by Carole Grosch
Anyone who likes unusual plants will want to attend the Fresno Cactus and Succulent Society (FC&SS) annual Show & Sale the weekend of Sept. 9 & 10, 2017. It will be held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District (CVMD), 808 Fourth Street in Clovis. Hours for the event are Saturday, 9 am-6 pm, and Sunday, 9 am-4 pm. For the first time, there will be a judging of show plants. This is a very popular event where visitors have the opportunity to see some strange and exotic-looking plants. Admission is free, boxes are provided for purchases and club members are eager to provide assistance, answer questions and give growing tips and advice.
“We’re very excited to hold our event in this superb venue,” says club president, Sue Haffner. “Our club members have been working hard to present a great judged show for the public, as well as a comprehensive plant sale. This will be the largest cactus and succulent show held in this area since our club hosted the Northern California show way back in 1984.”
There will be plants familiar to local gardeners as well as very rare plants only obtained from specialty dealers. Some very unusual quality plants will be on display and for sale as well as an exhibition of show plants. There is something for both the novice and the collector to see, to buy and to learn.
Twelve vendors will be offering plants and pots for sale. Payment in the form of cash, credit or check will be accepted; all growing advice is free.
“I love the sale,” says plant lover, Laura Watkins. “The prices are a bargain and I always see something new. I’ve learned a lot. Succulents are my favorite… it’s hard to choose!”
Because each vendor brings a large plant supply, the displays are constantly being replenished, guarantying an excellent selection throughout the entire weekend. Club members will help guests carry purchases to their vehicles.
The purpose of the show is threefold: To advance the knowledge of cacti and succulents, their habitat, and role in nature; to further the appreciation of these fascinating and unique plants through a display to members and the general public; to produce better growers and better plants by identifying and recognizing superior plants.
Guest judges are Barbara Coelho, Rob Skillin, Nick Deinhart, and David Tufenkian. Recognized as experienced growers, they have taken instruction in judging through Cactus & Succulent Society of America (CSSA), the national organization with which FC&SS is affiliated.
Judges work in teams of two. One team evaluates cacti, the other succulents.
Judging will begin at 8 am Saturday, during which time the show room will be closed. Visitors will see the show plants, along with a tag giving the plant name and the exhibitor’s name and any ribbon or award that has been won.
In the Novice and Advanced classes, plants are judged against other plants in the same class, which means that there is always a first place ribbon. In the Open class, which will be for professional vendors only, plants are judged against perfection, which means that a first place ribbon may not be awarded.
FC&SS Club meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, 5340 North Fresno Street, Fresno. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Enjoy light refreshments, guest speakers, and fascinating plants. Admission is free and the public is welcome. For additional information, visit www.fresnocss.com
Photography credit: Mary Ann Villegas