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    Growing plants, all plants, sowing seeds, taking cuttings. Good wine, good cheese and good company.
  1. I would like to add my thanks to Derek and Dennis for all their hard work and hospitality, also to everyone who attended and made us feel so welcome. These were our first visits to open days but they will definitely not be our last. Thank you to all.
  2. It is interesting that sarracenia seeds come to no harm being in water for so long, it would kill non sarracenia seeds. Thanks for the photos, it is good to know what the germinating seeds will look like, I once spent a couple of months nurturing a tray of weeds.
  3. Are your seeds actually in water? I was going to wrap mine in damp kitchen paper and put them in the fridge inside a plastic bag. Your method looks very organised and well labelled.
  4. Thank you for the suggestions. I have been reading through the post on germinating seeds and found loads of useful information. It has surprised me how simple it sounds or are these famous last words.
  5. I want to have a go at growing Sarracenia from seed but am unsure which would be a good choice for a first timer. I’ve tried to get mine to produce seeds for the last few years but so far I haven’t had any success. I have a copy of the CPS seed list but it’s all a bit mind boggling. I don’t want to pick rare seeds or seeds which would be more suitable for an experienced CP grower. I would prefer sarracenias which could eventually be grown outside but apart from that I have no preferences. Can anyone offer me any advice on which seeds would be best please? I'm not a novice at growing from seed, I've just never tried CPs yet.
  6. Thanks Kiwi, I’m hoping the bog will come into its own next year, I’ve found with other plants I grow that once the restriction of a pot has been removed, they grow larger and stronger. The bog has remained constantly damp, even with high rainfall it has not become waterlogged. I gathered a couple of sacks of pine needles to mulch the bed if the weather turns very cold. The Sarracenias and the fly traps are doing very well with some of them still growing. The Drosera are not doing so well, this is the first time I have tried to grow these so I’m not sure if they are naturally dying back or are not happy.
  7. Thank you Martin, that is reassuring. I have the liner one inch below the soil surface so they should never sit in water or be submerged. I should be able to siphon off water using the pipe for filling the reservoir. It may be possible to fold the liner down more during the winter, I will wait until we have some heavy rain to see if this is necessary.
  8. That makes a lot of sense. The method I have used is the same as I use in my greenhouse, it works well in there although my plants need to be kept damp and not wet (non CPs). I will see how well it performs next summer, to change it at this stage would take a lot of work. Firstly, I love your user name and even more your Avatar. Today I gathered some mosses (my brother, as part of his job, was clearing a pine forest), so I rescued some, they look great but I’m not sure they will cope with full sun come the summer. I do have an orchid nursery just up the road so the kind of sphagnum moss they use will be easy to get. I read in the bog garden thread about keeping the soil moist, not wet during winter. The bed was an existing bed so I couldn’t work out a method of draining it. I’m now working on the premise that a good, thick mulch will rectify the situation (it is probably the same theory the Emu had when it buried its head in the sand!). Hi Martin That is a very kind offer, you may very well hear from me in April.
  9. My mistake, I forgot to say there is a large wick which goes to the bottom of the reservoir. I’m not expecting this bog to use less water, I’m hoping with the reservoir I will need to water it less often. I have a very small bog garden (large enough for four Sarracenias) this needs watering every day in the summer. Where would I buy sphagnum moss? I did a search on the internet and have come up with loads of hits for hanging basket liners. Does the less invasive species have a name so I know what I am asking for? I have two Droseras, they were given to me and just labelled ‘carnivorous plant’ so I’m not sure if they are hardy species or not. I need to do a little more research on them.
  10. I read the bog garden section from cover to cover (so to speak), an outdoor bog garden is something that has been on my wish list for quite a few years. Over the last week I put all my newly gathered knowledge into practice. It didn’t all go to plan but I got there in the end. This is the raised, stone bed I was going to use, it is 1.4 meters in diameter. I dug the soil out to a depth of twelve inches (30cm) and a further section in the centre for the water reservoir. I particularly liked the idea of less watering, my small bog needs almost daily watering. This is where I hit hick-up No.1, this was exactly where the electric cable to the garden was buried. No.2 hick-up was the liner, I needed 2.5m x 2.5m, the smallest I could buy off the roll was 4.5m wide or 4m x 4m ready cut, both were ridiculously expensive and very wasteful. I could have ordered it but patience isn’t one of my strong points. Tucked away in the garage was a huge bit of hole free liner, the problem with this was it was old so had become very stiff. It would just take a lot more work. Eventually with a lot of folding and growling I got it to fit. I placed an old bread basket upside down over the reservoir and covered this with capillary matting. I put a pipe in for ease of filling the reservoir. Next came a breathable membrane, this would stop all the peat filling the reservoir but would let water through. An inch of silica gravel. It was topped up with a 50/50 mix of sphagnum moss peat and silica gravel. I trimmed the pond liner down to an inch below the surface, I’m not sure if this will be low enough yet and cut the pipe level with the soil. Finally I researched the growing heights of the Sarracenias and planted them according to their height. I’m not sure about adding moss, it sounds like it can get invasive. I read it would be beneficial to mulch with pine needles over winter, is this correct? There is a plentiful supply where I walk the dog so it would be easy to do. This is my first large bog garden, I am hoping I have it right, I welcome any comments good or bad. I would much rather remedy a problem now than wait for it to turn into a disaster later.
  11. Sue

