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 The Introduction Thread

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Number of posts : 118
Location : Cool temperate
Registration date : 2008-06-12

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PostSubject: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySat Aug 14, 2010 1:29 pm

To keep the process tidy, and to help to encourage new members to post, I thought that I'd start a thread specifically for introductions. I'd encourage long-term residents here to post too, so that newcomers have a quick way of seeing who's who!

And to make it more attractive for people to register and to start posting, I am going to start a competition for new registrants in the competition forum - so if you're new to ACF, you might just get a little bonus for decloaking and telling us a little about yourself!

I can't remember now if I actually introduced myself when I joined, so I'll get the ball rolling.

I'm a biologist with a lifelong passion for plants (and animals) and I started gardening when I was a teenager. Herbs, especially rare and medicinal ones, then vegies, and then orchids and bromeliads. I live in Tasmania, which necessitates the constant dreaming of a decent glasshouse, and I share the trials and tribulations of looking after a 2 1/2 year old daughter and 18 month old pigeon-pair twins.

I came to cacti through the back gate via an academic exploration of different cultures' medicinal plants. In the spikey department I am a sucker for trichocereus (what do you mean, 'echidnopsis'?!), certain mammillaria, lophophora (yes, I know that they're not spikey), and anything that has an element of peculiarity. Then there are the epiphytics: epiphyllum, lepismium, rhipsalis, zygocactus, and any relative thereof. And last but not least are the asclepiads - must have asclepiads. Unfortunately my collection of these suffers frequent settings-back as my twins decide that my seed containers are miniature sand-pits, and when their mother moves them from her place to mine without telling me that she leaves them outside in freezing overnight temperatures... It's lucky that we get on very well!

I might actually start a "What's in my collection Thread" too, so that people don't feel the need to list here every species that they have!

Anyway, go for it everyone. Let's hear the stories.

Last edited by WoodDragon on Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Number of posts : 17
Location : Mid-North, South Australia
Registration date : 2010-07-30

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySat Aug 14, 2010 2:12 pm

Wow! That was quick. Well, seeing as I'm here right now, here's my (abridged) story.

I'm an EX-telecommunications technician living in the mid-north of SA since the end of 2007. (Perth, WA previously). I've had an interest in plants of all kinds since I was 19 (about 30 odd years ago now!) and first grew disbud chrysanthemums but orchids took over. My job caused me to move several times and collections have come and gone but amongst them have been orchids (800 at one time), Nepenthes (climbing picture plants), Epiphyllum and Lithops.

These days, my climate mostly determines what I grow and although I still have around 30 different Epiphyllum's and 4 Nepenthes, the 2,500 odd Lithops take the most space. An old dairy has been converted into a shadehouse of 10 x 6 metres and my water is mostly rainwater. (I live on a 32 acre 'hobby farm' sized property!)

Although I have tried some difficult things, (I even built my own laminar flow cabinet and flasked my own orchid seed at one time) I have never actually grown cacti from seed and this is something I plan to change with the help of information here and other members. (Lithops, yes, cacti, not yet!)

Ah, Tasmania...The choice was SA or Tassy. SA won on the budget alone but I'd love to have a Summer retreat in Tassy now!
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Number of posts : 107
Location : melbourne
Registration date : 2008-04-04

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySun Aug 15, 2010 11:35 am

Hey all,

I first became interesed in plants when I was a teenager, mostly medicinal herbs and ornamental cacti. I scored a job working at a small cacti and succulent nursery in melbourne, and have been there for the most part of the last four years.
I like to get out of Melbourne during winter whilst the plants are a bit slow. I usually spend this time helping a friend up on the north coast of NSW with her epic cacti garden or looking for Australian succulents and orchids.
I love discovering plants in there natural environment. I'll never forget the first ant plant I found, one of the most exciting moments of my life.
I look forward to one day getting over to the Americas and seeing the cacti in person.

