Get up way too early, shake the tree until the birds say
beep, and peel the baker out of his bed. There is only one thing that can get me
up so early: A trip around Germany and Holland's leading cactus nurseries with
Meadows and shoulders abound with brightly coloured flowers while cornfields stand lush greenery and waves in the light breeze. I can feel that I will not follow in the course of nature, that I am otherwise used to. Wheat and winter barley are slipping and the rapeseed fields are booming.
We stop once and pick up several cardboard and plastic boxes. Fyn is and will be
"The bumped between Zealand and Jutland". At eleven o'clock, we cross the border
- a couple of times. Picking up a couple of holiday Swedes on the second border
Stops at noon and gets a sandwich and stretches our legs. The bus is guaranteed to be designed by an extraordinary little Japanese. New break at three o'clock, and then I have to fold myself together again.
The landscape is virtually unchanged. Only slight change is the width of the streams, they have turned into rivers! After a short break at half past six, there will be slightly larger dents in the landscape. The vegetation looks immediately unchanged, but the style of construction has changed. Have seen deer all day, and quite a few - though most in Denmark.
We land rested but also slightly broken at 7am at Hotel Am Park. We are in
Hückelhoven, just off the southern tip of the Netherlands. An hour in
Biergarden and then dinner.
30.5. After a hearty and varied morning meal, we drive half an hour to Specks Exotica in Erkelens-Golkrath. Great place with something near countless caudiciforms and little other succulents. I find three new families and some known ones I just have to have. It turns into 10 plants plus two for a Frenchman. Total price 93€ - DKK 600. A little expensive, but this should be the best place for me.
We drive after two hours, stopping right at Specks old place. New owner: Eden Plants, most succulents, but I find five plants, two new families. Price: 15€ - 100 kroner. This is getting wild - GREAT!
Coffee and cake in the bus while we drive on for an hour. Next stop will be Katze in Wachtendunk, Wankum, which is a small cactus spot. Great plants and even one for me. Also finds an exciting cactus for Rikke. Total price: 5€ - 32 kroner.
The driver has warmed sausages and bread, really well timed for lunch. We cross the border to Holland, and after three hours, Lakerveld finds in Lexmond. Known as the cobbler as he walks in clogs with even bigger clogs on the outside.
On the way we pass an uncommonly idyllic landscape cut off by
canals, some at ten meters apart. The small, over idyllic houses are almost off
the road. Only the well-kept front gardens and the channel with watering can
separate. Thatched, shape-cut trees and shrubs, a myriad of coloured flowers,
beautiful paved areas and lawns with each thatch in place.I am impressed by the
driver's ability to find the locations - until I see his GPS.
We land at the Hotel De Korenbeurs in Made at 18, and
then have two hours to look at our purchased plants and take a well-deserved
shower. 21 plants, the 17 to myself. Five new families, pretty good!
The appetizer is vinegar marinated artichoke, green beans,
pasta and salad. The main course consists of beef medallions, finely chopped
vegetables, new butter roasted potatoes, a puff pastry / potato cake and
semi-glace sauce. The dessert is pudding with coulis.
The Grootsholten in Honselersdijk is a great place.
Many of the tables are filled with private collections, but there are also many
small exciting plants for sale. I find two new families from the wish list, as
well as two that were not on. They are a little woody, but now they were there,
and the price was reasonable. Nine plants, 27€ - 175 kroner.
The idea of how to find room at home, becoming more and more abstract, but what - I'm having fun! And no less important: I won't be sorry for NOT buying something exciting.
Ice break at a gas station, and then we land at Lintsen
in Ak Zwijndrecht. Pretty big, but a bit neglected. Many dying plants and a
pronounced lack of water across the board. I find a large Calibanus hookerii
(have one already, but it dies), a Talinum paniculatun (which I cannot
germinate) and two other "duplicates". Total price: 13€ and the last cents - DKK
Starter: Three kinds of dried thin meat strips with finely
sliced potatoes with dressing: husar salad. The main course is Swine
medallions with blanched Christmas salad, toasted rice, French fries and a mixed
At eight o'clock we roll north. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'd like to repeat: The Netherlands is VERY flat! If it wasn't for all the canals and the small scrublands, the adorable houses with beautiful gardens and of course the sun, it would be a sad sight.
Germany is a bit dull; there are high scrub long roads that
completely obstruct the view of the fields. We meet the first queue at noon, but
it is over quickly.