Leafy succulents
by Peter Lapshin

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'Cultivar' (V.Kalishev)

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ISSUE 4 (20):

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Photos 1-5: At the cacti exhibition in Donetsk:

Photo 1.

Photo 2.

Photo 3.

Photo 4.

Photo 5.

Photo 6. The most active members of the club "Islaya" (Yuri Shapovalov is the third from the left)


The city of Donetsk (Ukraine)

the chairman of Donetsk club of cacti fans "Islaya"

Our club of cacti fans "Islaya" functions since 1971. We hold exhibitions twice a year, usually in the beginning of June and in the end of August. The second of these shows is coupled with other festive events dedicated to the professional holiday of coal miners (Donetsk is the main city of the major coal mining territory in Ukraine).

In the seventies and eighties we used to hold our club exhibitions in the "Youth Palace" and those shows had always had tremendous success attracting a lot of spectators. But for the last ten or fifteen years the shows lost their former scope and were held in the open air outdoors in the public garden near the central city square. This year we decided to hold our show in the "Youth Palace" again.

For two weeks running we conducted a massed advertising campaign using local TV and press and also hanging out posters in the streets.

The exhibition lasted for only one day from 10 to 16. Among its participants there were cacti enthusiasts from our city and from the neighbouring towns as well.

There were 22 expositions all in all. We decided not to divide spatially the exhibition proper and the cacti shop, so some of the participants were also selling their plants. As it turned out later the decision was a rational one as many cacti fans offered for sale the plants equal in their quality to the plants on display.

There were many visitors in spite of fears of our skeptics and for the most of the time it was rather difficult to get near the plants on display.

The city of Almaty (Kazakhstan)

The president of the club "Astrophytum"

The club of cacti and succulents fans "Astrophytum" in the city of Almaty (Kazakhstan) is one of the oldest clubs of the former USSR. The club's president Andrei Sokolov was well known not only to all the cacti enthusiasts in the USSR, but also in many countries of the world. For many years the club had been a centre for preparing and publishing handbooks and reference books on cacti and other succulents and also issued a magazine of its own. Some of the members had excellent collections that attracted many cacti lovers from other cities for the shows that were held every year. Today the club lives through rather a hard time, but it is nevertheless alive and the past exhibition may be considered as a sign of its revival.

Photo 7-8. At the cacti exhibition in Almaty.

To tell the truth I expected more from this exhibition. There were 15 members showing their collections. The main problem was to deliver the plants to the place where the exhibition was held. The club has no money of its own and we couldn't find a sponsor. The show was held in the city's shopping centre and this turned out to be not very convenient. But I'm very glad that there were many young people - the beginners who came to the show. In a year or two they will grow their own collections.

According to our traditions there were 13 nominations with 2 or 3 places in each nomination. I got the first place for the "Best collection", the first and second places for achlorophyllous forms, the second place for cristate forms and the second place in the "Spectators' choice" nomination for a big and dense colony of Tradescantia navicularis.

The visitors were quite contended and so was the administration of the shopping centre. On the whole everything was quite all right but for the knowledge that we could do much better. I hope that the next exhibition will be carried out on much higher level.

    Translated by Larisa Zaitseva


Cultivar e-magazin: Copyright (c) by Valery Kalishev, Chelyabinsk, Russia, since 2000.
Design and hosting by Peter Lapshin, since 2002. Contacts: Peter Lapshin