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Everything posted by dennisB

  1. dennisB


    Hi Jon all the native sundews will be dormant at this time of year and will have reduced greatly in size - as will native butterworts. They will reappear in the Spring. Generally speaking, carnivorous plants are slow to produce mature plants from seed (years in some cases) which is likely to be frustrating for a 5 year old! Please PM me If your son would like some freebie sarracenia (north american pitcher plants). These are also dormant but will return to growth in the Spring. There are some growing guides on the CPS website which offer some good advice. cheers Dennis
  2. Hi assuming your sinks are glazed you will not need to line them. With undrained mini bogs it is usual to have drainage holes about 5cm below the top of your growing media so that the sink doesn't get totally waterlogged. You have two options: 1. Seal the plug hole and drill a couple of holes into the side of the sink. 2. If you can't do 1, fit a vertical pipe to the plug hole with a few holes 5cm or so below the growing media or have the top of the pipe 5cm below the growing media and cover the top of the pipe with a fine mesh to stop the growing media being washed out. Rain will bring the perlite to the top of the growing medium (which may not be a problem if you put sphagnum moss on top). It is usual to use a non alkaline sand or grit instead of perlite on outdoor containers. If your sinks are deep you could save on growing media by putting some chunks of broken up polystyrene packing material in the bottom - but this isn't necessary. I have more sarracenia than I know what to do with. PM me if you would like some freebies. Dennis
  3. Hi Les go to the Carnivorous Plant Society website at and have a look at the growing guides.
  4. November/December for me in sunny Paignton. I've never needed to use any encouragement. Dennis
  5. Apologies, but due to people withdrawing the Dorset Field Trip has been cancelled. PM me if this causes you a problem. I'll try to organise a field trip for next year. cheers Dennis
  6. Hi Paul I'm running a field trip to S. Dorset on Sunday 25 Jul. We expect to see all three species and both hybrids of drosera native to the UK, some utrics and pinguicula and some introduced sarracenia. I know it would mean early start for you but you would be very welcome to come along. PM me if you would like to attend. Dennis Balsdon
  7. Due to illness in the family I have had to cancel my open day scheduled for August 8th. I am happy for individuals to drop in at pre-arranged times. PM me you wish to come at other dates over the summer. cheers Dennis
  8. Hi again Jay unless you live next to a cement works, lime stone quarry, gypsum mine and the like which makes your rain hard, it is extremely unlikely that your rainwater contains calcium, magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates or sulfates. Your TDS meter is detecting other minerals washed from your roof - non of which are likely to affect your plants. In the wild CPs do not get absolutely pure water. It will typically contain peat particles,, other vegatative detritus and minerals leached from the surrounding soil and will be on the acid side of neutral. I have more sarracenia than I know what to do with. If you would like some freebies PM me with your address. cheers Dennis
  9. Hi Jay you don't need a TDS meter to tell you that Brighton's tap water is too hard for most CPs. A few years ago hardly anyone (possibly no-one) used them. Since then their use seems to have been copied from the USA. Collect as much rain water as you can. Even is sunny Brighton it rains regularly and any other dissolved solids washed from your roof will quickly settle out and in any case they won't harm your plants. You will need a back up supply of soft water and there have been many discussions on the forum on how or where to get it. The alternative would be to move to Devon where we can use our tap water. Standing pots with drainage holes in a water tray of some sort is a standard way of growing CPs. Good luck. Dennis
  10. Hi The only issue with water is its hardness - which your rainwater won't be . There will be other dissolved/undissolved solids in your rainwater but these will settle out fairly quickly and in any case (and unless you have a very strange roof) they will be harmless. You can use your TDS meter to test your tap water but I guess Brighton's tap water is likely to be too hard. Good luck Dennis
  11. This is a list of the events I've organised so far this year. They depend on there being no further covid restrictions. Talks on The Natural History and Cultivation of Carnivorous Plants Talks are light hearted, last around an hour and cover all the main plant groups. There will be a comprehensive plant display and a selection of plants for sale in aid of carnivorous plant conservation. Garden Clubs may charge a small entrance fee for non members. Woodbury Garden Club - 7pm on Tuesday 13th July. Woodbury Village Hall, Flower Street, Woodbury, Exeter, Devon EX5 1LX Kingsbridge Gardeners Society ā€“ 7.15pm on Monday 6th September. The Rest Centre, Addlehole, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2DX Stokenham Garden Society ā€“ 7pm on Tuesday 14th SeptemberStokenham Parish Hall, Carehouse Cross, Stokenham, Devon TQ7 2SJ Open Day Sunday 8th August, 10am to 5pm - CANCELLED. Dorset Field Trip Sunday 25th July The trip will visit sites in Dorset to find native drosera, pinguicula and utricularia and some introduced sarracenia. All sites are SSSIs and no plants may be collected. The plan is to meet at the first site at 10am and the last around 4pm with a stop for lunch. You will need your wellies! Contact me on 01803 528885 or at [email protected] for details. Dennis
  12. They look OK to me but it might be worth checking that you don't have any rot in the rhyzomes - just nick back of the rhyzome with your thumbnail. If it is white all is good. If it is brown keep cutting the rhyzome until you reach white.
