Halloween horrors

The end of October,  and the shops are full of skeletons and pumpkins as Halloween approaches. Don’t think that the horticultural world can’t join in the spooky fun though; there are plenty of botanical nightmares out there worthy of The Little Shop of Horrors. The carnivorous plants hold a special fascination –  monkey cups (Nepenthes), cobra plants (Darlingtonia), Venus fly-traps  (Dionaea) and the like. These lure innocent insects to their doom with their gaudy shapes and colours and scents. Horrified but intrigued, we watch as the fly buzzes nonchalantly towards mortal danger, like a young woman in a skimpy nightie walking through...

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Rare plants – a common Growbag weakness

We knew, we just knew that we were going to have a good day at the Great Dixter Plant Fair when we pulled into a field to find Fergus Garrett himself, Head Gardener Extraordinaire, helping to get the cars parked. Laura and I had persuaded our game husbands (terrifically useful for carrying bags) to come with us, while our younger sister was flying back from a sun-soaked week in Italy. Must have been ghastly for her. We had had a beautiful drive through the early autumn countryside of East Sussex to get there, and the low October sunshine cheered...

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