Last Sunday, airplant growers gathered at HortPark’s multi-purpose hall to listen to the first gardening talk in 2010 entitled ‘Airplants – Plants For The Modern Gardener’. It is the first in a series that have been planned to take place in odd months of the calendar year that will not just be a talk but more of a gardening talk show that encompasses interviews and demonstrations involving hobbyists and landscape industry partners.
I decided to kick-start this special talk show series with airplants as they are small, relatively ‘clean’ and easy to grow by most gardeners who live in high-rise apartments. The ease of their cultivation makes them good for modern urbanites who are often too busy to find time to tend to a garden where space is also a constraint for many. Commonly called “airplants”, these plants are members of the genus Tillandsia, which are mainly epiphytes that literally live on air. They are relatives of the pineapple and hence make an equally auspicious symbol for the the Lunar New Year which will fall in mid-February this year.
The 2h session was not all talk or demonstration by myself. I have invited three fellow airplant enthusiasts from my Green Culture Singapore discussion, namely, Kevin Cheong (greenhorn), Benedict Tay (benetay) and Lynnette Terh (Velvetine) where they shared their varied airplant growing experiences which range from an outdoor community garden, high-rise apartment window/balcony to the rooftop garden. Near the end of the session, I also demonstrated to participants on how they can construct a unique 3D vertical garden using a range of epiphytic plants which included airplants, antplants, ferns, Dischidia and Hoya.