Contents of the Winter 2013 Northants News

2013 Season's Events                               Diana Capel

Jeff and I made our first trip of the year as usual to the Northern Area Weekend, which we have attended for the last 17 years and was held at Alston Hall, Longridge, Preston from the 1st to the 3rd March 2013. As always an excellent weekend with some very good speakers, namely Al Laius on a ‘Tale of Two Capes’ and ‘Modern Aloe Hybrids’, John Watmough’s talks were on ‘Lime Loving Cacti’ and ‘What Ho! Watmough’s Mesembs’, Rob Stevenson’s two talks were ‘Turbinicarpus: A Review’ and ‘So There’s Only One Place for That!’ (This talk we didn’t stop for as we wanted to get down the motorway towards home before it got too dark). The overseas speaker this year was Jaroslav Bohata whose talks were on ‘The Genus Lophophora’ and ‘Small Cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert’. As usual the food was very good, and as always we enjoyed the social side of things, it is almost like an annual reunion.


Jeff & Diana Capel

Delegates at the BCSS Northern Weekend

cup cakes and cacti

Left: Jeff and Diana at the Northern Weekend. (Photo: Sheila Gibbs)

Middle: The Northern Weekend delegates (Photo: Dorothy Minors) Right: It’s not about the cacti and succulents you understand; it’s all about the food! (Image from Jim Gibbs’ souvenir CD.)


The next trip we made was to the Spalding Cactus Mart on Saturday 20th April (unfortunately on the same day as the Zone 6 Convention at Berkhamsted) where Jeff and I had a stall. We arrived after the Mart had opened as we had had a nightmare of a journey with roads closed and no diversion signs. We went round in a circle and ended up back where we started and had to find another way. When we eventually arrived the hall was buzzing with customers. We set up our stall first and the next thing on the agenda was a cup of tea and a bacon bap, very tasty. There were about twelve nurseries attending, which included Plantlife Nursery, Southfield Nurseries, Toobees Exotics, Kent Cacti, Richard and Wendy Edgington, Oak Dene Nurseries, Eau Brink Cacti and some individual sellers and branch stalls. It was a good day.

On May 5th and 6th we had a stall at the Hardy Plant Society’s Sale held at Kelmarsh Hall. On the first day Jack, Jeff and myself were there, on the second day Roland, Lynne, Jeff and myself. The weather was beautiful for a bank holiday weekend but on the first day we were very disappointed as it hadn’t turned out as expected; we had been promised a ‘family fun day’ but this had not materialised; therefore the buyers were not there and we only sold three plants all day. The second day was the hottest day of the year so far and we did a lot better, there were more people and they seemed more interested in our stall, we sold more plants and promoted the Society. Despite the disappointment on the first day it was a very good weekend.

Two views at Kelmarsh where the branch had a stall on a glorious May Bank Holiday.

On the weekend of the 1st and 2nd June we manned a stall at Moulton Garden Club’s Plant Fair held at Delapre Abbey in Northampton. On Saturday 1st June David K, Roland, Hugh, Jeff and myself were there and on Sunday 2nd June it was David K, Jeff and myself, it was a beautiful warm sunny weekend and a lovely location but we were situated in the stables where it was cold so every so often we had to go outside to get warm and that was where most of the garden plants were being sold. There were plenty of plants to choose from and at reasonable prices, so I bought quite a few. Saturday was the best day for sales as there was a beer festival on that day in the park and lots of people around but nevertheless we did quite well over the weekend and made an acceptable profit for the branch.


ED: Thanks Diana. Both Jeff and Diana and others help at these plant stalls and they sometimes make money, (sometimes quite a lot), for the branch but always wave the flag for our hobby.


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