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TR Garden Club Episode 10 Southern Hemisphere 2012

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TR Garden Club Episode 10 Southern Hemisphere 2012

HAL 9000 Moderator
This is a continuation of a discussion started here: (TRGC Part 1) http://preview.tinyurl.com/2qflz5
And continued here: (TRGC Part 2) http://preview.tinyurl.com/ytxn7j
Then proceeded to carry on here: (TRGC Part 3) http://tinyurl.com/6fw8c7
You can find Part #4 here: http://tinyurl.com/6pteb6
Part #5 can be located here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/bekqml
Part #6 is here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/bs5t45
Part #7 can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/2bajdru
Part #8 can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/5rlq6ng
Part #9 can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/9ym54ck

My plants/weeds nearly Spring 2012. Yes I know I'm jumping the gun a bit as it's not Spring yet but I haven't had to wear a jumper all day for a few days now just in the mourning and evening so the bigger part of the day is almost bearable.

The Wifes daughter brought down a new weed yesterday a Hybrid Nepenthes the pitcher is a bit past it's Use By date but I think you'll get the general idea, and yes those are 12 inch wide beams behind it.

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00700.jpg

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00701.jpg

I posted this picture last time as a Nepenthes Pitcher was about to open

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00694.jpg

and here it is open

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00702.jpg

The Saracenia Flava Flower Spikes are growing so hopefully very soon Spring will be here

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00703.jpg

This little N Hybrid is looking quite nice now that its had a few days to fully open and start to color up

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00705-1.jpg

Then something different its a Utricularia a.k.a. Bladderwart which are generally aquatic but this is one of the Terrestrial ones so you dont get to see any of the traps just the small delicate flowers its a species Utricularia Livida

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00706.jpg

The newest addition to the garden is a Bird feeder which was given to me by the next door neighbor and its proved Stuningly Unsuccessful as nothing will eat from it. But I can not help but laugh at the way that the Lorries watch it just in case it gets too close. They are willing to land on the Rod that its suspended from or the ground under it and don't bat an eyelid when one on the pole fly away leaving the Bird Feeder jumping up and down but they are not going anywhere near the available food. :^0

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00710.jpg

And finialy one of our regulars a Baby Magpie who will very soon be driven off by its parents to make way for this years version. This little fellow walks to the front door up the steps and then demands to be feed. If the door is open and there is no one in the living room he walks over to the coffee table jumps up on that and announcers his presence by squawking till he gets attention and more importantly food. Its quite happy to stay indoors if anything bigger is outside who could take the food away from him.

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00704.jpg

SWMBO has been driving me more nuts than normal lately by sniggering whenever I say something about making something out of wood so as a Spring Resolution Im going to make a flying model of the WW11 WMD a V2 complete with a Pluse Jet Engine so it not only looks like the real thing but sounds like one as well. I drive her nuts as I dont actually fly these models and allow others to fly them when they have display days. I just enjoy building the models and this is what she finds difficult to understand. Spending hundreds of hours building the things and never actually using them. The reality however is I just lack the time on display days to be there to fly them. Hopefully it should look and sound interesting even if its not a very spectacular model to fly.

Col
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    AnsuGisalas

    Last year we dug up the previous owners' flower bed because we wanted to plant Peonies.
    Digging up the raised bed, we found, under the tarp that was at ground level, some red shoots all squished up against it.
    Peonies :^0!
    Apparently they frequently survive for years and years deep underground... last year they didn't flower, must have been rough down there, but this year they came out very nicely.

    We also planted lilies last year, but this year we got scarlet lily beetles :_(
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_lily_beetle
    Nasty little stinkers. Best bet we hear is to hand-pick and squish them.

    Damn prolific too... makes us consider scrapping lilies from the plans entirely

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Personally I prefer Chemical Warfare on insect invaders but then again I'm lazy and don't like to do more work that I absolutely have to.

    Besides having carnivorous plants they tend to eat what tries to eat them.

