A word on our table shows…

We still have them, but we are no longer prescriptive in which type of cactus or other succulent you bring along.

It would be nice to see more plants being brought along to meetings, and we hope that opening up the monthly show might encourage more of you to do just that… after all, we are all curious to see what each of us grow!

Coming up: February meeting

Lithops dinteri subsp. multipunctata flowers / by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC)

Lithops dinteri subsp. multipunctata flowers / by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC)

This will be on finding Lithops in the field – a look at flowering stones in their South African habitat.

We are very pleased to have our branch member Roy Earle give this talk! On Tuesday, 16 February 2016, usual time and place.

January meeting – this Tuesday

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California / by Rebeca Anchondo on Flickr

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California / by Rebeca Anchondo on Flickr (CC)

Just a quick reminder of our upcoming meeting on Tuesday – we will be looking at slides of habitats in Baja California.

New branch programme online

Rio Neuquen panorama / by Mariano Mantel on Flickr CC

Rio Neuquen, Patagonia / by Mariano Mantel on Flickr (CC)

The 2016 branch programme of events is now online – as it happens, this year we will be looking at mesembs in particular, but hopefully the programme holds something of interest for everyone: Nurseryman Tony Irons will be sharing his knowledge and experiences of raising cacti and succulents from seed, whilst Kathy and Keith Flannagan are going to introduce us to a fascinating group of North American cacti: Coryphantha. We expect a welcome return to Paul Klaassen with a travelogue of his most recent trip to Chile (and a previous one to Patagonia). And Roy Earle will tell us about finding living stones (Lithops) in habitat.

As before, we meet every third Tuesday evening of the month at Winterbourne. We hope to see you there! The first meeting of the year is on Baja California this coming Tuesday, 19 January.

Coryphantha robustispina var. scheeri, Alkali Lakes ACEC, northeast of Dell City, Otero County, New Mexico, 21 Jul 2014 / by Patrick Alexander on Flickr CC

Coryphantha robustispina var. scheeri, Alkali Lakes ACEC, northeast of Dell City, Otero County, New Mexico, 21 Jul 2014 / by Patrick Alexander on Flickr CC

Coming up: January meeting

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California / by Rebeca Anchondo on Flickr

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California / by Rebeca Anchondo on Flickr

We will be looking at the cactus and succulents of Baja California, by way of a slide show from the BCSS library. The slides were taken by Harold Crane during a trip in the 1960s; the script is by Frank Horwood.

The Baja peninsula of Mexico is home to a great many species of cacti and other succulents, which are well documented in a recent BCSS publication by John Pilbeam. It can be purchased here.

We will meet as usual on the third Tuesday of each month in the horticultural training centre of Winterbourne House and Gardens, Edgbaston Park Road, on the main University of Birmingham campus. This is from 7pm for a 7.30 start. The January meeting is on 19 January 2016.

Cactus sillouette, blue sky and clouds, desert hills, twilight, outside La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico / by Wonderlane on Flickr

Cactus sillouette, blue sky and clouds, desert hills, twilight, outside La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico / by Wonderlane on Flickr

An unusual take on growing succulents at home…

Branch programme for 2016

Thelocactus sausseri seedlings / by Dornenwolf on Flickr CC

Thelocactus sausseri seedlings / by Dornenwolf on Flickr CC

We will publish the complete schedule of events for next year in due course. You can look forward to an expert’s guide to raising cacti and other succulents from seed (nurseryman Tony Irons will be with us), a number of talks on mesembs such as Lithops and their habitats, a report by Paul Klaassen on his travels through Chile, and an in-depth look at plants from the genus Coryphantha.

We hope there is something for everyone in next year’s programme of talks. As always, we are keen to hear your views on the schedule of talks, and if you have any requests for speakers or topics do let the Committee know so that we can accommodate this for future programmes.

How to grow succulents – recent podcast

In an intriguing podcast, Alys Fowler explores the allure of succulent plants to flower arrangers, whilst Jane Perrone visits the tropical nursery at Kew Gardens to marvel at the wide variety of succulents that are being propagated at Kew.

Succulents are fashionable plants these days, many of them easy to keep on a bright windowsill. This podcast is a brilliant introduction to some basic aspects of their cultivation, their habitats, and their potential as a decorative object in the house or garden. Well worth listening to!

NB: The images above show some of the plants mentioned in the podcast: Didiera madagascariensis / by Peter McKiernan on FlickrCC (top left); Aloe comptonii on the road to Baviaanskloof, 2015 / by Geir K Edland on Flickr CC (top right); Sedum burrito / by Ezequiel Coelho on Flickr CC (bottom left); Lithops amongst gravel and larger stones 7 by Barbara Eckstein on FlickrCC (bottom right) – perfect for the ‘desertscape in a pot’ mentioned as an idea for a windowsill arrangement.

As found in an East London florist shop: the succulents for all seasons…

Check @toasttravels blog on how to make a Herb and Succulent Wreath by us! (Link in our profile). #toasttravels #graceandthorn

Ein von Nik Southern (@graceandthorn) gepostetes Foto am

PS: This is the direct link to the tutorial on how to create a Christmas wreath using succulent plants: http://travels.toa.st/2015/11/13/herb-succulent-wreath-tutorial-grace-thorn/

Contacting our branch officers

Please be aware that currently branch email addresses are not working as they should. We hope to fix the issue in due course.