Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Newly Moved... and A Great Talk

Well, I've moved again... now I live in Leytonstone, east London. More on my new place to come, and how I've coped with no windowsills (agh!).

I discovered that my local BCSS (that's british cactus and succulent society) is somewhere in the middle of nowhere that I can't get to by public transport. However, the adjacent BCSS meets up in Ilford, which isn't too far up the road. And, much to my delight, they were giving a talk on Asclepiadaceae family, which of course contains my much beloved Hoyas. Since my engleriana was in flower, I thought I would take it along to put on the table contest. When I arrived, however, I discovered that, similar to the Bristol cactus and succulent society, their table competition no longer existed (probably due to low numbers/people unwilling to cart their plants around) however, i was able to display mine along with a couple the speaker had brought along with him, including this rather beautiful Hoya cinnamomifolia:
The talk was given by Vernon Read, who's obviously been growing stapelias and related bizarre plants (sorry, I'm sure they have a certain charm but to me not only are they ugly, but their flowers stink of rotten meat. Yeugh!) along with hoyas for some time. I'm afraid I probably interrupted most but I wanted to ask questions! Vernon was a really interesting guy who gave us loads of information about the stapelias and where they all came from etc. In the break we had a cup of tea and I chatted to Vernon about my collection and Hoyas (apparently there is a national collection somewhere - must go visit it at some point!). There was a raffle competition, in which a Hoya cinamomifolia was a prize, and guess who won to pick first. Hmmm. Was it me? I wonder if that was fixed at all?!?
The second part of the talk got to Hoyas at the end and I got to see loads of photos, including some native shots of Hoyas in Singapore, which was really interesting. All in all it was a fab night for me seeing and talking about my favourite plants. Now I want to go back to Kew Gardens again!


Sandy said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic evening!...i love stapelias and have a few ..what a lovely cinnamonifolia photo and you won the plant....It cant get any better than that..

Fall is finally here and your right, the plants are slowing down and needing less water and fussing....summer goes way too fast!

roybe said...

Hilary, should be proud of yourself if you've got a flowering Engleriana. I read a comment of Christine Burton's recently that it is probably one of the most difficult to grow. I know mine is just barely surviving (do you have any tips, Light, water etc) Also do you have a picture of it you can blog or put on flickr? Do you have room for a greenhouse? thats probably a silly question being London you're probably lucky if you've got a back yard. We've just bought a mountain getaway at Mt Tamborine (about an hours drive from Brisbane)so I've invested in a greenhouse. The winters can be quite cool up there but fortunately no frosts. I've been told H. australis grows wild in the rain forest up there. So I've planted 3 different forms of it at the base of some palms. Congratulations on winning the plant,glad to hear you had a good time.

roybe said...

Dopey me, I just realised you had a link. Is it similiar to a H.bella flower? very nice plant anyway.

Hilary said...

I read that comment by Christine Burton too, and thought it was odd I could get it to flower when some of my other plants are not happy... It must like cool, shady positions and probably is partial to that beer fertilizer I was watering them all with this summer!
The flower is very similar to Hoya Bella - I'm sure I've got a comparison somewhere, I'll have a look and post it! I've only ever seen four blooms at a time, generally right at the end of the stem.
The plant I won is not happy, so I've put it somewhere with a bit more light, and will hope it prefers it there.