    Hello from Devon

    There is a lot of interesting and useful information on here. I have read the ‘Bog garden’ section from cover to cover (so to speak). This winter I shall be starting an outside bog garden, I’m fairly certain I now know what I am doing, there were also some great tips. Devon is a lovely place to live, the only downside is everywhere is a long way away. I’m a Doctor Who fan too although I don’t collect memorabilia, just watch it. Not too sure about the ants, the garden is full of them, I think that is where I prefer them to be.
  12. It is an interesting thread, my VFTs are now not standing in water. They are all relatively healthy and doing a great job of reducing the fly population but they were definitely on the soggy side. Mixing sand with the peat to aid draining is a good tip. There were a few questions on the type of sand, this I can help with, naturally occurring sandy soil will be made with sharp sand. Sharp sand is made up of tiny, uneven chips of rock, when mixed with peat, soil or compost, the uneven shapes create gaps which aids draining. Silver sand would be the best to use as it is Silica based, this means it will not dissolve and upset the Ph balance of the soil. Builders sand or beach sand would be no good because each particle is smooth and round which won’t create the drainage gaps. It is often made from stone which will dissolve and upset the Ph
  13. Sue

    Nepenthe ‘Miranda’

    Thanks Mobile, I’ve given it a spray with dilute orchid fertiliser and water the soil with rain water. Great instructions Stephen. I have been successful with air-layering other plants so I shall definitely have a go at my Nepenthes. Can they be layered at any time of year? I did ask the same question on your other thread.
  14. I’ve been successful with air layering on other types of plant. A split match or cocktail stick is good for keeping the cut open. If using hormone rooting powder, only apply it to the cut and make sure it doesn’t get onto the leaf joint where the roots will grow from. It helps plants to root but will kill the roots if they come into contact with it. This rule applies to all other plants so I can’t see that it will not apply to Nepenthes too. With other types of plant, air-layering is usually done in spring/summer, does this apply to Nepenthes too or are they not fussy?
  15. Sue

    Nepenthe ‘Miranda’

    Thank you I'll leave mine as it is. It is very hard when you are a complete beginner to know the difference between those who think they know and those who really know. I’ve had advice from people who have never even owned a pot plant. I now have five pitchers on my plant and am feeling rather pleased with myself (little things please little minds ) I'm going to get some freeze dried bloodworms, there is one fly in one pitcher but as this plant has not had pitchers for two years it could probably do with a little more than one fly.