Wild at heart: Houseplants unleashed at Wisley

Aechmea 'Blue Rain'Houseplants can get a bad rep as limp dust-collectors your Grandma lines up along her dining room windowsill. But when you walk into the Wisley Glasshouse, part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley gardens complex in southern England, you get in-your-face proof that these plants can have a much wilder side.

In a previous posting, I wrote about how Wisley in winter can be brilliant for collecting ideas for your own garden. Inside the Glasshouse, it’s summer year round–the perfect environment for tropical specimens to run amok. Spotting classic houseplants in this hot and humid jungle can be a challenge just because their sheer size makes them harder to recognize.

Here’s a quick overview of what some houseplants look like if they’re allowed to flex their muscles in a greenhouse of epic proportions, complete with clouds of live-in butterflies. (More on those in a future posting.)

Click on any photo to start the slide show and get the full story.

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