Lower North ShoreContemporary Landscape, Sydney
The House Hunter © 2012 Houzz
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Bromeliads have more benefits than just good looks. Vase types attach themselves to trees with their roots but absorb moisture and nutrients from the water collected in their "cups" of watertight leaves; they can be grown in containers, attached to branches or planted in the ground. Tillandsias are so adept at treetop life that they absorb moisture from the air, and terrestrial bromeliads are adapted to life in the desert (or swamp or jungle floor) and are equipped with wicked-looking spines. As you can see, bromeliads are pretty diverse. Bromeliad shows seem a bit like art galleries, with each specimen more unique and wild than the last. No matter what your favorite color combination or pattern, there's a pretty good chance that there's a bromeliad with your name on it. There is a handful of species commonly sold as houseplants, but those are just the gateway drug to a trippy journey down the fractal arrangements of the bromeliad's overlapping leaves and blooms. It's as if each spike of flowers is its own colorful blown-glass Dale Chihuly installation.Planting and designing with bromeliads couldn't be easier. Since most have limited root systems, they're relatively easy to dig up and relocate as needed, which is especially useful for growers who experience freezes in winter.
The lush gardens and green walls designed by Paul serve as the focal point of the home's central courtyard and pool area. "I did it over about a nine-month period and added bits and pieces as I went," he says. The garden is planted with native lithophytic and epiphytic plants, which grow off other plants and rocks. The deck was intended to resemble a wetlands area, with the fishpond and vegetation attracting regular visits from local kookaburras.Garden: The Greenwall Company