Harold became interested in plants when he began collecting tropical indoor plants to spruce up his room.
During one of his online searches he came across a Tillandsia Ionantha and was immediately impressed that it didn’t require soil to thrive. So began his interest in bromeliads predominantly Tillandsias but also anything that is slightly unusual or spiky.
Currently he estimates Tillandsias make up 80% of his collection, but he also likes Billbergias, Dykias, Neoregelias, Aechmeas – really any bromeliad with colour, sculpture or unusual form.
These days he obtains new bromeliads from the Bromeliad Society of Australia shows and meetings, as well as bromeliad experts Chris Larson and Peter Tristam.
Harold has a pergola area to house his indoor plants, 95% of which are undercover. He states they are easy to maintain this way as they don’t get too wet and rot.
Once Harold joined BSA, 2 years ago, he found that his Tillandsias needed a stand for showing in the competitions and this pushed him to make the wire stands his entries are displayed on in Bromeliad competitions.
With no previous training in metal work, he just figured out how to make them as he went along. Harold obtains the mesh from Bunnings, which he cuts with bolt cutters and then bends. For wood mounts he finds branches and large pieces on walks around his neighbourhood but purchases cork from an orchid supplier.
Harold prefers to mount his Tillandsias individually by species or hybrid. After he joined the BSA, his mum Janet also became enthusiastic about bromeliads, especially the artistic arrangements and his dad is a great support and sounding board.
Harold says he learnt a lot especially about growing and taking care of Tillandsias from BSA members, particularly Terry Davis.