    With anything used as Weed Mat a lot of things can survive under that for a very long time. Many people who are like me and lazy just throw something over what was growing after hitting it with a Brush-Cutter and hope that it's not going to grow through. With Plastic type Weed Mats it tends not to but if you throw newspaper down I've seen things wait till it breaks down 5 years latter before making a reappearance. They seem to be quite happy to sit and wait till they can fight their way through whatever barrier is placed between them and the sunlight.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    The only effective stuff that works, kills bees as well.

    It leaves the remedies that may or may not prevent them from laying eggs or feeding, so that means treating the plants every week all through spring.
    Hand-picking and squishing is probably the most effective method that won't do collateral damage.

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    AnsuGisalas

    TR won't let me start new topics, and demands log-in every two seconds... is it just me or are they screwing with the site again?

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's just you not a problem here.

    Though I have to admit that the site looks different this morning with Flash Add working again instead of white blocks over the screen. So I would hazard a guess that they have been messing with the site and there where some "Issues" while it was underway.

    Though i must admit that I've not been getting any Discussion Alerts for about a week now and that doesn't seemed to have changed.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    Infernal exploder is unaffected

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    *rubs hands delightedly in anticipation* Hand-squishing bugs is remarkably satisfying.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    feeding bugs to Nepenthes is remarkably satisfying and as an added benefit the plants grow really well.

    If you want to squish things may I suggest Bubble Wrap the Red kind with Stress Relief Pad stenciled on it?

    Col

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Plus, bugs usually crunch. Which isn't the same as 'pop'.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    When the bugs squash some send a jet of their gizzards spurting out and sometimes hitting your clothing making a mess.

    The Stress Relief Mat can not do that and is far cleaner.

    Besides dumping bugs into Nepenthes Pitchers is far more fun and it's good for the plant. See how much I like growing plants.

    I even had to take a jumper off today it was getting a bit warm and I started sweating slightly. When I looked at the Temp it was only 25C which is a long way from hot by we are finally getting there. :0

    Col

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    AV .

    I have this one and they have such a great fragrance http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/35433-product.html# Its a shame that the flower heads are so heavy. If you don't stake them, they end up on the ground.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    We also have an Angel Cheeks, I think maybe the old ones were Shirley Temples, and then we have two different pink ones.

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    CharlieSpencer

    It generally doesn't get cold enough. I top-dress and feed them but all I get are leaves; no buds. I'm on the line between US agricultural zones 7 and 8 (the higher the number, the warmer the winter). I found a new peony rated for zone 9, so maybe it will perform in my area.

    Tulips are the same way. They'll bloom the first spring, but only leaves in subsequent years. Daffodils are hit or miss, depending on the variety.

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    AnsuGisalas

    You could try icing the ground once, like if the freezer needs emptying of ice formations anyway... and of course, you can cover the ice with an insulator/reflector layer to keep it working for a while.

    People up here do odder things to keep their stuff alive through winter, so why should you have it easier? :^0

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    refrigerated for a few weeks, then replanted, as far south as you are.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I like the whites, too. Also because I think they have the best fragrance. :)

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    AV .

    Putting up a feeder with a big a$$ cat face in front of it. And it bobs up and down when they try to land on it. That has to be traumatic for the poor Lorries who only want to take a bite.

    Where can I get one? I'd love to put it up in my yard.

    AV :^0

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    My next door neighbor got that and handed it to me. I think as she works at a Charity Shop it was something handed in there as a donation. I've never seen anything like that previously but I like it.

    The Lorries are not worried about the thing jumping up and down as they are quite happy to land on the Metal Rod that's it's suspended from and they are more than happy to land on the water bowl suspended from another of those metal rods which is considerably heaver and moves a lot more.

    They just don't like that feeder for some reason. :^0

    I have to admit that I laughed when she handed it to me and I quite like it.

    Col

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    AV .

