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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#201321
We've had some wonderful sunshine lately, so I've been keeping a close eye on moisture levels in the tubs... we've had a couple of large thunder storms, which is good fun and some overcast days but really nothing out of the ordinary (though the thunder and lightning has been a rare treat).

The D. capensis seedlings have burst into life and are doing really well, as are the utric seedlings in the trough. Sooo many sandersonii flowers from the adult plants! It's interesting how it all varies across the windowsill. Will see if I can get photos.
By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#201862
Back to original post...

It's been longer than usual since the last update... things went down hill but they are actually starting looking up again, which is nice. I'm going to start with a photo I took a few days ago of the new scratching post I got for our cats. You read about the size on the internet... but don't actually realize just how big it is until it's sat in your living room on its side (which is how the cats prefer it)...
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I just... yeah. I'm in a bit of trouble. LOL.

Phalaenopsis, white flower...
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Phalaenopsis, yellow and pink flower bud...
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Drosera capensis...
These seedlings have seriously burst into life. They seem to be doing well!
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Orchid pot: Utrics & D. dielsiana...
Despite being ravaged by fungus gnat larvae (which have disappeared now)... some life remains, including seedlings from the utrics and D. dielsiana.
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Utric trough...
FLOWERS!
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P. lusitanica (78 days old)...
Survival of the fittest I guess.
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P. 'weser'
I've been hiding my Mexican pings away through winter because they weren't looking so good. Growing them in pure perlite for now, until such time I can get a tufa rock or something. They've finally started growing carnivorous leaves again. This is the smallest of the three, the largest one is already busy catching fruit flies. Hoping for flowers this year, though I'll just be happy having them grow bigger.
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That's all for today, really.
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#202319
Back to original post...

A few more updates for you here... hopefully will get back in the habit of updating on Tuesdays - it's good fun, breaks up the day a bit and I enjoy taking photos (even if they are a bit blurry!). I'm going to start with the cats.

The last update had a photo of Misi with the new scratching post; this morning, it was Skatty's turn to get photographed with it. You can see his sheer size in comparison to Misi now. The scratching post is a whopping 80cm long from base to tip; I'm still a bit in the doghouse for buying it. Whoops!
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Aaand some Skatty feet... he sits at "ten to two" pretty much every time he sits down. It's a funny little quirk.
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Though he's usually like this (please note that his paws are constantly twitching with neading/making biscuits/smurgling when someone is in the room with him):
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Now, the cats aren't really allowed on my bed unless there's a blanket on there; this morning the blanket was just shoved onto my bed half-heartedly so Misi is, clearly, trying to stay on the blanket. She's sliding a little...
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Crazy cat lady business over, onto the plants. I have to make a confession: my spinach is actually basil. I had my suspicions, having grown basil before, but thought "nope, I've not grown spinach before so maybe it's growing weird because of this, that or the other" but no. It's basil. I think I planted the wrong seeds, though I'm fairly confident I was careful... weird. Oh well! It smells nice.
Alpine strawberry!
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Phalaenopsis, pink and yellow flower...
It opened! Praise God - I'd forgotten just how beautiful these flowers are..
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Utric tub...
Despite the carnage of the fungus gnat larvae (there are a couple still in there somewhere), new growth has popped up. I think the gnats only ate leaves, not roots, and with Utrics being the way they are... lots of green shoots. You should also be able to see a young D. dielsiana seedling.
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Utric trough...
The sun hit the window at just the right time and wow! This trough is really doing well, I'm so grateful to God - seriously! It brightens my day seeing all this growth, even the moss.
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P. lusitanica (83 days old)...
You can see how wet these guys are... had a couple days of intense sun, apparently, and this tub nearly dried out completely so I gave it a thorough watering. They look very pale in part due to the sun hitting the window just before I took the photo. They seem to be doing OK...
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P. 'weser'...
I have fruit flies. Can you tell?
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No? How about now?
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P. 'Tina'
New Pinguicula! I was blessed with the ability to go out with my mum and dad yesterday in the wheelchair to a farm/garden centre; there was a huge display of carnivorous plants and half a dozen or so pings in the middle. They were all Tinas, thought I'd get this one. It's dividing. Needs a little light but it's already catching fruit flies.
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Cactus...
Picked up something for my sister. I know nothing about caring for this but OK! I'm sure she'll get it. She loves pink.
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D. capensis seedlings...
These guys are doing well. I picked up a watering can yesterday with a tiny "rose/shower" head so I can stop bombarding and covering seedlings with perlite when I dump copious amounts of water on them. It's great!
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Random lily...
Mum was given some flowers so I thought I'd take a photo of one of the lilies...
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And last but by no means least!
When I was a child, I loooooved those tiny little Easter chicks made of pipe cleaners with eyes, wings, feet and a beak glued to them. While we were at the farm shop yesterday, I encountered trays of them and picked up a tiny little white thing to show to my mother. I was squealing like I was a child - yes, I find pipe cleaners adorable. Of course... it was inevitably coming home with us. Best 50p ever spent.
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#202786
Back to original post...

