month! I have just popped over to the website and there your garden was! I do believe about 90% of my garden began life at Costa Farms, as that is the name I see on the tag of most of my plant purchases. I'm guessing they supply Wal-Mart and Lowe's.

  7. Hi Steve...Congrats on winning garden of the month. That bamboo orchid holder was a really cool idea. It seems like they're always coming up with something new. And, those hypertufa pots...oh, I want one or two!

  8. Congratulations on your WIN!!!!! I will check out the link!!! Kanapaha looked oh so beautiful! That last shot of the orchid cactus is just so amazing...hanging there like it is the only thing worth seeing in the whole world. Interesting perspective with that...people all hurrying around, and may have missed this one absolutely gorgeous little thing...just hanging there so innocently!

  9. What a nice write up over at Costa Farms!!! You deserved to win! Great job, Steve!!!
    BTW...those bamboo holders made me think of a bamboo lamp I bought at a craft show a few years ago and thought you might like to see it! It is hanging in my screenroom and I just adore it! My bamboo lamp.

  10. Danger garden:
    Thanks! I loved your last post!

    Thanks! I'm definitely going to try and buy one next year, as I have no bamboo lying around.:(

    The cactus bloom was so pretty, and I wish I coughed up the very reasonable sum for it... on a budget though.

    I'll be sure to share some more too! Thanks for the congrats!

    That's so nice of you to say! Apparently it was my rain garden that made the difference. I'll have to get one of those hangers too, and they'd look so nice on my balcony!

    I'm not sure on the name of the orchid, though I'm keeping an eye out. The sea islands of GA are really nice and quiet... my sister actually got married there! I hate it when broms are unnamed too, but go figure, the ones I bought from kanapaha were unlabeled but known to be cold hardy. Works for me!

    On that website for almost ancient pots, she shows you how to make your own! Playing in the mud does sound fun to me...

    I just love your description of the orchid picture, and that really is how it felt to me too. I was tempted to keep the background more blurry, but I wanted to give a sense of setting. That bamboo lantern you posted is so cool! It would look awesome surrounded by jungle plants and maybe with a little mist... it would be like a magical rainforest! Thanks for your very sweet words...

  11. Hey RG
    That brilliant red epiphyllum grows round here in posh gardens, tho I'm not sure how it likes colder winters. For that matter, I've seen it thriving in Portland, but again, not sure if it's given winter protection.
    Still, I'm in lust! Haven't grown it meself;~D


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