History of my collection
1969 aged 4; after my Grandmother told me to look for plants catching and eating insects, I spent most of my holiday at Poole in Dorset looking at foxgloves, dock leaves plus anything that insects were landing on, I went home disappointed not finding anything. It was only in 2001 I realised how close I had been to them!
Early 1970s Watched 'The Tender Trap' on TV. Absolutely captivated me, here were those plants I had been looking forů
1979: Someone at my school bought a Venus Flytrap. Now that was something that I had to get! I persuaded my Grandfather to take me to Kew Gardens to hopefully find carnivorous plants there. After more than 2 hours search, there they were, a very comprehensive display with Sundews, Butterworts, Pitcher plants and of course Venus Flytraps. The only thing left to do was find them for sale. Unfortunately, Kew do not sell plants so once again, disappointment until on that journey home, a flower shop on Waterloo railway station advertised they were selling Venus flytraps! I bought the last 2 they had ( I still have the original). On my return to home, my Grandmother just happened to find an article on carnivorous plants and the UK Carnivorous Plant Society so I wrote off to them. My early days of collecting were given a big 'lift off' from Eric Binstead the then membership secretary.
Within a short time I had joined, got plants of other genera and was first in line when Adrian Slack launched his book 'Carnivorous Plants'
1981: Received my first Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea plant and the heterophylla form as well. The normal one has generated more than 700 divisions to date! That particular plant was grown in a washing up bowl on top of our shed. It was a very cold winter down to -19C and the plant (only 2" across) was lifted up by the ice, fell off the shed and ended up in a snowdrift for 2 weeks. It survived! A very hardy plant!
After 1981, I let my membership lapse, but I still kept in touch with Eric right upto 1985.
1987: Built my first greenhouse and had approx. 100 plants. Collection located at my parents' house in Whitchurch, Hampshire.
1988 Greenhouse destroyed in a severe storm. I had already moved to Telford in Shropshire and the collection stayed with a family friend's greenhouse in Whitchurch.
1991 After almost giving up on the hobby and restricted to growing plants on the window sill of my flat, my Grandmother asked me to take away the Sarracenia purpureas from her garden. I found a place in Telford to grow them. When I went to pick them up, there were 3 clumps of 300 plus pitchers on each! It was then I decided to concentrate on the hobby again. I immediately rejoined the UK Carnivorous Plant Society.
1992 Use of a poly-tunnel meant I could rescue my plants that were remaining in our family friend's greenhouse. It was amazing to see how many plants had survived 3 years of near total neglect! From then on, the collection expanded rapidly
1993 Viewed Alan Hindle's collection for the first time and had been inspired to collect Sarracenis in all forms.
1996 February. With the owners of the land where the poly-tunnel was kept selling their property, the collection had to move. All the choice plants went to an Aluminium framed greenhouse located in another part of Telford, and with the help of one of my friend's parents set up a small nursery located in Ironbridge, Shropshire. Total quantity of plants was about 1200.
1997 April. With my business partner suffering from heart trouble, we both decided to sell the nursery off leaving just the core collection. This was the year I met my wife.
1999 January. Relocated Aluminium greenhouse and built a large 30 foot greenhouse and the collection shot up to 1300 plants again. This web site was created that Summer with the help of a close friend and his pupils as part of their IT schooling
2001 3rd greenhouse added, by reinstating plastic greenhouse already there
2002 August 16th and 17th First exhibit at the Shrewsbury flower show, launched 'Shropshire Sarracenias' as a specialist internet based nursery for main line and rare forms of Sarracenia. The display was awarded a silver gilt medal.
2003 NCCPG National Collection status awarded to Shropshire Sarracenias. 2003 Two more greenhouses built to extend the collection; one 20 foot to house hybrids and further species forms. The other as a sales greenhouse to separate plants for sale from the mother plants. This effectively doubles the growing area.
August 2003 Gold medal award at the Shrewsbury Flower show
End of 2003. The first of 6 of 6 foot cold frames was built to increase the growing area for venus' flytraps
2006 Late Summer. Replaced the original Eden 12 foot greenhouse with a further Robinsons 20' x 10' greenhouse as a sales greenhouse.
2006 Built a further 10x6 foot greenhouse to create space for the Dionaea collection
Greenhouses June 2007
2010 Extension to the sales greenhouse
2011 Replace hybrid house with a 12 foot wide Robinsons to accomodate the ever increasing range of Sarracenia hybrids.