    You have the most interesting plants in your garden. They look so compelling. I know its early on in the Spring for you guys, we're still enjoying Summer here. I'm not looking forward to the winter.

    It was a really tough season here. We had 100 degree temps for several days and that burned a lot of what I was growing out. I did have a fabulous lettuce crop and its still growing. Salads all summer long with different lettuces and Mesclun were great this year. I also have lots of potatoes and they're just about done now. Little Fingerlings and Red potatoes. The deer ate all of my string beans and I only got one bunch out of my plants. And, the chipmunks, who are usually benign wrecked all but one of my Dinner Plant Dahlias. They ate the leaves in protest because I didn't put enough food out for them.

    Ah, nature. Isn't it grand?

    AV :^0

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Officially Winter is still here for a few weeks yet though the Flava's are disputing that and are throwing up flower spikes. Some of the other Sarracenia's are starting to send up new pitchers so it's getting close to spring.

    The Nepenthes are all growing and slowly putting on new leaves, even the VFT looks as if it will return this year though hopefully with no Flower Spikes as I'm really busy at the moment and will not be around to pick them out to save the poor things.

    The ferns on the other hand are out of control and have tried to take over the place. They are growing on top of the weed mat below the Pine Bark and sending roots all over the place and then springing up where they are not wanted. perhaps I should have done something before now to control them. The Lazy SOD who's garden it is just doesn't seem to care too much and doesn't do anywhere near enough work to keep it under control.

    Even the Succulents are getting out of control and will have to be pruned all the way back very soon. I've been hitting one and taking a rubbish bag full per week off it for the last few months and it's not made much of a difference. If I cut any more away the bin gets filled up and is overflowing by the time it's emptied so SWMBO insists that i don't remove any more at a time or she gets to keep some of her rubbish. :^0

    Horrible flame tree type thing all green with red tips and sends out a white milky sap which gets on everything that comes anywhere near it and it's hard to squash into a Big Garbage bag.

    Besides I'm not allowed to use secateurs at the moment so I've been handing SWMBO some implements of destruction and suggesting that she do some pruning. She just laughs and refuses. Between that and her sneering about me saying anything relating to making something out of wood I'm getting a complex.

    edited to add OH I dream of 100 F days returning. Almost warm enough to remove a jumper and some of the blankets off the bed at night. Though I have to admit that you need to keep the plants potting mix very damp to keep them alive. But with a nice warm day it's worth it.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Yep I know not much difference but.

    S Flava with Flower Spikes & new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00721.jpg

    Same weed but with the Yellow Petals of the flower starting to show and some new growth in the right hand side

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00720.jpg

    S Hybrid with new growth showing the red shoots.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00715.jpg

    Another S Hybrid with a Flower Spike just breaking the surface of the dirt and some new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00714.jpg

    S Purpura with a Flower Spike

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00713.jpg

    Another S Flava with flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00719.jpg

    There should be some new Saracenia Pitchers within a week or 2 so spring is defiantly getting close.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's finally happened the Lorries are eating out of my new bird feeder

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00722.jpg

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00723.jpg

    Well 1 is at least. :^0

    Col ]:)

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    AnsuGisalas

    Now you just have to find an identical looking real cat and teach it to hang on an identical looking trough... and ...

    All this time, I must confess, I have refrained from looking up what a lorry is in this context
    Now, seeing is believing
    Those sure are colorful... looks like it would be a noisy bird, but what would I know :^0

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    CharlieSpencer

    And yes, they're noisy. People pay $1.00 for a couple of ounces of pineapple juice in a plastic cup, then enter the lorry enclosure to feed them. I like to switch the cup from hand to hand frequently and make the little suckers work for it. Sometimes you can get four or five fighting over one cup.

    Of course, they frequently return the processed juice...

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Are a parrot and are only known as being Extremely Noisy. Not only are they noisy they have to get the last squawk in so they compete with each other to get in the last noise.

