hmbluck

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hmbluck last won the day on August 21

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About hmbluck

  • Birthday 02/23/1978

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Cambridgeshire
  • Interests
    BOTANY: mainly North American carnivorous plants.
    COLLECTING: high-end hi-fi; pottery and porcelain; fine pens; haute horologie; fossils; thematic philately.
    TRAVEL: Europe and USA.
    MISC.: rare whiskies; high-performance cars; resistance training.

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  1. Thanks for the compliments... Rob: I had hoped to visit the workshop during the process and again on collection, but unfortunately that wasn't possible this year. I had a suminigashi knife made by a cutler in Sheffield a few years ago and was able to watch that come to life. Again, a real joy to see somebody at the top of their trade at work. I'm now contemplating getting a garden gate made that will continue the carnivorous plant motif... we have a few rough designs that use Nepenthes vines climbing up the gate's rods, with the pitchers replacing the more traditional wrought iron baskets... very fluid, very natural-looking. Unfortunately, the budget for a gate is currently being used on planting a dozen pleached trees to obscure the neighbouring property! If anybody is interested in the sculpture (who did it, how much etc) let me know and I''ll create a separate post. H.
  2. Hi Rob, If only I was that talented! I commissioned a master blacksmith back in November to make the sculpture. Although we had agreed the design in general terms, he was unable to start making the sculpture until Easter. This was in-part due to demand for his time and partly due to COVID making a repair to a piece of equipment take longer than he'd hoped. He also wanted to see how the plants grow and their morphology, beyond what he could determine from books and photos: so we had to wait until an indoor plant was showing pitchers in all stages of development (about end-March here in Cambridgeshire)... Anyway, hopefully these photos taken by his wife will give you some idea of how the piece was made and constructed. It's galvanised steel so will weather over time and develop a patina that even up the tone... drainage holes at the base of each pitcher to prevent premature corrosion. I just need to recess the plate into the sleepers for a more elegant finish: with work and home-schooling, I just haven't found the time! Best regards, Howard
  3. Back in February I posted a few photos of the 2,000l carnivorous plant bog that I had sunk in our garden. What follows are a few photos of how it has grown over the past months. It still needs a couple more growing seasons to fill-in but the plants have put on a good show for their first year. Also completed, nine months after commissioning, is the pitcher plant sculpture that should help create year-round interest, even when the real plants are in their winter dormancy. I have high hopes for next year!
  4. The Florida Panhandle is one of the world's most important areas for biodiversity. This nine-day trip to the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi was arranged to explore the longleaf pine forests. Historically, these ecosystems once stretched right across the South, nearly unbroken, from Virginia to Florida to Texas. Today less than 5 percent remains of the 90-million acre original system, which included open pine savannas with a lush understory of native grasses and groundcover. These forests host a remarkably diverse plant and animal community that includes some 300 bird and 2,500 plant species. Many of them depend upon a structure that is maintained by a frequent fire cycle (either natural or through managed-burns). Of particular interest, were the bogs and other wetlands that provide a home to carnivorous plant communities. Due to man's unfortunate presence (drainage/land reclamation, development for housing, mining and logging activities) several of the sites may represent the last remnants of these communities. Many of the sites were on stewarded land (e.g. Nature Conservancy) whilst others were not. No detailed location information is provided in this album. Additionally, the trip also provided an opportunity to view wetland birds, insects, reptiles etc. Unfortunately, flash-flooding and heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry meant that several hiking trails were closed or impassable in Louisiana and Mississippi. Similarly, by the time I returned to Florida, water levels in Apalachicola National Forest and the prairies towards Gainesville had risen significantly. This meant that further opportunities to view additional sites was unfulfilled.
  5. Last autumn I had a bog installed in the sunniest corner of our south-west facing rear garden. Having been a collector of carnivorous plants for many years this modest-sized bog garden now affords me to develop a more permanent display in the garden. At around 3.5m (long) x 4.2m (at its widest), the total volume of materials required to fill it comprised: 1,600 litres of peat; 400kg of horticultural sand (lime-free, of course), 400 litres of perlite. The compositional mix varies, depending on the intended location of the various plant types. Planting has started this weekend with 25x Darlingtonia californica, 15x Pinguicula grandiflora, 40x Dionaea muscipula with a further 25x butterworts, 35x Venus's flytraps, 65x sundews (including Drosera binata, capensis, rotundifolia, filiformis, tracyii, anglica), and 60x hardy pitcher plants (Sarracenia flava, flava var. maxima, flava var. cupra, flava var. rugelii, flava var. rubricorpora, purpurea purpurea, purpurea venosa and purpurea heterophylla and a few natural hybrids) to be planted later this month. Sympathetic bog plants that are non-invasive will provide shelter to some of the more delicate carnivorous plant species. On the raised railway sleeper platform at the rear, a specially commissioned 1.3m tall pitcher plant sculpture made by a master blacksmith will add year-round interest and a focal point for the winter months. If people are interested in seeing how the project develops, I will be updating this post periodically. Message me if you want details of landscaper, blacksmith and nurseries and stone/growing medium stockists and I'll be happy to share these. Really looking forward to getting this planted and for the summer to roll round!
