The main reason for the road trip was to go plant shopping. Every year the Norwich branch of the BCSS arrange a trip to a cactus mart and then Southfields Cactus nursery.
Cactus marts are a good way to see the wares from lots of different nurseries in one place and this one usually has a good selection of different plants.
The last few years have been slightly weighted towards the cacti, but this year there was a good mixture of different cacti and succulents.
We got there nice and early so were one of the first groups in which helped get those prize little plants.
It is always fun looking through all the plants, there is only ever one or two of each plant. You often see people with plants in their hand, holding onto them while they make up their mind.
Thankfully we had to leave to get to the next place, as each time I thought I had finished shopping I found something else.
The next stop was Southfields cactus nursery, which as far as I know is the biggest cactus nursery in the UK.
It's as close to the larger European nurseries we get in the UK. So many plants of different sizes, it can be tough to decide if you want a young plant to grow on, or a larger plant that is big enough to display. It is good seeing plants on mass
The owners have an amazing collection, and have lots of plants out on display
One of the fun things about shopping here, is that plants are sold by pot size. The sneaky people look for plants that haven't been potted up recently, there are some real bargains to be had.
So the question is what purchases came home with me. You wont be surprised to know that the restraint I showed last weekend didn't carry on, by it wasn't too bad.
The first part of the day was mainly aloes, echeverias and haworthias, the second was very spiky cacti. Here are the main ones in the green house,
One of my favourites is the variegated aloe brevifolia,
The one that got away was a variegated aloe ferox, they never come up so I don't bother looking for them. Walking around before we left the cactus mart, I came across this one.
It turns out they brought two to the show, one with striped variegation (which they had sold) and this one. It is so yellow that it stands almost no chance of surviving. Pointing this out, they let me have it for free with another plant I was buying anyway. Now I just need to figure out how to keep it alive.