    I of course sit there and say Hello Hansom and it drives them nuts, they end up flying away squawking their little heads off. I must have trained one to say Hello as it scared the living daylights out of the neighbor as one sat up in their back landing and when she walked out to feed her birds it said hello to her. Seems that she threw the bird seed all over the place when that happened. She next stood out the front throwing some bread for the wild birds and it sat on the gutter above her saying hello.

    It scared her senseless the first time so I decided to change from Hello to Hello Hansom. :^0

    Those things love wet bread so you soak some bread in milk and they go crazy over it. The Bird Sanctuary at the Gold Coast here has thousands of them and they actually fight with each other to get the best position to feed on you. They are also known as Squirter's as they squirt their appreciation of you from a fair distance away to stain your cloths and show just how much that they like you. People here say if they crap on you they really like you so if you have several different birds stain your clothing you must be really special in their eyes

    http://www.cws.org.au/

    Oh and should I add that these noisy little monsters have taken up residence in several trees besides a Football Club down the road here and can be heard well into the night arguing on who gets the highest branch to roust on over night. Seems that once the Football Club turns off the Lights over the fields they quieten down but while they have light they fly around making lots of noise.

    Also if you sit down holding some bread they will come and eat it out of your hand while standing on you to get the best position to feed. They are the Wild Birds here and have not been encouraged to eat off people they are just that greedy.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    it will probably be the size of a turkey, come Christmas

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The Pigeons are now so fat that when one tries to jump on a Hen the hen falls to the ground and both roll across the footpath because the Male is way too heavy for the poor Hen to remain standing.

    Actually all of the Pigeons are grossly overweight and are barely able to fly. They waddle across the road and dare any oncoming cars to hit them as the mere fact of a car hitting one will reduce the car to a write off. The Pigeons have the Official Demons come around weighing them and they have had their wings removed because every one is so overweight that they bodies exceed their wing limits of safe flying.

    The Lorries on the other hand are a bit scarce at the moment because it's Breeding Season so they seem to have other things on their minds and we only see the young birds who are immature around at the moment. Of course though the bigger the Male is the better provider it is in the eyes of the female as they know where to find food so they will be easily able to provide food for any chicks that they father so they are sought after by the females.

    I of course tell the Lorries that their Drumsticks are so big that one drumstick could feed a family of 15 for a year. If that helps. They also are having a hard time of having full feather coverage as they are so fat that the feathers do not stretch to cover them now.

    Probably why we have so many Magpies visit us every day and why they walk into the house to announce themselves as being here to be feed. They are getting demanding now as they cry out to be feed before anyone wakes up. They land as soon as there is enough light for them to fly and start calling to be feed.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The Saracenia Flava's are really close to opening their flower this one has part of a petal exposed and should be open tomorrow followed by several more opening in the next few days

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00744.jpg

    same pot with both flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00746.jpg

    Another shot of S Flava with 2 flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00745.jpg

    A S Hybrid now with easily spotted flower spikes and new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00743.jpg

    A 2 year old S purpura Seedling showing new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00747.jpg

    The parent Purpura that donated the seed for the above weed with a developing Flower Spike

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00742.jpg

    12 month old S Flava Seedlings

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00748.jpg

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    And I have 4 Saracenia Flowers Open though 2 are past their Best Buy Date. The first Flava to open a Flower

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00756.jpg

    The second pot that opened flowers

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00755.jpg

    The S Purpura now has 2 flower spikes on it and one will be open within a day or two

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00758.jpg

    A Complicated S Hybrid that is a Hybrid on a Hybrid on a Hybrid but hopefully I'll get some seeds this year from it

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00757.jpg

    And naturally being the first day of spring it's cold unlike yesterday which was quite warm. :^0

    Col

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    AV .

    Its probably not even officially Spring yet. Love that N Hybrid pic. The pitchers must get pretty big if they're just starting to grow now.

