The Auckland Botanic Gardens this week announced plans for a 19 m high "sculptural tree" that will allow people to explore and experience our epiphyte flora. They have called the structure an "Epiphytum" and plan to include a classroom, rain shelter and lighting for night events. This awesome idea led me to explore other structures and gardens that bring canopy flora to the people.
The Bok Tower Gardens in Florida have this clever display of epiphytes on an invisible wall, maybe fine netting?
Then there are vertical gardens/green walls which commonly utilise epiphyte species:
This interesting blog features string gardens - I wonder how our epiphyte species would handle hanging in mid air?
And then there is the Cloud Forest at Gardens at the Bay, Singapore. This enormous display of tropical montane epiphytes features species from around the world:
The Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Photos from www.gardensbythebay.com.sg & happilyeverwedding.blogspot.co.nz.
If you know of other structures or clever garden ideas that bring epiphytes closer to people then please let us know!
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I work with NZ's native vascular epiphytes at the University of Waikato. I completed an MSc on epiphyte ecology and the shrub epiphyte Griselinia lucida and have recently published the Field Guide to NZ's Epiphytes, Vines & Mistletoes.