Weird and wonderful plant life

Leigh Perkins among his collection EMN-150818-082108001
Leigh Perkins among his collection EMN-150818-082108001

It may look like an ordinary house, but step into the 
garden of Beaver Meadow and you will be greeted by the weird and the wonderful.

When it comes to growing plants, there is one type Leigh Perkins has a passion for - pitcher plants and other forms of carnivorous vegetation.

“I remember getting a 
Venus flytrap when I was about 13 - I promptly killed it,” said Leigh.

“After that I became fascinated with the plants, got some more and made sure I read up on them.”

Since then, his plant stock has gone up and down, but now he has devoted the majority of his garden to ‘carnivorous plants and friends’.

“The pitcher plants are quite distinctive and its easy to see how they inspired the ‘triffids’,” added Leigh.

“I am constantly learning about different growing methods and hearing of new hybrids from growers.

“This year we have created six or seven cross-breeds and plan to do more next year.”

Leigh has also amassed an incredible quantity of seeds - enough for 170,000 plants next year.

With their ‘out of this world’ appearance, the plants can be a good talking point and this proved the case when Leigh opened his 
Caistor Road garden as part of the Rotary Open Gardens event in the town earlier this month.

“We had quite a lot of visitors and they were all really 
interested in the grow houses,” said Leigh.

“The important thing I am keen to get over to people is these plants are not difficult to grow, if you follow a few guidelines.

“They don’t need specialist housing - most of them will grow on a windowsill - and they will keep going for many years - I have one that was bought over 25 years ago.”

The plants can also be used as a natural ‘bug buster’ in the greenhouse.

“They look a lot better than those horrible fly papers,” added Leigh, who is happy to speak to anyone who wants to know more about these unusual advice.

Contact Leigh through his website, www.beavermeadow.co.uk, where there is also a helpful plant care guide, or visit the Beaver Meadow Facebook page.