They grow over 105 different bromeliads and Tom can list them all by their scientific name which is pretty amazing!
The front yard beds have a variety of plants such as dyckia bromeliads that resembles a succulent but they do not store their water in their leaves. There are rain lilies (Zephyranthes), yellow dancing lady globba ginger as a ground cover, shampoo ginger, a pink silk floss tree, a pagoda plant (Clerodendrum), yellow butterfly ginger, pink crepe myrtle, pink pentas and a bottlebrush.
As you go towards the back there are yellow devil bromeliads (Neoregelia), red blooming bromeliads (Quesnelia testudo), large live oaks, sable and sago palms, coontie, white bird of paradise, and a pony tail palm. Tom planted a two year old fast growing Tipuana tree in 2007 and now it is 30 feet tall with orange blossoms. This tree originates from Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. Besides bromeliads they have a variety of plants: agapanthus, foxtail agave, pencil cactus, bougainvillea, shrimp plant, crown of thorns, red spiral ginger (Cheilocostus), desert rose, staghorn fern, burning bush, rubber tree and lemon grass. Of course, more bromeliads, such as queen’s tears (Billbergia nutans), and pink flowering bromeliads (Portea alatisepala).
Attached to the house is a large green house where they have many varieties of succulents and various plants they propagate for planting. They have collected several bromeliads from many trips around the world to have such a large collection. The Armstrong’s live at the end of a canal with large trees that provide shade and shelter and they had a rare visit from a mother manatee who gave birth to her calf!
Submitted by Nancy Iandoli
Selection of the Month