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Posts posted by Chimaera

  1. I made a Belfast sink bog  couple of years ago and it is really developing well. I was worried (probably needlessly) of the bottom getting anoxic so my setup is maybe a little complex. I sealed the drain hole and lined with plastic sheeting, and put somee (quarter mm) stainless steel mesh over the overflow so water could get out and not compost. I put 2 pieces of plastic tubing (about 5cm  dia) in 2 corners reaching from top to bottom of the sink, and with lots of drill holes near the base of these to act as water feeds. 

    I layered the fill- about 5cm lime free sand and the base into which the plastic pipes are embedded, then mostly filled with peat/perlite/sand mix and at the top 5cm of peat/sand (so the perlite does not show on the surface). The fill level is a couple of cm below the lip (and rather higher than the overflow)

    I water it mostly through the pipes with the idea that oxygenated water goes straight to the bottom and passes outwards through the sand; the rest of the water goes on top. 

    It is planted up with 2 (shortish) S. flavas, 2 S. purpurea, a S. purpurea/minor hybrid and a S. purpurea/leucophilla hybrid, as well as a clump of D. filiformis. Between these are a couple of small species of self seeded Drosera, some hardy Pings and some self seeded U. bisquamata (I am going to remove some of these as the Sarracenia get larger and the surface gets shaded. Some Sphagnim has established around the pipe entrances (nicely hiding the plastic). I have already had to thin out the D. filiformis as it did very well.


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  2. Thanks. I'll pot up as many as I can, even if it means having more in a pot than I wanted. I am amazed how varied the F1 crosses are- in a cross of a veined S. oreophila and a red purpurea I have seedlings ranging from really slender red pitchers to short fat green ones, with some 5 times the size of others. Other crosses not as varied but still excited to see what develops.

  3. I have some seedlings from crosses I have done that need sorting out once the pots thaw, both some 1 year old and 2 year old (no heat, light etc, just normal growth). In both there are some plants several times the size of others. I can't rear all of these, so want to then them out, so does the vigour now stay as they mature? Are plants that are small at this stage going to stay slow growing, or does the growth rate sometimes change so a plant that is small early on can end up fast growing?


  4. In the first half dozen CPs I bought a couple of years ago I got seedlings in the pots which turned out to be 2 species of Drosera, 2 Utricularia and 3 Sarracenia. Free stuff is great, but 2 years down the line, I have given up trying to get  D. spatulata and U. bisquamata out of pots of anything else.

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  5. I have some VFTs with lots of small offsets forming that I want to bring on. Do they grow to adult size faster if I leave them on the mother plant until they are full size before dividing, or take them off now and pot them up? Or does it make no difference? 

  6. Did plant sales for 6 weeks;  it should have made a couple of hundred pounds for charity. On a couple of days, most stuff was sold before I had even finished labelling things up (tomatoes and bedding plants especially). Other people in the area also gave spare houseplants, perennial divisions and spare bedding plants and it went very well. I made up and sold a dozen each VFTs and capensis, as well as a few tiny pots of D. spatulata (all with a care sheet). So hopefully sharing the CP love too.


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  7. I set up a sink mini bog a  year ago and it seems to be doing well. My main problem has been squirrels trying to dig holes in it to bury nuts in autumn so I peg pieces of net out over the barer patches. 

    When I made it I was (overly) worried about the base going stagnant so I put 5cm of grit sand in the base and have 2 pieces of plastic pipe in the corners so I can water into them and new water goes straight to the base, and moves upwards, keeping the base oxygenated. Sphagnum will hopefully grow over these and hide the plastic in time (I only put Sphagnum in last autumn). The rest is filled with a mix of peat and perlite with a bit of sand, with the top 5cm being a mix of sand and peat (so there is no perlite dotting the surface). I put a small piece of stainless steel mesh over the outflow so I do not lose compost through it, water flows out.  It is cheapest to buy a separate bale of peat and big bag of perlite; these are cheaper online than in a shop. There will be far more than you need but I use them not just for carnivores but for seedlings too. IMG_3139.thumb.JPG.f0665b156cad729e0769ffd0b0e06ae6.JPG

    Here it is a few weeks ago just coming out of dormancy

  8. Thanks; it seems not to be a one off and there are 3 like this (probably far more but I weeded out a lot of seedings in other pots) which are twice as large and more red than any intermedia I have. Hopefully it will flower soon which will give more clue and if it sets seed I will collect it. 

