Tag Archives: Move

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.


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.

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.

2012: Transition

2012 has been a year marked with intense transition from one place to another, both personally and botanically. Indeed, this year was challenging. Each move was a monumental undertaking and ultimately resulted in increasing formidable awesomeness. I am thankful for it all and look forward to what the next season will bring.

To sum it all up…

January, 2012.

From that, to this.

Then this.

And then finally this.

Garden Move Stage IIAugust, 2012.

On this eve of a new year I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude and say “thank you” for making 2012 so memorable. I am thankful for my family, friends, and you readers out there. (Yeah, I see you!) I really couldn’t of done 2012 without your continued support and encouragement. I wish you all continued success and growth in 2013. Cheers!


New Growth

Oh the festivities of this last move… again, it was FUN! It really is amazing how much difference lighting can make. Plants look happier! (Oh, I can almost hear them signing the Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! song…) Even in that last holding area, the plants have been reacting well. YES, there’s a ton of unsightly pitchers flopping all over the place as you may of noticed in the last post – but there’s a few new leaves springing up that signify something better is on the way! Late fall and winter is going to be fun trying to clean all this stuff up. That is a wonderful time of the year. That’s when my hand forged Katana blade comes out.  Like this. And like this. The blade is great for trimming as well as security. Hell, might as well make this fun, right? Here’s some photos that Dahlia and I took below of some plants throwing up some new growth…

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II

A forest of poopie colorless floppy pitchers. Bleh! This is a result of the horrid low light conditions at the old spot. On the plus side, I am hoping that this increased leaf area will promote additional photosynthesis to make up for lost time. I hope that the plants are taking in additional light and storing that in energy in their rhizomes for some phat pitchers next year! At this time next year, watch how different these plants will be looking!

Garden Move Stage II

 Even in the fray of poopie floppy foliage, there’s some new growth! Freshly opened pitchers look promising! Seeing a sight like this is encouraging.

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More new upright foliage in a sea of floppy.

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Sarracenia leucophylla looking bright!

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A new pitcher opens up on this antho free mystery hybrid with another on the way. This came from a cross of S. mitchelliana x ‘Leah Wilkerson’ done by Wes Buckner. If it really is an antho free mutation of this cross, that would be very “amazeeeeeballlllllzzzzzz!!!”.  Read about this cross here. I am in love with the elegant shape of this violent vase of a plant.

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Sarracenia ‘Leah Wilkerson’ x ‘Adrian Slack’ by Brooks Garcia looking hawt with the new pitcher opening up! Lovely flush of pink, but that will go to white hawt once it gets going in the strong light.

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New pitcher getting nice and juicy colored – Sarracenia [(rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii] x ‘Adrian Slack’ – a cross I did in 2009, same year that California Carnivores did their cross. I am guessing the same parent plants were used.

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Another angle of a new pitcher of Sarracenia [(rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii] x ‘Adrian Slack’.

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Sarracenia moorei “Orange Glow” x ‘Adrian Slack’ looking almost translucent. A cross I did back in 2009. I’m hoping that white on that hood really picks up in this light! Who knows. Let it grow, let it glow.

Garden Move Stage II

The top of this S. oreophila x ‘Adrian Slack’ clone getting frosty! Another cross I did back in 2009. Yeah, you can see I went a little nutzo with S. ‘Adrian Slack’ that year. Ironically, the next 2 years, the plant never flowered for me. Let’s hope for blooms next year!

Garden Move Stage II

In focus left, Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Hurricane Creek White’ (from Mike Wang. Unfortunately, I didn’t note which clone this was before taking the photo…) and to the right, Sarracenia mitchelliana, anthocyanin free. Some new pitchers that sprang up in the temporary holding location.  Radness.

Greenhouse Move – Stage 2: The Dream Lives

We are the music-makers, 
And we are the dreamers of dreams, 
Wandering by lone sea-breakers, 
And sitting by desolate streams; 
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams: 
Yet we are the movers and shakers 
Of the world for ever, it seems.
-Arthur O’Shaughnessy 

As of yesterday, 5 Aug 2012, all of the plants have been moved into the new greenhouse. (Uh, I still have to move supplies and stuff, but that can follow later. Plants all in at least!) I know that my posts lately have been few and far between, but things are finally settling down a little bit. I hope to start blogging again soon at a more regular frequency. It’s been a crazy busy yet fun time with this move. Am I masochistic? Maybe a little. Looking at the past few moves, I can’t help but be in awe of how far this is coming along. It has been exciting to say the least. In this previous post I mentioned, “I have thought about just dropping it all — and just walking away. I don’t know if any gardeners out there have faced anything like that — but damn, I sure have. Yep. It was that depressing for me.”

