Bromeliads are impressive tropical flowering plants, yet their culture remains a mystery to most gardeners. The Bromeliad Society International publishes a useful booklet entitled Bromeliads; A Culture Manual. This 44-page, full-color guide features pictures of dozens of bromeliads, plus instructions for their care. First-time bromeliad growers will find it concise yet thorough and a good introduction to the subject; experienced growers will find it handy to have around for reference. To order a copy, send a check for $3.50 to BSI Publications, c/o George Allaria, 2265 W. 239th St., Torrance, CA 90501-5922.
You can visit the Bromeliad Society International's Web site (http://www.bsi.org) to learn more about this large family of plants and download a free culture guide in PDF format.
Clever Gardening Technique
Bulb Trowels for Safe Transplanting
I often find myself transplanting very tiny seedlings -- mostly self-sown volunteers that appear in the wrong places, or tiny cuttings I have intentionally rooted near the parent plant. Regular garden trowels make holes that are just too big, and the plants can end up getting lost. A tool sold at my local garden center as a bulb trowel is perfect for making smaller holes for smaller plants. It has a longer and narrower blade than an ordinary garden trowel, and I find it perfect for transplanting my small seedlings.
A bulb trowel also is excellent for working in rock gardens where you want to dig narrow, deep holes in the crevices between rocks to help new plants quickly establish themselves.