  9. They all look beautiful to me, but I would say bottom right takes it. But there is also growth habit and height (2, one metre pitchers versus a dozen of 25 cm long), vigour, and hardiness (does it perform as well in a bog as in a greenhouse) that can sway people. 

  10. Amongst the self seeded drosera in the greenhouse (lots of capensis, intermedia, spatulata, a couple of filiformis) are a couple of plants like this which I do not recognise- although young they are more robust and larger than the intermedia and anglica I have, and clearly not capensis with different leaves and they formed a true hibernaculum in winter. Are Drosera known for hybridising without help? and if so, any idea what the parents may be- last year I had capensis, intermedia (a couple of types of each), spatulata, filiformis and rotundifolia flowering at the same time.


  11. With garden centres closed and with a surplus of plants that I would usually give away to relatives and friends , I have decided to put a charity plant stall outside my house- I am on route to the park and get passing dog walkers etc. I have floated the idea with the local community Facebook page and they seem keen. At first it will be a few spare tomatoes and Hosta divisions, but I have done some divisions of VFTs, Mexican pings and D. capensis that I will put out when they look less scruffy (with a proper care sheet!). Hopefully I can spread the CP love and make some money for NHS charities at the same time. The idea is to have a table with an honesty payment where there is a minimum price (suggesting that more is better) for each plant (I think £3 for VFTs, £2 for small capensis) with the web address of 2 local hospital charity sites to chose from to pay into. I recon most people here are pretty honest. I will launch this coming weekend and if it works well, I will come here and let people know in case they want to do something similar.

    I don't have any spare Sarracenia that would be suitable for a first timers (short, clump forming such as S. purpurea and purp hybrids) but if anyone has any spares I could have for not much money I would be interested in a few to add to the table.

  12. This is one of the few things about Brexit I am reasonably confident about- there is a huge trade on plants, with a vast proportion of house and garden plants and growing herbs in the UK coming from other EU countries, especially the Netherlands, whilst many seed potatoes in the EU come from Scotland so there will have to be a deal that makes that easy.

  13. I love looking the new life across the garden at this time of year. About a quarter of my Sarracenia have small buds, a lot of Drosera are breaking dormancy and a couple of hardy Pings have appeared at the surface of the compost. 

  14. I would say that some garden centres keep them too dark and too dry. They will recover easily, but if the pitchers have a rather papery feel to them and are a rather dull green, this may be the case. When put in good conditions the pitchers sometimes shrivel and some will go brown- this is not as shocking as it looks as new and strong ones will come up and replace them. 


  15. I have just noticed that there are loads of tiny Ping seedlings in my mini bog (I only started it this year so it has no seed bank in the soil) where the P. grandiflora set seed recently- presumably this shows that really fresh seed will germinate immediately without stratification (like in some Primula). Is this the case with other temperate species? Is it worth sowing temperate Drosera immediately for that reason?

  16. I have a similar sized greenhouse and started collecting a few carnivores last year (I have a couple before that)- I now have a multi use with tomatoes on one side, cucumbers at the end and shelving the CPs (and chillis) on the other side. They all seem top get on very well and I no longer have any problems for fruit flies!.

    I would suggest go for vigorous and interesting plants first. Many nurseries sell good selections as well as ones on here and on eBay. If you get some materials to make your own compost you can buy bare root and save money. As some Drosera and Utricularia self seed all over the place, you will acquire a range of these without asking for them- indeed if you see photos of Sarracenia for sale and there are Drosera in the same pot, ask and the seller will often give you them for nothing. Some you will never identify, but if they are nice plants, so what?

    I have a water butt on one greenhouse gutter and the other leads into a bucket that I use for data to day watering when it has water in it.



  17. I have a couple like that and have them as "S. leucophylla based hybrid 1, 2 and 3". The parentage of these is often complex and it seems that both purpurea group and rubra group species are often involved, both giving a more clump-forming habit. As these are mass produced they are bred less for their finesse and more for being tough and getting to sale size quickly. But saying the they are not to be snobbish about as they are often good plants.


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