Yah, I’ve been going through a rough patch lately. Starting off with having to leave my childhood home, seeing the yard get emptied out, and moving the plants to this death cave of a greenhouse. After a few months, having to move YET AGAIN from that fucked up shitty hell hole into BETTER temporary housing… then from temporary housing into THIS grand refuge where I hope to stay longer than just a few months. Simultaneously with this last plant move – I also had to move my personal residence to keep the kids close to school before school started!! DUDE. Mos’ def a crazy summer-summer-summertime! I’m glad to report that things are finally settling down now. FINALLY.

Below are a few photos that Dahlia and I took documenting this second stage of this move. (First stage photos here…) The rest of this year will basically be just rest and recuperation for the plants. Like me, they’ve been through quite a bit. You’ll see how floppy and weak the old foliage has become because of this garbage; and you’ll notice some new growth looking much better as well. I need to let them rest and get their strength back to prepare for some amazing seasons ahead. There are already tell tale signs that they are loving the better light, air, and water here!

Again, I’m humbled and deeply thankful for my friends and family who have been there. It truly means a lot to me. I am forever grateful to my rad wifey Dahlia who has been that steadfast pillar of patience, love, and strength throughout this all. (Dude, talk about patient… I think anyone else would of either imploded or gone postal!) Again, a huge thank you everyone for encouraging me to continue to grow and more importantly — to dream


Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Clean up in effect!! Before moving the plants in, I had some clean up to do. There was a lot of old PVC pipes that were under the benches. These were used in the past for irrigation. If you notice, there’s built in water tables left for me! NICE! What is NOT nice: the plastic left behind is not UV stabilized. It’s only been in there for a few months and it’s breaking down into something FUGLY already! Crusty pastic – EW ew ew EW!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Inside the greenhouse that is inside the greenhouse! A huge bonus for me to have this space! Again, I had to rip off all this old plastic. Under the sun, this stuff will only last a season at most – it breaks down and gets crackly. I removed all of this and am waiting for some greenhouse plastic for a proper covering. This should be arriving in the next few weeks. Future Nepenthes house!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
The clean up crew! My sons, Lucas and Josiah – along with my niece Akaela came in to help pull some weeds and move some plants!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Akaela attacks the weeds…

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Me vs. weeds. Damn weeds put up a good fight, but we got these out!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Lucas getting in the act!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Weed removal. This was a huge priorty to remove because weeds will harbor pests. In my case – there were whiteflies were up in that mix. Straight up nasty.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
The first tray in! YEAH!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Mike Wang in effect! Thankful for this homie. He spent the day helping me move plants and remove some of those nasty weeds under the benches.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Mike Wang, the Sarracenia ninja master homie brosef guy!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Lucas, hauling Sarracenia.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
My young Sarracenia padawan.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Some artwork by the kiddoez on a nearby chalkboard. This provided a creative outlet from the hard labor.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
My niece Akeala’s drawing of a carnivorous plant. Gotta love it!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
I’m in love with this woman right hurrrr. Gettin’ dirty in the garden!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Space is filling up. Note the lanky and stretched foliage – a result of poor light at the old spot. It looks NASTY but I am hoping that the increased surface area of the leaf and brighter light equals greater energy stored in the rhizome for the next season!

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
Inspecting my babies.

Greenhouse Move 2012 - Stage II
I’m lost in a sea of Sarracenia.

My son Josiah and my niece Arielle helping with the move. 

It’s a race!

Dahlia’s doodle of a Sarracenia.

Dude. What a workout.

Arielle loves plants. I can see her having her own blog and tv show on plants! Pretty rad how she always wants to help me out in the garden/greenhouse.

Teamwork! Moving succulents…

Josiah and the bamboos on the move.

Josiah with the Psudosasa japonica.

Arielle admires the Drosophyllum lusitanicum…

… then she starts poking at the flytraps! Nooooo!!
(Well, it’s ok. I can’t resist doing that either…)

It’s a jungle!

My rad helpers!

