Now THAT’S a spike in sales: Business is booming for Britain’s biggest cactus grower as hosepipe ban takes its toll on ordinary garden plants

'People are buying more indoor plants for their homes and conservatories because they're struggling to keep plants alive in their gardens,' said Linda Goodey (above), who runs Cactusland with her husband Bryan

Britain’s largest cactus grower has seen a spike in sales as the hot weather and hosepipe bans threaten to wipe out ordinary garden plants.

‘People are buying more indoor plants for their homes and conservatories because they’re struggling to keep plants alive in their gardens,’ said 60-year-old Linda Goodey, who runs Cactusland with her husband Bryan.

‘We’ve also noticed a growth in sales that matches the increased popularity of conservatories.

Daily Mail

April Meeting – Plant Auction.

Meeting preamble:

Next month is Cathy and Bill Darbon giving us a mini judges’ course*. For this they need us to bring in lots plants of the following classes:

1) Mammilaria 1 plant 7 inch pot maximum
2) Astrophytum 2 plants 5 inch pot maximum
3) Strombo or Pediocactus 2 plants 3.5 inch pot maximum
4) Any Cactus 2 plants 5 inch pot maximum
5) Aloe 1 plant 7 inch pot maximum
6) Haworthia 3 plants 3.5 inch pot maximum
7) Crassula 2 plants 4.5 inch pot maximum

*Note that the course is mini not the judges. BCSS Birmingham prides itself on not being heightist!

If you are interested in going on the road trip to Rene Geisller’s Nursery on the 6th of May get in touch with Arthur, Stuart or Derek to add your name to car pooling arrangements as either a driver or passenger.

Remember to get propagating for the show plant sales (Show is May 27th). 25% goes to branch funds and is an important part of our finances.

The auction was interesting but I think that maybe the branch collectively suffers from a lack of space in members’ greenhouses.

You want this Gasteria hybrid
BCSS Birmingham Branch Auction

Be afraid of this cactus! Very afraid!
BCSS Birmingham Branch Auction

Video flashbacks



Alcatrez. Not so bad actually!

Succulent Gardens at Alcatrez.


Bamboo, Succulents and More: The gardens of Alcatraz, part 2.

March 2012 Meeting Show Bench.

March Show Bench

March Show Bench

May Annual Show schedule [updated]

Our Annual May show is just around the corner (May 27 ) and the schedule is being printed and will be distributed at the next meeting but if you want an early look here it is:

May 2012 show schedule

May 2012 show schedule v2

Cactus Folk album | Wills |, photo and video sharing made easy.

An interesting collection of old photographs of people who were/are active in the cactus and succulent community.

Cactus Folk album | Wills |, photo and video sharing made easy..

February Meeting – Ant’s talk on Lops (Lophophora)

Lophophora williamsii

Lophophora williamsii

I unfortunately forgot my camera during this month’s meeting so there are no pictures from the show bench or talk but I do have my notes that I took during Ant’s talk and will add some public domain images and a link to Ant’s photobucket Gallery.


Lophophora are a North American / Mexican cactus that is well known for its use as a religious sacrement among some southern Native America tribes.

Under drought they pull down into the soil (contractile roots)

Here’s Ant’s collection (not all Lops)

Four accepted variants – L. diffusa, L.fricii, L.jourdaniana, L. williamsii

L. diffusa – softer body than others. Stamens will close when touched.
L. fricii – more wool in the center when grown hard. North-East Mexico – Variable species with 8-14 ribs. var Albiflora = white flowers. Soft body but not as soft as L. diffusa.
L.Jordania – darkest flowers, tougher body, dark green skin.
L. Williamsii –

Some Cultivars –
L. caespitosa
L. decipians
L. varigated diffusa
Wiiliamsii Cristate

Cultivation Tips:
In Cultivation they are green and hairy, in habitat grey and far less hairy
The flowers are white to purple/pink. In habitat they grow in rich acid soil- river beds. Potting mix doesn’t matter much. Just fertilise and allow for taproots. Late season flowers will produce seed pods the next year. Only once has Ant had a slug nibble on a Lop. In general they are slow to get big but they change skin quickly – to grows down under the plant and is recycled. Small plants potted in 2 parts JI2 – 1 part grit and 1 part river washed sand. Bigger plants just stones. Watered by 1 hour in water. Feed half strength Chempack Cactus. Keep them humid with misting to prevent red spider mite (RSM). Restricting the roots makes for a larger above surface plant. Some are multi-headed, some are not. Taproots are almost the same diameter as the top. These are tough plants. Ones that look dead and rotting can still flower and produce seed pods as well as recover. Pests: Mealies prefer other plants – obvious and easy to deal with. RSM – you don’t know until your plant is scarred and developed a brown crust.

Some Resources
Lophophora: A cacti growing blog
CactiGuide: Lophophora

Croston Cactus 2012 Easter Sale

April 6th – 9th – 9:30 to 5:30

Croston Cactus Easter Weekend 2012 Sale
(You need to click on the image to view the flyer full size and then click on again once the next page loads..)


(The Original and the Best of its Kind)
Saturday 12th May 2012
Open from 10am to 3pm

At least 12 leading nurseries, large hall.
Refreshments and snacks available all day
Admission – £1
For Map/Details and Parking send S.A.E. to:-

Mr E A Harris, 49 Chestnut Glen,
Hornchurch, Essex RM12 4HL