After many trips through the cloud forests and rainforests of Central and South America, Michael Riley set out to free his epiphytic plants from the constraints of their proverbial horticultural pots. The “epi” in epiphyte, became “upon” the walls of his New York City apartment where he grows a multitude of aroids, gesneriads, orchids, begonias, bromeliads and most anything else that finds this a comfortable place to “hang out”. If you think you might have heard a similar talk about ten years ago - it could be true. However, life (and technology) changes in the jungle constantly, and ... plants grow!
Michael Riley has been interested in horticulture and growing plants for over sixty years. The real challenge came when he moved from Indiana to New York City and faced the trials and tribulations of a brownstone backyard, community gardens, window boxes, street tree pits, trough gardens, fire escapes, rooftops and indoor light gardens. He attempts to grow anything and everything; again and again. He has served The Gesneriad Society as its President and has been Business Manager for over 30 years. He is a Master Judge for gesneriads and judges general horticulture at the Philadelphia and Boston Flower Shows. He is the past Chairman of the Manhattan Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, a member of the Manhattan Orchid Society and works with his friends at the Ecuagenera nursery in Ecuador, exhibiting and selling orchids and other tropical plant material worldwide.