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Chimaera last won the day on May 16

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  1. Chimaera

    advice on making a sink minibog

    That's great, thanks.
  2. Chimaera

    advice on making a sink minibog

    Thanks for that; good idea.
  3. Chimaera

    advice on making a sink minibog

    I have an old Belfast sink that I want to make into a minibog. It previously had herbs in it and never did well because I could not get the drainage good enough so those have gone. A couple of questions though: Siting. It is super heavy and has to go on a paved surface and the only places available have different shade issues. One has only got full sun from 11.30 till dusk at any time of year, the other (which I prefer) has sun for much of the day in Summer, but from Nov-Feb when the sun is low has no sun due to shadow of a fence. Are either of these OK? I assume the latter is better because the shade period is during dormancy. Drainage. I am not able to attach drainage to the drain outlet as I cannot raise it up; there is an overflow but that is high ups one side. Can I avoid bottom water getting stagnant by watering (in Summer at least) through a pipe that leads down into a sand layer at the base of the compost, so putting oxygenated water into the bottom and hopefully pushing stagnant water up and out. Species. I am planning on S. flava, purpurea, and their hybrids at the back and a range of small some cool climate Drosera, P. grandiflora and maybe a wild-type VFT or 2 at the front. I would like to put in a Darlingtonia (that sytuggled in the heat off the greenhouse) but could that get too invasive. Thanks Charlie
  4. Chimaera

    Scale Insects

    I will second that request; I have them on some tall flava crosses but especially on Darlingtonia, 2 plants look in a very bad state. I guess the summer heat weakened then and the scale are close to finishing them off. A healthy looking Darlingtonia has no scale.
  5. Chimaera

    Best CPs to grow during winter?

    Speaking as a newcomer to CPs myself, look to for the size plants will get to; it is often not clear in nursery listings. For example if you are used to tiny native sundews, you may have a surprise when D. filiformis spreads itself out. Whilst many upright Sarracenia will only slowly form larger clumps, S. purpurea can form large clumps quite quickly and swamp small and delicate plants. If you want lots of the tiny native Drosera to cover the ground, get some seeds sown over the Winter (people are selling them here now) and let them sit in the cold and wet; in Spring you may get loads of tiny plants for little cost. Also look for 'hitchhikers' in potted plants you get; I got self seeded babies of 3 or 4 species of Drosera, 2 Utricularia and some Sarracenia seedlings in the pots that I got other plants in. Potted on they really added to the collection.
  6. Chimaera


    Luckily latin names of species are the same for everyone.
  7. I am sure it if a complex process, indeed from what I recall simple mendelian genetic expression id pretty rare. Even human eye colour, a classic trait, is not simple as there are loads of different shades of 'blueness" and "brownness" influenced by a variety of genes.
  8. It's a long time since I dd any genetics. It is presumably not codominance where you get an intermediate form (in Antirrhinum you can cross red and white flowers and get pink, back cross gives all 3 colours). Could it be 2 sets of genes, one AF recessive (the one we know about) and one with minor vein colour (maybe recessive, effectively partially reversing the blocking of pigmentation in AF) versus no vein colour, Usually the second would be hidden behind normal pigmentation as the expression would be too weak to show, but in an AF plant the minor vein colour would show up, but only where the plant is double recessive and therefore would be rarely happen. Charlie
  9. Chimaera

    Sarracenia descriptions

    Thanks for that. That is great information; I would just love sellers to add some of that.
  10. Chimaera

    Sarracenia descriptions

    As someone new to growing carnivores (during this year I have gone from having 2 to about 30 Sarracenia), I have found that a lot of nurseries give pretty vague descriptions that make choosing plants less easy. Whilst there are usually great photos of the pitchers, there is often no more than a very general idea of the size of the plant and little or nothing on growth form and flowers. I would particularly like to know if a plant (in the year of purchase at least) is likely to have 2 pitchers or a large clump of pitchers of various sizes; the former would be good as part of a large collection but the latter would be far better as a single specimen or houseplant. Likewise, the ease of flowering, colour and smell may be important if you only have a couple of specimens. Indeed I think some sales may be lost because of this; for example some rubra-group clones have rather unexciting pitchers when seen individually, but form an attractive and vigorous clump with lovely flowers. I would like to see not just the photo of a pitcher, but also one of a typical plant (maybe in mid summer of year of purchase) and flower, along with mention of the typical height and vigour of the plant. If pitchers change colour or size through the season, that would also be useful; I had a couple where the early pitchers are rather dull and I was initially quite disappointed, and only later did attractive ones appear. This is not just an issue with CP nurseries; I have found people selling orchids and unusual vegetables do the same.
  11. Chimaera

    Greedy pitchers dying off

    Thanks I'm happy to put up with ugly pitchers now in return for well fertilised growth in Spring. Interestingly the only tall pitchers that do not seem to show this are the S. flavas. Maybe this is luck or maybe they naturally grow in areas with more flies.
  12. Chimaera

    Greedy pitchers dying off

    A large number of the more slender Sarracenia pitchers in the greenhouse have got very full of dead insects and a dark brown band has formed round the pitcher where there are lots of insects. In some, the pitcher above this is dying and going brown.There have been a lot of flies this year (greenhouse backs onto a shady alley full of fox poo) and I have had the door open because of the heat. I assume this happens and is something you put up with, cutting off dead bits, but if there is anything I can do I would like to know. In some slender hybrids, most of the pitchers are damaged to some degree so I am reluctant to cut back too much.
  13. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    If you look at a geology map of the Peaks you will see 2 main rock types; the Dark Peak is made of Millstone Grit- this is sandstone and shales with virtually no carbonate or other solubles in them, so runoff into the reservoirs with be low TDS and probably rather acidic. In the White Peak you have Carboniferous Limestone, a totally different beast made of soluble calcium carbonate so runoff and aquifers there will have a really high TDS and probably be alkaline. All those caves are the result of water dissolving this limestone, so as caves are made the material goes into the water.
  14. Not found that (yet). I added a few to a talk on evolution I do for a local school and the kids loved it, and auctioned (for the school) a small starter collection and the bids went up to £45, so clearly popular here
  15. Chimaera

    Inspire Me!

    I was in a similar situation a year ago and have gone from 4 types then to about 30 now. I got really interested in the many shapes (especially) and colours of Sarracenia pitchers and started trying to get one at least of each main morphology- flask-like (pursuer and hybrids), small and hooked, clump forming trumpets , tall trumpets, and added a couple of different vft colour forms and some different Drosera growth forms (rosette forming, clumping (capensis etc), forked (binata). I also have some of the native species of Drosera and Pings with the idea that these should be easy to keep.