I grow lots of Echinopsis, Aloes, Caudiciforms, Australian Succulents, Orchids and some boring leafy stuff.
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Calm and Collected

Number of posts : 256
Location : Mellville
Registration date : 2008-10-28

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySun Aug 15, 2010 12:10 pm

Hi, when i was a young child around five yrs old ,I used to collect moss and lichen and arrange them inside a shoe box to make an instant garden / world lol....
I have always liked plants and nature and its my belief that humans are here to look after the earth and to provide safety to rare plants.
I have found cacti to be a challenge to grow,when I initially thought them to be the most hardy of all plants .
Organically growing things for as long as i can remember ,I have come to realize that chemicals are sometimes necessary to prevent losses from such pests as root mealies (aaahhh!).......
I will keep at it and no matter what happens in the world around me it is enjoyable to be able to escape amidst my little green friends.... The Introduction Thread Alien
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Number of posts : 1824
Location : NSW
Registration date : 2008-04-04

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyMon Aug 16, 2010 9:40 am

Hey Everyone,

I began my cacti and succulent journey about 8 years ago now, prior to this I had little interest in plants or cacti. I obtained and planted a few seeds (echinopsis) with just the challenge in mind, I was more interested in whether I could do it than the final result. I managed to germinate them but they died off quickly, I had another go and managed to keep two alive for about 6 months.

For the next 3 years my interest faded and sadly the seedlings died. My interest was ignited again about 5 years ago when I saw a stunning cactus garden in Sydneys outer west. I again obtained seeds this time more, much more and success ! I germinated and managed to keep alive several beautiful plants.

These days my interests are concentrated on slow growing cacti such as Astrophytum, Ariocarpus, Blossfeldia, Lophophora etc.


My Cacti Blog, please come visit me.


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Number of posts : 2
Location : Gold Coast 2486
Registration date : 2010-08-25

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyWed Aug 25, 2010 5:39 pm

OK, I'll admit it.... I have read nearly everything on this forum but didn't sign up until now as I have some plant problems. SIGH! To which I just posted.

My Grandmother had different types of cacti (among other things) growing everywhere in her garden (Burwood,NSW) - so I watched in amazement as a young girl.

4 houses in USA, always planted iris, peonies, hostas, azealas, sunflowers, daffodils and amarylis.

Finally got to move "home" (Australia), on a corner lot, ripped out the entire garden, started with agaves (agave babies from my parents house) and am trying to do my front garden with succulents/small sized agaves/cacti.

This lady had a garage sale (2 months ago) - sold me her back corner of plants (succulents/cacti) - so I've been forced to try and find out what it is I have, and how to take care of it. I'm delighted! And amazed at the beauty of these plants.

I also bought some seeds (lithops and living stones) and will try growing a few things - should be interesting. I really like the living stones I saw in Mexico.

I'll admit it, I'm hooked........... Toodles!

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Number of posts : 118
Location : 20k S of Coffs Hbr NSW
Registration date : 2008-09-14

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyThu Aug 26, 2010 10:17 pm

Gday All
My name is charlie. I've had an interest in cacti since I was a kid,and have had some sort of cactus collection for most of my life. I worked for a while in a plant nursery. Then I studied some horticulture and later did science (with a major in plant bio) at the UNE. But that was a while back.

These days I am interested in learning about cactus growing techniques, seed raising, grafting etc., and about the habitats from where these plants originated. One part of me wants to grow plants in conditions as close to 'natural' as possible, the other wants to go all hi tech and use weird and wonderful methods to get em to grow better and bigger and faster etc.

I'm curious about cacti which aren't generally found in collections. For example i have developed an interest in opuntioid cacti and now possess two rather spiky cholla opuntias. Not really popular cacti but I love them!

Anyway its late and i feel the urge to ramble on mindlessly so i'd better go!
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Calm and Collected

Number of posts : 218
Location : Sydney, NSW
Registration date : 2010-12-15

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyWed Jan 05, 2011 7:57 pm

Since I'm new and have been bombing the forum lately I figured I might aswell introduce myself.

