EUROPEAN DIARY. TRAVELING THROUGH COLLECTIONS:
Krasnodar region, Russia
Valery Kalishev (Chelyabinsk, Russia)
Translated by Irina Kalmykova
I have spent the spring months of this year in Krasnodar region see maps 1 and 2.
The table shows the average monthly temperature in the city of Krasnodar (in Celsius – oC and Fahrenheit – oF):
| Map 1.
| Map 2.
The climate of the region being one of the most favourable in Russia, the nature of Krasnodar is abundant in species. Because of the mountains and the Black sea Krasnodar region is considered to be not only very important economic zone but a resort area as well. I personally was very pleased to observe that the cactus movement was actively developing here lately.
There are cactophyles who grow their plants not on the window-sills or balconies but in the greenhouses with gas or electric heating. Most of the greenhouses are plastic wrap constructions but there are also capital greenhouses built by such cacti enthusiasts as Elena Simonova from the town of Ust-Labinsk (read about Elena in the issue 4/14 in October 2002) and Andrey Tkachenko from the town of Labinsk (Andrey's story is published in this issue.) Andrey`s greenhouse is fully glass made with the total area of 90 square meters and box-like shelves built on the European standards which can provide bottom watering.
I was also tremendously pleased by the annual exhibitions of cacti and other succulents taking place in spring. Unfortunately because of lack of the exhibition area there were scarcely any literature, methodical recommendations, stands or advisers to help hobbyists and beginners in cacti and succulents and induce them to join the C&S club.
Alexander Sorokin from the town of Maikop
He has been fond of cacti since 1968. He has two plastic wrap construction greenhouses with gas heating. His plants are kept in the greenhouses all year round. The smaller greenhouse with the area of 7 square meters is occupied by seedlings, and the bigger one with the area of 30 square meters is occupied by adult blossoming plants (Photo 1-2). There are about 500 species in his collection. Andrey gives his preference to the genus Mammillaria.
Vitali Zobnev from the town of Labinsk
A hobbyist with 5 years of cacti experience. He doesn't sow seeds but he is eager to collect adult blossoming plants. His prefers gymnocalyciums, ferocacti, echinofossulocacti and in general all the big-spined and fluffy species. His greenhouse is not very big, but its total area of 10 square meters is entirely filled with cacti. The plants stand so tight to each other that there is no more room for new specimens (photo 3-4). Now Vitali is preparing to build a new greenhouse, at least 2 times larger than the one he already has. However, from what I know of him, in a year or two the new greenhouse will become too crowded for the plants. Good luck!
| Photo 8.
| Photo 9.
The city of Sochi: the annual city flower show.
The annual city flower show lasted for 5 days. The winter theater where the show took place was literally drowning in the flowers and blooming plants. Two floors of the theater and all the passes were filled with flower sets and bouquets (Photo 5). We had to make an effort to find cacti and succulents section among them. The section turned out to be very impressive, to the credit of the few Sochi cactophyles. They organized wonderful exhibition and sale. There were not only cacti and other succulents (Photo 6-7), but also some arrangements (Photo 8-9). There were skilled cacti veterans with 25-30 years of cacti experience and young hobbyists among the exhibition organizers. Two years ago the cacti enthusiasts from Sochi restored their city C&S club "Discocactus" and now they are looking for the room to hold meetings and classes.
The city of Krasnodar – the regional center. One day exhibition of cacti and other succulents.
Exhibition was organized by the Krasnodar club of cacti lovers. After the club restoration in 2000 the exhibitions once again became a tradition. The shows take place in spring and autumn. Most of the club members and cacti enthusiasts from Sochi, Stavropol, Maikop, Labinsk and Rostov take part in these events. The club members endeavor to provide the hobbyists with the seeds and plants of the highest quality. After the exhibition a master class is held on the basis of the best collections. The master class is interesting not only for the beginners but for experienced cacti growers as well. Those classes often gradually develop into a warm informal get-together (photo 10-12).