Monday, 8 April 2019

It's back to winter and shopping

The last post was all about things warming up and starting to get the plants out of the greenhouse.  Then this week it is back to winter again and all the plants are back inside again.  Such is the joy of UK springs.

Thankfully this weekend was the first cactus mart of the year, so time for a quick trip to the Kent coast with another succulent fan. Some chapters of the British Cactus and Succulent Society hold these sales every year, and the main sellers turn up to kick their year off in style.  The trick is to arrive before they open to ensure you are at the front of the line, that way you stand more chance of picking up that one rare plant someone has brought along. Saturday was no exception and the place was packed so it was pretty much impossible to take photos while there.  Instead just some pictures of the purchases.

It is strange that there are always one or two plants that everyone has, then next year you can't find them anywhere.  This year in the succulents it was the echeveria agavoides forms that were found on every stand. You were lucky if there was one echeveria ebony in previous years, then this year not only did everyone have them, but there were hybrids, and different forms.

This one was just labelled as a cross, so we'll see how it turns out. Then there were lots of other agavoides forms including: bordeaux, red leaf, red edge, Taurus, etc. I'm torn about all the different names to the red ones, especially when they are small, but they seemed to be the plant of the show. Next year it will be something else.

There are always a few new aloes, usually from the KG stable.  I stopped buying them a few years back but thought this one was a little different, so aloe gargoyle made it into my basket.

Recently I have been adding gasteraloes as they seem to been quite cold hardy for me. You often find gasteraloe flow at these sales but no others, One of the sellers had two different ones and no one else seemed interested so I snapped them up.  First up gasteraloe de Tige.

The second is gasteraloe d' due

Much greener and slimmer leaves on this one.  I can't find the name online anywhere so not sure if it is correct or not. Both had 3 or 4 pups, so those were removed and potted up ready for trades.

The other group of plants that has been sneaking in to my greenhouse are the haworthias.  There are always a lot of haworthias at these sales, it is one of the larger groups of succulents. I tend to like either the compact forms, so limited myself to two haworthia parksiana, one normal form and one hybrid (shown below)

Then the agaves, more have been sneaking into sales in recent years, but here there were very few and they were almost all americana or something common.  There was however one that stood out, agave shrevei ssp. magna.

It has really dark almost black terminal spines and a great leaf shape.  Looking forward to seeing it develop. It's not hardy for me, but should be ok if kept dry, so a pot one, which will also help limit its size.

I didn't manage to get the main plant I was after; an aloe erincaea. No one had them this year, having been one of the big plants last year. I already have a nice one I want to top cut, which should work, but just in case I want to find a reserve. Apart from that quite a successful day and a good way to take my mind of the return to cold weather.

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