I was driving home from work a couple weeks ago when I noticed a huge piece of bark on the side of the road. It had fallen off the side of a large tree that had been cut down. The tree had been chopped off at the height of the fence (about 6') and the bark slid off the tree several years later
Like a football scout (it is that season), I looked at it and all I could see was potential. I came back that evening and loaded it up in my wife's SUV. Now it's sitting on my back porch waiting to be put to good use. The bark measures about 6 feet x 2.5 feet. You should be able to see from the picture how big it is. It also has really good character.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Me holding up the prized piece of bark. Look how big!"][/caption]
The only problem is deciding what to do with it. I have a couple of ideas, but haven't acted on anything yet. Mainly my ideas focus on climbing plants.
1. I could construct a sort of stand and mount the bark on it, holding it upright. Then I could start to train some of my climbers to attach to it. I have a lot of good plant candidates (mostly Aroids) for this. I have just begun to train a couple of my Aroids to climb up some stakes I made. These are Philodendron microstictum and Scindapsus pictus (one of my favorite plants).
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Clippings of Scindapsus pictus that I have staked for climbing."][/caption]
2. One of the most common uses for bark among "planty" people is for mounting orchids. However, I am kind of out of my orchid swing right now. I have had as many as 5 orchids in the past, but I only have one right now and it has moved to my mother-in-law's house because it wasn't doing very well under my care. This huge piece of bark would look amazing covered in orchids, but if I decide to use it in that manner I'll be putting it on hold for now. I'm also not sure if this bark would be most appropriate for mounting orchids. I suppose it couldn't hurt. But orchid-mounting bark usually is more porous and can be soaked in water. This piece of bark would not be a good fit for that kind of use due to its size, as well as its texture.
Do you have any ideas about how this great piece of bark could be used?