Moving "photo day" to Monday because it works a bit better. Nice way to start off the week, I feel. It's really a joy to watch these things grow and change with the seasons; it's like the love of growing had been lost on me a little over winter, but now it's been rekindled. Praise the Lord, so absolutely grateful. And... cats. Misi is actually getting on in age (well, she's only 11) so it's nice to have a series of somewhat regular photos of her. And Skatty is... a cuddle on legs. I should also say that my sister, thankfully, loved her cactus. Photo time!

Misi...
This is one of those moments when you realize you have just a few seconds to remove the camera from her face before trouble ensues.
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Skatty...
Cat sleeping photos... of course! Because he's just too cute. His head looks massive... I can't believe just how tiny he looks when he's curled up.
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Orchids...
The nice thing about Mondays is that it is the orchid watering day, so they're all in the well-lit kitchen. Phalaenopsis "pink and yellow flowers because I have no real name for it".
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Phalaenopsis "white flower because, again, I don't have a proper name for it".
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Drosera...
Drosera capensis seedlings.
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Drosera dielsiana seedling - this thing is seriously red and seriously tiny.
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Utricularia...
Sandersonii and calycifida.
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Pinguicula...
Pinguicula lusitanica (89 days old). They haven't grown much. I've been considering trying some orchid ferts on them as they can handle it.
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I moved all of my Mexican Pinguicula into a plant pot tray (with appropriate holes/cracks made in the bottom) filled with perlite. The perlite is staying at just the right moisture, which is lovely. If you recall correctly, I mentioned an abundance of fruit flies... the 'Tina' has been doing her job more than efficiently and the 'weser' plants are catching up, too. When I repotted Tina I uncovered two divisions, which is a bonus.
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She's also started to flower, though it's highly likely she had already started the process at the farm/garden centre. I haven't seen ping flowers for almost a year, I think so I'm thrilled.
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That's all for now, thanks for catching up with me! Time for breakfast. :lol:
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#203377
Back to original post...

Another Monday brings more photos for you all. We've had three days of glorious sunshine and the plants have been loving it, as has Misi.
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Earlier in the year, a seed bank in the UK did a massive giveaway of native wildflower seeds; we were able to snag a packet and sowed them yesterday. Here's the patch of dirt. I'm hoping to get photos each week to update you all.
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An important highlight...
I'm confident you didn't all join a carnivorous plant forum to look at a glass of water, but I was feeling a bit silly this morning. Remember, as it gets warmer, you need to keep fluids up!
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See? See?!

Bread!
This isn't an update as such... just something that has brought a lot of joy to my family and me: a bread maker! They can be a bit costly but it's definitely worth it! You can also use this to bake cakes, jam and compote.
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Alpine strawberry...
This little guy is doing well, I'll need to water him soon.
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Drosera dielsiana...
These seedlings are really growing now that I'm getting some bright morning sunshine!
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Drosera capensis...
The same goes for the D. capensis. They're getting big (for seedlings)!
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Utricularia...
One particular species of utric seedling (still unidentified) has started to shrivel a bit; this trough is being kept moist, so I think the issue is the heat coming in from my window. It's like a miniature greenhouse in the morning! I've rotated the trough since taking this photo to see if that helps.
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Pinguicula lusitanica...
96 days old. Wow.
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Mexican Pinguicula...
Pinguicula 'weser'; two of the three wesers I have are in full-fledged carnivorous state and are turning pink.
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The P. 'Tina' is doing wonderfully.
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In general, I think moving them to perlite was a good call.
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A few days ago it looked like a pair of collared doves were going to nest on an old, disused satellite dish that's about two/three feet from my bedroom window. Needless to say, I was very excited... but they haven't come back since Friday afternoon. I'm relieved, to be honest, because it's such a precarious position on such a small bracket that all the twigs kept falling down. A little disappointed, but I know it's for the better. I can still hear the local doves cooing, so that's nice; I find it one of the loveliest sounds to wake up to!
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#203859
Back to original post...

Raiiiiiiiin! It's been raining on and off this week with some bouts of lovely sunshine; the plants outside seem to be enjoying it, they must have needed it after the days of heat we had. The wildflower seeds mentioned last week started to sprout over the weekend, here are some photos. The light's a bit odd outside, hence the dullness.
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The last few days there has been an occasional oddity occurring with my mini greenhouse... let's investigate. Hmmm...
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Uh huh, I see.
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George! "What?!"
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My mother set a board and bit of carpet in the bottom of the greenhouse for our cat, Skatty, as he's outside at night nowadays. George, a neighbour's cat, has been using it to stay out of the rain instead. He's a sweetie, and he's also a barrel... quite a character.

