A CSSA Chapter
St. Louis, Missouri
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Annual HSCS Event Features
"Bizarre to Beautiful" Plants
Henry Shaw Cactus Society's 2003 Show and Sale succeeded at raising both operating funds for the group and a greater appreciation for cacti and succulents in Missouri Botanical Garden visitors. HSCS experts and volunteers were on hand throughout to sell plants, answer questions and encourage beginners.
The society's major annual fund-raiser registered over 3,000 sales during the July 19-27 event in the Orthwein Floral Display Hall of Ridgway Center. Buying action was particularly heavy when the show and sale first opened. The first few hours are when serious hobbyists seriously seek new plants for their collections.
Sale prices started at under $1, so those new to raising cacti and succulents had little to lose in trying a few species. Nearly every child who came in left with a plant, one volunteer said.
Pennsylvania-based Bob Smoley's Gardenworld and Lynn and LoWilla Wilson from Broken Arrow, Okla., brought vanloads of cacti and succulents for the sale. Many more plants came from Drummond Nursery in Desoto, Mo., and a dozen HSCS members, who offered both starts and older specimen plants. Missouri Botanical Garden also donated a group of sale plants.
HSCS collected a portion of each sale, with the proceeds to be used for supporting club programs and activities.
Click for more photos from the sale.
The HSCS Annual Show and Sale attracted dozens of exhibitors who brought their best specimens to display and vie for awards. Although participation was lower than in past years, likely due to club members' commitments to the CSSA convention in mid-June, two juniors and several new entrants submitted entries. Only HSCS members -- and their children and grandchildren -- can enter the show.
During a sometimes-harried setup period on July 17 and 18, entrants cleaned pots, adjusted top dressing and administered last-minute pruning. Visiting and local judges then made their decisions before the show opened July 19. Trophies and ribbons were placed next to the best entries in over 100 categories.
HSCS member Pam Schnebelen took home the silver Sweepstakes Award, a traveling trophy given to the person who receives the most first-place class ribbons each year. Mike Hellmann won Best Succulent with his Portulacaria Afra. Bob Smoley took Best Cactus with his variegated specimen.
The show isn't all serious competition, however. The flyer that promoted the event said: "Come see hundreds of varieties ... specimens from around the globe ... from the bizarre to the beautiful!"
Wayne Erickson took
the Bizarre Plant class. Rose Notheis received a ribbon for the most impressive flowering cactus at the show. The show also featured decorative and more imaginative categories such as Kitchen Utensil, Spoon Garden, Living Picture and Sophistication. In the last class, a single plant is creatively positioned in a stemmed glass to resemble a cocktail.
Click for more photos from the show.
Concurrent with the HSCS Annual Show and Sale, dozens of specimen plants conveyed the aesthetic qualities of cacti and succulents in a new "Plants as Art" exhibit in the upstairs hall of Ridgway Center. With Steve Feiner's "Cacti & Succulents -- An Artistic View" photo exhibit as a backdrop, the plants showed off the beauty and variety of the plants to garden visitors and directed them to the show downstairs.
Click for more photos from the exhibit.
NOTE: This event was also referenced in "Cactus Lovers Don't Let a Prickly Exterior Put Them Off Their Favorite Plants," an article that appeared in the July 24 South Post section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The full text of this article is available for a small fee in the P-D Archives section of http://www.stltoday.com, the Post-Dispatch website.
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