Guess I kinda missed the ball here a while ago when I joined and never introduced myself, but just dove right in.
I grew up in Vermont and daydreamed about plants growing up... and had nice jungles in my room too with all the 'regulars' you find at Home Depot like crotons and dracaena and pothos and all that. I wouldn't say I successfully grew them all but at least I did get in the habit of feeling the weight of the pots for when it was watering time.
Anyway, fast forward to undergrad where I saw my first Nepenthes, hanging from the greenhouse roof at the Univ. of Vermont's 1 of 2 tropical rooms open to the public. It was gorgeous and I wanted one but I never saw them at the stores . I did then try my hand at some Venus Flytraps from the grocery stores, but obviously did it wrong considering my lack of instructions.
But then, I had an internship in Hawaii one summer and lo and behold, there was a cute plant shop that had piles of Nepenthes for sale! I knew I needed one, but it was still not yet time because I didn't even know if I could get a plant out of Hawaii through the airport
Ok, so I go off to grad school, end up living in a co-op, and discover a cute plant shop in town (Ann Arbor, in Michigan). I start slowly getting some cute orchids because, well, how hard can they be if every cutesy little plant shop has them right? And I inherit the previous plant hoarder's plants in the hallway where my room is located, and that has some nice orchid too, but out of bloom. I go back to the plant shop, and one day it's got a Nepenthes, so I buy it and add it to the collection! A couple months after that, I find an online store with the plants already potted (instead of bare root) because what in the heck are these things potted in?! So my newest additions become a pygmy Drosera and some big Poi Dog Nepenthes.
Anyway, here's some of the plants there that were in the hallway already when I got there:
and here's what my desktop background was, just for fun:
Fast forward another couple of months and I nearly kill all of the orchids, the Nepenthes stops pitchering (it's wintertime..), and I mushify the sundew because I mis-interpret the directions to mean I should swamp the thing with water up to the soil level line. And then sadly, I finish with grad school and move back to Vermont, bringing only my favorites with me - a fern that sprouted up in one of the Nepenthes I had gotten, all of my Nepenthes, and the orchids that aren't yet dead.
When I get back to Vermont, the cocoa tree in the greenhouse has a ripe cocoa pod so I ask to have it and plant the seeds and sprout a cute forest, I plant some lemon seeds and get trees from them too, and I order a couple small nepenthes again:
Well, as luck would have it I found a job in San Diego, so I moved out here and had to leave all my plants behind, so I started my collection again with a few plants... that slowly spiraled out of control until now 2 years later where they're all fighting for space and it looks more like this:
with the orchids in their separate rack. That's that I guess.. I tried finding more pics of that hallway in the co-op with some nepenthes in it, but my picture folders are painfully disorganized and it's pain in the butt to do anything about it without pouring 3 days of my life into fixing it