California Carnivores: In Search of a Hungry Garden

These plants are not available in your standard nurseries… I was surprised! I’d been to three local well respected and exotic nurseries. But we are lucky enough to have the world’s largest collection & nursery of carnivorous plants within an hour’s drive, in Sebastopol, Ca.!

We bundled the husband and the little dog into the Green Beetle for a little road trip. There’s also a number of antique stores along the same Old Gravenstein Hwy 116, we’d hit them all up! It was a hot day, and one of the larger antique mall’s was kind enough to let us bring Butter into the store on leash. Which was lovely until she pooped in one of the booths. I was so mortified I dragged a stool over the “stool” and sent Mr. Kallisti scurrying to the car for the poop bags (sadly I hadn’t stuffed them in my pocket). When he returned I stealthily scooped and disposed of in the bathroom. Oy! The owners were all so nice, offered her cookies, and the little cafe supplied me with juice as my blood sugar had started to dangerously drop. If they only knew! The husband, “it never happened.” It never happened.

Right next door was the “California Carnivores” nursery, famous for it’s large collection of insect eating plants, I’ve read about them a lot recently. Their showroom was well stocked with all kinds of varieties, they had pre-planted “bogs,” collections to create your own bog, and individual plants ranging from $10 to $50. A serious nursery, with incredible street cred, they clearly have a lot of fun with the subject matter. There were rubber lizards and giant mock spiders everywhere, and in the gallery they had many creative planters and arrangements that imbued a macabre sense of humor in a disarming array of meat eating plants.

I picked up a Gulf Coast variety pitcher plant (Sarracenia alata) and a little Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). We’ll start small. The attendant was super helpful and sent me out with a care sheet for my starter collection, that even told me that our East Bay water should be pure enough for the bogging (otherwise distilled water is recommended). I can’t wait to create our little bog! It will surely enhance our French Quarter inspired brick patio.

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