prepare yourself for summer plant sales

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Dyckia ‘Uncle Ray,’ Exhibitor Bryan Chan, (San Fernando Valley Bromeliad Society) won best in its class at the recent World Bromeliad Conference in San Diego, or so I was told by a docent at the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival this past weekend. It seems like there’s a show and sale every weekend now, and you can keep current by checking this link here. The huge Intercity Show & Sale August 11 and 12th at the Los Angeles Arboretum is one I don’t want to miss. Wagon, camera, cash — I’ll be ready next time.

On Saturday, shopping started out very promising at a table loaded with bromeliad pups, where I was reeled in by a good-sized offset of Neoregelia ‘Apollo’s Poetry’ (which name puts me in mind of a favorite Bjork song “Pagan Poetry.”) Unfortunately, the bromeliad table is also where shopping for me ended, as this entire sale ran on cash only, and I was as usual cash poor, reliant as I always am on plastic. Pathetic, right? In fact, so pathetic a gentleman offered $5 to make up the difference on a Bilbergia ‘Pink Champagne’ I was loath to give up on, frantically emptying out my pockets for a few stray dollars. (And I am chagrined to admit I accepted the $5! Bless you, sir!) Still it was a great time, with so many beautiful plants to ogle at the sale and indoor show, so I figured I’d switch my energies to photos…but left my camera at home. Sans camera or cash, I wandered the sales tables for quite a while, thinking that if I found an Aloe broomii or nice specimen of Euphorbia cooperi I’d run out to find an ATM. Neither of those surfaced, but I’m glad I stuck around because a very nice person named Heather recognized me somehow from the blog and introduced herself.

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Unlike me, Heather was a boss and came fully prepared, including bringing a wagon to fill with gorgeous plants. (Heather, if you’re reading, I think Los Angeles needs a garden blogger with your organizational skills!)

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I did grab a dozen or so photos with the camera phone, like this hechtia with a tart mix of colors reminiscent of limes and salsa.

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Loved this variegated Agave stricta, which was in bloom.

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And this is what my Agave ocahui aspires to be — pristine, no leaf tip burning.

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Chunky Agave pumila

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Copiapoa columna alba. This Thursday, on June 14, Kelly Griffin will be giving a presentation on these Chilean cacti entitled “Copiapoa Land” at the next meeting of the San Gabriel Valley Cactus & Succulent Society, LA County Arboretum, 7:30 p.m., Ayres Hall.

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4 Responses to prepare yourself for summer plant sales

  1. Kris P says:

    Love the Hechtia even if it looks like it has a vicious side. I’m glad you ran into not one but 2 great plant people. I guess the plant show vendors haven’t yet got the word that we’re becoming a cash-less society (as I learned recently when I tried to use cash to pay for my lunch at Tender Greens).

  2. Renee says:

    Sigh to cash only sales! I know why they do it, but still… You still got nice pictures even without the big camera. That hechtia is gorgeous!

  3. Nell says:

    That’s one sharp-looking Dyckia. Wonder if it’s named for the fake-folksy potato chip mogul (a Detroit thing), or a pun about the light-colored spines, or an actual relative of the hybridizer. And now I’m wondering if there’s a Dyckia ‘Sister Ray’…

    How fun to meet a reader and co-enthusiast! Heather, let me second Denise’s urging that you blog; to judge from the nice haul in the wagon, it would be a pleasure to get a look at the plants they’ll be joining.

  4. Hethar Ashasian says:

    I had so much fun Saturday and it was great to meet you. You’ve inspired me through the course of reading your blog to try a bunch of new plants that I have admired. Hope to run into you at another show!

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