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Monday, April 4, 2011

Flesh-Eating Plants

Like a few other bloggers I've been reading, I visited the Melbourne Garden Show during the week. I've done this for the past few years. Love it. And last week, like the years before, I came home with a new carnivorous plant for my kitchen windowsill. I know this blog is supposed to be about edible things I'm growing and cooking but I'll make an exception today because these plants go in my kitchen garden - the kitchen windowsill.
The latest one - dunno its name
Aren't they beautiful, freaky, weird and wonderful? This latest one has teeny fuzzy glowy bits that attract little, flying insects that then get stuck. It looks beautiful on the windowsill in the late afternoon with its fairydrops shimmering in the light. In typical me style, I've thrown away the tag and wouldn't have a clue what the names of any of these plants are.  I just call them my meat-eaters. Is it a little bit wrong for a vegetarian to love flesh-eating plants so?
Venus FlyTrap
Some of them have a smell that attracts the insects and they fly down and then get stuck and can't fly out.  This Venus FlyTrap slowly closes its jaws on the unsuspecting fly. 

They do require some special conditions.  A bright, sunny spot with several hours of direct sunlight is best. Apparently, the chlorine in tap water isn't good for them so mine only get water from the tank. And they need to be kept wet - mine sit in bowls of water. During Winter they're dormant and most of the leaves die so it's best to chop them back.  And then in Spring, some of them grow beautiful, big flowers.

I do enjoy looking at these plants as I do the dishes or cook and it distracts me from the other bits of my kitchen that I don't enjoy looking at. Like the pantry that still has no door on it, or the plaster on the walls that haven't been sanded and finished off or painted. Or the windowsill itself that also hasn't been painted. Yep, I live in an unfinished renovation. Been going for 8 years now. Don't expect it to be finished any time soon. Monkey Man is the one who's done almost all the work on this house.  But progress started with a bang and then slowed to a stop when second little monkey came along and made our lives way too busy. I'm waiting for an out of the blue financial windfall so we can pay someone to finish us off. Until then, I have to make do with lovely flesh-eating distractions.
The kitchen windowsill - see unpainted.

15 comments:

  1. Unfinished renos..hey I hear ya.....tiles missing from the wall in the kitchen, three drawers, unpainted , no handles...how I got used to opening them is anyones gues..but I do it...smelly cupboards...cant get rid of that smell??? Oh, oh, and I have a room on the side of my bedroom...?? I think it is an ensuite...? Ten years in the making, coming on eleven.....I have just forgotten that it is there......yep, children come along and there goes a thing called time and money..............x

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  2. Ha! You too VG! Sitting there waiting for a windfall to appear :D We did a bunch of cosmetic renos when we moved in...but are now planning a rather major reno for 2013 before the house actually falls down.

    Your carnivorous plants are scarily great! I've never had one. Do they...poop...?

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  3. I bet there are bezillions of us out there with unfinished renos. You beat me Suzanne. I've not yet been waiting a decade. I keep joking that I'll be on my deathbed and use whatever money I have left before death to finish the renovation in time for my funeral.
    Mrs Bok I haven't noticed any poo! They catch a fly and it just sits there for a while. Apparently they take its nutrients and then the shell remains. If they're outside it just blows away but as mine are indoors the corpses remain.

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  4. Dont say that renovations are never finished!! We had so much planned for the cottage before we moved in an only half of it happened and only half was finished. The shed is full of building materials too! We have the deadline of future children to work to, so I might be waiting a long time!!
    Venus fly traps are so awesome! how do you stop the monkey boys from putting their fingers in them?

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  5. Phoebe they are up too high for monkey fingers to reach.

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  6. Perhaps you could threaten to feed MM to the carnivorous plants if the reno doesn't begin to move. You would need a really big plant though, lithe the one from Little Shop of Horrors. Maybe they will have one at the garden show next year.

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  7. I want to wee without children watching, shower without someone under my feet, pull a drawere out by a handle and have a cane lazy boy out on the lawn with a book reading under a nana rug..is that too much to ask for before I die?

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  8. Fascinating plants! I would've liked to have gone to the garden show but just didn't get there this year. Loving your Japanese Anenomes up there on the windowsill..we have some growing at the moment too.

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  9. Thanks for the suggestion Hazel. I'll mention it to MM and see what effect it has. Mmmm Suzanne I'm with you there. Christine, a friend's little girl picked these for me on the weekend and I didn't know what they were. Thanks for telling me their name 'cos I really want to get a plant. They're beautiful.

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  10. I always wanted to get some, but I am too scared to find unfinished pieces of fly here and there...

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  11. Oh yeah, bring on the unfinished renovations... kitchen, bathroom and sunroom, as well as the entire downstairs of the house... one day. Perhaps I need some distracting plants too... but do you have to watch the flies struggle?

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  12. Very interesting plants - and much better than using artificial fly-sprays, I'm sure.

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  13. I think the 4th pic is a pitcher plant. They are so interesing and it must great to watch to process of them catching their own food

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  14. Ah you're right Fiona pitcher plant. It's all coming back to me now! Ali- so many people with unfinished renovations. Unfortunately, this blog post is not having the desired effect on Monkey Man. He was supposed to be shamed into finishing. Now he knows there are plenty of others out there in the same boat.
    Alessandra, you don't really find unfinished bits of fly. Well, you can see their corpses but they're in the plant - and much like finding a dead one on your windowsill. Ali, I can't really remember watching a fly struggle for it's life. But they must. I don't think it would bother me! I'd be saying yay another dirty rotten blowie gone from my kitchen.

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  15. Excellent information provided by this blog.

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