The sequence of events
began in 1978, when I was 9 years young, with a grafted Mammillaria,
that I got by my Mum as a reward for having went to the dentist.
Naturally attracted to plants, fascinated by the form and of the fact
that this plant was totally different from everything I knew about
plants I put this newcomer on a shelf in a dark corner of my room.
It didn’t take a long time and the mammillaria was accompanied by a
Haageocereus and a Cylindropuntia.
Not even in my dreams I had thought, that cacti can grow or even bloom.
After a short time I had to assert surprised, that the base of the
Mammillaria, becoming more and more instable and bad-smelling, died,
followed by the Mammillaria itself.
Also the Haageocereus semmed to be thiner than before until I had to
determine, that there were only epidermis and spines left in the pot.
Surely disappointed but not discourage, I thought about it and
searched for explanations.
Only the Opuntia was not impressed by my cultivation method and still
stood there rightly fit (this “success” surely was the beginning
of my present enthusiasm for Opuntias).
The first book, it was the 'Heyne Kakteenbuch', that didn't even cost
10 marks, helped me a lot and made me recognize, that cacti are real
plants which require much light and show a lot of special
peculiarities. I bought myself further cacti, which I put on our sunny
balcony and was surprised to see that cacti can even grow.
I was even more surprised, as the first bloom-blessing appeared. It
was a Hamatocactus setispinus, that bestowed me with unusually tender
and beautiful blooms. And just in at this moment, the fever had
captured me ! I spent nearly every Pfennig of my pocket money in
As I was 13 years old, my collection counted more than 100 exemplars.
At that time already I was conscious, that it should be a life-task
As I was 14 years old, I got to know my first cacti-friend per ad in a
garden-magazine, and the first experiences and plants were exchanged.
I mad known the nurseries that were unknown for me until that time,
and I was really surprised of the abundant selection of plants at
Unfortunately the most orders had to be withdrawn because of too
little money but then I could order several plants and some of them
are still standing in my greenhouses.