Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little Carnivores For My Little Sprouts

Since I'm not yet snapping many photos of my garden, which is just barely emerging after all the snow we've had this winter, I wanted to say a couple words of appreciation about the little plants which have kept me company on my windowsill all winter.

Last Spring, I was excited to attend my first plant sale at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver, BC. In fact, it was the first time I have actually been inside the gardens (not counting being in the restaurant at its edge). I had talked my mom and her friend Violet and my two kids into going. Although the weather was a bit drizzly that day, we carried our umbrellas, and enjoying the experience anyhow.

I picked up a few plants which were meaningful to me at the time. The most exciting was a Cardiocrinum Giganteum (Giant Himalayan Lily). I hear that it can take 5 to 10 years to flower, from seed. So hopefully the one I bought is already a few years into that. It didn't look too good by the end of the summer, so I'll be waiting anxiously for signs of life this year.

My kids are wonderful, the tolerated my shopping, and wanted to do some of their own. The ended up each picking a carnivorous plant : a sundew, and a venus flytrap. At the time, I tried to talk them out of their choices, they seemed too expensive (about $10 each), and I didn't think they would survive very long.

Well, I stand corrected. They have lasted very well, and the venus flytrap even bloomed a couple weeks ago. Here is the cheery white flower (click for a slightly bigger image):

The flower is not impressive in itself, but I'm impressed by how easy the plants have been to care for, and I'm not in ANY way an indoor plant person. (Seems contradictory at first, but for me the garden is my way to get out of the house and away from my household duties. An indoor plant, to me, is yet another thing to take care of, and I already have more than I can handle, thank you very much.) These little carnivores enjoy boggy conditions, so I try to keep the outer plastic cup part filled (which is a lot easier than noticing when the soil dries out, which I am NOT so good at noticing).

In the summer, we set them outside (in their pots) in the garden, and were amused by the many flies and pillbugs they trapped. For the winter, they have sat on my sunny kitchen windowsill, keeping me company. Poor things haven't caught anything in the house. We have screens on all our windows and doors, so rarely have any bugs inside.

I look forward to being able to set them back outside this summer (which seems a long way off, at this point), but also sure I'll also miss seeing them on the windowsill. If the kids want to each pick another plant for "themselves" this Spring, I'll be fine with that.

1 comment:

O.I.M said...

i got a venus flytrap for my sprout about a month ago. I never had any expectations of blooms. but I guess I have something to look forward to. I am totally not a houseplant person but the flytrap seemed cool and my little one is really into it so why not.

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