27 August 2014

Planty Surprises (both nice and bad)

After spending a month in the UK, we returned to Prague by car (our lovely old "Pootle" VW camper van) to pick up all my things. My life, seven years in Prague, neatly packed into boxes. The snails spent the month in dry and food-free tank, sleeping in their shells, closed by white epiphragms. As there are currently no restrictions to bringing invertebrate pets to the UK, we could have taken them. However, according to the government website, the number of plants that one can bring is limited to five per person - that made ten for the two of us together. So all of my lovely orchids have gone to my parents, who have also come to Prague by car.

Most of my plants were happy and have survived, but definitely not all of them.My tomatoes have dried on the windowsill, together with the carrots and chives... There was one little green fruit, clinging to life. A sad sight, really, but I wouldn't have been able to take them all with me anyway.

The succulents, on the other hand, have done splendidly on the windowsills, in the full sunshine. Most of them had turned slightly reddish in colour, but one of the little Haworthias has shot up a flower stalk. And now I understand what all the succulent growers talk about when they say how hard it is to photograph these plants in flower. Which really makes me want to set up a little photo corner with black background and take really nice photos.

Stapelia hirsuta has also done wonderfully, clearly these planties are alive by sun more than by water. Even though it is tiny, it grew an enormous flower bud. It survived the transport and first two days in Britain, but we have just had a few rainy days and half of the bud got eaten away by slugs, which is too bad, but at least we know what this plantie is capable of and can look forward to more pretty smelly flowers in the future (and when I say smelly, I really mean it. Stapelia flowers usually smell of rotten meat.)

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