Bromiliads Blooming

Not too much going on in the garden. The green beans are pickable and loaded with beans and blossoms. We’ll be picking these for at least a month, longer if we keep picking continuously. The late season cucumbers are done and all we got was half a dozen and those were not nearly as good as the spring grown ones. A couple of the tomato plants have blossoms and should have fruit before Thanksgiving. There are four acorn squash plants with plenty of squash attached. No telling how they’ll work out – depends on whether critters get them. We’re being promised a cold snap by the end of the week and that sometimes marks the end of the bug issues. I’ve transplanted starts of kale, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and cauliflower into the garden and planted new seeds for lettuce, chard, and Chinese cabbage. That’s the fourth cabbage variety planned for this year. The seeds stay in the house until they germinate, then get transferred to a flat and eventually to the garden. I also put in a 20’ row of green pea seeds. This is the second time on the peas. The first planting a month ago didn’t germinate at all, I’m thinking because it was just too hot. I have high hopes for all the new transplants and the peas because we had an inch of rain last night and could repeat that for the next two nights. The rain is the leading edge of the cold snap.

I’ve been mentioning the view area I cut through the jungle so we can see the lake from the living room. We can sit at the computer and check out the lake. That is until about 5 minutes ago. I was sitting at the computer and a giant branch from one of the dead bay trees broke off and landed perfectly to kill the view. It’s not windy and I didn’t see any crows landing or squirrels climbing out on the limb but it sure came down. If I had been standing there, I’d be dead meat. I’m just not going to mess with it today but it’ll take a couple hours with the chain saw tomorrow to restore the view. The dead tree is on our property for sure but it was overhanging the neighbor’s yard and that’s where it landed. This neighbor is a young guy renting the place and I know that branch could sit there for 100 years and he’d never clear it. I also know he couldn’t care less if I trespass and clear it myself. I also know the Home Owner’s Association (that would be me and George) doesn’t care one way or the other and would be perfectly happy letting it rot away over the next decade.

I mentioned that I was landscaping our park by moving jungle flora from place to place. Most of the plants are bromiliads. If you don’t know what a bromiliad is, they’re the tropical looking plants with cactus like foliage and plastic looking exotic blooms you see in big box stores. They’re air plants which means they don’t develop underground root structures but rather get their nourishment from above – leaves, water etc. Similar to orchids, you can set them in the crooks of trees, hollowed out tree trunks or in between exposed tree roots. They do quite well in the jungle because so many nutrients fall onto them and the sunlight is well filtered. Over the years I’ve bought some and traded some with friends so I have a fairly good variety. The way they propagate is to send out shoots along the bottom of the plant which turn into new plants so if you just leave them be, they’ll form a clump of individual but connected plants. You can break off the new plants and relocate or trade off as you want. So when I was doing the jungle landscaping, it was breaking off plants from large clumps and moving them to newly cleared areas. Now here’s the interesting part – each of the new plants is putting out a bloom. Usually you get one or maybe two blooms a year but apparently when you break off a new plant from the main clump, the new plant very quickly puts out a bloom – within a week of separation. I counted a dozen today walking down towards the lake. Here’s a few pic’s.

Bromiliad blooming already
Bromiliad blooming already
Slightly different variety
Slightly different variety

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