The big, phat golden shower surprise and what's in the box?

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Notocactus 'Parodia" submammulosus has been budding for a while and at lunchtime, I went outside to this - the flower is almost as big as the cactus and there are more on the way.

I've had this small Astrophytum myriostigma quadricostatum for about 3 years and it's made buds every spring but then aborted them. I've been watching the latest for a while and today was also the day they suddenly opened up. This plant has been difficult to grow and I almost lost it to mealiebugs a year ago so it's great to see flowers and a plant that's finally thriving.

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The local Succulent Society had its show this weekend but it was really far away, with a large entrance fee: falling off the damn scooter has made me all lazy to drive a round trip of 60km so I decided to stay home and bought some plants online and got them delivered to my door instead. A case in point: this little Mammillaria had a lucky escape, it was in my backpack when I fell and got a bit squashed but seems to have survived the tumble better than my leg did. I like the way the spines hug the plant, nothing spiky

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This turned up today, overnighted from the Cape

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Succulents travel well if they have the soil removed and they are packed in such a way that they don't get banged around. When they arrive, they can be potted up but it is wise not to water immediately because they can develop rot. The plants are fine without immediate watering and they can be left in a cool place out of the sun for a week or so to recover from the shock of travelling.

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I use a commercial cacti and succulent mix which is quite sandy and drains really well and I sieve it to take out the larger bark particles that are added and then add more crushed quartzite particles.

Below are Haworthias, clockwise, from top left: a spiny form of Haworthia cooperi, H. hammeri, H. maraisii and a clear form of H. picta

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The new cacti: The cute little fuzz is Mammillaria but I don't know what the front two are, time will tell

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These conophytums are just about to go dormant for summer so they are losing their colour as they develop a new set of inner leaves and the old leaves harden into shells to protect them from the worst summer heat. They will wake up and start growing at the end of summer

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Finally, a Sceletium tortuosum: I have quite a few indigenous psychoactive plants in my garden, I will feature them in my next post

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So the lame and lazy got some some plants and flowers, even though they didn't go the show. Not bad!

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