Saturday, November 30, 2013

Questionable Uses of Society's Limited Resources

Reply to: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation


It doesn't seem like you have to register plants that you trade with other people. long as you're not a professional operator.   Maybe we should have to register plants that we trade with each other.  Then perhaps the government can send me a notification before I give Aeschynanthus speciosus to Monica for the 12th time.  I visited her and noticed Aeschynanthus speciosus growing here...and there...and there...and there...  And at first I thought that she had done so well with it that she had been able to spread it around her yard.  But then I realized that I had on several occasions unwittingly given her cuttings of Aeschynanthus speciosus.  If I had remembered that I had already given her a cutting then I wouldn't have offered it to her again.  I would have offered it to Steve instead.  Because it's not like I have enough of it that I could give 12 cuttings to each of my plant friends.  I wish I did have that much of it.  Epiphyllum strictum is a different story.  I have enough to give 20 cuttings to each of my plant friends.  But Aeschynanthus speciosus looks far better in a tree.  

I'd also like it if the government could remind me to collect pollen from my Aeschynanthus evrardii.  I'd like to try and cross it with Aeschynanthus gracilis "Pagoda Roof".  I have no idea if that cross is even the plants seem fairly dissimilar.

Speaking of which, it would be nice if the government created a database of every single cross that anybody has tried and whether it was successful or not.  I'd hate to waste my time trying to reinvent the wheel.  Plus, the database has to have a photo of all the crosses...and of the parents.

I'd also like to see a list of all the plants grown outdoors year around within a 50 mile radius of where I live.  There might already be a website that does this.  But I want it to be mandatory.  I think we'd appreciate the nudge.

With all that shouldn't be too hard to learn my plant preferences and offer some excellent plant recommendations.  Of course the recommendations should be heavily influenced by biodiversity considerations.  If there aren't enough tropical blueberries in cultivation...then my recommendations should be prioritized accordingly.

The government should really facilitate ex-situ conservation.  Like, they should show up at our doors with awesome and rare plants.  They'll pay us even.  The amount of money they give us would be determined by how rare a plant is.  Of course the government will conduct random visits to ensure that the plants are thriving.

The government should also pay us every time we propagate a plant.  The more rare a plant is, the more money we should get paid each time we increase the population of the plant.  A future where all plants are equally abundant?  That's a lot of regulation.

When I worked in the public sector...I accomplished things.  The same thing is true when I worked in the private sector.  I also accomplished things.  The difference is how my activities were determined.  In the private activities were determined by demand...but in the public sector my activities were determined by the demands of congress.  Clearly they aren't the same thing.  Demand is when I buy Aeschynanthus speciosus from Kartuz Nursery.  I put my money where my mouth is and this provided the funds for all the necessary associated activities.  The way that society's limited resources were used matched my preferences.

The demands of congress are a different story.  Clearly they don't accurately reflect my preferences.  How could they?  The government doesn't yet monitor my purchases...even if they could...just because I purchased Aeschynanthus speciosus once doesn't mean that I'll purchase it again.  So because congress can't possibly know the preferences of the people...there's a huge gap between how society's limited resources are used...and how they should be used.

There's nothing inherently wrong with having the government do something.  We can have the government do things that societies and companies and individuals are doing and could be doing.  No long as we replace the demands of congress with the actual demand.  Then we can have soldiers regularly patrol our gardens for slugs and snails...if that's something that we'd actually choose to spend our taxes on.

So if the government comes up with certain activities that don't match your preferences...then you could simply spend your tax dollars on other governmental activities.  Given that all government organizations will want to be would behoove them to do things that will attract the most positive feedback (tax dollars).

Because sending a letter to some politician doesn't quite communicate our preferences as effectively as just not spending our taxes on a new government program.  And this really won't be the last time that the government comes up with some questionable uses of society's limited resources.  

"Your use of this resource is questionable"...that's what I'd tell somebody if I visited them and noticed that they had planted a Cattleya in the ground.  "Your use of this resource is questionable".  I'd tell that to anybody here in Southern California who doesn't have at least one epiphyte on each of their trees.  "Your use of this resource is questionable."

There are a multitude of questionable uses of society's limited resources.  In fact, most uses of any given resource are questionable.  So it's really not easy to see which ones are most sensical.  Orchids were originally used as packing material.  Not sure if that's true but we should let people avoid what they believe to be questionable and pursue what they believe to make the most sense.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Selaginella Doesn't Smell Like Vanilla

Reply to: a horribly ambitious and terribly long project


The other day my hummingbird tried to cross my bougainvillea with my geranium.  The other day I tried to cross my Psychilis krugii with my Sophronitis brevipedunculata*.

