Hello there, nice to see you again. Oh my. It has been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you’re all doing well! I was taking some time off from blogging here, but hope to update this blog more often. Ever since the move up to Oregon, there has been no shortage of activity and I’ve been keeping quite busy. Repotting, cleaning, dividing, building, sorting. Non. Stop. What is really cool is that the plants are finally growing in full force! This is such a welcome sight to see, especially after one helluva winter. (See previous post.) I mean, back in California – I was doing pollinations as early as January. My first flower this year was in June. (Again, one helluva winter that set this growing season back a month or so.)
For now, here’s a snapshot of how the plants are coming along. There’s still plenty of work to do. As you can see, a few tables have been built and about half the collection has been cleaned/ repotted. A few more tables are going to be built, and the other half of the collection will eventually be repotted. 🙂
It is such an incredible feeling to be able to grow plants right in the backyard. Definitely something that I cherish and do not take for granted. For the first time in a very very long time, I feel like things are aligning and I can finally grow properly. The simple joy of just being able to walk out there and to watch the plants do their thing – fantastically beautiful.
So hey – thanks again for checking in! I’m alive, doing well, and the crops be growing quite splendidly up here. So stay tuned, more updates to come!
There are so many new things that I’m experiencing here in the wonderful Pacific Northwest playground – and my Sarracenia are also having some interesting new experiences as well. Such as — snow! WHOA. Congratulations, Sarracenia – snow level achievement unlocked! Yes. Snow. It’s a total trip. The botanical babes have gone from sheltered greenhouse growing in the past few years (See: Summer Sanctuary 2014) to the real world of outdoor growing. And now, they get to experience some literally cool stuff.
“But wait – oh WHAT? I thought they’re tropical plants n’ shit?” you may be saying to yourself. Nahhh fam, they may look kinda cold and sad and depressed for the moment, but quite honestly they’re quite tougher than what most folks give them credit for. >>Insert a life metaphorical comment about plant and life parallels here.<< I put together a little video and a few images below for your viewing enjoyment. Oh, don’t mind the mess in the yard by the way, I still need to level the yard and get tables built. Kinda hard to do that when it’s a giant mud pit full of black berries… so for now they’re just resting in tubs until I figure that out. Glad I could capture these bae-bay’s first snow days. More snow expected in the forecast here in Portland this week, I’m sure the plants are looking forward to it. Brrrr! Happy growing all yous wonderfuls peoples out there. Stay warm!
Sarracenia seedlings just… chillin’.
The Dogwood encased in ice. It watches over the Sarracenia like a crystal chandelier.
Hi all! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Hope everyone is doing well. Things here at The Pitcher Plant Project are still going through some transplant adjustments, but rest assured – there’s plenty of things in the works. Back in September, Kinjie, Calen and I had the fantastic pleasure of geeking out once again in Jerry Addington’s wonderful Sarracenia wonderland. As some of you may know from previous posts from Jerry’s place, it is always an honor to kick it with Jerry and see the magnificent assemblage of his carnivorous plants. We also met up with fellow growers and friends – Ron “Rocket Man” Spores, Kyle Hooper and Steve Galic. It is always delightful to be able to nerd out to these plants with fellow Sarraceniaphiles. Ahhh, good times indeed.
I’ve put together a quirky video of our visit for your viewing pleasure. There’s also a slideshow for your eyes to feast on, as well and some highlight photos down below. Enjoy!
Jerry – as always we would like to thank you so much for your kindness, hospitality and generosity. Thank you for always urging us to push the envelope of growing and breeding and thank you for your constant inspiration and encouragement.
Behind the scenes. #KinjiePhotobombsWhileCombingEverything
Calen, the selfie master in effect.
Ok ok ok. I have to throw this in here. I mean, how could I not?! Jerry Addington – a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci creating masterful and stunning works of art with Sarracenia. :)
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Sarracenia Northwest (web: http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/) open house with my carni-bro, Kinjie. When I initially really got into carnivorous plant growing yeeears ago, Sarracenia Northwest was a great resource for me and helped set that foundation for me. I had a good time meeting and connecting with fellow carnivorous plant growers as well as getting to see some cool plants at SNW! Thanks again to Jacob and Jeff for hosting! Here’s a few photos from our visit on 10 Sep 2016. Enjoy!
It’s been a little over a month since I’ve moved from the San Francisco Bay Area and I am slowly settling in. Now I have a yard where the plants will be growing. YES. That’s right. No more leasing greenhouse space and driving 30+ minutes each way to see my botanical babies. It’s so refreshing to look into the backyard and see the plants… there.
