The Cactus Patch
Volume 16       December 2013      Number 12

A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

On 11th October we took plants to the Bakersfield CSS show and sale. We went back the next morning with Alice for the final setup. On Sunday we returned yet again to take plants home. It was a good year. The faux plants were interesting (see picture), but it would be nice to have a variety of items such as artwork, quilts, photos, knitted plants etc. as in past years. Incidentally, Polly’s Stapelia was in full bloom on Monday, but perhaps it is just as well it didn’t open for the show- the strong smell attracted lots of flies which laid lots of eggs!

On the 22nd we had solar panels installed on our house – at no cost! We get low cost electricity in exchange for letting the solar company use our roof. Anne and Lora also had them installed.

On the 25th we set off east on 58 and had lunch at the Roadhouse restaurant in Kramer Junction. We had planned to go south on 395, but the signs said “construction delays” so we continued on to Barstow and took I-15 south. (All of this was to avoid LA traffic.) The drive went smoothly except for congestion at Corona where we made a rest stop. Eventually we reached San Diego and had supper with Polly’s sisters Ginny and Cathy and spouses. Polly’s other two sisters, Martha, Nancy and Margaret (N’s daughter), drove down later from Fresno, got caught in traffic on the I-405 and eventually arrived after 10 p.m.

Next morning we all had breakfast at Bunz Burgers which was attached to the hotel. We then proceeded to the University of San Diego (with a minor hiccup because the University entrance was not labeled the same as the computer printout and we ended up in the wrong parking lot with a mile of stairs down to the stadium – but at least there were bushes with natal plums [Carissa edulis] which I had learned to eat in my student days at UCSB, so I had a snack to take with me). We watched a game between the University of San Diego Toreros and Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) Bulldogs because Greg Ambrose, nephew of Cathy’s husband, was on the Bulldog team (Number 74 in the photo). Note the T-shirt with Kilimanjaro that was in front of us. He actually went there!

After the game we had dinner at Tio Leo’s nearby. At first we thought the food was a bit expensive, but then we found the appetizers were huge, so we stuck with those. Back at the hotel we met by the pool so Polly and her sisters could chat. (Cathy lives near Boston, so all five had not been together for years.) It got too cold so we all moved to Bunz for further chatting. In addition to family, there was a friend, Pam Wolken who works in the library at the LA Arboretum.

Next morning we again gathered at the pool and took lots of pictures. We then went our separate ways. Polly and I headed north on I-5 to Encinitas for the Palomar CSS Show and Sale which was at the San Diego Botanic Garden. (A group from the BCSS had been there years ago when it was the Quail BG so we knew the place. It has added a lot of attractions for kids.) The show was good, with the grand prize going to a tree of Cussonia paniculata. We met Woody who was there to sell plants. There were lots of plants at fairly reasonable prices. We returned through LA, and, of course, there were traffic delays.

We joined the BCSS at O-See- em-Bloom on the 2nd of November. We were interested to learn that Olga See is from Namibia. We skipped the Fresno CSS meeting as we were all sick. It would have been interesting as Mark Muradian spoke on building the garden at his farm at Kingsburg. We have seen the garden, but it would have been interesting to see it in progress. On the 12th, of course, we heard Anne and Lynn at the BCSS. Even non-botanists can have a lot to say to us.

Nick,Steve & Maynard @ Show

Polly, Ginny, Cathy, Martha & Nancy

Game @ San Diego

Bruce @ prize plants of the Palomar CSS

Polly @ Aeonium green roof

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