Meanwhile, in the warm and dry, a lady cat is totally unaware of the luxury greenhouse resort.
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Moving onto the plants, I'll start with an artificial one. I made this polymer clay lily quite a while ago; it was my first attempt... just a tip... if you have M.E., or any joint problems in your hands, it might be better to avoid these. They hurt to make! :lol:
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The Utricularia sandersonii seems to be doing OK; since rotating the trough, all new flowers have sprouted the other way around, leaving a mass of flowers facing away from the window. It's pretty!
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The Drosera dielsiana seedlings are doing all right, too, they're growing well with some recovering utric sprouts. Can you see them?
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The basil plants started to flower; I cut the buds off two and allowed one to continue to flower as I'd not seen the blooms before. They're rather beautiful.
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I also repotted three of the Phalaenopsis orchids; quite a big job for me, but it needed to be done. Helped me learn that the plants need less watering...
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I'm amazed at how quickly Drosera capensis seedlings grow, these guys were mere mm wide a few days ago!
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I've rotated the Pinguicula lusitanica tray so light can reach some of the plants growing near the borders of the tray. I can't believe they're 103 days old! Feels like only yesterday they sprouted.
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Meanwhile, the Pinguicula 'weser' are doing well, enjoying the sun and producing lots of mucus!
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And across the room, away from the carnivorous plants and basil and... other stuff, is a fish. Red will likely be two this year. He's still going strong, despite his deformities.
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Of course, his Zebra Nerite Snail is doing well, too. I believe I've had "her" for over a year, there is a lot of debate as to their lifespan...
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Off to water the orchids... I hope you enjoyed the photos!
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#204270
Back to original post...

Can't believe it's June already, that's just... wow. This year has flown by so far. Perception of time is an interesting thing. Anyway, photos! Going to start with the cats.

Misi had been off-colour the last couple of days, could have been a fur ball as she's feeling better now. She's back to being her bitey, grumpy self so yes, she's fine.
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Skatty is just... being Skatty.
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We've had a ton of rain lately with a couple of beautiful sunny spells, the wildflower seedlings have enjoyed it and are doing well.
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Indoors, the Drosera seem to be flourishing. The dielsiana (first photo) are getting to a good size, new sprouts are popping up, too. The capensis (second photo) are actually large enough to catch things now, so that's nice.
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I had a large moss outbreak in the Utricularia trough, but I've allowed it to dry out a little. Not only is that killing off the moss, I've noticed that the mystery seedlings seem to be thickening and filling out, so that is great.
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The Pinguicula lusitanica numbers are continuing to dwindle, not sure what's going on with these guys. I've been making sure they don't get overtaken by mould (which has, thankfully, stopped growing) and algae. Can only keep trying, maybe the few that survive will be tough as nails. They're 110 days old now.
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In other ping news, the Pinguicula 'weser' (who is believed to be the original Beatrice) has been stuffing its face with flies.
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I have a confession to make: Beatrice has never flowered for me, not in the 3 - 4 years I've had her. I'm hoping this will be the year, this is the most prey she's ever caught!

The Pinguicula 'tina' is putting her to shame though.
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No kidding. She's throwing up her third flower stalk now.
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I'm beginning to think I should get a Mexican ping for our living room and kitchen; these flies are everywhere and I think one went into my ear earlier. Eek!
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#204671
Back to original post...

This weekend has been very warm, it's nice to break out a summer dress. I'm on the higher end of fatigue today so don't really have much brain power to type... soo here are photos!

Skatty on my (moved out :lol:) sister's bed. He's completely taken it over. It's covered in fuzz.
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Wildflowers outside are doing great, loving this sun.
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One of my favourite animals...
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The alpine strawberry plant was repotted fairly recently; it'd probably be larger if it hadn't been kept in its old pot for so long. Still, sometimes it can't be helped. Growing well now.
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Drosera capensis seedlings are doing great. I lifted the plant pot up today to get to the tray and it was smothered in spring tails... those little guys are fantastic to watch.
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The Pinguicula lusitanica seedlings are now 117 days old. I'm considering spraying a few with some orchid fertilizer, see what happens.
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Mexican Pinguicula are doing really well, still catching fruit flies by the bucket full.
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P. Tina flowered again, going to try pollinating it this time. Missed it with the last two flowers.
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I'm contemplating fly traps and cold temperate Pings at the moment... oohh dear. :roll:
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#205270
Back to original post...

I apologize for being a day late with photos... here they are. Not many this time because the camera's battery has run out, I should really charge it. It's actually my mother's camera, it's a lot more M.E. friendly than the others I've used, which is why I like it.

