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Valerian flowers & Cactis?

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Pictures of my collection

1983

Approximately 5 years after I had got my first cactus my collection already counted more than 100 plants that I put on our balcony during the summer (right picture) and on window sills in our school during wintertime (picture above).

The first blooms impressed me even on my window sill although the deficient regalshelf was only made provisonally of LEGO bricks.

                                      1987
Alredy two years after the beginning of my gardener education my boss allowed me to claim a corner of some squaremeters in one of his greenhouses.
The pictures were made short time before my former boss shut down the heating and so I lost a huge part of my collection.
At this time we had temperatures of less than -10 degrees C and all plants became totally frozen…..this broke my heart.
I could only save a little rest of my collection...mainly members of the opuntia family.

1993
After I had changed to another nursery I could finally forfill my long-standing dream – my own greenhouse !!

And of course a large free bed should not miss (picture above and left).
Unfortunately I found out very soon that the - at the beginning - abundant 24 m2 were not enough.
I had to think about something new and so I bought myself little by little a foil tunnel of 36 m2, another one of 18 m2, a small greenhouse of 9 m2 and a selfmade wooden house of 18 m2.


One should think that all this solved my space problems but, as it always is, if You are crazy for cacti, this estimation was wrong.
By the way it was totally unacceptable that everything stood there absolutely provisional, without any automatism and at every change of the weather I had to drive 17 km to reach my houses anb the able to open or shut the windows.
I remember one night a few years ago when suddenly a storm came down and I drove - like bit from a tarantula – only dressed with underwear to my cacti to close all the windows of my greenhouses….an always back and forth for nearly 10 years.
Even my heating was very critical. At the beginnng I had a very old gasradiator….it was really at the pain threshold of suicide for me and my cacti. Later I had a more or less modern gasoven that could  not be activated on temperatur but only on sense.
The air-circulation as managed by two old loyal aerators.
But it was always the same…..good weather, heating off….frost, heating on. Vacation ? No way…much to dangerous !

 

2001

No, this is not a new kind of vitrification or an attempt to care for ventilation. It was the hail of the century !! And ever since that day I realized that glass for the roofing of a greenhouse is really the latest thing I will ever do again to me and my cacti.
At the moment of this storm, that really was a disaster for our region, the very nice Chiemgau,  I was at a barbecue party by good friends in Austria.
By the way we heard something about this storm in the radio.
O.k., let’s make a telephone call. I called my boss and asked him about the situation.
His ironic answer hit me like a hammer !! “All windows of Your greenhouse are broken…..”
Unfortunately he did not say a second sentence because I hoped that he had only made a bad joke but it was the truth.
The next day I could look at the disaster and I could not believe what I had to see.
The glass was taken carefully from the partly totally damaged plants and the whole greenhouse got a new roofing of double plastic plates.

 

2003...the year of decision

Yes, that’s me…and this is how someone is look like if he is working much.
The reason why I spent six weeks of my precious holidays was the establishment of my new greenhouse, a thermo-greenhouse…the best and at the same time cheapest house You can wish.
It has a length of 25 meters and a breadth of 6 meters and it really costed me a lot of “blood and sweat” to establish it. Everything had to be paved, equiped and cleaned.
But at the end it paid itself….and there is even a small talking-corner !!

 

       insight of my new home                                                     selfmade - A great worktable – selfmade

On the right side there are still some plants blooming but it was definitively “the summer of the century”.

What do You think ? How long will there be enough space ????

 

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© 2000 by [ Michael Kießling] www.Tephrowelt.de
Stand: 28. January 2008 11:11:02