Priory Picture Post # 12

A couple of months ago, I was in a well-known DIY shop (starts with B and ends with Q) and, as is pretty much always the case , I felt the urge to rescue one of their plants.  (Have you seen how they treat their tree ferns?  Very big, very old Dicksonia antarctica’s left out in full sun and as dry as a bone.  Shocking).
This little Nepenthes (I think that’s what it is  – it was close to death, unnamed and only 50p) was just screaming out, “Help, help” in a Penelope Pitstop kind of way and, as my crew of insectivorous plants in the Priory greenhouse can use a little help, I had to take her home with me.  (For similar reasons never take me to dog rescue homes.  Or second-hand bookshops).
It wasn’t long ago that a pitcher plant caught a Great Tit and made headline news around the world.  Just look – here.  Oh, OK then  – headline news in Somerset.
My little plant would be hard pushed to swallow a blue-bottle.  But …. just don’t get too close.  Might give you a nasty nip.  She’s recovered from her ordeal nicely; has three pitchers (each about a third full of water in which the insects drown) and I’m really quite fond of her and her gruesome little lifestyle.

12 thoughts on “Priory Picture Post # 12

  1. Hi Barbara, I've just got in from work having stopped off at a garden centre on the way home. And I picked up and put down and picked up and put down some reduced cheap plants. On this occasion I was STRONG and didn't buy any. Next time I doubt I'll be so lucky…



  2. I think this “rescue” syndrom is quite common in the gardener scene 😉 when visiting a garden center or a DIY shop! I've got it too, as well as with regard to bookstores and fabricstores. If we didn't hear these words “take me home” from time to time, our gardens would probably have less “real plant treasures”. Your post is the proof of it 🙂 !!


  3. I've had similar arguments with my other half. I keep on saying, “You simply can't have too many Biggles books!” He just rolls his eyes. I'm so misunderstood….



  4. A touching and gallant tale of rescue, nice work. Haven't ever tried growing anything carnivorous as they give me the creeps 🙂 Have similar lack of willpower though at plants and books alike, keep trying to tell my husband that there is no such thing as too many of either. I think I'm banned from the cat rescue centre now too, apparently two is enough; although their young mum is still there…


  5. Hi Janet, gonna feed my pitcher plant so as to be large enough to grab wobbers and wuffians. To make 2nd hand bookshops even more dangerous, I've started collecting (certain) gardening books. LETHAL.



  6. Good to know you are establishing a Plant Rescue Centre. Second hand bookshops are only marginally less disastrous to my wallet than garden centres of any sort, even the apology for such found at big DIY chains. Please don't expect your pitcher plant to be grabbing the headlines by eating birds for a while yet…


  7. Hi Ronnie, I think she looks like she's about to burst into a rendition of 'Be our Guest' – in a French accent, of course.

    Hi Helen, ah avoid the reduced section – very wise. I shall try. I grow several sarracenias (I had to check the spelling myself!) in the greenhouse and they don't seem to mind the heat though it is netted to avoid direct scorching sun. As long as they don't dry out they should be OK. The tubes do start out flat but then should eventually form into pitchers – wonder why yours hasn't?

    Hi Jane, yes. Or a Plant Liberation Front … would be terribly busy though.

    Slurping up mosquitoes, Stacy, is an admirable occupation. My insectivores are under strict instructions to leave any spiders alone. Were I in NM however I would reconsider that.

    Hi Boys, yeah I knew the BIG pitcher plant had made news (I think I saw it originally in the Guardian) – I was just tickled that when I googled it, top result was BBC Somerset! I think it's just the sheer waste at my local B&Q that annoys me. Trolley after trolley of plants wilting and dying very soon after arrival. If nothing else, it's a helluva way to run a business.



  8. The tit swallowing pitcher did the rounds on facebook and was on BBC news so was much bigger deal than you think. Undeniably fascinating plants!

    The nurturing side of being a gardener is well and truly active within you David, rescuing plants suffering at DIY sheds. The main problem with these chain retail outlets is that the staff are not horticulturists, nurserymen, nor hobbyists. The odd one may be a keen gardener and that's about it. Hence alot of stocked plants eventually get neglected. You can get really good reductions though, at least.


  9. What a charmingly happy little monster–smiling from ear to ear. Her lower “lip” actually looks almost like flesh.

    I didn't really discover insectivorous plants until a vacation in Newfoundland, where Sarracenia purpurea grows all over the place, slurping up mosquitoes and what have you. They upend everything you think you know about plants…

    (Do they eat spiders?)


  10. We should start a 'Plant Rescue 24 / 7' TV show!!! HAHAHA!! And name n' shame DIY stores & Garden centres where the 'alledged' abuse takes place…film their TV recovery & end with their New Home! Can't stop…off to contact the BEEB'…think I'm onto a winner!! :0)


  11. I have a scarcenna (spelling?) which I bought at Malvern Autumn show last year but I think I am going wrong somewhere as the tubes are flat and not tubes at all – wondering if too hot in the greenhouse. I do love these plants but find them very difficult – good luck with your rescue, I avoid the reduced section


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