The Garden Glub of Trinidad | We go to Brazil and visit Wendy.

It seems that there are a lot of plant entries in the Journal lately. This one joins the collection and is all about our Garden Club April's Gathering. I am still feeling very privileged to be part of this tight-knit club of Gardeners here in Trinidad. All so passionate. All so unique. In April, last month, Aaron and I went on a road trip to Brazil, right here in Trinidad to Ms. Wendy Lee Yuen's Garden. The drive was one of the first for me in that area. I remember commenting to Aaron that I love how well kept the road side is and how lush and green the greenry is.

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Off the bat, you're greeted by an unsuspecting home tucked away off the main road, on an informal dirt path through the lush tropical forest. The front lawn/ garden area is neatly manicured, so perfect that anyone may think twice before stepping foot onto it. But Wendy promises that nowhere is off limits and encourages us to explore.

 A  Medinilla . They come in red, coral and other colours. One of the plants on my wish list.

A Medinilla. They come in red, coral and other colours. One of the plants on my wish list.

 A fiddle leaf fig tree, among all the other forest dwellers

A fiddle leaf fig tree, among all the other forest dwellers

Just past the house, there are three distinct areas of potted plants. Semi-formal and formal covered nurseries border the north of the house. The main one filled with Bromeliads and Succulents. Occasionally you'd notice other species and other tropical plants, of which I am not yet knowledgeable enough to call by name, but there Bromeliads and Succulents predominately in under the main shaded structure. Bromeliad and Succulent lovers would go completely crazy and can get complexity lost surrounded by the large collection we discovered by Wendy's.

Aaron retreated to our meeting area and I got in capturing moments behind the camera, some of them I have shared with you here.

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 In all the gardens I have visited so far, I've noticed a common thread and that is in the people, the human element behind each of these vast and successful local gardens I feel so lucky to be able to share in.  It's so easy to see a space, a garden and think how lovely but do we think about the years behind them, the tools, materials and labour materials behind each and every operation. Wendy's space was no different. I couldn't help but notice the people and everything that supports her operation. It was beautiful to me.

In all the gardens I have visited so far, I've noticed a common thread and that is in the people, the human element behind each of these vast and successful local gardens I feel so lucky to be able to share in.

It's so easy to see a space, a garden and think how lovely but do we think about the years behind them, the tools, materials and labour materials behind each and every operation. Wendy's space was no different. I couldn't help but notice the people and everything that supports her operation. It was beautiful to me.

 Neoregelia Pinstripe.    Neoregelia   is a  genus  of  flowering plants  in the bromeliad  family   Bromeliaceae , subfamily  Bromelioideae ,  native  to  South American   rainforests .

Neoregelia Pinstripe.

Neoregelia is a genus of flowering plants in the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideaenative to South American rainforests.

I do not yet know Wendy personally but I'd like to think she's got a thing for Bromeliads and Succulents. I'd like to think also that that means something. Something unique. 

Bromeliads, I must admit I am for the first time actually paying attention to them, much thanks to this visit. Succulents, I love and have always been drawn to.

Did you know that the pineapple is a Bromeliad? I've learned that while it is the only edible Bromeliad it is also the most commonly know. 

According to Bromeliad Society International, Bromeliads are members of a plant family known as Bromeliaceae (bro-meh-lee-AH-say-eye). The family contains over 3000 described species in approximately 56 genera. The most well-known bromeliad is the pineapple. The family contains a wide range of plants including some very un-pineapple like members such as Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish nor a moss). Other members resemble aloes or yuccas while still others look like green, leafy grasses.

In general, they are inexpensive, easy to grow, require very little care, and reward the grower with brilliant, long-lasting blooms and ornamental foliage. They come in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants. They can be grown indoors in cooler climates and can also be used outdoors where temperatures stay above freezing.

 All bromeliads are composed of a spiral arrangement of leaves sometimes called a "rosette". The number of degrees between successive leaves varies from species to species with a few having a 180 degree separation between leaves. This causes the plant to grow in a flattened configuration with its leaves lined up in a single plane. The bases of the leaves in the rosette may overlap tightly to form a water reservoir. This central cup also collects whatever leaf litter and insects happen to land in it.  All bromeliads share a common characteristic: tiny scales on their leaves called  trichomes . These scales serve as a very efficient absorption system. In species found in desert regions where the air is hot and dry and the sun beats down relentlessly, these scales also help the plant to reduce water loss and shield the plants from the solar radiation. These plants are so covered with scales that they appear silvery-white and feel fuzzy. On many species (especially in more humid areas), the scales are smaller and less noticeable. Sometimes the scales can form patterns and banding on the leaves that add to the plant's beauty.  Even though bromeliads are commonly called  parasitos  in Spanish-speaking countries, these epiphytes do not take sustenance from their host but merely use it for support. In some species, the bases of the leaves form small chambers as they overlap and these protected spaces are often home to ants. In exchange for shelter, the ants' waste may provide the bromeliad with extra fertilizer.