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I re-potted a couple of weeds during the week which is usual at the beginning of the growing season but one was this plant.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00702.jpg

    Being very careful I managed to smash a new unopened pitcher and break every end off the leaf tendrils as I was pushing the peat moss down around it. I did not however manage to damage the pitcher in the picture but every other one I destroyed. I also re potted that Nepenthes Hybrid in the above post and didn't do any damage at all to it in the same size pot with the same mix. The only thing I didn't manage to break off was the growing tip so it would shoot from the base and get nice and thick.

    Even the Drosera that I re-potted looks somewhat worse for wear at the moment though by the end of the month it should look much better I Hope and be growing in the tub quite nicely. It's in the back of this picture and is now just the bumps at the top of each tip. The one in the blue pot in the background with the red leaves.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00706.jpg

    But as I say you don't have to be stupid it just helps no end.

    Col

    edited to add OH Spring Officially Started here September 1 so it's now the ninth day of Spring here at the moment.

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    AV .

    What is it? Hal, you naughty thing for growing that. Geez, Louise, Nature at its finest (blush)

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Not a species just a Complex Hybrid which looks quite nice none the less. I'm still kicking myself for doing so much damage to it. I normally only did things like that when I was going to shows and trashing the best Show Plants that I was taking. Though it's still not as bad as one that I saw with a 15 Foot Flower Spike that was carried into a Hall and stuck into a ceiling fan. A lovely yellow Orchard of some description with the flower spike covered with yellow flowers. It's owner made very short work of that Orchard which supposedly only flowered every few years. The entire hall had bits of that orchard all over it.

    The good thing is that it will grow back and be better for it's experience but I do like the pitchers.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    Last year we dug up the previous owners' flower bed because we wanted to plant Peonies.
    Digging up the raised bed, we found, under the tarp that was at ground level, some red shoots all squished up against it.
    Peonies :^0!
    Apparently they frequently survive for years and years deep underground... last year they didn't flower, must have been rough down there, but this year they came out very nicely.

    We also planted lilies last year, but this year we got scarlet lily beetles :_(
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_lily_beetle
    Nasty little stinkers. Best bet we hear is to hand-pick and squish them.

    Damn prolific too... makes us consider scrapping lilies from the plans entirely

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Personally I prefer Chemical Warfare on insect invaders but then again I'm lazy and don't like to do more work that I absolutely have to.

    Besides having carnivorous plants they tend to eat what tries to eat them.

    With anything used as Weed Mat a lot of things can survive under that for a very long time. Many people who are like me and lazy just throw something over what was growing after hitting it with a Brush-Cutter and hope that it's not going to grow through. With Plastic type Weed Mats it tends not to but if you throw newspaper down I've seen things wait till it breaks down 5 years latter before making a reappearance. They seem to be quite happy to sit and wait till they can fight their way through whatever barrier is placed between them and the sunlight.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    The only effective stuff that works, kills bees as well.

    It leaves the remedies that may or may not prevent them from laying eggs or feeding, so that means treating the plants every week all through spring.
    Hand-picking and squishing is probably the most effective method that won't do collateral damage.

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    AnsuGisalas

    TR won't let me start new topics, and demands log-in every two seconds... is it just me or are they screwing with the site again?

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's just you not a problem here.

    Though I have to admit that the site looks different this morning with Flash Add working again instead of white blocks over the screen. So I would hazard a guess that they have been messing with the site and there where some "Issues" while it was underway.

    Though i must admit that I've not been getting any Discussion Alerts for about a week now and that doesn't seemed to have changed.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    Infernal exploder is unaffected

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    *rubs hands delightedly in anticipation* Hand-squishing bugs is remarkably satisfying.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    feeding bugs to Nepenthes is remarkably satisfying and as an added benefit the plants grow really well.

    If you want to squish things may I suggest Bubble Wrap the Red kind with Stress Relief Pad stenciled on it?

    Col

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Plus, bugs usually crunch. Which isn't the same as 'pop'.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    When the bugs squash some send a jet of their gizzards spurting out and sometimes hitting your clothing making a mess.

