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    Plants, Amphibians, Invertebrates, Small Rodents, Music

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  1. It's also worth noting that you can check a vehicle's MOT history, advisories, mileage, etc, through the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history https://www.gov.uk/checks-when-buying-a-used-car
  2. I've recently made another video slideshow of some of my succulent collection.
  3. It's Spirogyra, a type of algae. It forms in my trays every summer but I don't consider it a problem. It's easily removed if you feel the need to and can be wiped from the outside of the pots with a cloth or small sponge. It's only a problem in my pond where, together with Duckweed, it prevents light penetrating below the water surface unless it's removed.
  4. Yes, they grow differently inside the house. Even though they're in a south-facing window they receive less than 50% of available sunlight than they would if they were outside or in a greenhouse. Thank you. All of the plants in the photos are descended from just one (giant) plant that I was given 7 years ago (in July 2010). They've been propagated by division each year. I've only had a greenhouse for the past four summers.
  5. Epidobates tricolor or Dendrobates leucomelas or Dendrobates auratus?
  6. There is no constant kitchen temperature. I estimate that in the winter the ambient room temperature varies between approximately18°C and 23°C. It fluctuates depending on whether the central heating's on, whether food's being cooked, whether the window's open and what the weather's like. The plants die back with the shortening day length and temperature's never given me any cause for concern. Things may not be so straightforward in countries that have a different climate and day length though. Here's a photo of my indoor VFTs (G16s) taken today. All of these plants were in only one pot until this spring when I divided them to fit into two pots. For comparison, these are the G16s that reside in the greenhouse:
  7. I'm not a VFT collector so have only ever kept the natural form and a giant form (G16). Both types thrive on a south-facing windowsill throughout the year. I keep only the natural form outdoors. I don't know how resilient the many VFT clones/cultivars/mutants are to conditions that are less than optimal. From 1986 to 1994 I lived in a second floor flat and each spring had to throw away surplus plants when I repotted them. I can't understand why yours died overwintering indoors. In my opinion, here in the UK, an unheated greenhouse is the best environment for VFTs but I've always found them to be surprisingly robust providing the basic specific requirements of Sphagnum peat substrate, soft water and direct sunlight are met.
  8. Sorry to contradict, but this assertion is misleading. Keeping VFTs on a sunny windowsill indoors over winter will not spell certain death. I've been keeping them successfully all year round on south-facing kitchen window sills (in 3 properties) for the past 31 years. In my experience, it's the shorter photoperiod during winter months that mainly influences dormancy. I also have some VFTs that grow outside in plastic planters that have survived the past 7 winters unprotected.
  9. Probably your easiest short-term solution is to ask family, friends or acquaintances if they have a water butt. If they do and will let you have some water from it, use 1 gallon or 5 gallon plastic containers with screw tops (the latter are sold for wine-making) to store it. I maintained a small collection of carnivorous plants for 8 years that way when I lived in a second floor flat. If you do run out completely, de-ionised water, sold for car batteries, does the job okay.
  10. Apologies for the 7 months delayed response - I missed your post. They were overwintered in an unheated lean-to greenhouse built against a south-facing wall.
  11. It's a difficult one. Warm air against cold glass = condensation. The only comment I can offer is that my own greenhouse, which is home-made and unheated, is glazed entirely with 10mm polycarbonate and condensation forms only on the outside, never inside.
  12. They look like Ostracods, which are harmless. There are YouTube videos about them; here's one:
  13. It's now just over 5 months since my last post above. I thought it might be of interest to show how the plants have fared now that one year has passed since they were first placed on the bark. The photograph below was taken today and, as you can see, the plants on the bark have not multiplied but appear to have reverted back to the size they were when first placed there. The potted plant on multipurpose compost has formed two rosettes. So, although the plants on the bark were deprived of a nutritional substrate, most have survived and appear to be ready to go again.
  14. Wilko's pots tend to be made of flimsy plastic. They're cheap but not robust enough for multiple re-use. "Teku" pots are superior. I buy mine from: http://www.gardensupplydirect.co.uk/plant_pots__trays/teku_11cm_square_black_plant_pots__50_pack/13585_p.html
  15. The photos below are of Pinguicula 'Tina', which I believe is P. agnata x P. zecheri (Mexican). The first two photos are of them growing on pieces of natural cork bark in rainwater - nothing else. The plantlets were first placed on the bark on 28th April this year and the photos were taken today. The third picture below shows them in comparison with plants grown in pots of Levington multipurpose compost. I originally intended to throw the plantlets away (too many) but decided at the last minute to set them up as I have as an experiment. The main conclusions I've drawn are that this particular plant needs only a damp surface on which to grow and that it does so epiphitically.
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