The hummingbird and I are having a competition to see who can create the best crosses.  He's probably winning by virtue of creating far more crosses than I do.  Sure, I can cross more things than he can...but he's got the heart of a champion...while I have the heart of a dreamer.  Plus, he's not limited by minor details such as walls, fences, other people's property...

So if a tree Aloe starts naturalizing here in Southern California...chances are good that the hummingbird can take all the credit...errr...blame.  Same thing with Tillandsias.  And Echeverias...and Aeoniums.  

If an Aeonium would compete with the natives.  Would it compete our Dudleyas out of existence?

We definitely wouldn't have to worry about a Tillandsia competing the natives out of existence.  We have perhaps one native epiphyte...a fern...but I don't think a fern would be completely beat by a Tillandsia.

Should Southern California have only one epiphyte in the wild?  Is that the argument that some are making?  I think we should have 100 different epiphytes completely naturalized here.  Naw, who am I kidding?  I wish there was an infinite variety of epiphytes growing on the trees here.

Not just here of course...but everywhere.  I want to climb our mountains and see Tillandsias and orchids growing on Methuselah trees.  I want to fly to Arizona and see Tillandsias and orchids growing on Saguaros.  And when I fly to Florida I want to be amazed by the diversity of epiphytes on all the trees.  When I'm driving anywhere I should strongly desire to stop the car every 10 feet because I know that I'll be dumbstruck by the variety of epiphytes growing on any tree.  I guess I'd just have to walk everywhere.  It would probably take me forever to go anywhere because every 10 feet I'd look up and say "woah" and use my Google Glasses Go to share the 10 minute video on my facebook page where billions of my followers would all say "woah".  Heathens would wonder what all the "woahing" was about.

How's the argument go?   We have enough species of epiphytic orchids in Florida?  Or is the argument that Southern Florida should have more species than Northern Florida?  Or is the argument that the population size of each species is perfect?  Maybe the argument is that the perfect amount of trees in Florida have the perfect amount of Encyclia tampensis?

Heaven forbid Encyclia tampensis end up in Georgia...right?  I went to infantry boot camp there...Ft. Benning.  I remember eating a wild persimmon before it was ripe enough.  :(  I was always hungry in bootcamp.

So there I would have stomach grumbling...I see a tree with persimmons.  As I grab a persimmon I spot an Encyclia tampensis blooming on the branch.  *woah*   Good thing that never happened.

Good thing it only happened once when I was stationed in Panama.  There we were...struggling, slipping, sliding single file through the dense jungle.  Each of us carrying around 100 pounds...sweat dripping...wait a minute palm spines...crazy caterpillars... and then just one time...right in front of me was an orchid in bloom on a tree.  *woah*  I turned to my buddy behind me, pointed at the orchid and said "woah".  For some reason he wasn't dumbstruck.  It wasn't magical for him.  The jungle wasn't transformed into a cathedral where the holy of most holies could burn his eyes.  He didn't realize he was suddenly in the presence of the sacred.  What a heathen.

What orchid was it?  That's a good question because...some orchids are more magical than others?  How unmagical would it have been if the orchid had been Sobennikoffia robusta?  Maybe at least -100 on the magic scale.  The thousands and thousands of trees I passed without a single orchid on them were far more magical.  The first thing that would have popped into my head was my grandfather saying, "a place for everything and everything in its place".

Me: Hey you!  You're in the wrong place!
Robusta:  What's wrong with this place?
Me: Clearly it's not Madagascar
Robusta:  So?  I'm an epiphyte, my place is on a tree.  This is a tree so this is my place.
Me: But you're crowding out the native orchids.
Robusta:  *looks around*  You think there's a long line for this real estate?

Oh, now I really want to cross Sobennikoffia robusta with Dendrophylax funalis.  If I lived in Florida and did the cross...then heaven forbid the horror show should escape into the wild.  Sobenniphylax would take all of Dendrophylax lindenii's real estate.  Even worse if they crossed?  Heaven forbid I artificially create a fitter monopodial orchid that spread like soft butter over warm bread.  Eh?

The 11th commandment...

Thou shalt not create a fitter monopodial orchid.

God works in mysterious ways?  So does my hummingbird.  I really don't think he's all there though.

If we care about the continued existence of monopodial orchids...shouldn't we be striving to create fitter ones?  Survival depends on fitness and fitness depends on the combination of "inputs".  Therefore we limit fitness by limiting possible input combinations.