    The Stress Relief Mat can not do that and is far cleaner.

    Besides dumping bugs into Nepenthes Pitchers is far more fun and it's good for the plant. See how much I like growing plants.

    I even had to take a jumper off today it was getting a bit warm and I started sweating slightly. When I looked at the Temp it was only 25C which is a long way from hot by we are finally getting there. :0

    Col

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    AV .

    I have this one and they have such a great fragrance http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/35433-product.html# Its a shame that the flower heads are so heavy. If you don't stake them, they end up on the ground.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    We also have an Angel Cheeks, I think maybe the old ones were Shirley Temples, and then we have two different pink ones.

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    CharlieSpencer

    It generally doesn't get cold enough. I top-dress and feed them but all I get are leaves; no buds. I'm on the line between US agricultural zones 7 and 8 (the higher the number, the warmer the winter). I found a new peony rated for zone 9, so maybe it will perform in my area.

    Tulips are the same way. They'll bloom the first spring, but only leaves in subsequent years. Daffodils are hit or miss, depending on the variety.

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    AnsuGisalas

    You could try icing the ground once, like if the freezer needs emptying of ice formations anyway... and of course, you can cover the ice with an insulator/reflector layer to keep it working for a while.

    People up here do odder things to keep their stuff alive through winter, so why should you have it easier? :^0

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    refrigerated for a few weeks, then replanted, as far south as you are.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I like the whites, too. Also because I think they have the best fragrance. :)

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    AV .

    Putting up a feeder with a big a$$ cat face in front of it. And it bobs up and down when they try to land on it. That has to be traumatic for the poor Lorries who only want to take a bite.

    Where can I get one? I'd love to put it up in my yard.

    AV :^0

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    My next door neighbor got that and handed it to me. I think as she works at a Charity Shop it was something handed in there as a donation. I've never seen anything like that previously but I like it.

    The Lorries are not worried about the thing jumping up and down as they are quite happy to land on the Metal Rod that's it's suspended from and they are more than happy to land on the water bowl suspended from another of those metal rods which is considerably heaver and moves a lot more.

    They just don't like that feeder for some reason. :^0

    I have to admit that I laughed when she handed it to me and I quite like it.

    Col

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    AV .

    You have the most interesting plants in your garden. They look so compelling. I know its early on in the Spring for you guys, we're still enjoying Summer here. I'm not looking forward to the winter.

    It was a really tough season here. We had 100 degree temps for several days and that burned a lot of what I was growing out. I did have a fabulous lettuce crop and its still growing. Salads all summer long with different lettuces and Mesclun were great this year. I also have lots of potatoes and they're just about done now. Little Fingerlings and Red potatoes. The deer ate all of my string beans and I only got one bunch out of my plants. And, the chipmunks, who are usually benign wrecked all but one of my Dinner Plant Dahlias. They ate the leaves in protest because I didn't put enough food out for them.

    Ah, nature. Isn't it grand?

    AV :^0

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Officially Winter is still here for a few weeks yet though the Flava's are disputing that and are throwing up flower spikes. Some of the other Sarracenia's are starting to send up new pitchers so it's getting close to spring.

    The Nepenthes are all growing and slowly putting on new leaves, even the VFT looks as if it will return this year though hopefully with no Flower Spikes as I'm really busy at the moment and will not be around to pick them out to save the poor things.

    The ferns on the other hand are out of control and have tried to take over the place. They are growing on top of the weed mat below the Pine Bark and sending roots all over the place and then springing up where they are not wanted. perhaps I should have done something before now to control them. The Lazy SOD who's garden it is just doesn't seem to care too much and doesn't do anywhere near enough work to keep it under control.

