Joyce's Diary - August 2006
The plants are looking happier now that the scorching weather has eased. A number of the Lithops have suffered from scorch but only a few have been lost. The rest should be fine once they renew their plant bodies in next Spring. The cacti seem to have escaped scorching though some just became dormant during the very hot weather and are now putting on a growth spurt to catch up.
The Echevaria are looking wonderful after a Summer out of doors. Echevaria black prince, affinis and defractens (Autumn flowerers) are sending up their flower stems. The black Aeoniums which are out of doors have grown huge and are shining with health. My Ferocacti (all three of them!) have also spent their summer out of doors. The rain has kept them clear of sooty mould but I wonder how their roots have fared during the wetter weather lately.
I judged the Cactus and Succulent classes at the Bristol Flower Show and the National Amateur Gardening Show at the Bath and West Showgrounds. Although the quality of the plants was very high, there were very few entries in Bristol. It is almost more difficult to judge when there are only two or three entries and all of them good. To complicate matters further the judging took place in the middle of a thunder storm with torrential rain hammering on the roof and eventually making its way through the roof and dripping on the exhibits.
Maurice, Brian and I also had our weekend at the Judges Course. I really enjoyed it this year. The lectures on Pelargoniums, Lithops, and Aloes were fascinating. Although I am still interested in cacti, I am finding the other succulents more interesting. The cactus talks were on Thelocactus, Small Opuntias and Neoporteria. All the talks were very well prepared and presented. Not least amongst the attractions of the weekend was the car boot sales of plants and books. Many of my most unusual plants have been bought from car boots at Judges Course weekends. Finally it is so pleasant to spend a weekend with a friendly group of people who share the same fascination with these wonderful plants.
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