Hargrave Triffid

A Photographic Record of Plant Growth


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 58

The builders are back upstairs scraping their paint. As it rained so heavily for most of yesterday I have been collecting fresh rainwater as my stocks are running so low and do not want the new stuff to become contaminated. After remonstrating slightly with the builders I have worked out that they have now finished at the back of the house so I have moved my rainwater collecting trays – am hoping for a bit more rain – and have covered my largest tub, this effectively being my butt, my main store.

Temp 22-07-15 (2) Temp 22-07-15

The heatwave has returned this week and, as can be seen above, the temperature in direct sunlight is pretty hot. Probably a bit too hot for all but those triffids used to Californian or African sunshine. However, as I mentioned there have been prolonged periods of rain which is perfect for me, and with more scheduled for tomorrow and possibly Monday, it is a good chance for me to replenish my water stocks before Summer returns as seems highly likely – a beautiful Summer this year and the best I remember in a very long time, even Wimbledon managed to avoid significant rain and that’s almost unheard of.

Here is my review of progress after fifty eight weeks:

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 25-07-15 Basil 25-07-15 (2) Basil 25-07-15 (3) Basil 25-07-15 (4)

Some evidence of new leaf growth on one of the tall stems but otherwise just waiting for cuttings.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 25-07-15 Pitch 25-07-15 (2) Pitch 25-07-15 (3) Pitch 25-07-15 (4)

The flowers have nearly all shed their seeds now so who knows where there are going to be little sarracenia plants popping up. The flowers are also beginning to die off with the first turning brown and shriveling up.

 

 

Luke

22/07/15

22/07/15

 

22/07/15

22/07/15

22/07/15

22/07/15

22/07/15

22/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

25/07/15

Not sure if I have been asleep for a while but do not understand how I missed the development of this beautiful white pitcher. I thought that I had been sent a plant with a cut pitcher and that I had beheaded the other during removal from the packaging. Imagine my shock the other day when I saw that a white pitcher had been developing. How have I not seen this before? It’s as if the fairy triffid-godmother has waved her magic wand. From looking back at older pictures, and obviously there was a bit of a gap for a few weeks, it seems like this pitcher must have come from the new shoot that was growing incredibly slowly for ages, but appears to have been on steroids in the last month. Whichever stalk this pitcher has come from the growth rate has been phenomenal. Am happy, proud, flabbergasted and astounded all at the same time.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 25-07-15 Sunny 25-07-15 (2)

Sunny continues to develop with new vigour. My notes from last year indicate that she had a similar growth spurt in July last year so am not sure that the move to the shadier patio table can take all the credit. Although the sundew leaves are still much smaller than those in Venus’s pot, they are beginning to grow tall and strong and there seem to be many more green shoots appearing. Considering that I though Sunny had gone to meet her maker this is a great resurgence.

 

 

Drake

Drake 25-07-15 Drake 25-07-15 (2) Drake 25-07-15 (3)

No real change this week although the slightly overhead shots do show the amount of green shoots developing.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 25-07-15 Piggy 25-07-15 (2) Piggy 25-07-15 (3)

Piggy is definitely not looking as jolly as he did a month ago. I am not entirely sure if this is to do with the paint flecks, being out of the sun or whether there is something else of which I am not aware. It’s not that he doesn’t look well, just not as well as he has. Oh well. Have kept him on the patio table but moved him to a slightly sunnier position so hopefully he will benefit. One to monitor.

 

 

Venus

Venus 25-07-15 Venus 25-07-15 (2) Venus 25-07-15 (3) Venus 25-07-15 (4)

The party is still rocking down at Venus’s pot. The round sundew is unchanged but Sunny’s daughters have been very hungry and there are plenty of signs of them dining. There is also a fair bit of activity with some very tall new sundew leaves developing and also a flower stalk I believe. The main event, rather than wilting under the pressure continues to carry her weight with two traps shut showing definite signs of dinner, and another two soon to be opening and fully functional. Can’t see any new traps developing at the moment but there is still plenty of time left this Summer.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 25-07-15 Aphro 25-07-15 (2)

It seems to have been open season on Daddy Long Legs with about four ending up as dinner for Aphro. I thought he’d been going off his food in recent times but it looks like he’s back to his best. Possibly this new penchant for Daddy Long Legs could be due to the change of location in that the plants are now much lower down and much much closer to the rather wild back garden. There is also a huge jasmine bush very near by which offers passage from the back garden to the patio table. a few signs of new growth which is good and all in all I’m happy that bigger, healthier, hungrier traps seem to be forming. What more could I want?

