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!

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