Coming up: July meeting

Watrous Gulch, Colorado. By John B Kalla on Flickr (CC CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Watrous Gulch, Colorado / by John B Kalla on Flickr (CC CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

We are very pleased to be able to welcome Alan Phipps to our branch, with a talk entitled “Colorado Colour”. It is more an appreciation of the country and its landscape by a seasoned US traveller, although a few plants will also feature so I hear.

As always, we meet in the horticultural training centre at Winterbourne House and Garden, on Tuesday 21 July, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Do come along!

Colorado River / by Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr (CC)

Colorado River / by Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr (CC)

Maroon Bells, Colorado / by Michael McDonough on Flickr (CC)

Maroon Bells, Colorado / by Michael McDonough on Flickr (CC)

Catch up

There is some catching up to do on previous meetings etc. – meanwhile, though, we have some more photos from the NEC to share.

Derek Castle and Arthur Tomkins at the BCSS Birmingham stand

Derek Castle and Arthur Tomkins at the BCSS Birmingham stand during Gardeners’ World Live

Award of Best Exhibit in the Seeds of Knowledge section

Award of Best Exhibit in the Seeds of Knowledge section

Arthur receiving the bowl from TV gardener Jim Buttress

Arthur receiving the bowl from gardening royalty: Jim Buttress, no less

Coming up: June meeting

We are looking forward to a talk by Mike Stansbie on cactus identification. Mike is Secretary of  Shows Committee in the BCSS, and he did send me a brief description of what to expect:

The talk is one which I was persuaded to give at the Judges` Course, giving a simple resume of the features to look for in identifying the various cactus genera.  The main idea was to help with the identification section of the Judging Test but quite a lot of those not at all interested in judging have found it to be helpful.

This coming Tuesday, usual time and place – all welcome.

Branch success at the NEC

BCSS branch at NEC won Best Exhibit award in the Seeds of Knowledge section at GWL 2015

BCSS branch won Best Exhibit award in the Seeds of Knowledge section at Gardeners’ World Live 2015

BCSS Birmingham stand at NEC 2015

BCSS Birmingham stand at NEC 2015

Detail of display

Detail of display

A huge Thank You to Arthur Tomkins for masterminding this year’s exhibit at the NEC!

BCSS Birmingham at the NEC

The branch will be exhibiting at Gardeners’ World Live again this year. Come and find us and see our plants – we will be happy to answer your cactus questions!

We’ll be in the Seeds of Knowledge section in the Gardeners’ Know-How Zone.

Annual Show this Sunday

Coryphantha andreae

From 11.00 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, B15 3TR.

The show will be judged by John Foster. Three cactus nurseries will be selling plants: Tony Irons, Stuart and Jane Riley, and Richard and Sheena Drane.

Deadline for submitting entries for the show is by the end of today – please download the show schedule for more information.

Auction – many thanks!

The branch would like to thank everyone who came along to the auction to make it such a success. Of over 200 plants a mere 6 were not sold (we will bring these to our Annual Show to sell). There were a large number of excellent plants on offer, and we know that these are in good hands following the auction.

A word of thanks to the Winterbourne staff is also due – they opened an hour earlier to facilitate the viewing of the auction plants, as well as help on the day. We are very grateful indeed that we were able to host the event at Winterbourne.

And finally, a big thank you to Rodney Sims and John Foster for doing the auctioning!

Hardy Agaves

Here is another interesting article from The Plantsman – on Agave suitable for cold glass or outdoor cultivation in the UK. We will have a talk on these plants later this year, in September.

Screenshot of title page of the Agave article in The Plantsman

Screenshot of title page of the Agave article in The Plantsman

Coming up: May meeting

The Richtersveld in the later afternoon sun. Photo by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Richtersveld; Northern Cape; South Africa; August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

The Richtersveld in the later afternoon sun. Photos by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The topic for our May meeting is: “Where do Cape succulents grow?” We are very grateful to Terry Smale to give us an expert tour of the succulent habitats in the winter rainfall areas of South Africa, and he will give us insights in how succulents were adapted to survival in harsh environments.

The talk is on Tuesday, 19 May, from 7.30 pm at Winterbourne as usual. All welcome.

Succulents in habitat (Anysberg, Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa, September 2006).

Succulents in habitat (Anysberg, Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa, September 2006).

An ancient Aloe pillansii (Giant Quiver Tree) towering over fields of yellow wild flowers in the Southern Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

An ancient Aloe pillansii (Giant Quiver Tree) towering over fields of yellow wild flowers in the Southern Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Cactus hunting in Canada

Canadian Flag / by scazon on Flickr

Canadian Flag / by scazon on Flickr

Andrew Gdaniec gave a talk on this topic a couple of years ago. If you missed it have a look at the RHS publication The Plantsman (September 2014 issue) where he has published an article on the hardy cacti of that country. A more technical account of Andrew’s Canada expedition is available from the Merlin Trust website.