Limiting input combinations is putting too many eggs in the same basket.  It's making the argument that a certain combination of inputs provides sufficient fitness.  No, there are always better combinations of inputs.  This is because the earth is always getting hotter, colder, drier,'s always changing.  If we want more, rather than less, orchids in the future...given that we don't have a crystal would behoove us to hedge our bets.

Maybe the future will be too dry and hot for Dendrophylax funalis, Dendrophylax lindenii and Sobennikoffia robusta...but just right for Sobenniphylax?  Nobody can know now whether this is true.  But we can know that we decrease our chances of success by limiting the combination of inputs.

Imagine a tree with many different epiphytes.  It's swarming with many different pollinators.  Each one conducting countless crazy crosses.  Now imagine a myriad of these trees/laboratories.  This is how we hedge our bets.  This is how we try and ensure that the future is as magical as possible.  

So please cross lindenii with...

Aerangis somalensis
Angraecum erectum
Gastrochilus formosanus
Neofinetia falcata
Papilionanthe teres
Pelatantheria insectifera
Phalaenopsis taenialis
Plectorrhiza tridentata
Renanthera imschootiana
Rhynchostylis retusa
Vanda coerulea/tricolor

Attach the crosses to your trees and let's learn which combination of inputs creates the fittest individual.  Whichever one makes it to Ft. Benning first is the winner.  Whichever orchid distracts hungry/tired soldiers the longest is the winner.  Whichever orchid creates the most magic is the winner.

*doesn't taste like an enchilada...and Selaginella doesn't smell like Vanilla

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Vertical Garden For Your Desk!

How many of you are already familiar with the concept of vertical gardens?  Here's a vertical garden that I took a photo of at Flora Grubb nursery in San Francisco...

Flora Grubb Vertical Garden Succulents

Flora Grubb is a really neat nursery because it's by far the most vertically oriented nursery that I know of.

A significant portion of the growing popularity of vertical gardens stems from the spectacular vertical gardens of Patrick Blanc.  He's created vertical gardens all over the world and written a book on the subject...The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City.   If you look on his website under "Inspiration" you'll see a link to a page that he has dedicated to photos of epiphytes in nature.

A couple decades before Patrick Blanc started creating vertical gardens...Bill Paylen created an amazing vertical garden here in Southern California.  Unlike Blanc though, trees, rather than walls, were Paylen's canvas.  You can read about his garden here...Growing Orchids Outdoors in Southern California.

Even though I lived relatively close to Bill Paylen, I had no idea he even existed until many years later.  So as a high school kid I killed countless Cattleyas while struggling to reinvent the wheel.  But I finally managed to learn the basics.  Here's a recent photo of my tree...

Cattleya Portia coerulea

Whether a garden is on a tree...or a wall...I love it!  Vertical gardens allow so much more value and interest to be added to a space!  Needless to say I was really excited when I recently learned about a project that can go a long way to helping people think epiphytically.

Up in Washington a fellow named Everett Carney (Alive and Modern) created a living wall that can easily fit on a desk.  There's no pump...water works its way up the wall via wicking (capillary action).  Initially I thought that plants could be attached to both sides of the wall...but it turns out that they can only be planted on one side.  Perhaps a two sided model will be available in the future if there's sufficient demand.

Living Wall Final

As many of you already know...part of the challenge of growing plants mounted indoors is that you have to worry about water dripping everywhere.  Everett's living wall provides an effective solution to this problem.  Plus, it's really easy to attach plants to the wall...

I haven't yet had a chance to test the wall out for myself...but the concept is solid and definitely worth supporting.  The world would certainly be a much better place if more walls and trees had a wide range of plants growing on them!

If you'd like this project to succeed...then here are some ways that you can help...
To be clear, I am not affiliated with this project in any formal/official way.  I'm helping to promote it because I love the idea of making vertical gardens really simple, accessible and low maintenance.  As it stands, the desktop living wall isn't cheap ($135 with shipping included)...but if there's sufficient demand...the cost should come down over time.

I'll share a link to this thread with Everett so please feel free to reply with any questions or suggestions.  If you have any photos of vertical gardens I'd certainly love to see them!

Here are some links that might be of some interest...
Are there any other "outside the pot" pages that you find inspiring?

Growing Plants Epiphytically - General Overview

The following overview of growing plants epiphytically is a combination of the following posts of mine...