The Asylum getting full of plants…

Dahlia helping me water!
Just as a side note – I used one of those fertilizer attachments to the hose, but instead filled it with activated filter charcoal and chloramine remover available at aquarium stores. Chloramine is an ammonia/chlorine type mixture that’s added to the tap water in my area. I don’t know if it works but the logic behind it was that as the water passes through the contraption, it would help reduce the chloramine levels in the tap water. (Maybe, who knows. Just something I was trying out…) The water at this new area is pretty clean though, so I won’t be needing it anyway. Awesome.

All the plants finally moved into this half of the green house. I’ll move the Sarracenia after I get the water tables set up on the other half of the house.

The jungle.

There’s still plenty of work to do. Here’s the skeleton of the greenhouse inside the greenhouse. Future Nepenthes house!

The water tables – just need some plastic! These are relatively shallow for water tables, but will do the job. I can leach the Sarracenia media out this way with the shallow tables – letting the water overflow as I water.  I won’t have to worry about too much mineral build up!

A mess, I know. But I love this mess. Only great things can come out of this now. I can only imagine how long it will take for me to pack THIS place out… 🙂

My Sanctuary.

Greenhouse Move – Stage 1: Free at Last!

2012 Garden Move

Father’s Day weekend 2012 marked a monumental weekend for me. This was when I was finally liberated from the darkness of that hideous piece of shit growing area. If I grew other things like… FERNS (mind you, I have nothing against ferns), or focused only on other shade loving plants, then maybe this place would be “just OK”. Don’t get me wrong – given all that I went thorough in the past year, I AM thankful that at least I had a place that I was able to temporarily house the plants. Given both the gravity and time constraints of my situation last year, I had no time to locate an appropriate growing area, and took the first thing that came my way. I had hopes in making that venue better and grow-able for my plants. YES – I was willing to put in the time and money to fix that place up. YES – it was so frustrating when the landlord and I were unable to reach an agreement regarding improvement of facilities. And YES – if the plants are not happy, then I am not happy. With all of this said – I am focusing on being positive and I am moving on. It’s just time for something bigger and better. Honestly, this move was not as bad as the first move out of Pacifica as I’ve simplified the garden quite a bit since then. Only about half of the original garden is with me now, and that consists mostly of carnivores. The rest of the plants have found homes with family and friends and I’m glad that part of my story lives on with them.

I am well aware that every vision gets tested. I also know that I am passionate about growing and that all of this will be well worth it. I must be patient and endure. I gotta view this as a “character building” season in both my life – as well as my garden’s life. Yeah. Either that or I’m just fucking out of my mind. And you know – How boring would my garden’s story be if there was none of this excitement and adventure? Perhaps I am out of my mind…

2012 Garden Move
The temporary holding location at dusk – packed.

Stage one of the greenhouse move is now complete. I’ve moved out of that shoddy venue to a brighter and better temporary holding location. It’s actually working out well! The plants are adjusting to the slightly brighter light. It’s such a great adjusting area for the plants to prepare them for the bright location. I’ll be here for the month or so. Needless to say, the mental map of my plants is already messed up, and I’m going to spend much of the remainder of this year re-organizing yet again. The next stage is what I am looking forward to. Stage two! That is the move to the SUPER RAD venue — and that is when the fun begins. Not to worry, that location is pretty close to this place, so it won’t be too bad. Even in this temporary abode, the plants are reacting positively and it gives me hope. This year is a year of adjustment and rebuilding. Next year I am expecting botanical greatness.

A HUGE thank you to Jiri, Lada, Derek, Jenn, and of course my awesome rad wife Dahlia for all the help with the move! I am forever grateful for my family and friends that have stuck with me through all the madness. As Derek told me… “That’s what friends are for.

Below are some photos from this recent move. Good times …
Gooood times!

June Move 2012

In the photo to the left you can see how the plants looked very colorless. In years past, the plants were very strong and colorful at this point in time. Because of the old fiberglass and poor light, many of the plants were stretched thin, reaching for the limited light supply. I mean, just looking at them is so fucking depressing. I’ve lost so many plants under these conditions, it was just nasty. This half of this greenhouse was also on the north side of the building. Being on the north side combined with the old fiberglass and very poor air circulation is not a good mix at all. I had to get out – pronto! Dude, I’m so thankful for Jenn who was able to work some connections to get me connected to the new place!

June Move 2012In the photo to the right, the fiberglass is still somewhat old, however the location overall is brighter. I actually get so much more brighter and better filtered light from all directions here. At the old place, most of the light would only come from the top of the greenhouse – and that light being filtered through 20+ year old piss yellow fiberglass really sucked. This temporary space is perfect because the plants are going to get a chance to adjust before moving to the bright greenhouse. (That’s the upcoming Greenhouse Move – Stage 2.)