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 25-07-15 Mint 25-07-15 (2) Mint 25-07-15 (3) Mint 25-07-15 (4)

I have now formed the opinion that the Sisters’ problems are due to too much sunshine and not enough water rather than the fungal infection mint rust, although I reserve my right to change my opinion in the future as more facts become known. Certainly still no chance of mint tea and I have taken the liberty of buying some new Moroccan Mint plants to satisfy my tea requirements. Might keep these inside though. We will have to see. Will be interesting to have the comparison, for a mint tea drinker you can never have enough mint, as long as it’s in pots!

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 25-07-15 Gronda 25-07-15 (2) Gronda 25-07-15 (3) Gronda 25-07-15 (4)

Poor old Gronda does not look very well in these pictures. This is how he often looks but tends to perk up once watered. Yesterday I sprayed his leaves and this morning I watered him around the base of his stems but he is still not looking particularly happy at the moment. I fear that the 40-50°C temperatures arising from the sun glare may be too much for him. Am considering a temporary re-location although there aren’t a great many possibilities for re-location so will have to think carefully.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 25-07-15 Hulk 25-07-15 (2)

Nothing to report. Happy as Larry.

 

 

Snake

Snake 25-07-15 Snake 25-07-15 (2) Snake 25-07-15 (3)

Seems to have stabilised since moving from the bathroom to the less damp more sunny kitchen. Am almost totally convinced that I will have to repot though. Have cactus soil but just need a new pot.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 25-07-15 Flapjack 25-07-15 (2)

Completely happy with life this little one.


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 57

Here is my review of progress after fifty seven weeks:

Absolutely scorching in London this week although there is still a cool breeze. I would normally expect this to have disappeared by now but it appears to still be with us. The thermometers on the South Eastern facing windowsill are both showing temperatures of 40°C, due to the cloudless sky and the sun shining directly onto this area.

Dare I say, at the risk of jinxing further nasty surprises, but the building work on the outside of the house appears to have been completed. The triffids are still on the patio table under the protection of the large umbrella but as I must also fear the umbrella up-ending the table sending the triffids flying if a stormy gust of wind takes hold, I should probably return the triffids to their normal spots. However they seem to be flourishing in their new locations so I think I may leave them there for another week and review.

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 19-07-15 Basil 19-07-15 (2) Basil 19-07-15 (3) Basil 19-07-15 (4)

The basil is still doing very poorly with only the extremities of the original brothers remaining green. I think I will take a cutting of the green leaves on show and try and re-plant.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 19-07-15 Pitch 19-07-15 (2) Pitch 19-07-15 (3) Pitch 19-07-15 (4)

This lad continues to improve at a phenomenal rate. What more can I say. Whatever life throws at him he just keeps going. May possibly move him back into the stronger sun as this is what he likes but in the very strong sun seen recently, his water tray goes dry every two days or so and I am beginning to run out of rain water stores. If he copes well in the shade I may well leave him here. August is the hottest month and I need to start rationing my water.

 

 

Luke

Luke 19-07-15 Luke 19-07-15 (2) Luke 19-07-15 (3) Luke 19-07-15 (4)

Yawn. Nothing continues to happen. Even in this spot this water tray goes dry far too often and I am going to have to replace the tray with something similar to that used by the others.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 19-07-15 Sunny 19-07-15 (2)

Sunny has responded impressively to the more shady relocation. Definitely worth leaving her here for a while longer whilst she recovers.

 

 

Drake

Drake 19-07-15 Drake 19-07-15 (2)

Drake looks a little pathetic in the pictures above but I assure you that this is merely the change of angle. Drake normally prefers half shade and is the only triffid normally resident on the South West rather than South East facing windowsill. This means that the current conditions should suit him pretty well. Will review next week.

 

 

Piggy

Piggy 19-07-15 Piggy 19-07-15 (2) Piggy 19-07-15 (3)

Was more worried last week about the effect of the paint flecks on Piggy than on any of the other triffids. One week on there are no noticeable signs of any harm being done, although it was always going to be likely that the effects could not be felt for weeks and even months. Another candidate for being moved back earlier than the others although last year I did fear a bit of scorching in sun similar to that at the moment. Will review next week and keep a close eye.

 

 

Venus

Venus 19-07-15 Venus 19-07-15 (2) Venus 19-07-15 (3) Venus 19-07-15 (4) Venus 19-07-15 (5) Venus 19-07-15 (6)

It’s getting crowded in there. The daughter of Sunny has certainly benefited from a week in the shade with those sundew leaves enlarging rapidly and more on the way. There is no visible growth with the circular sundews but in a small pot they continue to take up a significant surface area. Meanwhile Venus herself continues to grow and develop new traps at a pretty rapid rate. There are also signs of the largest traps feeding on something although I have no idea what is left in that front trap.