An Orchid on Every Tree
Epiphyte Grand Prix
Mounting Mediums
CAM Orchids


Plant selection...the more frequently you're willing to water, the greater the variety of plants that you can grow on your tree. The less frequently you water, the more storage/succulence a plant must have to thrive on your tree. Lately I've taken to fondling leaves to gauge stiffness/succulence. How quickly a plant wilts is also a pretty good indicator of how it might do on a tree.  But don't be afraid to experiment!

Epiphytes are naturally a good choice to start with but they range from plants with absolutely no storage capacity to plants that can go weeks without water. Some examples of drought tolerant epiphytes include CAM orchids and many atmospheric Tillandsias. Cliff dwellers and terrestrial succulents are also great candidates.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hoyas/Dischidias Outdoors in Southern California?

Posted this on some forums back in April....

Garden Web - Hoya Forum - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias
Garden Web - California Forum - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias
Growing on the Edge - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias
PalmTalk - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias?
Flickr - Epiphytes Group - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias?


Hi Folks,

Which species of Hoyas and Dischidias have people in Southern California (and similar climates) been growing outdoors year around? I've been interested in epiphytic plants for quite some time now but it wasn't until last year that I really started to branch out into Hoyas and Dischidias.

Here's a partial list of plants that I had outside in Glendale this last winter. One night it got down to at least 32F. All of them are mounted and a few are covered in plastic. I plan on propagating the ones covered in plastic so that I can try divisions under shade cloth.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Plants for Auction at LA Fern Society 15 Nov 2013

For those of you epiphyte enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area...this Friday at 7:30 pm is the fern society meeting at the LA Arboretum. The topic will be 40 awesome orchids! I'll be there with a few extra plants to silent auction off...

Cattleya Portia coerulea Mounted

Kalanchoe 'Tessa'? - Mounted on a wooden plank. Epiphytic hanging plant from Madagascar. Nice reddish blooms.

Villadia elongata - Mounted on a wooden plank. Neat little succulent that you rarely see in collections. It's perfect for a hanging basket because its stems will hang down indefinitely. During the colder months the entire plant turns a nice reddish color.  Here it is growing epiphytically...

Sedum album and Villadia elongata Growing Epiphytically

Hoya NOID - Mounted on a wooden plank. Don't know which one it is but it sure is an easy grower. Never seen it bloom but it's a very neat little climber. Tolerant of drought and cold.  Here it is growing on my tree...


Echeveria gibbiflora? - Mounted on a wooden plank. Will turn into the biggest Echeveria you've ever seen. The "trunk" on my original plant is nearly 3 feet tall. When it blooms the flower stalk goes up another 3 feet.  Here's a seedling on my tree...

Begonia boliviensis growing Epiphytically

Cattleya Portia coerulea (Cattleya labiata x Cattleya bowringiana) - Mounted on a wooden plank. It's been growing outside for several years. Easy bloomer.  Here it is blooming on my tree...

Cattleya Portia coerulea

Bromeliad NOID - Nice reddish color when given bright light. Pretty prolific. In Southern order to minimize the chances of winter rot...I recommend just placing epiphytic Bromeliads in pots without any medium.

Bromeliad NOID

Heliconia angusta - Bare root division. Smaller growing Heliconia with red and white flowers. Great tropical plant for Southern California

Tillandsias - A grab bag of various Tillandsias.

The starting bid for all plants will only be $1. Whoever writes down the highest bid for a plant by the end of the meeting will win it.

Plus I'll be giving away a plethora of Plectranthus cuttings.

Plectranthus NOID

Within a couple of weeks I plan on giving away a TON of extra plants. I have way too many duplicates...mature Banana plants, Epiphyllums, Bromeliads, succulents and many more. Check out my Flickr page to see more of the kind of plants that I grow outside year around. If you're interested just contact me on flickr and I'll e-mail you with the details.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Efficacy of CITES

My reply to VERY ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!...

Breaking the law is breaking the law unfortunately, how ever stupid the law is. However, what I'm worried about with CITEs is the way it makes all the plants stay in one location. If the plants are not widespread in cultivation, and some natural disaster wipes out there natural home, what then? The only reason lots of people want to poach them from the wild is because they're not common in cultivation, so although restricting how you can sell seeds is maybe helping, in the long run it's just making them more rarer in cultivation, so people who do get away with poaching are making more money off them, and will want to do it more. Which is REALLY helping the situation.

If a lot of the seeds and plants were in cultivation, then they'd be worth no more than any other sarr, so a lot of the poaching would go down, because who would go to the trouble of poaching 'common' plants?

