I have nearly an entire shelf of books in my dining room all about succulents, epiphytes and bromeliads. These families of plants have always interested me most.
I first discovered an interest in the bromeliad family (official name: Bromeliaceae) when I was a kid. I was in maybe 3rd or 4th grade and my teacher made a comment that the pineapple is a bromeliad....I'm not sure she even knew what that meant. I don't remember how that was brought up, but I can 'see' that moment still, to this day.
Anyway, I went to an actual encyclopedia (for younger readers....a book, not the internet) at the back of the classroom and found an entry on Bromeliads. I was so fascinated.
Did you know that Spanish Moss is a bromeliad?
And that epiphytes (you might know them as air plants) are a type of bromeliad?
I just find the whole thing interesting, and pretty. These plants are OLD—ancient.
The most recent book about plants I read was last autumn and was all about ferns. Ferns are absolutely fascinating. They have a lot of history, uses and purposes. Ferns were used as bedding (imagine sleeping on a mattress stuffed full of dried fern fronds...the fragrance, the feel). They are food (fiddleheads...yum....ever tried them?). They also don't flower....and don't make seeds. They reproduce via spores...just like mushrooms. They are used as building material....I could go on.
Succulents interest me because they are very much a good reminder about life. Succulents know how to save their resources (the average American could spend less and save more, eh?). They are adaptable to their environment; they learn to be happy where they are. (Whether that's on your desk in your cubicle at work, or out in the hot, hot sun in the desert.) They are simply beautiful (a good reminder for life...keep it simple and it will be beautiful.)
I learned that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. And there is so much more to learn!
When I moved Simplicity Embellished over to hellocole.com, this post was saved in drafts. These were photos I took way back in 2010. Seeing them pop up again has been a nice reminder about something I love. There is so much in life and in the world to love and to learn about.