Have a plain tree in your garden? Transform it into something special by attaching a host of bromeliads to the trunk. Because the plants are epiphytes, they’ll grow happily on the tree and the effect is stunning! With time, each plant will throw out pups and runners, enhancing the look.
Gather your supplies:
• Long-handled handsaw
• Tie wire or bonsai wire
• Selection of bromeliads (Graham used Neoregelia compacta, Billbergia ‘Hallelujah’ and Vriesea ‘Snow White’)
• Bark chip mulch
You’ll also need:
Secateurs; stepladder; tape measure; wire- cutter; compost; Seasol seaweed tonic
Note: Select a tree suitable to the size of bromeliads you’re using. Palms are ideal, as plants can establish roots in the husk of the trunk.
Prepare your bromeliads by using secateurs to cut them away from other plants (or de-potting, if needed) and stripping off dead or ugly leaves.
Using long-handled handsaw and stepladder, prepare tree by cutting away any dead leaves overhanging the trunk.
Measure circumference of tree with tape measure. Cut wires to this length, plus an extra 25cm. (The extra length is required to tie the bromeliad onto trunk.) Cut 1 wire per bromeliad.
Starting in the middle of the wire, wrap it around bromeliad a few times.
Determine desired finished height of your living artwork. Then, starting at the top, secure first bromeliad onto tree trunk by wrapping the wire around tree and twisting ends together.
Work your way around tree trunk from top to bottom, repeating to secure all plants in place – this gives a seamless finish as the plants hide the wire.
Add a good layer of compost to garden bed below tree to prepare for planting. Plant out garden bed with a selection of bromeliads and succulents in beautiful bright colours to match. Add a layer of bark chip mulch.
Water them in and spray leaves with Seasol.