Saturday, June 20, 2015

Air plants

I've got a new interest: air plants, AKA Tillandsia .

Tillandsia are interesting little plants that don't require soil to grow. They get their nutrients from the air (they like it humid) and they can be mounted on pieces of wood, shells, stones, you name it. You mist them ever few days, and give them an occasional dunking in water to keep them hydrated, but they don't like sitting in water or on a wet surface - that will cause them to rot. You'll see them sometimes in little glass globes, lying on a bed or pebbles.

I was looking for a project for the autistic kids in Thomas's day program, and saw this post on Pinterest, on making air plant hangings. They looked really cute and easy, and then I spotted Tillandsia for sale at Rona Hardware for just $2.29 apiece, so I bought a bunch.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to make the hangers, so I decided to try to use the plants myself. Dean has always liked to collect driftwood from the Rideau River; mostly hardwood (often gnawed by beavers!) which burns really well in the fireplace over the winter. But he also picks up any interesting shaped pieces and keeps them on the porch. Since Tillandsia can be mounted on wood, I decided to try to combine our interests, and put some of the plants on the wood.

Most of them are just wedged into crevices, but I wound some unobtrusive thin wire around the base of others and attached them to the back of the wood pieces. I think they turned out quite well, and I have several more I'm going to make in the future.

Here are some pictures; I put a ballpoint pen in front, to give a sense of scale. As you can see, they're small, but they have this dainty oriental feel about them, which I find quite attractive.