Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Little miracles

A few blog postings ago I mentioned that there are several plants in this garden which are very much Pam's, and here is another one.

It's her air plant, a tillandsia, and unlike the various other 'Pam' plants here, this one really is hers in every sense. I am not allowed to touch it. I can talk to it, but it's Pam's job to mist it with water regularly. And look how happy the little person is! Pam's tillandsia is in beautiful bloom at the moment. The flowers are quite tiny, just half an inch or so in length. But what a lovely colour they are.

Pam has always loved tiny flowers, and she's the reason we have native orchids in our garden, too. This tillandsia bloom won't last long in the garden, but its short stay is imprinted in our memory, and we'll look out for it next year. I love it when Pam bustles into my office and says "get out the camera, my tillandsia is looking great. It won't last long." And it's not the only flowering tillandsia we have, either. In November, we should see the other one do its thing...

And what a tiny little thing it does! Some readers will know of the plant known as Spanish moss or Old Man's Beard, a trailing tangle of fine strands. Well, it flowers too, and these minuscule blooms appear later on in spring, around November.

The first time I came across these blooms I didn't actually notice them on the plant, they are so tiny. I detected them as little green dots on a photo I had taken. So I went outside, had a very close-up look and found these itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny little flowers. Now we're on the lookout for them every year.

As I mentioned earlier, it's Pam who is responsible for adding various native orchids to our garden, although these are my responsibility when it comes to feeding, watering and care. They are sending up their flower stalks now and should be in bloom in about a month from now, sometime in September I guess. This lovely little bloom is half an inch wide, from wingtip to wingtip, and it has a sweet scent, too.

Pam is forever teaching me all sorts of things in her own quiet, persistent way, and out in the garden a love of tiny flowers is definitely one of the most important and valuable things I have learned from her. In fact it isn't just tiny flowers which I now love and appreciate, it's all tiny things as well. If you bother to stop and look, there is just so much happening in each and every square inch out there, and much of it is both fascinating and beautiful.


Lanie said...

I've never noticed flowers on old man's beard! And yet they are so stunning (but obviously tiny). The photo looks like an old black and white that has had the colour painted in - gorgeous. Thanks for the shallots advice - I bought some today.

Jess said...

I enjoyed this post, and exclaimed as I never knew spanish moss flowered either! How fascinating. :)

Also I enjoyed seeing Pam's illustrations in this month's edition of the BB Mag, always do. She's a talented lady!

life in a pink fibro said...

I loved this post. I too love the tiny things, peeping from unexpected places in the garden. Pam is a genius - but then, we knew that, right?