Winter greetings all! I hope this finds you all well and that this winter season has been good to you and the plants. Now that it is winter and the plants are asleep, activity in The Asylum is ramping up. This winter season is a busy one indeed. I’ve been doing some cleaning, trimming, moving plants about, and even some sorting of seeds (Yeeessss, I know – many of you asked about seeds. And divisions. So stay tuned for that update…)
Here’s a small selection of photos from around the garden. First shot below is a doozy. What a complete mess this is. Yeah, I gots my trimming work cut out for me. Most plants have long since put away the glory of the season past. They are once again clothed in the sleep of crispy crunchy pitchers. Soon enough, this place will be bursting full of life again…
And of course, my trusted garden helper – my katana, puts some work in…
Quick clip: Slicing through Sarracenia.
Sorry for the quality. Filmed in slow motion (120 FPS) on the mobile device.
Sarracenia oreophila section – all squared away.
Dionaea, Pinguicula, and Drosera (Drosera out of shot in background) cleaned and organized.
Dormancy: Sarracenia oreophila
Sarracenia alata – maroon throat A few pitchers still hanging on.
Seedling: Sarracenia leucophylla x “Eva” pitcher still vibrant.
And while the Sarracenias sleep, the Nepenthes crew bask in these cooler temperatures. Watching the Nepenthes and tropicals grow during the winter helps break up the monotony of all the lifeless pitchers. I like them ‘cuz you know, I always have to be growing… *something.*
Nepenthes ventricosa x tiveyi
Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides
Nepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensis
And finally – back home is the grow tank. I turned an unused 50 gallon tank into a refuge for some Heliamphora, Cephalotus, Nepenthes, a Pinguicula and Drosera. There’s a variegated vanilla orchid growing in the corner and a mounted staghorn fern (Platycerium coronatum) that was not taking too well to the cooler temps in the greenhouse. Be looking for updates from the grow tank in the future.
Recently my family and I visited the SF Conservatory of Flowers and got a chance to see the Chomp! exhibit. If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend stopping by and immersing yourself in the beauty that is the SF Conservatory of Flowers. Below is a slide show featuring a few shots from around the conservatory, as well as a few highlight shots from the exhibit. Chomp! runs from 11 Apr 2014 – 19 Oct 2014 so be sure and visit soon! (And in case you didn’t already know – plants in the exhibit are from none other than California Carnivores… sweet!)
A sink bog. I’ve been soo itching to make one of these things. It all started after seeing Jared Crawford’s super awesome Carnivorous sink at Flora Grubb Gardens. Eventually I would want to do a whole crazy tub garden just like the one that Sarracenia Northwest put together. (Check this video out!) And speaking of bathroom fixtures, I still want to see Paul’s “very VERY bad idea” come to fruition. Heh heh! Anyway, last month I picked up an old sink that was left over from my uncle’s bathroom remodeling project. It was a perfect fit for this little bog I’ve been wanting to put together. Dude, it’s always fun up-cycling/re-purposing things.
The sink is placed on these empty crates for now. I may end up switching the crates out for something else, but for now this will do.
I didn’t have a stopper to plug the sink, so instead I grabbed some left over greenhouse plastic and used that to partially line and kind of clog up the bottom of the sink. A rock or screen would of probably worked too, however I wanted this container to be able to retain more water so that I wouldn’t have to water it that much.
Before I fill in the sink with the potting media, I made sure to plug up the sink’s side overflow drainage hole with a little bit of sphagnum moss. A screen would also work here. I then fill the sink up with my media of choice. I use a rough 1:1 mix of peat/perlite. Sometimes peat/sand. Use whatever you’re comfortable with. If you notice, around the perimeter of the sink (photo, top right) I have a little bit of sphagnum moss. I don’t think this step is necessary but I had some left over moss from another potting project I wanted to use up, so I figured that I could use it here. Also was thinking that it would prevent the peat from running all over the place when I water the thing later. In the photo upper right, you can see some of plants I’m using for the project. I had another container full of random mixed plants that needed some serious repotting, so I decided to repot them into my new bog.
