Urn plants are bromoliads, native to Brazil. Brazil is a country which fascinates me and is definitely on a list of places I’d like to visit. My grandfather, Reg, went there at the beginning of the twentieth century at a time before the transport revolution made our lives so easy. He travelled up the Amazon to the city of Manaus… I’m not sure who employed him to do so and why he went there, but he was an accountant so maybe that was why he went… it is one of those family histories which will never be solved. He died before I could talk to him about it, and he was a man of a generation which probably didn’t talk about such things. I wish I knew more about him and why, only in his twenties he went there and what he thought about what he experienced.
My dad somehow acquire an urn plant and he was skilled enough to encourage it to thrive. It brought forth brave brood, to sort of quote Caliban in The Tempest, and he potted on loads of baby urn plants. He gave them away to friends and colleagues but I never had one… however, whenever I see one, I think of Reg in Manuas and my dad.