Author Archives: Sarracenia Dude

Transplanted: Fellowship of the Traveling Plants

Greetings from Portland, Oregon! YES PORTLAND!!!

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.

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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.

Packed trailer!

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.

Where does The Pitcher Plant Project go from here?
The future is bright and something ominously exciting. As you may have guessed from my last post, I sure am damn fucking tired of commuting to see the plants. Now that the plants are in the backyard, that means I can do so much more work with them. Watch out world. 🙂

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.

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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!

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Lor, Nel, Mateo – Thanks for stopping by and helping out with the move, as well as giving some of the plants a new home. :)

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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.

Transplant complete. Let’s grow.

Life. Re-potted.

Hello hello!

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 2011 I had to move away from that home. It was heart wrenching. It felt as if I was shattered. But I still was thankful. And I continued to plant.

In 2012 the plants were moved into a new location. I really had no other choices at the time. In May of 2012 I had to get out because that place was a fucking piece of shit. I moved into a temporary location. You can read about that move:  part one here. I still continued to plant. I was waiting for the greenhouse that I affectionately called “The Asylum” to open up. Once it did, that was move part two. So in August of 2012 I moved into The Asylum. And there, I continued to plant.

In 2015 I 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.

Stay tuned.
There’s going to be a lot to follow.
Let’s grow.

First Flower

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.

Sarracenia catesbaei flower – anthocyanin free clone

2015: Reflection

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! Hope you all are doing well. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but rest assured there has been no shortage of action.

2015 has been a year of tremendous growth. Both with the plants …and personally. Some of you already may have heard: 2015 marks my last year inside the glass sanctuary I’ve so endearingly nicknamed “The Asylum.” I will greatly miss it. The Asylum has served as a grand and fantastic place to grow over the past 3 1/2 years. Why the move ? (Yes, for those of you that have been following me a while – this is another move.) It was a tough decision… however being so far away from the plants made the greenhouse commute and balancing life an ever increasing challenge. I’m still currently in transition (hence the hiatus from blogging) to a location that is much closer to me, and I’ll write more about this later. Stay tuned for those updates! The new location should give me more time to be with both family and plants. I still dream of the day that I’ll be able to walk into a back yard and be with my botanical babies. *Sigh* one day…

To my family, friends and readers – thank you for your support through the years and thank you for following my crazy journey. Standing on the threshold of a new year, I wanted to take a moment to briefly reflect on 2015.

Here’s a video with clips from throughout 2015. It starts off with recent clips of dormancy and then flashes back to shots of the growing season. Oh the sweet memories… but you know what? I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store. Let’s grow.


2015: Reflection

A Visit to Jerry Addington’s

Jerry Addington

Last month, I once again had the pleasure of visiting one of the great Sarracenia influences in my life, Jerry Addington. It is always a great treat to have been able to visit twice in a season. (Check out my visit to Jerry’s place – June 2015.) Special thanks to my bro Kinjie for making this happen. Company at Jerry’s spot also included fellow Sarracenia-philes Ron Spores and Kyle Hooper on this visit. We had a most excellent time just geeking out over the plants. And yeah, It was absolutely brilliant seeing the plants again; this time they were gowned in their autumnal attire. Leucophyllas and their hybrids were putting on quite the show. And as always – the sheer magnitude of quality and quantity of plants at Jerry’s place is overwhelming. Enjoy a few of the photos from this visit! Just a small sampling of photos are below, but be sure to check out the slideshow for all of the photos from my visit.

Jerry, as always – thank you for everything. Hope to be back again soon!

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View slideshow in full screen.

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Sarracenia Squad: [Co, Addington, Coe]

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This was really nice to see. This was grown from seed that I did that I sent Jerry. The parents are S. rosea “Big Mama” x purpurea ssp. venosa AF. You can see the S. “Big Mama” influence in the ala (the “wing” being held) and the other cool thing – this plant is AF recessive! Jerry – hope you can use this in future breeding projects!

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Kyle!

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Ron giving us presentation on his recent Sarracenia adventures while we wait for some awesome Thai food!

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A Visit to Paul Barden’s

Last weekend my carni-bro Kinjie Coe and I had the honor and pleasure of visiting one of the great Nepenthes growers, Paul Barden. Over the past few years, Paul has been one of the influences in my growing of Nepenthes. I’ve learned so much from Paul and I’m forever thankful for all of the knowledge and wisdom he’s imparted to me. Paul’s blog Nitrogenseekers and his Instragram feed are simply inspirational. Visiting Paul’s place in person though – OMFG, that is another story. I was overwhelmed by all that is happening there. His garden is well beyond mind melting. It is a psychedelic kaleidoscope of carnivorous goodness where one can easily get locked into that carnivorous plant high. And yeah, for sure that carnivorous plant high is one good place to be.

Only a few highlight photos from our day are below, so be sure to view the slide show to see all of the photos from our visit. Enjoy!

Paul and Lars – thank you both so very much for your hospitality and generosity. Y’all are just too awesome. I am extremely thankful that Kinjie and I were able to experience your beautiful botanical heaven. Thank you so very much.

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[View slideshow in full screen]

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Barden, Co and Coe.

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The Legend in situ.

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Lars giving us a private concert of The Well Tempered API. Note the 3D printed mouthpeice. This was badass. I really loved it! Bravo, Lars!

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Thanks Paul!

Nifty Nepenthes

I recently had the pleasure of recently visiting a private Nepenthes grower – here’s a few shots of this brilliant collection.


Full slideshow here.

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Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection

Private Nepenthes Collection