 

 

Aphro

Aphro 19-07-15 Aphro 19-07-15 (2) Aphro 19-07-15 (3) Aphro 19-07-15 (4)

Aphro looks like the move to more shady climes has also had some benefit. There are so many traps in that pot now and there are a few signs of new growth in the pot. The largest traps both seem to have been eating spiders or daddy long-legs or some such and there are several other traps that have closed with potential kills inside so this area certainly seems to be more fruitful for prey. Will review next week to see if this could be a better position during the hottest part of the summer.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 19-07-15 Mint 19-07-15 (2)

The sisters are not as impressed with their move. Have been trying to give them a bit more water than I have before but the leaves are looking pretty scorched and the white mottled spots on the leave do not seem to be paint but it seems that the rusting has taken hold, earlier than last year – although I do not think that it was this hot until later in Summer last year so this may account. Perhaps I will need to find an even more shady spot for the sisters.

 

 

Gronda

Gronda 19-07-15 Gronda 19-07-15 (2) Gronda 19-07-15 (3) Gronda 19-07-15 (4)

There are no signs of any more of the leaves having died or beginning to die over the last week. It is very hot and I have been regularly spraying Gronda’s leaves whilst also watering the base of the stems with rested tap water every week or so, or often when the plant is looking particularly droopy. If outside on the external windowsill it is registering over 40°C then it is certainly possible that the sun coming through the South Eastern facing kitchen window is making Gronda’s spot very hot. So far this year there has been very little humidity when it has been hot and thus Gronda is probably getting little water himself. A few new leaves still developing though.

 

 

Hulk

Hulk 19-07-15 Hulk 19-07-15 (2)

Despite the hot position near that South Eastern facing window there is no sign of particular spine droopage. This is a cactus after all. Watered last week so will not be watering until I see signs of droopage.

 

 

Snake

Snake 19-07-15 Snake 19-07-15 (2) Snake 19-07-15 (3)

Something is going seriously wrong with this plant and now more of the upstanding leaves are beginning to lose their rigidity. This has been the first stage of death in all other cases. Have now relocated to the kitchen so the plant will get a lot more sunlight. Will not water yet but need to do some internet research about what’s going on before more leaves suffer the same fate. Such a shame.

 

 

Flapjack

Flapjack 19-07-15 Flapjack 19-07-15 (2) Flapjack 19-07-15 (3)

Flapjack continues to grow very well. Gave him a drink last week so will now not water for a while. The original remaining part of the plant is looking increasingly more and more dead but still cannot quite bring myself to remove it, just in case. Viva Flapjack.


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Dendritic Reflective: Week 56

Here is my review of progress after fifty six weeks:

It has been a busy few weeks and I have not been able to update on all that has been going on, and it has certainly been a busy time. There has been a heat wave with temperatures hitting the low thirties and Summer has definitely arrived. Last night it was 21°C at Midnight. It has proved quite difficult to keep the outdoor triffids sufficiently lubricated as the heat continually evaporates the water, have thus needed to be much more diligent than useful.

The building works has also finally started and are still on-going. The plan was that my girlfriend would be here for 2 weeks whilst they were on and would move my plants if anything threatened them. Unfortunately, the building work stopped for some time as the main builder had tonsilitis and I came home in the middle of last week to discover that paint flecks had appeared all over the outside floor.

Paint Flecks 11-07-15 Paint Flecks 11-07-15 (2)

My girlfriend who had stayed for 3 weeks had finally had to go. I guess that building works never work to plan, but builders never seem to care particularly about the damage they do to the immediate environment, most appear to operate with a tunnel vision focused on their specific job. The mint has suffered worst from this paint invasion but several of the pots have paint flecks both on the plants and in their water trays and rather annoyingly I fear that some may have also infected my rain water stores.

Paint Flecks in Drake's Water Tray

Paint Flecks in Drake’s Water Tray

There are even some flecks stuck to some of the sundew leaves which I am not very happy about. The paint flecks are unlikely to be ion neutral and as I have previously stated it was builders who killed my last set of triffids with their plastering work, although these were kept inside. I have a slight sense of fear going forward as to what will happen. May also have to investigate alternative water sources as it does not look like it will be raining anytime soon.

