Tag Archives: Carnivorous Plant Newsletter

Thursday is Resource Day

It’s been a while since the old Snail Mailbox was opened and cleared out, but oh the wonders therein. The periodical market may be coughing up blood after the demise of Borders, but I can still point to quite a few magazines that make the old model still worth paying for.

To start, yes, Facebook is now overloaded with single-subject obsessives with all of the depth and critical thought of a movie poster, and poking through a Timeline is a bit like being stuck in traffic behind that character with the station wagon held together with bumper stickers. However, sometimes you need to sift through a mountain to find gold. I can’t remember which friend turned me onto Florida Gardening magazine, but the first issue reminded me of everything that I loved from living in Tallahassee a decade ago. Of particular note is a cover story on the gardens of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, which was still under construction when I came through the area in 2008.

I also can’t recommend highly enough Jay (Jake) Carter’s end column, “The Exterminator”, because his certainty about the intelligence of local vermin matches mine. To quote, “I am ill equipped o do any real damage to the world’s pest populations. However, the image I am presenting to them is one of a crazed killer who will go to ANY lengths to get rid of them, even if the effort ends in my accidental poisoning or I blow myself up.” Oh, I empathize. The rat trap atop the roof, apparently carried there by a hawk that snatched the rat inside for an early morning snack, is proof of that.

Likewise, the newest issue of Carnivorous Plant Newsletter arrived just today, and seemingly half of the issue is full of new carnivorous plant cultivars. That’s in addition to a study on bladderwort functions, and Nigel Hewitt-Cooper‘s guide to raising Drosera regia. The last is of particular note, considering my mistaking D. filliformis for D. regia, and it may be time to try raising this beauty under Texas conditions.

And then there’s vindication. My subscription to Gothic Beauty is nearing its end, but I still go through every issue from cover to cover. Of especial interest was a letter to the editor complimenting the “Gothic Gardening” columns in back issues: it’s just a real damn shame that the columnist was fired by the publisher in the most passive-aggressive manner possible, isn’t it?

Carnivorous plant news

Winter, such as it is for Texas, finally hit this week. The weekend already featured a full five inches of rain at the Triffid Ranch on Saturday and Sunday, and you’d barely realize it two days later. Yes, we were THAT dry out here. Give us a full foot between now and New Year’s Eve, and we might actually get through 2012 without bursting into flame.

And yes, everyone can remind me of how Dallas winters are nothing compared to Boston or Milwaukee or Calgary winters. I was born in Michigan, so this knowledge is burned into my DNA. I remember coming to school in first grade and looking over the snowdrift that covered one whole wing of my elementary school. I remember regular blackouts lasting for days because of ice storms. Don’t laugh at me about our pathetic and weak “snowstorms”, and I won’t bring up how the main entertainment in Appleton, Wisconsin through January and February involves carving lawn furniture out of blocks of frozen oxygen and nitrogen on the back porch. Deal?

In the meantime, since there’s not much to report in the way of plant developments outside, let’s look at other news. For instance, the December 2011 issue of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter arrived last night, complete with photos of Jay Lechtman’s new Sarracenia cultivars. Odd artists get the nod this time, by way of the new cultivars “Seurat” and “Gorey“. Between these, the Lovecraftian Utricularia cultivars, and the Nepenthes cultivars “Bill Bailey” and “Dame Helen Mirren,” I think we’ve finally hit the point in the carnivorous plant trade where people are buying cultivars solely because of the interesting names.

And speaking of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, the lovely and talented Emily Troiano of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society, the hosts of the 2012 International Carnivorous Plant Society Conference, announced in the newest Newsletter that registration for next year’s conference will start on January 1. In addition, those who register before April 15 get an additional $50 discount on their memberships. The Czarina is still thinking long and hard about whether she wants to be in New England in August (she’s terrified of that frozen oxygen lawn furniture, you see), but otherwise expect at least some Triffid Ranch presence out there, complete with video. All I need is a spare 300-pound Samoan attorney, and I’m already ready to go.

Finally, everyone at the Triffid Ranch expresses regret on the news that John A.A. Thompson, Ph.D died last month, just days after his 100th birthday. Dr. Thompson, for those of you unfamiliar with his work, was the inventor of gardening supplement SUPERThrive, and the advertising copy on every bottle made Dr. Thompson the Dr. Bronner of horticulture. Standing in the checkout aisle at Home Depot definitely wouldn’t be the same without those insane testimonial cards on the SUPERThrive bottles on the endcaps.