Above, you can see the plants being planted up in their new place! You can see some of their new growth coming up (as well as the old foliage that I still gotta trim off.) I have to make a note that it would of been better to do all this repotting and moving about right before the plants broke dormancy, but they’re resilient things and I’m sure they’ll adjust just fine. I arrange the plants placing the ones with the taller growth habit in the center and back, while shorter plants will be located around the sides and front. It ensures that the plants get the light that they need, and it just looks better this way.
In another container bog (above left), I had some live sphagnum moss growing in between the pitchers. It makes a nice bog ground cover, so I wanted to use it in my new sink bog. I simply pluck some of the live moss from the other container bog (above right) and simply place on the media in the sink (below).
Planting some live sphagnum heads in the new sink bog. By the end of the season, this should form a nice thick carpet.
I’ll post more close up photographs later of a few other plants I planted around the edge of the sink. I threw in some Dionaea (Venus Fly Traps), Pinguicula (Butterworts… more specifically I used P. moranensis), and various Droseras (Sundews). Also added were a few rocks for some minor hardscaping. After everything was planted, I simply took the hose and gave the new bog a good drench, as well as wash away the mess I made around the sink.
Finally, the sink bog is complete. Well, for now anyway. I’ll post updates as the sink bog garden grows!
There’s no place like home. Like I mentioned in my last post, I deeply enjoyed my visit up north (thanks again Mark!), but it feels great to be back home and with the plants again. Below are some photos from my first day back in the Asylum. A few traps here and there… as well as a few blooms, and a few buds that I’m really excited to work with! Enjoy!
The Asylum. It’s great to be home.
Pinguicula doggy-piggy-bank planter, sending up a bloom!
Sarracenia ‘Leah Wilkerson’ x minor var. okefenokeensis Sown last year and growing quickly.
Sarracenia alata x rubra ssp. wherryi, MBRS clone.
Sarracenia ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii) x ‘Adrian Slack’ -Select Clone-
The pitchers from very late last season are still holding color well.
Sarracenia (leucophylla “red” x minor var. okefenokeensis) x (leucophylla x psittacina) – cross by Dr. Travis H. Wyman.
S. ‘Godzuki’ x ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii)
Just a few random shots from around the ‘house… enjoy!
Sarracenia oreophila x ‘Adrian Slack’
Darlingtonia californica peeking out over the edge
Pinguicula “John Rizzi” in bloom
S. (oreophila x ‘Royal Ruby’) x ‘Adrian Slack’ – young pitcher of a cross I did a couple of years ago. I believe that this is a pitcher that was sent up a bit later last season.
S. [(oreophila x minor) x (purpurea x rubra) x leucophylla] x “Green Frog” This is a complex hybrid I did a few years ago. It’s the first time I’ve actually seen some characteristics from this baby.
Sarracenia psittacina This is a large clone from Jerry Addington. It is still dormant and was recently repotted. It does not look like much now, but hoping it throws out some beast-mode behemoth foliage once it wakes from dormancy.
Sarracenia rosea “Big Mama”
It’s currently dormant and recently repotted. Just like the S. psittacina above, I am hoping it throws out some beast-mode behemoth foliage once it wakes.
Out here in the Bay Area, we’re currently in middle of a storm system and there’s plenty of rain going around at the moment. The rain was (and still is) coming down pretty hard creating a heavy rhythmic symphony on the greenhouse roof.
I spent most of the day getting some work done in the Asylum. I’m only down to about half a table of sorting/cleaning Sarracenia. I am making a few occasional divisions here and there, but not so much at this time. I was also doing some cleaning of the Nepenthes, removing the dead pitchers and leaves. Oh, also trying my hand at a couple more cuttings from my own plants today. Did all this under the gray weighty watery skies.
I didn’t have my regular camera on me today, but had my cell phone which also does the job. Below are a few black and white photos from around the Asylum on this first very gray day of December.
Leaving for the greenhouse: the parking lot was an ocean of puddles.
The Asylum: A shelter from the storm
New growth emerging from a recently divided Pyrrosia hastata
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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.