Birmingham Autumn Show Sunday 6 October 2019


Avonia alstonii/Gill Mills

We are holding our Birmingham Branch Autumn Show as usual at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Sunday 6 October 2019.

Please enter if you can as entering just one plant will give you free entry to the Botanical Gardens.  If you would like a hard copy of the show schedule sending please contact Gill Mills at

autumn 2019 show schedule

Tuesday 16 July – Southern Namibia by Rodney Sims


Welwitschia mirabilis/Petr Kosina/CC

We have a welcome return visitor next Tuesday in Rodney Sims who is a good friend of Birmingham Branch and a stalwart of our times at Gardeners’ World Live when he would come up for most of the week to help on the stand.

He will be talking about Southern Namibia one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.  Rodney has a wide range of interests so the talk is likely to include cacti and succulents, wildlife and conservation.

All visitors most welcome.


Titanopsis calcarea/reggie1/CC

‘Queen of the Night’ flowers at Winterbourne

How about these for some superb flowers?  The Selenicereus grandiflorus (Queen of the Night) flowered last Saturday night (one night only) in the Arid House at Winterbourne and Arthur Tomkins captured the moment (along with some lucky visitors who were watching a play in the grounds).  Apologies for any lack of clarity but these were taken on a phone off Arthur’s original photographs.


Tuesday 18 June – Paul Klaassen on his recent trip to Brazil

Sugarloaf Mountain/Rodrigo Soldon/CC

Our June meeting will be a welcome return by Paul Klaassen talking about his recent visit to Brazil.  Paul is an intrepid cactus explorer who regularly visits cacti in their habitat in our winter and then shares his experiences and photographs with us in the summer.   So forget the weather outside and come and be transported to Brazil for a few hours.

All visitors most welcome.

Selenicereus macdonaldiae/Amelia Berti/CC

Tuesday 21 May – South Africa by Ralph Martin


Baobab tree/Martin Helgan/CC

Our next meeting will be a talk on South Africa by one of our regular speakers (and ex Birmingham member) Ralph Martin.  Ralph is a frequent traveller and is responsible for the field number database.  He is the son of Bob Martin who is fondly remembered at the branch.

Ralph will be bringing plants for sale so please remember to bring some cash!    All visitors most welcome.

Mousebirds on Aloe ferox flowers/Martin Helgan/CC

Tuesday 16 April – Round the Rebutia Group by Alasdair Glen


Rebutia heliosa/Gill Mills

On Tuesday join us for a fascinating talk Round the Rebutia Group by one of our favourite speakers and previous BCSS Chairman Alasdair Glen.  Rebutias are one of the most popular cactus plants as most of them flower regularly and from an early age providing a regular flush of colour from early spring onwards in the greenhouse.

As usual all visitors are most welcome.

Rebutia albipilosa/Gill Mills


Tuesday 19 March – Gardening with Succulents by Paul Spracklin

Cacti and Succulents in Paul’s Essex garden

Our speaker this month is a return visit by one of our most popular speakers from last year.  Paul Spracklin has created a garden of hardy exotic plants in his Essex garden and will be giving us some tips to help us if we aspire to do this even on a more modest scale.

All visitors are most welcome.

Another view of Paul’s garden

Tuesday 19 February “FILM NIGHT” producer Andy Harris


Sonoran Desert/Ade Russell/CC

Forget the Oscars – come and join us for an Andy Harris produced Film Night.  The first film is about the Sonoran Desert and includes information on animals, the habitat and cacti especially the Saguaro.


The second half will show two films – the first about Knersvlakte in South Africa and the second about Ernst van Jaarsveld the legendary succulent plant collector.

All visitors most welcome.


Tuesday 15 January – Derek Castle: My Life in Cacti

Our first meeting of the year will be our President, Derek Castle, giving a talk entitled “My Life in Cacti”.   Derek has been a BCSS member for over 60 years and has travelled widely so his talk should prove fascinating.

All visitors are very welcome.

The rest of the 2019 programme can be accessed here.

New programme for 2019


Best wishes for Christmas and the new year to all Birmingham branch members, speakers and visitors and we hope to see you at our meetings in 2019.  Details will be listed shortly.