Thoughts And Moral Hazards At Another Cactus/Succulent Show

Euphorbia symmetrica, piled like oranges in a bowl. 
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Here is an Opuntia just for those who love Opuntias...I can only say, are you sure about that?
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Ferocious!
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I like the way the stones are arranged around the Echinocerus.  It looks very natural:
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In contrast, blue glass doesn't look natural at all.  I think this Mammilaria is beautifully grown, and that the glass detracts from the natural beauty of the plant.  Or is it just me?  I'm often a bling-lover--not this time.
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This one is frightening too.  Here though, fright is a lovely shade of rose-pink:
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How would this have looked in a glossy white pot?  Would it have distracted from the beauty of the white spines, or intensified their visual impact (not physical impact, of course--yikes! What a thought!)
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Euphorbias were classified as being either endemic to Madagascar or not endemic to Madagascar.   That's one way of looking at them, I guess.
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Until someone walked by and pointed it out, I did not even realize that a large portion of this Huernia was hanging down below the pot.  One's eyes get so overwhelmed.
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As a genus, what is more beautiful than Haworthia?
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The first time I saw a whatchamacallit, I was amazed.  (The dull green starry rosette plants with the woolly stuff in the crevices, top of the photo)  Now I am jaded.  Seen one, amazed; seen quite a few--meh.  Looks nice in that pot, though.  I'm not as impressed with all the dark stones in the pot at the bottom of the photo.  Looks random and scattered, and doesn't quite agree with the plant.  The two larger stones with the Echinocerus in a previous photo looked better. 
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Now that I've been to several Cactus & Succulent shows, my perceptions have changed.  The first show was an amazing array of plants I'd never seen before, and the dominant emotion was the euphoria of surprise and fascination.  At successive shows, I've seen many of the plants I've seen before, and now my attention is caught by how they are grown and how they are staged (pot, top dressing).    Any plant I've grown myself--I now have an opinion or an insight--that one is not getting enough sun--mine is better--that one is waaaaay better than mine, what am I doing wrong?--Agave 'Blue Glow' never looks as good in a pot as it does in the ground...if I ever see one that does, I'll see something special...

Plant shows:  the more you see, the less surprise you feel--until you see the one or two show plants grown so perfectly you are surprised beyond the surprise you felt at that first show, because you have seen so many of the same plant that were not so good.  

It was a small but lovely show.  There were more people and many more plants at the accompanying sale and I did not buy any plants.  One vendor had the same metallic grey Echeveria I bought at the Crystal Court garden show in April, and claimed it was a new species.  Hmmm said I, I thought it was a gibbiflora varient.  Maybe, she conceded. 

I did buy a special handmade pot for my Bursera, to celebrate that I have not yet killed it.  The man at the cash register did not read the tag carefully and tried to under-charge me, but I corrected him.  I do not want an uneasy conscience where my Bursera is concerned.  That might kill it, if my cultivation skills do not. 

I felt rather smug about having the moral character to have refrained from buying yet more plants, but on arrival home I remembered my neighbor had just earlier that afternoon given me a big box crammed full of Aloe 'Grassy Lassie'.   So much for moral character.    


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