    Even the Succulents are getting out of control and will have to be pruned all the way back very soon. I've been hitting one and taking a rubbish bag full per week off it for the last few months and it's not made much of a difference. If I cut any more away the bin gets filled up and is overflowing by the time it's emptied so SWMBO insists that i don't remove any more at a time or she gets to keep some of her rubbish. :^0

    Horrible flame tree type thing all green with red tips and sends out a white milky sap which gets on everything that comes anywhere near it and it's hard to squash into a Big Garbage bag.

    Besides I'm not allowed to use secateurs at the moment so I've been handing SWMBO some implements of destruction and suggesting that she do some pruning. She just laughs and refuses. Between that and her sneering about me saying anything relating to making something out of wood I'm getting a complex.

    edited to add OH I dream of 100 F days returning. Almost warm enough to remove a jumper and some of the blankets off the bed at night. Though I have to admit that you need to keep the plants potting mix very damp to keep them alive. But with a nice warm day it's worth it.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Yep I know not much difference but.

    S Flava with Flower Spikes & new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00721.jpg

    Same weed but with the Yellow Petals of the flower starting to show and some new growth in the right hand side

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00720.jpg

    S Hybrid with new growth showing the red shoots.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00715.jpg

    Another S Hybrid with a Flower Spike just breaking the surface of the dirt and some new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00714.jpg

    S Purpura with a Flower Spike

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00713.jpg

    Another S Flava with flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00719.jpg

    There should be some new Saracenia Pitchers within a week or 2 so spring is defiantly getting close.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's finally happened the Lorries are eating out of my new bird feeder

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00722.jpg

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00723.jpg

    Well 1 is at least. :^0

    Col ]:)

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    AnsuGisalas

    Now you just have to find an identical looking real cat and teach it to hang on an identical looking trough... and ...

    All this time, I must confess, I have refrained from looking up what a lorry is in this context
    Now, seeing is believing
    Those sure are colorful... looks like it would be a noisy bird, but what would I know :^0

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    CharlieSpencer

    And yes, they're noisy. People pay $1.00 for a couple of ounces of pineapple juice in a plastic cup, then enter the lorry enclosure to feed them. I like to switch the cup from hand to hand frequently and make the little suckers work for it. Sometimes you can get four or five fighting over one cup.

    Of course, they frequently return the processed juice...

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Are a parrot and are only known as being Extremely Noisy. Not only are they noisy they have to get the last squawk in so they compete with each other to get in the last noise.

    I of course sit there and say Hello Hansom and it drives them nuts, they end up flying away squawking their little heads off. I must have trained one to say Hello as it scared the living daylights out of the neighbor as one sat up in their back landing and when she walked out to feed her birds it said hello to her. Seems that she threw the bird seed all over the place when that happened. She next stood out the front throwing some bread for the wild birds and it sat on the gutter above her saying hello.

    It scared her senseless the first time so I decided to change from Hello to Hello Hansom. :^0

    Those things love wet bread so you soak some bread in milk and they go crazy over it. The Bird Sanctuary at the Gold Coast here has thousands of them and they actually fight with each other to get the best position to feed on you. They are also known as Squirter's as they squirt their appreciation of you from a fair distance away to stain your cloths and show just how much that they like you. People here say if they crap on you they really like you so if you have several different birds stain your clothing you must be really special in their eyes

    http://www.cws.org.au/

    Oh and should I add that these noisy little monsters have taken up residence in several trees besides a Football Club down the road here and can be heard well into the night arguing on who gets the highest branch to roust on over night. Seems that once the Football Club turns off the Lights over the fields they quieten down but while they have light they fly around making lots of noise.

    Also if you sit down holding some bread they will come and eat it out of your hand while standing on you to get the best position to feed. They are the Wild Birds here and have not been encouraged to eat off people they are just that greedy.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    it will probably be the size of a turkey, come Christmas

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The Pigeons are now so fat that when one tries to jump on a Hen the hen falls to the ground and both roll across the footpath because the Male is way too heavy for the poor Hen to remain standing.

