And what a difference a week makes. A week ago Monday, and the Dallas area was just starting to move toward relatively balmy temperatures: I mowed the lawn for the second time this year last Friday, and for those familiar with normal North Texas temperatures and their effect on local herbage, that’s saying quite a bit. Right now, the greenhouse is full of Buddha’s Hand citron and terrestrial bladderwort blooms, and our combination of decent rainfall and high humidity contributed to the sort of explosion in wildflower blooms that we haven’t seen since 2008. Projects keep piling up, seedlings keep exploding (including the new batch of ginkgo seedlings), and all I need to do now is get an immunization to sleep. That’s the only way to get the time to do everything that needs to be done.
Which leads us to the upcoming Triffid Ranch schedule. Not since 2011 has the dance card been quite this full, and thanks to efforts to expand into bladderwort, triggerplant, and Nepenthes pitcher plant species and cultivars previously never offered, it’s only going to get more interesting. (As always, for intrigued or slightly horrified news venues or individuals, here’s the contact information. Feel free to use early and often.)
First things first, last week’s feeding of Sid the Nepenthes bicalcarata at Roll2Play was as much of a success as you’d expect. Even with a full-bore Cthulhu Wars tournament going on, Sid became quite the debutante, especially when everyone involved learned that they wouldn’t need to reach into the pitchers to feed them. The next feeding is on May 7, and additional carnivores will be available for sale, so come out with an appetite.
Next, the dress rehearsal for this year’s shows starts at the Perot Museum of Natural History, with the Discovery Days: Earth event this Saturday, April 11. While last month’s late snowstorm stunted the Sarracenia pitcher plants a bit, this gives a great opportunity to see Sarracenia blooms this late in the season, and that’s more than made up for with the collection of Nepenthes, bladderworts, triggerplants, sundews, and Brocchinia bromeliads being brought out as well. The Museum opens to the general public at 10 in the morning, but activities start for Perot members at 8:30, and everything winds up around 4:00 in the afternoon. For the record, no plants will be available for sale at this event, but that might be negotiated at future gatherings, especially if the good folks at the Perot want another showing for its Social Science evening events. Just keep watching this space.
Next, I just finished a wonderful interview with Kate Copsey of The Master Gardener Hour on America’s Web Radio, and the final interview should play on April 18. Most of the subject matter won’t be a surprise to anyone listening to any of my tirades at previous shows, but it was still a lot of fun, and I’d forgotten how much fun radio interviews could be. Again, anyone seeking an interview should get in space now, because things are about to go a little mad.
Finally, part of the reason why things are going mad? Texas Frightmare Weekend. The vendor layout is up, and this year’s Triffid Ranch booth is in the Made In Texas Room, tables 135 to 137. Between a gigantic selection of plants this year and the new assistant Nikki, this will be unlike anything that any of you have seen at a Frightmare to date. The only way I’m going to top this is by raising real triffids.
(And while you’re at it, get the official Tenth Anniversary pint glass, courtesy of Drink With The Living Dead. Among many other great stories, DWTLD artist Robert Whitus was my roommate for a time back in the 1980s, and I can say with authority that I’ve never been so proud to tell people this. Give Robert lots of business, and buy one of those pint glasses while they last: among other things, this gives you $5 pints of beer at Frightmare all weekend long.)
Finally, for the rest of spring, summer, and fall, it’s time to try something different as far as Triffid Ranch shows are concerned. Available free time for three-day shows faded away to nearly nothing over the last year, so a move from indoor events to local farmer’s markets is a serious option. The Dallas Farmers Market is undergoing a drastic renovation of both venue and purpose, and it’s definitely time to get out there for the first time, as well as other farmers markets throughout the Dallas area. As always, give a yell if you have any suggestions, and look for details here as things work out. Until then, see you at the Perot.