  13. It may be just me but why are HSISSA recent posts in chinese/korean/mongolian? Dennis
  14. Hi For obvious reasons I had to cancel my usual June open day here in Paignton. Together with the cancellation of my usual half a dozen garden club talks and the cancellation of this years RHS shows I am feeling very deprived of the opportunity to talk CPs and meet other CP enthusiasts. So what I thought Iā€™d do is to have an open garden for the next three months so if you would like to drop in during this period you would be very welcome. I have 3 greenhouses, cold frames and mini bogs all stuffed with CPs. I have lots of plants available for sale at bargain prices or for swap. You will have to maintain social distancing so I will have to limit numbers on each day. Please contact by PM or email to [email protected] if you would like to come. Dennis
  15. Hi S. purpurea were first introduced to UK bogs over 100 years ago in various location in the UK and Ireland subsequently much later by people who should have known better. They have spread to become a major problem as they out compete native bog plants. Land owners are very concerned and are attempting to remove them. Over the last few years and In conjunction with other organisations the UK CPS has removed hundreds (maybe thousands) of purpurea from a large bog in southern England where the landowner was intending to spread glysophate weed killer. Only a small patch now remains which is used by botany students at the local university. The problem is that there are millions of seeds which continue to emerge each year over large areas. I doubt that the eradication will now be successful. Similar attempts to eradicate Japanese Knot Weed, Himalayan Balsam, Rhododendron and other exotic introductions have also been unsuccessful. Dennis Balsdon
  16. If you shake sarracenia flowers they will self pollenate. Bees will normally pollenate flowers but you won't know what hybrid will be produced (ie you won't know who the dad is) unless you take contraceptive methods to get a specific cross.
  17. Hi attached is a list of CP events in the UK from July onwards that haven't been cancelled yet. In view of the current difficulties (understatement) it is probable that some or even all of these events may be subsequently be cancelled or re-scheduled to later in the year. These events will be listed shortly on the CPS website at Any changes will be reflected as they occur. The commercial growers will be going through a particularly difficult time but all will continue to operate on-line shops so please support them if you can. Hope you and yours are well. Dennis 2020 CP Events.xlsx
  18. It was also thought to have an aphrodisical affect on cows (but not apparently bulls!). It was also a constituent in "My Ladies Delight" a drink from the middle ages. It was also used to curdle reindeer milk. Dennis
  19. Hi again the RHS has now said that all their shows scheduled to take place up to the end of June are cancelled. They will take a view on shows after June as government advice progresses. Their gardens will remain open but events in the gardens up to the end of June are also cancelled. This includes the Specialist Society show in May which the Society was going to attend. At the moment the CP weekend at RHS Wisley in July has not been cancelled. I am contacting those who have told us about their open days to see if they are planning to cancel/postpone. I'll keep you informed. Dennis
  20. Hi it is normally - but we are not living in normal times. It is probable that all RHS Garden Shows will be cancelled this year, it is possible that RHS gardens and RBG Key will close for the duration of the pandemic (meaning our CP weekends and Kew visit will be cancelled) and that similarly it will prove impossible for members to host open days - particularly if you are ancient like me. Th society's AGM and end of season meetings are also likely to be cancelled or postponed. As a society we will follow government guidance and we will keep members informed as and when the situation becomes clearer. Dennis
  21. Hi a list of open days, meetings, talks, society CP weekends at RHS gardens, society attended shows and commercial nursery attended shows will be in the next edition of the newsletter which will be distributed this month. Details will be shown on the website shortly too. Dennis
  22. Hi again Priscilla from memory both you and your partner showed in PayPal as having paid a subscription which is why you both received a new member's pack. Your partner's membership was subsequently cancelled. You can contact me directly on [email protected] if you have a query rather than publicly on this forum. best regards Dennis Balsdon Membership Secretary