BCSS Birmingham Annual Show 2014

Here are a few pics that Mark O’Connor took at our show.

Thank you to everyone who helped on the day, brought along plants to exhibit – and to anyone who had a look at the many great plants on display!

Auction of Derek’s collection

Derek and his plants

Despite the weather Derek Castle’s auction of his collection went well at Winterbourne House & Garden on 11 May. There was a good turnout with 21 individual bidders for the auction plants plus a busy trade on the ready-priced tables.

Stuart Estell was an excellent auctioneer ably assisted by the strong arms of our current Chairman, Arthur Wilkes.

Birmingham Branch are very grateful to Winterbourne for providing free entry on the day for potential bidders and we hope everyone had the opportunity to look round the superb grounds in between heavy showers.

We would also like to thank everyone who attended and helped to make it such a successful day for Derek. It has helped him with the disposal of his collection knowing that plants he has loved over the years are going to good homes.

Gill Mills

Coming up: May meeting

Aylostera heliosa / by Kakteenklaus on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Aylostera heliosa / by Kakteenklaus on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For our May meeting we will have Ralph Martin with us to shed some light on the old-fashioned Rebutia, from a more taxonomic point of view. Time and location as per usual – see our meetings page for directions if required. All wellcome.

March meeting: Andean Antics / Trevor Wray

El Tatio geyser field / by Ian Carvell on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

El Tatio geyser field / by Ian Carvell on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

It’s always nice to welcome Trevor Wray – and this time round he gave us a flavour of Argentina and Chile and its flora. In crossing the Andes twice last year he visited a range of different habitats – and recorded 138 cactus species.

He found Gymnocalycium (erinaceum, mostii, capillaense) growing with garden favourites such as Dahlia pinnata (originally from Mexico) and good old ‘English’ bramble. Often the cacti would grow in grass, sometimes they would be completely overgrown by shrubs.

Although Gymnocalycium ragonesii is said to be rare or even extinct in the few locations where this species grows (the salt lake Salinas Grandes), Trev reported that he could find quite a few, only that the plants appear to be almost hidden and drawn into the soil. It is a desirable species for cultivation and often seen in collections. Further up, he found varieties of Gymnocalycium spegazzinii, an equally attractive species to grow.

Copiapoa featured heavily in his talk. Trev found often large groups of these, hundreds of years old, and growing within some stunning scenery. (There is a fascinating travelogue available to see on Flickr: see here.) And where the landscape got really barren he would still find some Opuntia – near the El Tatio geysers for example.

We are very pleased to say that Trev will be back in February next year with his talk “Life and death in the desert”, revisiting habitat sites over several years and recording the changes which occurred over that time. If you’ve missed this talk, be sure to come along then!

Auction of Derek’s collection

Epithelantha micromeris - one of the plants for auction on 11 May.

Epithelantha micromeris – one of the plants for auction on 11 May.

Just a reminder of the auction on 11 May at Winterbourne – with viewings and sales from 10am and the auction itself at 11am.

Please use the usual garden entrance – you will not be expected to pay the entrance fee if you are coming specifically for the auction, but you will have the opportunity to look around the house and garden afterwards! For refreshments, there is a cafe at Winterbourne. Please see their website for details and directions: www.winterbourne.org.uk

The Branch would like to thank Winterbourne for their hospitality.

There are a few more photos on the BCSS Forum, and I may add a few more here if I get a chance.

Greenhouse for sale

A member of the Winterbourne staff is selling a greenhouse – see below.

2009 Eden Highline greenhouse  8ft x 10ft.
Horticultural glass, aluminium frame.
Was £600 when purchased.
Offers around £300.
Buyer to collect & dismantle.
For details contact    Jude on 07810 672774

Please contact the seller directly if you are interested!

Coming up: April meeting

We are looking forward to welcoming back Ian Thwaites, with another edition of “Today I am interested in…” – he will talk about a selection of plants from his collection that happen to look good at the moment. This is on Tuesday 15 April, 7.30pm at Winterbourne.

Annual Show – 25 May

Cactus Flower

There is quite a bit to catch up with this coming week – the details for the auction will go up in due course, there are a few notes from the March meeting to add for those of you who missed Trev’s excellent talk, and there is the April meeting to look forward to.

Later on in May (25th – a Sunday) we will host the Annual Show once more at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Please find attached the show schedule for this show – hopefully this should give everyone sufficient time to prepare their plants for showing! The usual rules apply – enter one plant to the show and you will have free entry to the gardens on the day.

Auction – 11 May

There have been some additions to the auction list, so I’ve removed it from the original posting. The new list can be found by clicking here. Below are a few pictures taken this weekend in Derek’s greenhouse.

Coming up: March meeting

Andean Mountains near Mendoza (Argentina)

Andean Mountains near Mendoza (Argentina) / by gune01 on Flickr

For our March meeting we welcome back Trevor Wray. This time it’s all about Andean Antics, he says – having crossed the Andes twice and visited Gymnos, Copiapoas, Opuntiads etc. in their habitats.

No doubt this will be a fantastic talk – on 18 March at Winterbourne, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. All welcome!