Moving residences is hard enough. But moving what was once a 2600+ sq foot collection? OH. MY. GOD. BECKY. Look at those plants. Seriously. Moving the plants was a feat of magnificent proportions. The plants have all been moved thanks my good friend and botanical brother – Kinjie. Kinjie borrowed a trailer (Thanks Jesse!) and drove down, helped pack the plants, load the plants, and then drove back up to Portland. Dayumn. It was a fast and furious trip, but he got it done. I don’t know of anyone else who would drive over 1,300 miles round trip to haul plants. Over 1,300 miles. Yes. You read that right. Kinjie rolled over 1300 miles round trip to help me with this plant move. The dude is a freakin’ champion.
KINJIE – THANK YOU BRO.
And now, below are a few of the clips documenting the transplant of The Pitcher Plant Project.
Here is a clip from the Kinjie Cam. He’s reporting from somewhere on the road from Portland to the SF Bay Area. (Check out his Instagram: @ocpaddict.)
Oh. And speaking of trailers — there was an interesting development regarding the trailer tires. During Kinjie’s drive down, something went awry. We guess one of the tires got snagged somehow and was dragged for a while. There was a lot of smoke coming from the trailer tire while he was driving. Now because of this, the tread was worn down on that tire. This was a potential hazard so we got it replaced before loading the trailer up with the heavy load. Last thing we’d want would be Sarracenia scattered all over the highway! We then took the trailer to a local tire shop in Pacifica (Seaview Tire and Brake Center — Thank you Bill!) where we discovered that a couple other tires also had issues of their own. Serendipity! Those may have been unfit to carry such a heavy load of plants, but we didn’t want to take that risk. So we got those replaced as well.
After getting the tires replaced, we got to work loading the Sarracenia up. I have already long accepted the fact that due to this move, the plants must be smashed. As long as the rhizomes are OK, they will grow again. As our fellow Sarracenia-bro, Calen, put it: “Sarracenia pesto.” Yeah. That. Now watch and listen — and try not to cringe.
Here are a few clips from the Snapchat. You’ll see the trailer start to fill up. Yup, this is Sarracenia pesto in the making.
Aaaaand a couple shots…
Night shift. The calm before the storm – preparing for packing.
This trailer is loaded.
Here we go. The haul began on the 24th of July at the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM. Good gawd. So Early. Being that this was one freakin’ heavy load, I followed Kinjie from Pacifica into San Francisco along Highway 1 just to observe how the packed trailer behaved under the added weight and strain of many plants. I am glad to report it went well. I followed Kinjie into San Francisco for a little bit and then parted ways as I turned back around to go to Pacifica. As we drove our separate ways, I couldn’t help but to savor the moment and take it in. This transition was a major milestone in my life. Watching the trailer pull away and then head north was so surreal. But I knew this was a temporary separation and that would be reunited with them in about a week. This was just the begging. This was a dawn of a new era with many good times to come.
So what’s going on now?
There is still a lot of work to do in the back yard before I get the collection up and running. I am freaking out in a good way that I have a yard to work in now. I’ll share bits and pieces along the way, so stay tuned. Man. That feels good to say. There’s yard I can work in now. WHOA.
OH! But wait, there’s more! Fellow Carni-bros Kinjie and Calen are all in a very close proximity. BRUH. Can you just imagine the botanical shenanigans that this trio of carnivorous plant growers is about to get into?
Thank You! To the readers and followers of this blog – you are beautiful. Thanks for your continued interest in my botanical adventures. It has been great to connect with many of you. I’m looking forward to sharing more of this journey with you. A huge thank you to Kinjie for all of the moving help, support, and driving a trailer over 1300 miles. I definitely could not have done this with you. Allison and Siri, thanks for letting him do this crazy thing! Calen and Fab, than you for watching some of the plants for me and letting them occupy space in your yard. Derek and Heather, thanks for babysitting the Nepenthes and allowing them to take up some room in the wonderful The Milk Barn Farm greenhouse.
Yo, Max and Lauren – Thanks for those flood trays! They will come in handy and keep The Pitcher Plant Project watered. 🙂 I really appreciate it!
Lor, Nel, Mateo – Thanks for stopping by and helping out with the move, as well as giving some of the plants a new home. :)
To the BAPP (Bay Area Plant People) Crew: Meg, Matti, Jamie, Blas, Jenn, Matt and Tim (who isn’t in the photo – missed you man!) Thanks for your help with the moves and for being such wonderful friends. Jenn and Matt, thanks again for putting together the last min send off. 🙂 Missing you all. <3
And thank you to my family. To my wife Dahlia and my boys Josiah and Lucas: Thank you for putting up with my craziness and for your patience through this transition. Thank you for believing in me. I am looking forward to this new adventure.
