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Wisley's Alpine Diary

This entry: 04 June 2009 by Paul Cumbleton

Log 49

Wisley?s Alpine Log

By Paul Cumbleton

Log 49 ? 4th June 2009

Back in March (Log 7) I showed the construction and planting of our new bog garden for carnivorous plants. Now that new traps are growing I thought you may like to see how it has progressed and what plants we have put in it. First a couple of shots for comparison showing the site just after planting and secondly now just over 2 months later:


It?s amazing how much difference just eight weeks has made, with many of the plants now growing away strongly and quite a few of them already flowering. Here are a couple more shots showing each of the two beds a bit closer up:


Most of the plants we have put in are the hardier types of Sarracenia which are all native to the United States where, with the exception of one species, they all inhabit the coastal areas of the

south-east. The exception is S. purpurea which grows much further north and even into Canada. This makes it one of the hardiest types and was a natural choice to include in the garden. It occurs in two subspecies; the more northerly-growing S. purpurea ssp. purpurea and the more southerly-growing S. purpurea ssp. venosa, pictured here:

This species has low-growing pitchers compared to the tall, upright pitchers of most of the species. Another species with low growing pitchers is S. psittacina. It is unusual in that its pitchers end up growing horizontally rather than upright:

One of the great attractions of course is the varied colouration of the plants. Sarracenia flava var. ornata has red venation on the yellow-green growth:

It also has quite large yellow flowers:

One of my favourite varieties of S. flava is the ?Copper Lid? form which lives up to its name:

As well as the straight species, there are various hybrids available. This is the flower of one of these, a cross between S. purpurea ssp. purpurea and a hybrid called S. x  catesbaei:

Another is called ?Brook?s Hybrid? which has tall pitchers and reddish flowers. Here it is, followed by another of the species, S. oreophila :


One of the Sarracenia we have planted is a hybrid between S. oreophila shown above and another species, S. leucophylla, and has wonderful, large, bright red flowers:

Moving away from the bog garden, back in the frameyard we are in a bit of an upheaval because our potting shed is being re-wired:

The good weather recently has meant we could move potting benches outside so that some work can continue unhindered. The warmth of course has also meant that we have spent a lot more time watering. Here is Lucie doing her woodland plants:

The news has recently highlighted the large numbers of immigrating Painted Lady butterflies and we have seen many of these at Wisley.

To end with, just one randomly selected beauty in flower now, the white form of Iris laevigata:

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