Just my two cents worth:) - kath (context)

I largely agree with this. If there's one thing I recommend to plant enthusiasts it's to not keep all their eggs in the same basket.

When it comes to dissemination...incentives matter. It takes time, energy and effort to disseminate a plant. All that time and energy could be put to other uses. Therefore the benefit of distributing a plant has to exceed the opportunity cost in order for the effort to be "worth" it.

So if you want a plant to go from rare/scarce to common/abundant...then respect and appreciate the profit involved. Without that incentive...the alternative uses of people's time and energy become more attractive. Without profit, there's not enough incentive to figure out how to take something that's scarce and make it more abundant. Without profit, there's no way to truly know what other people value. Resources can't flow in the most valuable directions if we don't know what people truly value.

Regarding the efficacy of are some passages from Harold Koopowitz's book Orchids and their Conservation...
The chance that [CITES] listing would even help in their rescue from extinction is uncertain and the lists become difficult to regulate if they become too cumbersome. Many of the species referred to here are not threatened by trade but by land conversion and deforestation. In addition, other species will become extinct without our ever being aware that they were threatened, while others will become extinct without us even being aware of their existence. One can predict that, as the ineffectiveness of CITES to save species becomes ever more widely appreciated, the reluctance to support the convention will become more evident.
The usual pattern, however, is more like that of Zambia where it is legal to turn a branch bearing live orchids into charcoal but it is illegal to take the orchids off the branch to export before burning the wood.
Consider another scenario. You are a professor at a major university and one of your doctoral students calls from Costa Rica. He has picked up some orchid plants from broken branches on the forest floor. The usual fate of orchids that fall is premature death. This is a young man who is intensely committed to conservation and hates to see anything die. You have to tell him to abandon the plants because it would be too difficult for him to get CITES papers.
Could the money have been better spent? The amount of money spent annually to enforce CITES must be enormous. To this must be added the cost of travelling to the various meetings of committees and conventions. If only part of the money spent on CITES over the last 25 years had been made available to actual and real conservation activities, such as buying up forested lands or policing preserves, the world would now be a better place and conservation would have been far better served.
The question much does America value in-situ conservation? Well...we can tally how much money people give to non-profit organizations dedicated to purchasing/protecting habitats. But surely some people feel like some portion of their tax dollars are being used to protect endangered species. Perhaps they don't make donations to conservation non-profits because they feel that they are already contributing via their taxes.

The solution is to allow taxpayers to choose where their taxes go. It's the solution in the sense that it would allow us to determine exactly where America's heart is. Where people put their treasure reveals where their heart is. The Bible got that one right.

Step 1: Allow people to choose where their taxes go Step 2: Discern the disparity between where America's heart is and where it should be Step 3: Disseminate the relevant information to try and help people change their priorities

To learn more please read this tax choice FAQ.

Now, how many countries have a government organization dedicated to protecting the environment? What are the chances that all of them are equally effective? What are the chances that all habitats are equally important/valuable? I think that people shouldn't be limited to only giving taxes to their government...they should be free to give their taxes to any government. So if you think that the Brazilian EPA is creating more value than our EPA is...then you should be free to allocate your taxes accordingly. This would be a global free trade agreement for public goods.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Epiphytic Ant Plants Outdoors in Southern California?

What epiphytic ant plants are those of you in Southern California (and similar climates) growing outside year around?

Here's my reply to Anyone else growing ant plants? Lecanopteris, myrmecodia...


I was super happy when Myrmecodia beccarii survived its first winter outside. It got down to at least 32F. Unfortunately, it only put out two new leaves this summer. But it didn't lose many so that's a good thing.

It's mounted on a wooden plank that's covered with a fairly thin layer of New Zealand Sphagnum. During summer I water it at night but it dries out during the day. It probably wants more moisture but it's always safer to err on the side of too much drainage.

I also have Dischidia major. It's mounted just like the M. beccarii. It's grown really great this summer. This will be the first winter that I'll test it outside.

What I plan on doing with all of my "test" Hoyas/Dischidias is cutting off all their new growth which I'll propagate inside the house in clear storage bins covered in clear plastic by the windows. In previous years the new growth would get killed by the cold and this would open the door for miniature monsters to rush in and kill the plant.

Not sure if this Dischidia is really an ant plant...

Ficus Bonsai  With Dischidia cleistantha 2

Dermatobotrys saundersii and Anthurium scandens Growing Epiphytically

I've had quite a bit of success with Myrmecophilas. Because they are CAM orchids I don't use any moss when I attach them to boards. Plus, I try and give them as much full sun as possible.

