Contents Volume 22. No 2
|Editorial and more..||Trevor Wray|
|New Aloe hybrids from America||Roland Tebbenham|
|Springtime in Spring Road||Doug Rowland|
|The 2011 Branch Show|
has written us an interesting piece on Griffin Aloes, (page 10...
I mean click here).
As this magazine was going to press (as they say), Roland emailed the
news that his Aloe ‘Silver Ridge’ was flowering - pictures attached.
No room in the mag but the cover picture was only a cactus... so guess
EDITORIAL and more.....
to this edition of Northants News, I hope you enjoy the read...
judged the Birmingham Branch Show in May, an interesting and entertaining day
out. They are a friendly crowd and made me a cup of tea when I arrived. I like
that. This show has slipped from its heyday over recent years, but there are
still exhibits from out-of-city class growers like John Betteley, John Foster
and the Darbons. A challenge to judge and keep these experienced growers (and
spent 15 minutes looking round and noticed (and reported) a potential NAS
problem; better now than later.
my recce, in the Rebutia class I had the first two ‘sussed’ straight away.
Curiously when it came to the actual judging and close scrutiny one of these was
pock marked all over with minute scars. A pity because it looked (at a glance)
to be a healthy, vigorous, mature exhibit which would be in the first two. A
pity. I am not a plant doctor and I
could not guess whether the damage was caused by a physiological cause, (trace
elements?) pest damage, or maybe spray damage.
deep in the small print rules of the Birmingham Show is one that states that
monstrose and cristate plants were restricted to the particular class for such
plants. When I bumped into a potential winner in a Mammillaria class which had a
cristate head there was a consultation with the shows committee. I (we?) decided
it was a normal plant with a cristate head. So OK. A Trichocaulon in the
Stapelia Class was completely monstrose and had to be ignored. A discussion with
experienced judges Foster and Betteley thought it an unusual rule. However
normal plants and cristates are quite difficult to judge together because
cristates grow far quicker and not just because they are often grafted.
you fancy this show in the future you can gain free admission to the Botanical
Garden by entering an exhibit, there are always good sales plants, and the
gardens are an enjoyable hour or so. I can recommend this as a day out.
Birmingham Show 2
At the show Len Evans was selling plants in aid of charity. Now some growers pot up two or three seedlings to a pot and these can be good value. They may show a bit of variability and come flowering time, with hand pollination may produce some seeds. This is the way to get rare plants about. However Len was selling seedlings at the ‘pricking out’ stage. In this pot of Turbinicarpus valdezianus, (a rare dwarf Mexican species), shown right, the FL counted over 80. Now at £2.50 for the lot that’s what I call value! Problem is everyone who might prick them out and have 70 odd surplus to sell will find the local market well and truly saturated.
was pleased to see a new cactus book available on Amazon, the internet
bookseller. This paperback featured a Mammillaria
in flower on the cover and was by author Thomas
Who? Never heard of him. The title was ‘Cacti
0.8, A Beginner's Guide’ I
won’t be ordering it. It is the other cactus; the computer programming type of
cactus. Oh well, that's £27 I've saved!
a similar vein I came upon a similar ‘fringe’ cactus book available on Ebay.
to Euthanise a Cactus’ by Stephen Derwent Partington
had a large Aloe image on the cover. In case you have forgotten Aloes are not
cacti. Not only that but Euthanise
seems to be a word not recognised on my spell checker which only sees
Euthanasia, but never mind.
is basically a book of poetry and I quote from the synopsis…
to Euthanise a Cactus
is an important second collection from one of East Africa’s most talented
poets and performers. Stephen Derwent Partington combines political engagement
with highly crafted writing, inviting readers to glimpse the heady mixture of
beauty and violence, humanity and danger that characterises a nation and a
region on the brink of both catastrophe and hope.
poet’s poet, but also a people’s poet. He never stops wrestling with this
mess we call humanity.’ Mukoma
‘Blows you out of the water with its sheer brilliance.’ Tony Mochama
have not read this tome but the Aloe image on the cover was very nice. Having
visited Kenya recently I think I perhaps glimpsed the ‘heady mixture of beauty
and violence, humanity and danger that characterises a nation and a region on
the brink of both catastrophe and hope’. But on the safari trip I was on we
still drove past the prime succulent localities. So there was both catastrophe
and dashed hope.
are some cracking good talks coming our way this summer. I am really looking
forward to Dorothy Minors on the Karoo and Kirstenbosch. Then rumour has it that
David Minnion saw Astrophytum
habitat in Texas. Wow! I won’t spoil his story.
don’t forget the Show on 13th and 14th August at Billing.
is what I call an ideal issue - lots of interesting stuff and I had to write
has written us some tales from Capel capers, Tina and Roland bring us news of
choice and new plants. Don has seen that most versatile ‘alpine’ Sedum
‘Cape Blanco’ in habitat and Doug brings us news from Bedford. Luckily there
are some cacti there! Might be looking for a new Editor!