It has been quite some time since I’ve written, hasn’t it? I wanted to check in and assure you that YES, I’m still alive. I’m writing on an eve of a pretty big change. The past few months of my silence here have been filled with much activity in life – and of course, in the garden.
Life. Once again, re-potted.
In 2003 I had moved into a condo in San Francisco with a tiny patio. I thought it looked barren. So I planted.
In 2005 that tiny patio turned out to be too small for me. So, I moved to another condo with a larger patio. And I continued to plant.
In 2006 that slightly larger patio turned out to be too small for me. So I moved into a house with a yard. Not just any house. I was able to acquire the home I grew up in. And I continued to plant.
In 2015I moved out of The Asylum. Three years of commuting an average of 30+ minutes each way began to take a toll on me. The 2600+ square foot glass sanctuary was a beautiful and a mighty place to grow. I do miss that grow location. What was lacking was balance. I would only see the plants maybe once or twice a week. On bad traffic days, it would be an hour or more each way. Three years of this was wearing heavy on my soul. And my god, how I wanted to plant.
In 2016 I moved the plants to a local nursery in Pacifica. The new place was only five minutes away but I still had to drive. It was smaller and there was not much room to work with. The last move out of The Asylum took so much out of me… however I still wanted to plant.
All of this leading up to this point… I’m moving again.
The plants have already moved. They are currently several hundred miles away, and I’ll be reunited with them soon. And I will plant.
Thank you all who have been following this crazy plant adventure of mine. I was recently going through some of my old writings from 2006 from when I first moved into my house. Yeah, a decade ago. I wanted to share a modified passage from one of my first online garden journals/blogs with you here. It’s actually more for me. Just a reminder for me to enjoy this journey.
Life’s hourglass has again turned and another season of change is upon me. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and I have grown much here. And, at the speed of life, I have outgrown my space and now I will be moving to a new house creating new memories.
My garden is the living repository in which events of my life are recorded and tucked away. Each stem, each petal, and each leaf blade is a poem waiting to be discovered. One just has to listen. My garden is my journal – the collection of my memories that is open and read by all. Each plant is an icon of an event: they are the witnesses, they are the scribes, and they are the story tellers. Some plants have been passed on to me, and some I have only begun growing as I am leaving a legacy to pass on to future generations. With my garden expanding with so much vibrant growth, color, and botanical diversity – I realize perhaps that is only just a reflection of how much I have grown…
Quite simply – I have outgrew my container and the season of expanding is at hand. Sure it’s uncomfortable during this stage of moving – but with the lessons learned from the same situations in the past, it has only lead to one thing – more room to grow and expand.
There’s going to be a lot to follow.
Hello all you beautiful people out there! Hope you all have been well! I’ve finished moving out of The Asylum and took the month of February to just relax a little bit from the wonderful fiasco of hauling an entire large greenhouse full of plants from point A to point B. (A huge thanks to the BAPP crew for the help!)
The new place is coming along well. I’ll slowly be putting the pieces together again and will be working on the new location throughout this year. It’s not as large or grand as the marvelous Asylum, but you know what – it’s something. The Sarracenia are growing outdoors now and that’s been brilliant since they’re now getting much needed rain. It just feels good to know that the plants that were once in the greenhouse for 3 1/2 years are now getting a much needed flush from the the rain.
I also wanted to report that on 29 Feb I was able to do my first pollination of 2016! I self pollinated an anthocyanin free clone of S. catesbaei. The parentage is S. luteola x S. flava ‘Suspicion’ – grown from seed, cross by Adrian Fawcett and you can see them when the first germinated back in 2013 here! (Thanks again, Adrian!)
Seeing the first flower is always refreshing sight. This neon thing broke the bleak ocean of trimmed and dead foliage like a beacon of hope for better things to come. This year will be a transition year getting to know all the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the growing spot, but so far it looks like the plants don’t have a problem with it. Looking forward to seeing how this year will turn out. Thank you all again for following along this crazy botanical journey of mine, y’all are just awesome.
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Blog warning: I am not a plant expert. No freekin' way. I just love growing these plants and sharing what may or may not work for me. I consider myself a student - always learning, and always growing, sharing what I learn along the way!
The plant material I distribute is propagated by me. I have not, and do not collect field specimens for propagation, for sale, or for any other purpose. I do not sell plants or seeds that have been field collected by me or my contacts to fill plant orders.