Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cheaters Sometimes Prosper

If I was going to draw my gardening tendencies in pie chart format, I'd have a larger than you might expect sized wedge to represent my collection of and affection for what I think of as "Cheater Pots".
These are not native plants, they benefit only the most local of wildlife, if I'm counting myself and my family members in that category.  Typically they are tropical, always they are impulse buys. I justify their presence by using them to liven up our mantel for a special occasion, or to park by the front or back door when heat and drought have reduced our longer views to a whole lot of Tired.
Like many grocery store plants, these are easy to care for, thriving with little effort.  Over the years we have accumulated a few Spath plants, a handful of orchids and numerous bromeliads.  Eventually they all move under The Hub's ongoing care, earning a spot between periods of bloom in the greenhouse he keeps.
Because while I like cheater pot foliage just fine, and a few of them are particularly striking in appearance, it is and always has been the blooms I am drawn to.  Once those blooms fade it is out! Out to the greenhouse and out of sight, until and unless their blooms reappear.  Or at least that used to be the case.
Last year when we were slated to be gone for ten days,The Hub decided it would be beneficial to take the cheater pots out of the easily overheated greenhouse and nestle them into the ground cover on either side of the path. This area is shaded under large live oaks, dotted with a small collection of gazing and other ornamental "balls" and also hosts our original large bird bath.

It is also, not so incidentally, close to the door way of the garage, a spot where The Hub routinely stands to puff on a cigar and survey his domain.  The effect of the various bromeliads in proximity this way is delightful, and one of the few examples of any sort of massed "plantings" in our spaces.  After coming back from our trip last year The Hub and I agreed. We liked them much better "Out" of the greenhouse.  This year I couldn't wait to see them lifted from obscurity and back on full display.
Reblooming Bromeliads, Spath plants and Acuba "Gold Dust".
I think of it as Candy Land.


Mary Thevenot said...

Pretty! So, they are still in pots, hidden by the groundcover? It does make for a striking mass planting look. I'm a sucker for grocery store bromeliads.

TexasDeb said...

Mary: You can tell I'm a total patsy for grocery store bromeliads. Once home they keep multiplying, so I've had to hold back for the past year or so.

To answer your question - yes! The Hub keeps his baby broms in plastic framework "baskets", lined with coir fiber. Then he nestles them down into the ground cover to hide their pots.

Debra said...

No idea why a person would need to explain! I think they are beautiful.