    Actually all of the Pigeons are grossly overweight and are barely able to fly. They waddle across the road and dare any oncoming cars to hit them as the mere fact of a car hitting one will reduce the car to a write off. The Pigeons have the Official Demons come around weighing them and they have had their wings removed because every one is so overweight that they bodies exceed their wing limits of safe flying.

    The Lorries on the other hand are a bit scarce at the moment because it's Breeding Season so they seem to have other things on their minds and we only see the young birds who are immature around at the moment. Of course though the bigger the Male is the better provider it is in the eyes of the female as they know where to find food so they will be easily able to provide food for any chicks that they father so they are sought after by the females.

    I of course tell the Lorries that their Drumsticks are so big that one drumstick could feed a family of 15 for a year. If that helps. They also are having a hard time of having full feather coverage as they are so fat that the feathers do not stretch to cover them now.

    Probably why we have so many Magpies visit us every day and why they walk into the house to announce themselves as being here to be feed. They are getting demanding now as they cry out to be feed before anyone wakes up. They land as soon as there is enough light for them to fly and start calling to be feed.

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The Saracenia Flava's are really close to opening their flower this one has part of a petal exposed and should be open tomorrow followed by several more opening in the next few days

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00744.jpg

    same pot with both flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00746.jpg

    Another shot of S Flava with 2 flower spikes

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00745.jpg

    A S Hybrid now with easily spotted flower spikes and new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00743.jpg

    A 2 year old S purpura Seedling showing new growth

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00747.jpg

    The parent Purpura that donated the seed for the above weed with a developing Flower Spike

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00742.jpg

    12 month old S Flava Seedlings

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00748.jpg

    Col

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    And I have 4 Saracenia Flowers Open though 2 are past their Best Buy Date. The first Flava to open a Flower

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00756.jpg

    The second pot that opened flowers

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00755.jpg

    The S Purpura now has 2 flower spikes on it and one will be open within a day or two

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00758.jpg

    A Complicated S Hybrid that is a Hybrid on a Hybrid on a Hybrid but hopefully I'll get some seeds this year from it

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00757.jpg

    And naturally being the first day of spring it's cold unlike yesterday which was quite warm. :^0

    Col

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    AV .

    Its probably not even officially Spring yet. Love that N Hybrid pic. The pitchers must get pretty big if they're just starting to grow now.

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I re-potted a couple of weeds during the week which is usual at the beginning of the growing season but one was this plant.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00702.jpg

    Being very careful I managed to smash a new unopened pitcher and break every end off the leaf tendrils as I was pushing the peat moss down around it. I did not however manage to damage the pitcher in the picture but every other one I destroyed. I also re potted that Nepenthes Hybrid in the above post and didn't do any damage at all to it in the same size pot with the same mix. The only thing I didn't manage to break off was the growing tip so it would shoot from the base and get nice and thick.

    Even the Drosera that I re-potted looks somewhat worse for wear at the moment though by the end of the month it should look much better I Hope and be growing in the tub quite nicely. It's in the back of this picture and is now just the bumps at the top of each tip. The one in the blue pot in the background with the red leaves.

    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj121/HAL9000_photo/DSC00706.jpg

    But as I say you don't have to be stupid it just helps no end.

    Col

    edited to add OH Spring Officially Started here September 1 so it's now the ninth day of Spring here at the moment.

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    AV .

    What is it? Hal, you naughty thing for growing that. Geez, Louise, Nature at its finest (blush)

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Not a species just a Complex Hybrid which looks quite nice none the less. I'm still kicking myself for doing so much damage to it. I normally only did things like that when I was going to shows and trashing the best Show Plants that I was taking. Though it's still not as bad as one that I saw with a 15 Foot Flower Spike that was carried into a Hall and stuck into a ceiling fan. A lovely yellow Orchard of some description with the flower spike covered with yellow flowers. It's owner made very short work of that Orchard which supposedly only flowered every few years. The entire hall had bits of that orchard all over it.

    The good thing is that it will grow back and be better for it's experience but I do like the pitchers.

    Col