Names Johan and I'm a mid 30's Swede who moved to Sydney near 10 years ago as the wife's Australian. I'm ex Army with one peacekeeping deployment to Bosnia in the late 90's in my bagage, nowadays though I work in the despatch side of a Woolworths distribution centre where I've slaved away for just over 9 years now. So chances are if you live in the Sydney area and did your chilled christmas/newyears shopping at woolies it's passed through my hands at some stage Laughing

Never really had any real interest in growing things untill just over a year ago when the wife and I bought our first house together and I ended up being the one to take care of a yard of my own. And in that year I've just about dug up and restocked the whole thing with new plants, only survivors are some ponytail palms and 2 big Cyads.
As for cactuses, it was just about the only type of plant I couldn't reliably kill in my youth or as a backelor back home and being to me an exotic plant they just tickle my fancy. Alright, for someone who's grown up with mainly fir and birchtrees aswell as near 6 months of snow every year even a simple palm is exotic.
What really got me kicked off though was buing and planting a small M. geometrizans, something I had growing on my windowsill in my youth, into a raised flowerbed just after buying the house and seeing how it's taken off in the last year. It's gone from a 15cm nub to a 60 something cm plant with several arms, something the one from my youth never had a chance to do. And now I'm finding myself adding to the collection just about every week with new purchases and ultimately plan to claim a portion of the back lawn exclusively for cactuses.

The Introduction Thread Photo049o.th
My "kick off" plant with a new neighbour, who seems to like the weather we have been having sofar this summer and put on 5 or so cm in the last month.

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Number of posts : 1
Location : Van Diemans Land
Registration date : 2011-01-22

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySat Jan 22, 2011 11:26 pm

Hi all,

only just came across this forum from another link, no time to lurk!!

Tassie boy with an interest in cacti that stems from ethnobotany. Main species of interest are Trichs and Lophs in the cacti area. Also have some interest in Opuntias.

Serious interest in food plants and heirloom varieties, and the functional side of plants beyond
purely aesthetics.

Professionally I work in water management, learn from plants everyday!

Greetings to all.

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Number of posts : 22
Location : Paraguay
Registration date : 2010-11-26

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyFri Feb 25, 2011 10:40 pm

Hello there,

well... My interest for cacti started when I was a boy, living still in Germany. My grandfather took me to visit a large collection and I got impressed and infected with the "cactus virus". So I collected any spiny plant and joined the "DKG". When I was 18, we moved to Paraguay and I started to visit cacti habitats and to study the native species. I had also the luck to discover some new Fraileas (one described by Metzing as F. alexandri).
Some years ago, I started a little cactus nursery, selling seed grown cacti, just to cover the expenses of the trips. Due to this, I'm keeping a lot of plants outside in my garden and under a rain cover. I do also a lot of grafts to speed up things and of some cacti, I get flowering plants 1 or 2 years after sowing.

I hope, this explains a little about my person and what I'm doing... Wink

Best regards
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Animo Solv

Animo Solv

Number of posts : 1
Location : Oceania
Registration date : 2011-05-12

The Introduction Thread Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptySat May 14, 2011 10:21 am


I am a beginner cacti enthusiast, I have always loved plants, I can remember being absolutely fascinated by plants when I was a child. At the age of four I got my first cactus, a Rebutia senilis, which I still have to this day.

The Introduction Thread Summer10

I never really got into cacti until my late teens when I started growing columnars, which I have been growing for about 3.5 years now. In only a few years I raked up a truly huge columnar collection, but I eventually sold the vast majority of them (they were mostly all mongrel hybrids) to make room for my small desert species collection; actually, that's a lie haha, I have acres and acres plus a greenhouse the size of a town house haha, I just got bored of them.

So, now my fiendishly desperate and impulsive collecting and growing habits have switched focus completely to cultivation of the interesting little Mexican desert species, which I can certainly promise to attempt to fill my mammoth greenhouse with!

I started raising cacti from seed not long after I got my first columnars, I now feel ready to start my first truly serious attempts at raising these delicate desert species from seed, I hope this place will help me give my seedlings the best start!


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Number of posts : 5
Location : Maidenhead
Registration date : 2011-11-22

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PostSubject: Re: The Introduction Thread   The Introduction Thread EmptyWed Nov 23, 2011 6:36 pm

Hello there, I am new to the forum as well, though have been taking care of a couple of cactus raised beds for more than a year now. I actually took the jump from taking care of orchids, which did not actually reach its potential under my care. I thought of choosing another type of plant that would not be demanding in terms of time and effort knowing that I would not be able to attend to its needs regularly.
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