All bromeliads are composed of a spiral arrangement of leaves sometimes called a "rosette". The number of degrees between successive leaves varies from species to species with a few having a 180 degree separation between leaves. This causes the plant to grow in a flattened configuration with its leaves lined up in a single plane. The bases of the leaves in the rosette may overlap tightly to form a water reservoir. This central cup also collects whatever leaf litter and insects happen to land in it.  All bromeliads share a common characteristic: tiny scales on their leaves called trichomes. These scales serve as a very efficient absorption system. In species found in desert regions where the air is hot and dry and the sun beats down relentlessly, these scales also help the plant to reduce water loss and shield the plants from the solar radiation. These plants are so covered with scales that they appear silvery-white and feel fuzzy. On many species (especially in more humid areas), the scales are smaller and less noticeable. Sometimes the scales can form patterns and banding on the leaves that add to the plant's beauty.

Even though bromeliads are commonly called parasitos in Spanish-speaking countries, these epiphytes do not take sustenance from their host but merely use it for support. In some species, the bases of the leaves form small chambers as they overlap and these protected spaces are often home to ants. In exchange for shelter, the ants' waste may provide the bromeliad with extra fertilizer.

 Neoregelia Sandy.    Neoregelia   is a  genus  of  flowering plants  in the bromeliad  family   Bromeliaceae , subfamily  Bromelioideae ,  native  to  South American   rainforests .

Neoregelia Sandy.

Neoregelia is a genus of flowering plants in the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideaenative to South American rainforests.

 Each Bromeliad is packed in a brown paper sleeve.And these are heading out to someones garden, their new home

Each Bromeliad is packed in a brown paper sleeve.And these are heading out to someones garden, their new home

The Bromeliad Society International, continued to explain that with few exceptions, Bromeliad flower stalk is produced from the center of the rosette. The stalk (or scape as it is called), may be long with the flowers held far away from the plant (either erect or hanging pendantly) or the scape may be short with the flowers nestled in the rosette. The scape may produce a single flower or many individual flowers and may have colorful leaf-like appendages called scape bracts that serve to attract pollinators and delight bromeliad enthusiasts. With rare exceptions, bromeliads only flower a single time - once the plant stops producing leaves and produces its flower, it will not start making leaves again. It will, however, vegetatively produce new plantlets called "offsets" or "pups". These plants will feed off the "mother" plant until they are large enough to set roots of their own and survive as a separate plant. The mother may sometimes survive a generation or two before finally dying off. Pups are usually produced near the base of the plant - inside the sheath of a leaf. Sometimes, however, pups may be produced on long stolons or atop the inflorescence (flower spike) of the mother plant. The green, leafy top of a pineapple is in fact a pup that may be removed and planted to start a new plant.

 The Hybrid Aloe.

The Hybrid Aloe.

 Contemplating grabbing myself some new plant babies. The  Echeveria Holy Gate

Contemplating grabbing myself some new plant babies. The  Echeveria Holy Gate

 Shopping succulents. 

Shopping succulents. 

  Echeveria Holy Gate

 Echeveria Holy Gate

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 The extensive collection of Bromeliads at Wendy's Nursery 

The extensive collection of Bromeliads at Wendy's Nursery 

 One of my newest additions to my plant family is now at home on the Kitchen window sill. The Pachyphytum Bracteosum

One of my newest additions to my plant family is now at home on the Kitchen window sill. The Pachyphytum Bracteosum

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Full disclosure, when I first saw the notification for April's Garden Club Gathering and our hosts name, Ms. Wendy Lee Yuen, I was immediately excited. I knew of the name Wendy lee Yuen thought my mother's experiences landscaping as I believed mummy attending a course on Landscaping with Wendy's many years ago. I did a quick google search and spend some time lost online reading about Wendy and added the meeting time and date to my calendar, saving the date. 

 Echeveria Fred Ives

Echeveria Fred Ives

 Agave Potatorum. According to  wiki :     Agave   (US:  /əˈɡɑːvi/ , UK:  /əˈɡeɪvi/ ,  /əˈɡɑːvi/ , [1]  Anglo-Hispanic:  /əˈɡɑːveɪ/  [2] ) is a  genus  of  monocots  native to the hot and  arid regions of  Mexico  and the  Southwestern United States . Some agave  species  are also native to  tropical  areas of  South America . The plants are  perennial , but each  rosette  flowers once and then dies (see  semelparity ). Some species are known by the name "century plant". [3]     Agave tequilana  , agave azul or blue agave, is used in the production of  tequila .  Agave nectar , also called agave syrup, a  sweetener  derived from Agave  sap , is used as an alternative to  sugar  in cooking, and can be added to  breakfast cereals  as a binding agent.

Agave Potatorum. According to wiki

Agave (US: /əˈɡɑːvi/, UK: /əˈɡeɪvi//əˈɡɑːvi/,[1] Anglo-Hispanic: /əˈɡɑːveɪ/[2]) is a genus of monocots native to the hot and aridregions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Some agave species are also native to tropical areas of South America. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies (see semelparity). Some species are known by the name "century plant".[3]

Agave tequilana, agave azul or blue agave, is used in the production of tequilaAgave nectar, also called agave syrup, a sweetener derived from Agave sap, is used as an alternative to sugar in cooking, and can be added to breakfast cereals as a binding agent.

 Graptoveria

Graptoveria

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 Shopping succulents. 

Shopping succulents. 

 Shopping succulents. The Pachyphytum Bracteosum.

Shopping succulents. The Pachyphytum Bracteosum.

 The Pachyphytum Fittkau.

The Pachyphytum Fittkau.

With love from Freeport, until happily visiting another local gardeners' paradise.

I often wonder what our plant choices say about us. What we can learn about each other through the plants we are drawn to. Do you love Bromeliads or are you more of a succulent type?

Chan