hmbluck

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Everything posted by hmbluck

  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 ba
  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
  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 3
  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
  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, nati
  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)
  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.
  16. Nikon D7000 with 'all purpose' AF-S DX 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G VR II lens.
  17. Dear All, In recent weeks I've noticed that my H. nutans x heterodoxa have started to produce pitchers with very poor nectar roll/spoon development. I realise this can indicate insufficient light, although the plants are grown in a terrarium with two 45W blue spectrum 6400K growlights powered for 14 hours a day and located approximately six-eight inches above the top of the plants. The plants all have a good degree of colouration. I mist twice daily, humidity is maintained at around 65% and the temperature inside the terrarium is about 24C during the day, dropping to 18-20C at night. W
  18. Thanks for the nematode advice... I'll definitely look into this further. In the meantime I'll add a strip of copper around the bog's perimeter. Best regards, Howard
  19. Hi All, As winter approaches my thoughts have turned to preparing my plants for their hibernation period. Cutting away dead/dying growth and checking the soils for pests, I have noticed a larger than usual quantity of slug eggs; particularly in the more open growing medium I use for the Darlingtonia. Does anybody know of a good way of preventing future occurrances? (During the winter period a number of plants will need to be divided and repotted so can remove the eggs by hand; but ideally I don't want to disturb the plants every winter unless absolutely necessary). I've read that copper s
  20. That was my immediate thought, but it's scarely two inches tall and not making any effort to put on any height!
  21. Could anyone advise what this is? It started to appear about a week ago as a smooth, cigar-shaped 'appendage' about an inch-and-a-half long. In the past couple of days it has raised itself from the horizontal and appears to be opening. None of my four other Darlingtonia have developed in this way and I would like to know (a) what it is and (b) whether I should intervene in any way. Kind regards, Howard
  22. Hi all, Now that the summer is in full swing and the insect populations are at their peak, my plants that are grown outdoors are practically groaning under the weight of trapped insects. The sundews are black with small flies and the occasional moth; the Venus Flytraps have every other trap working away on some poor critter and the pitcher plants are so full of insects that many of their leaves are starting to discolour and rot. However, I witnessed something I hadn't seen before, but I'm sure many people on here may have: trapped wasps (Vespula vulgaris) cutting their way free from overly
  23. Hi Dexter, I'm not sure how applying a weak foliar feed to the inactive plant would encourage it to start growing. Does an increase in nutrient levels trigger new growth? I don't know... The other plants, although small, are getting plenty of what they need judging by the number of ants that have fallen to their doom! Best wishes, Howard
  24. Hi Alexis, They've all been out since late March (subject to frost warnings) and fully outdoors since mid-April. I was hoping that the warmer weather of the past month or so would have got them all growing (we've been achieving mid-20sC virtually everyday, occasionally hitting 30C, with night-time temperatures rarely dipping below 15C). I did wonder whether it was overcrowding or a pest, but discounted these as none of the other plants appear affected (beyond smaller/less vigorous growth). Of course, it may be that I've lost this plant but the fact it's still in apparent good health (gree