Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dreams of spring…

I hate mid-winter in Canberra. Relative to the rest of the Australia, Canberra gets cold. Earlier this week (Thursday), we had the year’s coldest day to date, a –6.25 C morning (21.5F). This morning’s effort – a –4.7 C (23.5F) was not much better, and as I write this, it is already down to 0.2*C (32F). On top of the cold, the days get short and there is not much around growing or green.

This evening, I was flicking through the accumulation of photos on my phone, and came across these, taken of the Sarracenia last November:



These shots are, for me right now, dreams of what I want Spring to look like – Sarracenia flava pitchers reaching skywards. The plants are mostly Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea "’FRT 1-5” and one of Triffid Park’s S. flava var. rubricorpora clones. The coppertop is S. flava var. cuprea x var. rugellii, and the clone of S. flava var. flava I got at the ICPS in Sydney (which turns out to be another Honeysuckle Road, Harleyville plant).

These were (at the time) my outdoor plants, essentially all those that did not fit into my greenhouse. While everything in the greenhouse would come up around September, these plants did not come up until November. We have a saying here – if you plant tomatoes before the date of the Melbourne Cup, you are making a sacrifice to the frost Gods. After the Melbourne Cup there is negligible risk of frosts (well, maybe a one-in-ten year risk of a late frost, but safe enough to cover most years).

My Sarracenia seem to keep to the same rules – the plants grown outdoors did not come up until after Melbourne Cup 2012 (and the last risk of frosts) had been and gone. This is what the same plants looked like a few weeks later.

These photos, and those in the last link above, were among the last I took of our plants before we moved house, so they have a sort of nostalgia. I am watching and waiting to see how they will do at our new place.