I’m back from my trip, and I’ll post some of the trip pictures here soon.
Two weeks away during prime growing season can guarantee that you’ll come back to surprises. I knew tomatoes grew quickly, but, dang, what was I thinking when I put that one indeterminate monster in the flower bed? I don’t usually prune my tomato plants, but that’s what I was doing within fifteen minutes of pulling up in the driveway. A few baby tomatoes of the first crop went with the stems that went into the greens recycle bin, but there will be more where those came from.
The nicest surprise to come back to was probably the opening of the first pitcher on the Sarracenia alata in the new bog garden. I’d been watching the new leaves making their way up from the rhizomes for the last couple of months, and this first pitcher was perfect: elegant, streamlined, and gently striped.
I usually don’t buy piles of souvenirs on my trips. This time I came home with three. One was a little soap in the shape of a cute grizzly bear. (The soap smelled like cheap cologne.) Another was a wild huckleberry-filled chocolate bar for John. (Even though he likes chocolate as much as I do, he agreed that the souvenir bar tasted like bad Hershey’s with a little bit of berry jam spread on it. At least the wrapper was festive.)
And the last souvenir I brought home was for the carnivorous plants in the bog garden. Common wisdom is that carnivores like pure water, with total dissolved solids less than 50 parts per million. The local San Diego water bottoms out at around 180ppm tds and goes up from there, so it’s not ideal–and actually lethal over the long term–for carnivores. At the Norris Campground in Yellowstone on my way out I emptied my 5-gallon emergency water container which I’d filled with disgusting San Diego tap water at the start of the trip. Then I went to the spigot and filled it with five fresh gallons of pure mountain snowmelt.
Not long after I got home I took the mountain water to the bog plants and opened the spigot on the jug and let it dribble into the assorted pitcher plants and sundews. After sniffing the disgusting souvenir soap and sampling the unfortunate chocolate, I know the bog plants got the best souvenir of all from my trip. Nothing is too good for some of my current favorite plants…
A happy Cape sundew (Drosera capensis, broad leaf form) in the bog garden.