June Move 2012

The first plants I packed up into my trunk and move out of the greenhouse were Dionaea and the Pinguicula. As you can see, even the Dionaea’s were thin and stretched. The Pinguicula were just OK, but not at their prime. They were all very pale.

June Move 2012

First trays in!

2012 Garden Move
Tub of Sarracenia oreophila riding shotgun.

2012 Garden Move

Lots of back seat Sarracenia action going on here.

2012 Garden Move

My niece Arielle helping out with the move. She’s really into gardens and plants now. I could already see her bloggin’ about her garden adventures in the future! Watch out Dez! 🙂

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Arielle admiring the flytraps. My eldest son Josiah is also helping out with the insane garden move.

2012 Garden Move

My youngest son Lucas has other plans for the greenhouse…
He started to turn it into his…
bubble house.

One thing that’s really cool about this new place is that it’s a much a better place to have the kids with me. I mean, you saw the last greenhouse – it was very difficult and even dangerous to have the kids with me in there. This new place is much cleaner and safer. I can finally get some help! YEAH! 🙂 It’s very cool and just nice to have my family close by as I work here.

2012 Garden Move

Benches getting filled up after a couple of carloads.

2012 Garden Move

Going to fill this place up! But is it enough room?

2012 Garden Move

What a MESS! You can see how the plants were very stretched and lanky from the poor light and air at the old spot. Also, these plants were on the dry side when I moved them. To help lighten the load, I had to let the plants dry out for a couple of days prior to moving.

2012 Garden Move


2012 Garden Move

Drosophyllum ready to move.

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Top row – left to right: Drosera binata – giant form attacking me. Dahlia packing up the staghorn ferns. Bottom row – left to right: Back seat action with various Drosera binata forms. And a very cool knitted succulent pocket from Derek and Heather. It will always have a home with me.

2012 Garden Move

The greenhouse is a mess in this deconstruction phase.
Supplies and plants are mixed up everywhere!

2012 Garden Move

Jiri to the rescue! Jiri and his brother Lada were awesome enough to come down and help for a few hours. We packed up the U-haul with as much as we could and made a couple trips.
(Photo courtesy of Jiri Priam.)

2012 Garden Move

Another load of plants packed up in the back.


Derek’s Mini full of Acer. Dude, it was like a Mini mobile forest or something. Seriously so awesome mobbing 4 vehicles deep full of PLANTS.

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A fully loaded car once again on the second trip.
(Photo courtesy of Derek Powazek. Dude texted this to me mid-haul…)

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An ominous emptiness starting to fill this location.

2012 Garden Move

Drosophyllum lusitanicum riding shotgun. The thing is a monster.

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Derek photographing the plants!

2012 Garden Move


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Jiri, his brother Lada, and driftwood log. I am thankful for all 3.

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Yeah, it’s been a fun day so far… and I need to shave.
(Photo courtesy of Jiri Priam)

2012 Garden Move

Lada pointing out the Gunnera manicata.
(Photo courtesy of Jiri Priam)

2012 Garden Move

So thankful for these two brothers.
(Photo courtesy of Jiri Priam)

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 Derek with the red Sarracenia moorei.
Notice, the Sarracenia represents the SF Giants! YEAH!

2012 Garden Move

A huge THANK YOU to Jenn for allowing me to roll with her truck later that week. On Fathers Day, Sunday, 17 Jun 2012 – I took the few remaining plants and supplies down to the holding location and closed the door for good on this dark segment in life.

2012 Garden Move

Last plant out: Spiral aloe. (Aloe polyphylla) It did OK for being in these conditions. I am so looking forward to hitting this baby with more light! I had three other smaller ones that died in this dusty dark dank hole.
At least this one survived.

2012 Garden Move

I am SO glad to be out of this place.
A dark chapter in my garden’s life now draws to a close…

2012 Garden Move

… and a brighter (and so far crowded) chapter is now starting.

2012 Garden Move

Damn. I’m just barely fitting everything into this interim space…

2012 Garden Move

(Click on photo above for larger version.)
Awesome. I freakin’ love this photo taken by Derek.

Thank you again to all of you who have made this possible.
My plants and I are forever grateful.

-Let’s grow.-

On The Move. Again.

I’m moving the plants. Again.

