Following the great success of last year’s National Virtual Show, we are holding two BCSS Virtual Shows in 2021, a Spring Virtual Show in May and an Autumn Virtual Show in September.

BCSS Spring Virtual Show 2021

Our Spring Virtual Show has now been completed and the results have been published on FaceBook. Here are some further details about our winners and some highlights will also be featured in a forthcoming edition of our CactusWorld Journal. We had a total of 255 entries from 55 exhibitors, of whom around 15 were novices, not all of whom entered the novices section. You can see the full results here: Or on Facebook at: BCSS Virtual Spring Show 2021

Open Section

First, congratulations to Dieter Ilchmann on the Best Entry, for his magnificent Rebutia marsoneri in full flower, which won class 12 for Cactus in flower judged for floral effect. Here is the exhibit:

1st in Class 12 E1 - Rebutia marsoneri 40cm pot  - Dieter Ilchmann

Dieter is from Burg in Germany and has been collecting cacti since he was 12 years old. He is married with two children and was a professional biochemist until he retired three years ago. Dieter does not specialise in any particular genus and his collection includes Mammillaria, Sulcorebutia, Rebutia and Aylostera, Gymnocalycium, Islaya, Chilean and winter-hardy plants. Dieter also belongs to the German Cactus society, the Deutsche Kakteen-Gesellschaft.

We congratulate Dr Gillian Evison, who was the winner of most points in the open section. Gillian is a very experienced exhibitor with an impressive track record of wins in past National Shows. Here we can see Gillian’s first place exhibit of Uebelmannia pectinifera in class 1:

1st in Class 1 E30 - Uebelmannia pectinifera - Gillian Evison
And her first place exhibit of Euphorbia esculenta in class 4:

4	1st in	4	Euphorbia esculenta	1st in Class 4 E29 - Euphorbia esculenta - Gillian Evison

Our runner-up, Tina Wardhaugh, is also an experienced exhibitor with many prizes at the National Show. Here is her first place exhibit of Ariocarpus retusus ‘Mituibo’, Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii, and Ariocarpus fissuratus v.hintonii in class 3:

1st in Class 3 E60 - Ariocarpus retusus ‘Mituibo’ 17cm pot, Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii 17cm pot,Ariocarpus fissuratus v.hintonii 17cm pot - Tina Wardhaugh

You can see more about our National Show, which is normally held every four years, in this video:
National Show 2016 We are looking forward to the next one on 3 September 2022!

Novices/Juniors Section

We were particularly pleased that so many novice and junior exhibitors entered our show and were willing to “have a go” even if they had never entered a show before.
Particular congratulations go to the winner of most points in the novice/junior section, John Skrypniuk. John says he is still in shock, as he has never entered any kind of show before. His journey with cacti and succulent collecting began in the early 90s, when he spent a lot of time away from home and became frustrated that his house plants would be dead when he returned. He bought a couple of cacti from the local garden centre and they seemed to grow well and even flowered so he obtained a few more and then graduated to seed raising and proceeded to grow a variety of different species, many of which he still has today as mature plants. John does not have space for a greenhouse, so is limited to what will grow successfully in a conservatory, where he fits in about 60 species. He joined the BCSS last year in order to learn more about cactus growing, having previously just read a few beginners text books on the subject together with a degree of trial and error over the years.
Here is John’s first prize exhibit of Mammillaria buxbaumeriana in class 14:

1st in Class 14 E35 - Mammillaria buxbaumeriana - John Skrypniuk

Runner-up for most points in the novices/junior section was Donna Aston, who is in her early 30s and lives in south Devon. She got into cacti about 3 years ago and after having her little girl, she found she did not have time to do the outdoor gardening she used to do, so turned to cacti as a way to relax and enjoy some time to herself and now she has about 500 (she doesn’t dare count!). The plants are all indoors, either in a conservatory or on sunny windowsills (she says she has a very tolerant partner!). Donna says that cacti bring her so much joy, she loves their varied forms and spines and, of course, their flowers. She is so pleased to have done well in her very first show.
Here is Donna’s first place exhibit of Stenocactus confusus, Stenocactus phyllacanthus and Stenocactus zacatecasensis in class 15:

1st in Class 15 E36 - Stenocactus confusus, Stenocactus phyllacanthus, Stenocactus  zacatecasensis - Donna Aston


BCSS Autumn Virtual Show 2021

Don’t forget we shall be holding an Autumn Virtual Show in September! This time the emphasis will be on succulents. Entries will close on 13th September, with results posted on Facebook on 25th September. The schedule and rules will be in the June CactusWorld Journal and will also be posted on Facebook and linked here.