The Garden Glub of Trinidad | We go to Brazil and visit Wendy.
It seems that there are a lot of plant entries in the Journal lately. This one joins the collection and is all about our Garden Club April's Gathering. I am still feeling very privileged to be part of this tight-knit club of Gardeners here in Trinidad. All so passionate. All so unique. In April, last month, Aaron and I went on a road trip to Brazil, right here in Trinidad to Ms. Wendy Lee Yuen's Garden. The drive was one of the first for me in that area. I remember commenting to Aaron that I love how well kept the road side is and how lush and green the greenry is.
Off the bat, you're greeted by an unsuspecting home tucked away off the main road, on an informal dirt path through the lush tropical forest. The front lawn/ garden area is neatly manicured, so perfect that anyone may think twice before stepping foot onto it. But Wendy promises that nowhere is off limits and encourages us to explore.
Just past the house, there are three distinct areas of potted plants. Semi-formal and formal covered nurseries border the north of the house. The main one filled with Bromeliads and Succulents. Occasionally you'd notice other species and other tropical plants, of which I am not yet knowledgeable enough to call by name, but there Bromeliads and Succulents predominately in under the main shaded structure. Bromeliad and Succulent lovers would go completely crazy and can get complexity lost surrounded by the large collection we discovered by Wendy's.
Aaron retreated to our meeting area and I got in capturing moments behind the camera, some of them I have shared with you here.
I do not yet know Wendy personally but I'd like to think she's got a thing for Bromeliads and Succulents. I'd like to think also that that means something. Something unique.
Bromeliads, I must admit I am for the first time actually paying attention to them, much thanks to this visit. Succulents, I love and have always been drawn to.
Did you know that the pineapple is a Bromeliad? I've learned that while it is the only edible Bromeliad it is also the most commonly know.
According to Bromeliad Society International, Bromeliads are members of a plant family known as Bromeliaceae (bro-meh-lee-AH-say-eye). The family contains over 3000 described species in approximately 56 genera. The most well-known bromeliad is the pineapple. The family contains a wide range of plants including some very un-pineapple like members such as Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish nor a moss). Other members resemble aloes or yuccas while still others look like green, leafy grasses.
In general, they are inexpensive, easy to grow, require very little care, and reward the grower with brilliant, long-lasting blooms and ornamental foliage. They come in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants. They can be grown indoors in cooler climates and can also be used outdoors where temperatures stay above freezing.
The Bromeliad Society International, continued to explain that with few exceptions, Bromeliad flower stalk is produced from the center of the rosette. The stalk (or scape as it is called), may be long with the flowers held far away from the plant (either erect or hanging pendantly) or the scape may be short with the flowers nestled in the rosette. The scape may produce a single flower or many individual flowers and may have colorful leaf-like appendages called scape bracts that serve to attract pollinators and delight bromeliad enthusiasts. With rare exceptions, bromeliads only flower a single time - once the plant stops producing leaves and produces its flower, it will not start making leaves again. It will, however, vegetatively produce new plantlets called "offsets" or "pups". These plants will feed off the "mother" plant until they are large enough to set roots of their own and survive as a separate plant. The mother may sometimes survive a generation or two before finally dying off. Pups are usually produced near the base of the plant - inside the sheath of a leaf. Sometimes, however, pups may be produced on long stolons or atop the inflorescence (flower spike) of the mother plant. The green, leafy top of a pineapple is in fact a pup that may be removed and planted to start a new plant.
Full disclosure, when I first saw the notification for April's Garden Club Gathering and our hosts name, Ms. Wendy Lee Yuen, I was immediately excited. I knew of the name Wendy lee Yuen thought my mother's experiences landscaping as I believed mummy attending a course on Landscaping with Wendy's many years ago. I did a quick google search and spend some time lost online reading about Wendy and added the meeting time and date to my calendar, saving the date.
With love from Freeport, until happily visiting another local gardeners' paradise.
I often wonder what our plant choices say about us. What we can learn about each other through the plants we are drawn to. Do you love Bromeliads or are you more of a succulent type?