As the work is still going on and the builder appears to be unable to give a finish date I have moved all the carnivores onto the patio table with the umbrella up. As it is reasonably breezy this brings a new worry that the umbrella will up end the table sending the plants flying onto the floor. Will have to watch the wind but at least the plants will be protected from falling paint and masonry.

Plant Relocation 11-07-15 Plant Relocation 11-07-15 (2)

Also, my bathroom ceiling fell in around two weeks ago and Snake also suffered falling masonry and a temporary relocation. More on that later.

Ceiling Collapse 11-07-15

 

I have now had the second wave of plants for an entire year. I will therefore provide my annual comparisons first before updating on the others.

 

Drake

01/07/14

01/07/14

01/07/14

01/07/14

Drake 27-06-15

27/06/15

Drake 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

Drake 27-06-15 (3)

27/06/15

27-06-15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Although Drake is not quite as full as he was when I first got him he is still doing pretty well since coming out of dormancy. There are plenty of sun dew leaves and new ones developing all the time. The pictures above from 11/07/15 show that Drake has taken a bit of a showering from the paint flecks but I have at least attempted to remove as many flakes as possible from the water tray with a teaspoon. Am looking forward to seeing how Drake will improve now that he has been in my care for a year as he gets more used to his new surroundings, there is still plenty of time for a late growth spurt through August and into Autumn. All in all I am very happy, provided he survives the paint.

 

 

Aphro

01/07/14

01/07/14

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

One year on, Aphro still has a large number of traps, although as we enter the second year the traps are notably smaller than previously and the red colour inside the traps is not as pronounced as previously. Post-dormancy I have finally got some new traps that are not so close to the ground and there are many more developing. The 11/07/15 pictures record some of the paint damage but have tried to remove as much as possible from the water tray and hopefully this will not phase Aphro too much. Am certainly less worried about how the VPTs will survive than I am over the sundews,

 

Gronda

01/07/14

01/07/14

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

A year on it feels that Gronda has thinned out somewhat although it took me a long while to get his watering habits right and he has certainly worried me at points in the last year that he may not survive. Have continued to spray him most days, particularly as it has been very hot, and when he has looked particularly droopy I have given him a little water directly to the base of the stems. Unfortunately in the last few weeks two of the leaves have turned yellow and are beginning to die. Not currently sure, why this is. It could possibly be due to overwatering as I have probably watered him more than I should because in the recent heat he has looked far more droopy than normal and spraying does not seem to have hit the spot. There is also a possibility that some parts of the plant have not received enough sun recently as I had pulled the kitchen blind down for a few days. All in all I will continue to monitor and if more leaves begin to die then I will reassess.

Pending this little wobble, I am very happy with Gronda’s recovery from some pretty dark days. He has survived Winter and this wonderful plant looks pretty happy most of the time. He has been producing quite a few new leaves recently and the growing season for these plants is still to come so hopefully I will be looking forward to the appearance of many more stems and leaves.

 

Hulk

29/09/14

29/06/14

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Looking at the photos from a year ago I can see just how many spines Hulk has lost. It certainly took me a very long time to get to grips with his watering regime but now I am fairly confident that I know what I’m doing, particularly as these plants need little care. No more spines have fallen since I found the optimum watering regime and they are looking far less droopy than before, indeed new ones have grown. Onwards and upwards.

 

Snake

29/06/14

29/06/14

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

After a year of looking more like a plastic copy than a real plant, poor old Snake has fallen on hard times. Having had a dead leaf about a month ago which I removed the situation has not improved. When the ceiling fell in, the plant was temporarily relocated to the kitchen, an area with far more sunlight, heat and drafts and far less humidity.

I returned him within 2 days and all looked well but in the last 2 weeks one of his leaves became very flacid and began to turn from green to yellow. This has now happened to a second leaf and there are others that do not look particularly happy either. Although the picture does not really show it, several of the other leaves are losing their colour and rigidity. I am going to move Snake to another location, probably the kitchen and hope that this is just a temporary blip. One to monitor carefully. Perhaps Snake is not indestructible after all.

 

Flapjack

01/07/15

01/07/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Flapjack is a recent success story although obviously I have treated him pretty badly in the year I have had him. He was always the runt of the litter and he had no proper spot. However, I have now cracked his watering regime and he is happier than ever. He does not look as good as a year ago but the substantial growth that he has put in since being re-potted should ensure that it will not be long before he is back to his best. Meanwhile the residual part of flapjack remaining in the original pot definitely looks to have had its day.