I'll start with Red. I bought some new plants for his aquarium because his were getting a bit old and algae was settling in; I added them barely a week ago and they are already helping, Red seems to enjoy them... he's starting to show signs of old age so I'm keen to get some photos of him. You can really see the beauty of his fins in this first photo.
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You can also see what looks like old ammonia burn scarring on his gill covers; I don't know if that is genuinely what it is, but he's always had it. His spine is deformed, hence the bunching of his tail fins (he's a double tail, his tail has two lobes) but he's lived a really healthy life so far with just a few minor mishaps due to his wiggle-swimming.
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This morning he was jumping at a smudge on the aquarium lid thinking it was food... he's just adorable, a right character! I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to care for him.
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The alpine strawberry is seriously getting a move on with its growth, twice as big as it was before repotting now, I reckon!
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And the Drosera capensis seedlings continue to amaze me with their growth.
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"Come to the dark side, we have fruit flies."
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Drosera dielsiana and unknown utric seedlings enjoying the morning sun.
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And finally, the Pinguicula lusitanica, now 125 days old!! I don't remember if I mentioned this, I have a slideshow of all the P. lusitanica photos on the warm temperate Pinguicula page of my website (here) at the bottom of the page.
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Wow.
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By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#205315
HI, Grey!!! Wow, your plants are looking AMAZING! Gorgeous orchids, the capensis are doing great, and your pings are unbelievable!!! I've been away for some time and having returned, your photos are mindblowing!

Are your pings, which are in the pot with only perlite, sitting constantly in water? I'm really interested in only using perlite, or maybe only perlite and pumice, as they don't seem to get waterlogged.

Awesome pics, Grey!!!
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#205344
Hey ironjaws, good to see you! How have you been? Thank you so much for your encouragement! I'm glad you like the photos.

The Mexican pings in perlite aren't constantly sat in water, no. I sit them in water overnight and then use the remaining water for my other plants the next day; the perlite almost completely dries out before the next watering, at least on the surface it does. I imagine there's always at least a little moisture in the bottom of the dish.
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By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#205345
I've been great! Really busy lately. Your pics are far out, always a pleasure viewing them!

I thought about using only perlite on my P. Gigantea but it dried up and died on me(my own derpy fault). No worries though, I managed to get myself another; I'm playing it safe with this one.
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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#205725
Back to original post...

It's July in a week. Just sayin'.

Going to start my photos today with a beaker of water. This beaker is special. It uses refraction and reflection to make it look like I'm drinking a rainbow. Either I'm easily amused (which I am), or this is coooool - or both!
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Yeah!

Skatty isn't feeling well, I think he has a sore throat of some kind. Hoping it'll clear up without a trip to the vet, he doesn't like that. If it's necessary, it's necessary... just hoping it doesn't get to that point.
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You're never feeling too unwell for a scratch behind the ear, though - he absolutely loves this and will happily lean into your hand for ages, if given the chance.
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Get well soon poppet.

I realize I haven't posted photos of the wildflowers for a week or so, so here they are. They're getting big, you can see one particular species is in abundance, others are popping through though. I feel I should try and find out exactly what I'm growing... I'll get to it.
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Misi is being her usual helpful, grumpy self.
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"Well? Are you going to fuss my belly or not?"

One of my Phalaneopsis orchids still has its flower from whenever-it-was. My brain is beginning to switch off, and my hands are like "nooo more typing..." (had a busy day yesterday) so please excuse me if I trail off and make little sense... lemons.
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Alpine strawberry is flowering! Looks like a fruit is starting to develop, too! Soooo exciting! If this goes well I'm hoping to grow loaaaaads more next year, Lord willing, so we can have enough for everyone in the house. Maybe try making some jam out of them, not sure what they taste like - this variety is white, so it has a hint of pineapple flavour apparently. I'm curious to try it.
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Red has somehow managed to lift one of his scales. :roll: I daren't think about what he gets up to when I'm not in my room watching him. He's fine, just silly and getting old. His new plants are doing well, particularly so the Amazon Frogbit.
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Onto the carnivores... Drosera dielsiana seedlings are getting bigger.
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Drosera capensis are filling the pot. Slowly. But surely. Rawr! The largest is about 2/2.5cm tall.
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Pinguciula lusitanica, 131 days old. They haven't grown much, really. I wonder why.
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Here are the Mexican Pinguicula...
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P. 'tina'...
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P. 'weser'...
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My utrics dried out a bit so are not looking as good as they were, hoping they'll bounce back. The basil plant is insanely tall and flowering like crazy (woo!) and my carrots are well, they're alive, somewhat. I'll be pulling them up soon to see what's going on. I took on a bit too much again this spring so some stuff has suffered. Live and learn.
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