This one is young, so about 7” tall. I have others slightly taller, but they can go to 4ft. I showed this photo, because it’s a beautiful red colour and pretty rare.


A 4 foot pitcher? I didn’t realise they could grow that big. That’s wonderful.
It’s a very good photo, they look out of this world, alien.


The verbascum olympicums are flowering now - about twenty of them in total on the Green and this is the tallest - about 8 feet high. Ideally it would be in the middle of the wildflower patch rather than to the side as the leaves are rather ugly. Impressive stature though.


To be fair, 4ft would be in nature with higher light intensity, constant fresh water running and very high humidity. I’ve never seen them that high in cultivation in the UK.

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Now that the gorgeous electric-blue and white aquatic Iris have finished flowering, the pond provides a splendid showing from the the humble pond lilies (can’t remember which variety these are though).

It’s a shame that the leaves get so damaged…

Some of the culprits!


Those fish are pests, fools have introduced them to the freshwater streams here and they’re dominating and kill the native fish.

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At last, I have found the best watering lance. 24" plus the valve handle. Perfect length. Anodised light aluminium wide tube with strong crimped ends. The valve handle screws onto the tube and the hoze coupling is on the cast part, so alleviating the stress from the thinner tube.

This is the high flow valve with one-touch action, which is a key point. Brass connections.

Another key point and the biggest difference from all other lances, is this rose. It’s narrower design for typical household low pressure supply. I couldn’t have imagined the difference this makes, not only for the obvious spray pattern, but the perfect width for watering pot plants. Large holes don’t clog up, gentle watering and machined from solid alloy.


They’re not such a problem over here in Blighty Pete. Our climate doesn’t suit them quite so well as it does in Oz or the US (where I know Carp can be a huge problem) so their breeding is usually held in check. In captive ponds here it’s possible to stop their breeding by simply denying them access to the soft material they need to spawn.
If some idiot releases them into the wild over here, their bright colour usually makes them an easy target for a number of predators: Chub, Perch, Pike, Cormorants, Herons, Otters and Mink (one of our most problematic foreign invaders).
Mine are all Japanese bred (now between 18 and 25 inches long) and IMHO are very beautiful and calming to watch. They do tend to regard anything in the water as possible food though, hence the damage to the Lily pads.