 

Piggy

05/07/14

05/07/14

Piggy 27-06-15

27/06/15

Piggy 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

 

11/07/15

11/07/15

Although Piggy was a later addition, arriving around about the 5th July 2014, he has also now been with me for a year. He looks much more happy than a year ago and has branched out quite magnificently after being a lot more compact upon arrival. Piggy is another who has copped a load of paint flecks over the plant and in the water tray. I have removed as much as I can from the water tray with a teaspoon but am still worried that he may suffer. In his temporary spot he is also going to be out of the direct sunlight for a few days so perhaps he will not like that either. The sooner the builders go and the plants can return to normal the better. Will monitor closely during this transitional period.

 

 

The Basil Brothers

Basil 27-06-15

27/06/15

Basil 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

 

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Oops. There’s been so much going on that the poor old Brothers have been neglected somewhat. Most of Tall and Short basil are looking like they’re finished although Short Basil has one healthy looking section of stem left. The newer basil is looking okay. Gave them all a drink in the week and again today but maybe it is time to put these working plants to bed and replace them with new ones. The fact is that they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing i.e. Providing fresh basil for my culinary excursions. I do not have these plants to look pretty.

 

 

Pitch

Pitch 27-06-15

27/06/15

Pitch 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

Pitch 27-06-15 (3)

27/06/15

Pitch 27-06-15 (4)

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Pitch 27-06-15 (5)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Pitch's Pot 11/07/15

Pitch’s Water Tray 11/07/15

Sunny's Water Tray 11/07/15

Sunny’s Water Tray 11/07/15

Pitch is just the don. Through all he carries on. The flowers have now gone revealing the seeds within. The many seeds within. As the latter two pictures show, these seeds have been getting everywhere so who knows where new Pitcher plants may be springing up in the near future. Those young new shoots have now grown into mature pitchers and there is still new growth coming. Wonderful.

 

 

Luke

Luke 27-06-15

27/06/15

Luke 27-06-15 (3)

27/06/15

Luke 27-06-15 (4)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Not a lot to say with this one. Yawn. Was dying for a white pitcher but guess I’m going to have to wait till 2017 at the earliest. That immature pitcher does not appear to have grown at all in the past 2 months. Amazingly slow when you consider the rate at which Pitch’s pitchers have matured. The round sun dew visitor has little purple flowers and still do not have the heart to remove the flower and stalk, although really don’t want more seeds from this one.

 

 

Sunny

Sunny 27-06-15

27/06/15

Sunny 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

Sunny 27-06-15 (4)

27/06/15

Sunny 27-06-15 (3)

27/06/15

Sunny 27-06-15 (5)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Now, I thought Sunny had had it. Thought she was deceased, was no more, had shuffled off her mortal coil and gone to join the choir invisible. But she lives on. There are a number of very small sun dew leaves in two distinct patches growing healthily. Unfortunately, Sunny has probably copped more paint flecks than any of the other plants. In her case, not only did I remove the flakes from her water tray with a tea spoon but I drained her pot with rain water to try and dislodge any flecks from her sun dew leaves. This has been a reasonably successful mission although some flecks remain in positions too difficult to remove. I can only hope that she keeps on surviving. Never thought she was up to much but she has really surprised me with her tenacity.

 

 

Venus

Venus 27-06-15

27/06/15

Venus 27-06-15 (2)

27/06/15

Venus 27-06-15 (3)

27/06/15

Venus 27-06-15 (4)

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Venus meanwhile is on the up, with 3 maybe 4 new traps developing. Despite the flower stalk incident her traps remain to develop much larger than Aphro’s. I have also not had a deformed trap yet since the freaks of last year post-stalk. Elsewhere in the pot, the progeny of Sunny are now fully developed and are threatening to take over. They are much larger sundew leaves than their mother by some distance and the plants here are doing much better. The round sundew visitor is beginning to cause problems in the pot, namely interfering with one of Venus’s remaining dormancy traps. I think that it may have caused the trap to close. This pot is gonna be heaving come the end of Summer and will definitely need re-potting to a much bigger pot come next year.

 

 

Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)

Mint 27-06-15

27/06/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

11/07/15

Not only has the mint been significantly covered in paint but it’s temporary relocation due to the building works has also meant that it has been somewhat scorched by the sun. The second generation mint is now looking pretty tatty when as the pictures show, only two weeks ago I was considering having a mint tea. Should have moved a lot faster. I’m pretty sure that this was what happened last year and I certainly didn’t get any mint tea then. I am tempted to buy some more mint plants and re-pot the lot. Will definitely need to move the plants to a more shady space, if I can find one. Have been giving reasonably regular water in the evenings but as it has been so sunny and hot perhaps I should consider watering every night.