  6. Stephen - I am suspecting the higher temperatures we experienced in July may have stressed the plants. But would it take 6-8 weeks for this to manifest itself?
  7. Thanks for your reply. The soil mix is two parts perlite, one part peat. Full, sunny exposure in a bog garden with daily cooling with crushed rainwater ice-cubes. Haven't had any losses previously and none of my other plants are showing any signs of disease or stress. It seems to affect large clumps of parent plants only - the plants at the end of runners appear to be in good health.
  8. Hi, I'm just wondering whether others are experiencing loss of established plants as the summer draws to its end? I've noticed around a half-dozen older plants have recently, and for no apparent reason, started becoming flaccid before browning and dying. I've dug a couple of these plants out and the entire plant appears to be dead. There's no grubs in the soil (a few snail/slug eggs were found earlier in the year and removed) and the plants have been kept watered and their roots cool... I'm at a bit of a loss... Any thoughts/similar experiences would be welcomed. Howard
  9. I have taken leaf-cuttings between May to October with success for all attempted species and hybrids.
  10. Some are - some aren't! It depends on what you want to grow and just how exposed your garden is. Our garden gets strong winds from time-to-time which can sometimes damage the plants, I've found that Gardman plant supports can help the tallest plants (such as the Sarracenia flava variants, S. leucophylla and some of the taller Sarracenia hybrids) but generally once the leaves finish developing and 'harden-off' wind isn't a big issue. The heavy rain and hail we've experienced here has done far more damage to the plants. For low-growing plants consider: Venus' fly-traps, native sundews, native butterworts, Sarracenia purpurea, S. psitticina etc.
  11. Hi Phil, It may be your recent registration is preventing you from viewing the growlist, or the link may be faulty (doesn't appear to be for me, but I don't know about others). In the meantime, here is the growlist: Cheers, Howard PS And by the way 'Welcome!" Cephalotus follicularis Darlingtonia californica Dionaea muscipula (standard clone) muscipula (giant trap erect form) muscipula (large green form) muscipula (red line form) muscipula ('Royal Red' form) Drosera anglica binata binata var. multifida binata var. multifida f. extrema capensis (pale form) capensis (typical form) filiformis filiformis var. tracyi rotundifolia binata var. multifida nidiformis intermedia filiformis (all red form) x hybrida x beleziana Heliamphora nutans x heterodoxa Pinguicula grandiflora Sarracenia alata flava flava var. maxima leucophylla minor minor 'Okefenokee Giant' psittacina purpurea subsp. purpurea purpurea subsp. venosa var venosa purpurea subsp. purpurea f. heterophylla flava var. cuprea flava var. ornata (F198) flava var. ornata (Apalachicola National Forest) (F203) flava var. rubricorpora (Giant red tube, Apalachicola National Forest) (F112) flava var. rugelii (Milton, Florida) x chelsonii x catesbyi x catesbyi var. heterophylla x 'Juthatip Soper' x moorei x excellens x harperi x mitchelliana x swaniana
  12. With the exception of the Cephalotus and Heliamphora, all of the plants in my grow list are grown outdoors. Most stay outdoors year-round, only the Sarracenia minor, S. psitticina, Drosera capensis, D. binata var. multifida f. extrema and filiformis are removed and spend their winter in an unheated (but sheltered) garage. Haven't lost any plants to the winter in the past three years (touch wood!). Hope this helps. Howard
  13. Just a quick question: I'm looking to start growing Nepenthes but would want plants that remain compact over time as I am limited on the amount of space available for this purpose. I have a small terrarium that I'd be looking to use (30 x 30 x 80cm [w x d x h]). I seem to recall seeing a post about a fortnight ago of a small terrarium with N. ampullaria? that looked ideal... Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, also the names of any UK-based suppliers (of course, if this latter request contravenes forum rules on discussing dealers etc then please pm me). Thanks in advance, Howard
  14. For anybody that may be interested... Please click on the following link to view a selection of photographs taken during a recent trip to northern California and southern Oregon to view, principally Darlingtonia californica in the wild. In addition, two other species Drosera rotundifolia and Pinguicula macroceras ssp. nortensis were also encountered. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150888418946589.413427.532376588&type=3&l=542e939cfe
  15. Darlingtonia californica, South Fork Road (southbound), near Douglas Park, Del Norte County, CA, USA.