You read that right. I know it was only a few months ago that I moved into this greenhouse, but as the season continued I saw that the place I am in now is less than ideal for growing — and not just that. It’s not large enough to house the Sarracenia madness. I’ve noticed that all my moves also seem to coincide with my gardens fullness. Once the garden hits full capacity, I move. Seriously. As soon as the garden is packed out, I end up getting transplanted.

From a one bedroom condo in San Francisco with tiny patio years ago that I totally packed out, to a two bedroom condo with larger patio (check out the photo to the left – that was my patio in 2005) to my childhood home home with big ol’ yard and bright ol’ light and great water that let me grow many plants, to 1500 sq foot sub par greenhouse where I am at now… oh, it never ends. It really is a wild and awesome adventure. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m still thankful. It could of been a lot worse. It’s simply – life. Yes, a few plants are doing well in these conditions – Nepenthes, Heliamphora, and Cephalotus seem happy here, so it’s not a complete loss. But it could be better. Anyway – because of my less than ideal conditions, *many* plants were lost this year – perhaps in what was my worst year ever. It happens. Trying to negotiate the challenges at the current spot with the lighting, water, air circulation, and old facilities make it, well… let’s just say “difficult” at best. On top of that, I’ve gone through so much this in the past year. Letting go of the house, moving, a drastic change in employment – life’s been interesting lately. So many times this past year I’ve thought about walking away from this passion of growing plants. Yeah, it has gotten that bad at at times. I have thought about just dropping it all — and just walking away. I don’t know if any gardeners out there have faced anything like that — but damn, I sure have. Yep. It was that depressing for me. Is it madness to continue in this direction? Maybe. I am trying not to let the fear of failure get the best of me and if this new venture doesn’t work out – hell, I at least I can say, “I tried.” Giving up on growing has crossed my mind from time to time. No lie. However, the more I think about it – spending time in the garden and doing what I do with the plants was and is my form of non-destructive therapy to cope with all this “stuff” going on. Being surrounded by this living energy and seeing things grow (even in sucky conditions) has helped me to deal with all of life’s crazy moments. Gardening is part of me and I realize there’s no way I can ever separate myself from something so woven tightly in the the fabric of my being. Even when times look so fucked up, things manage to work out one way or another. I have to remember, it will all be okay. I am thankful for the encouragement from my friends and family. So thankful to have my wife, her encouragement and her patience with me throughout it all… And I’m so very thankful for all of you readers who allow me to share some of my insane passion and my life’s garden story with you. Like I said before: my garden is a living and breathing repository where life’s events are tucked away and recorded. It is my living journal – a collection of my memories. Each plant is an icon of an event: they are the witnesses, they are the scribes, and they are the story tellers.

This dark chapter of my garden’s story is drawing to a close. The next chapter has a very bright future. I’ll keep you all updated on this transition as it happens while throwing in posts about the plants and other ventures in between all the moving updates.

Here’s a few photos from this weekend.
Yah. Here we go, again…

June Move 2012
The greenhouse I am in now is packed – you can see how crowded and colorless the plants are, and how stretched they have become. I thought this would be enough space, and I wasn’t expecting it to be this dim in the middle of the summer. The fiberglass as you can see in some of these posts, is quite old and blocks out much of the needed light.

June Move 2012Several Drosera binata’s hangin’ out. They are just OK for their condition. They are very long, and have gotten quite leggy – stretched due to the light.

June Move 2012
Still a jumbled mess ! Disorganized from the move a few months ago. Oh well. I am looking forward to rebuilding and expanding soon.

June Move 2012The Dionaea. Some of the first ones to move out of here.

June Move 2012
Hybrids toppled. This sight *irritates* me to no end.

June Move 2012
This is PAINFUL to look at. You would not believe how some of these seedlings looked last year. Now they all look compost worthy.
At the new place, I hope to nurse these babies back to their former glory and beyond.

June Move 2012
This sucks … the good news is that it will all be much better soon.

June Move 2012
Packing Pinguicula and Dionaea in my trunk…  these were the first few trays to move out.


June Move 2012This is brighter. But this is NOT the final spot I am moving to. It is simply temporary housing – a holding location – until the spot close by opens up. I am so excited to get in there and start sharing the madness with you all once again. This holding place is great because it will serve as an area to “harden” the plants off to stronger light. Plants would otherwise burn if I just moved them from the dark to the bright light…

June Move 2012
First few trays moved in at the end of the row.

June Move 2012
They look kinda lonely…

June Move 2012A new road… filled with much brighter housing!

June Move 2012Looking forward…