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St. Louis, Missouri
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Promotion Leads to Expanded Event
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Henry Shaw Cactus Society's July 16-24 Show and Sale was a memorable one, with record opening-day sales and strong overall attendance. Pre-event promotion in cooperation with Missouri Botanical Garden helped boost the numbers and also attracted dozens of new club members.
Following a brief opening ceremony that dedicated the event to the memory of HSCS member Bill Cordes, anxious cactus customers streamed into MBG's Orthwein Floral Display Hall and waited patiently in line to make their purchases. HSCS members were on hand to answer questions and encourage beginners. Many sale items reflected the extensive show entries.
"You can buy very inexpensive, smaller versions of plants that have been in the judging and see what they will evolve to with the right care," Lillian Giessow told the Journal newspapers of St. Louis. Giessow coordinated the advertising for the show.
Vendors Bob Smoley and Lynn and LoWilla Wilson offered a huge variety of cacti and succulents. Additional plants came from Drummond Nursery, Missouri Botanical Garden and HSCS members. A portion of the proceeds supports club programs and an annual donation to Missouri Botanical Garden.
Over 500 member entries were arranged across rows of display tables. Visiting judges awarded ribbons and trophies in over 150 classes that included individual plants, groupings and decorative entries. From seedlings to mature specimens, cacti and succulents from around the world were represented.
Mike Hellmann won the Sweepstakes Award given to the member who receives the most first-place and special class ribbons. Pam Schnebelen placed second in the sweepstakes, followed by Michele Erickson. Judy Pique won Best Cactus with her Escarbia sneedii, while Mike Hellmann's specimen moraceae was honored with Best Cactus. Barbara Gardner won ribbons in every decorative class. Dani Eschweiler took top honors in the junior division.
Plants as Sculpture
In 2005, Missouri Botanical Garden once again hosted a Plants as Sculpture display of dramatic and aesthetic cacti and succulents in the upstairs hall of Ridgway Center during the show. Featuring caudiciforms, bonsais and other specimens, the exhibit showed off the beauty and variety of the plants.
"They have a natural beauty and sense of design, so they were on display like pieces of art," Giessow told the Journals.
The 2005 HSCS Show and Sale was dedicated to the memory of Bill Cordes. A long-time officer and member of the Henry Shaw Cactus Society, Cordes passed away in February. He invested many volunteer hours in improving the club's newsletter, events and other elements of the organization.
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