Oh my gosh, I went on a grand adventure off the peninsula yesterday with friends. It was Cindy Flower’s idea; if you’re a reader of this blog already you probably know I go on a lot of (mis)adventures with Cindy. She wanted to collect some of those wild orchids that grow on other trees: Epiphytes! (Thanks Google) We invited Amanda Savage along, who runs the ice house in town and is NOT afraid of snakes, in fact she makes jewelry and other art out of skins and bones. (see what I mean on her Instagram)
Cindy had done some epiphyte pilfering, I mean foraging, last week with Jana from the Little Wine Bar and knew where we should go for the goods. Orchids love orange groves. We found LOADS of them growing on orange trees throughout the Stann Creek district, south-central Belize.
Disclaimer: if you’re going to attempt this yourself I recommend:
1) obtaining approval to pilfer (which we totally would have done if there’d been anyone around to ask) though I highly doubt anyone would take issue with you removing some epiphytes; it’s not like they’re being used in the orange groves, if anything they’re probably just in the way when the the guys go to harvest oranges
2) rubber boots…the taller the better. This is snake territory.
We traipsed, and climbed, and plucked, and trimmed (dead sticks only, no fruit bearing branches), and gathered SO MANY plants and a few angry ants. Here is some of our haul (as best I can identify it, no one has ever accused me of being a horticulturist):
I don’t know the exact subspecies of these bromeliads but I love how big and hearty looking they are. Like the top of a pineapple- so tropical looking!
We call these the “wispy ones” for obvious reasons. If or when they flower they’d shoot out a little stem with a reddish/purplish end.
The “spiky ones.” These are small and present a more conformed shape. They flower with a little cluster of red and purple in the center of the plant not out on a stem.
The “cute and curly ones.” Love these! These grow any which way in gnarly little balls and can appear to get pretty large when they grow in clumps. Their flowers shoot out on short and sturdy stems with a dusty pink petal.
How different are these?! Weird and wonderful- I love the precious tiny yellow flowers.
This is my show stopper right here! The lady in red with curves in all the right places. I wish we’d found more of these.
I’m attempting to arrange these artfully on our privacy partition between the studio’s veranda space and the 1 bedroom’s. With any luck (it’ll have to be luck because I haven’t any skill) this wall will be a masterpiece of living greenery in a month or two. If you have any tips or tricks please drop them in the comments and if you want to peruse the guide I used to try to identify my epiphytes: here’s the link!