Pachycentria glauca did pretty great during the summer...but it really didn't like my fall decrease in watering frequency. It didn't help that mine were just recently established cuttings. I'd like to try growing them from seed to see if there's any drought tolerance variation between the seedlings.

I also tried an ant made a bit of growth during summer but then deteriorated during winter. It made it to spring but didn't have any energy left to hold on for summer. So it wasn't the cold that killed was a lack of warmth. It might have survived in the warmest spot in my garden.

Friday, November 1, 2013

An Epiphyte on Every Desk - Desktop Living Walls

My reply to Desktop Living Wall...


Bladerunner is one of my favorite movies...but I'd much prefer it if the future looked more like the movie Avatar. Your project is a step in the right direction!

Not sure how much additional exposure it will bring...but I added this forum thread and your kickstarter project to the group for epiphytes on reddit. Hopefully others will rate the links up!

If you haven't already seen them...Jamie North's epiphytic installations are worth checking out.

One thing I highly recommend doing is contacting all the plant vendors who would benefit from the success of your project. Perhaps you can create a page on your website "Plant Sources" or "Plant Vendors" and list the nurseries according to how much they've contributed to your project.

Ideally each nursery should have one (or more) of your desktop living walls so their customers can see it in person. People could see (and purchase) plants that the nurseries are successfully growing on your walls. Brochures should be available to anybody who was interested in learning more.

This Saturday I'll be bringing a ton of new plants down to Kartuz Greenhouses. While there I'll be sure to recommend your project to him. I'll also contact my other favorite vendors (Andy's Orchids, SBOE, Hanging Gardens) and share the links with them as well. If you'd like you can PM me your e-mail address so that I can share it with them so that they can contact you directly. Of course Bonnie should be totally down to try out your desktop wall.

Personally, Tillandsias really wouldn't have been the first thing that I would have tried to grow on your wall. They wouldn't even have been the second, third, fourth (and so on) plants that I would have wanted to try. Would they have been the last thing I would have tried? Nope. Poison oak would be the last thing. Or stinging nettle.

Dan Newman (Hanging Gardens) has the neatest climbing miniature Begonia. It's the smallest Begonia that I've ever seen in person. I'd love to know how it would do on your wall. Microgramma tecta would be another plant that I'd love to try. How would miniature Sinningias do? It sure would be great to find out. In terms of orchids...Lepenthes calodycton is easily the first one that I'd try. A good portion of your wall's appeal will depend on the variety of awesome epiphytes that can be grown on it. PM me if you're interested in a list of recommended plants to test out.

Another promotion recommendation is to offer free presentations to all the relevant plant societies. For example, there are around a dozen or so orchid societies in Southern California and all of them are hurting for new presentation topics. Since you live in should work out a deal with KarmaPolice. He lives super close to Kartuz Greenhouses and Andy's he could attach multiple epiphytes to the same branch by selling your desktop wall and suitable plants.

My fern society has a show and tell portion which I force myself to do in order to try and overcome my deathly fear of public speaking. I'd be happy to show and tell our members about your desktop wall. We also have a yearly show at the LA Arboretum. It would be pretty great exposure if you exhibited one of your walls. You could also set up a booth to sell your walls.

The Pacific Orchid Expo is the biggest orchid show on the west coast. It would be another great show to get your desktop walls into.

You should also create a page on flickr to share photos of your walls. You can add your photos to the group for living walls and the group for epiphytes.

Eventually it would be nice if you offered desktop walls in different sizes and with a way to control the wall wetting frequency. There are plenty of epiphytes that prefer to dry out between waterings. In my garden I organize my epiphytes according to watering frequency requirements. So I have a continuum of watering frequency that ranges from one section that I try and water every day to my front yard which I water once a week during summer. In terms of orchids...the continuum ranges from Dracula polyphemus to Dendrobium canaliculatum.

Let me attach another epiphyte to this branch by saying that crowdfunding sites should really allow contributors to share a link to a webpage of their choice. I think this would really encourage participation. For example, if I contributed to your kickstarter...I would have wanted my contribution to include a link to my new blog...Epiphytes and Economics.

Rather than say "kill two birds with one stone"...I'm starting to say "attach two epiphytes to the same branch". I'm also replacing "there's more than one way to skin a cat" with "there's more than one way to attach an epiphyte". If there's an epiphyte on every desk then maybe these more animal and epiphyte friendly sayings will catch on!