As I reflect back on the work we've done the last year I am constantly thinking about how we will be able to grow and morph into a society that attracts additional members and adjusts with the expectations of a modern day gardening club. Those expectations include technology, easy access to resources to answer questions, informative presentations on wide-ranging topics, and hands-on opportunities to learn, among others. And, I would add, that is true for all age groups and skill levels.
Like many groups, we migrated to Zoom when needed and eased back to hybrid over time. We are committed to staying with hybrid meetings because they meet the needs of so many of our members who can't always make the meetings but don't want to miss out on the information-packed talks. Best of all, you don't need to be a member to attend, although we're sure you'll want to join once you've attended a meeting or two.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a demonstration garden worth? Part of our mission is to educate the public and what better way than for people to see a cactus garden "in action." We've all seen opuntias gone wild - who knew a cactus could have the characteristics of an invasive plant! - so our demonstration garden offers you an opportunity to see well-behaved cacti and succulents putting on a spectacular show of flowers, all while staying right where you planted them.
We have long had a FB presence and continue to be a free resource for all your cactus and succulent questions. You can find our page by searching for "Cactus and Succulent Society of New Mexico" or use this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/420722088282106. There is always a lively discussion on growing cacti and succulents, sharing pictures, and asking questions. We also use it to notify the group about Society events like meetings and shows. It is a public page with about 2900 members. There tend to be on the order of 80 new posts in an average week. It is a great place to get all your questions, including the ones you didn't know you had, answered.
As always, our Exhibition at the Botanic Garden on Labor Day weekend will have a wide range of displays, with members on hand to provide information and answer questions. Learn about plants in the landscape (both prickly and not prickly), living stones, cacti that grow in jungles, desert roses, and some of nature's surprising and unusual forms. Do you want to learn about edible prickly pears or how best to pot or repot a cactus? We'll have members to show you. And we don't forget the kids (of all ages). Our Kactus Kidz table has games to play with prizes and you can take home a coloring page or puzzle to work on later.
We hope to see you soon! We're always available to answer questions at: CSSofNM [at] gmail.com. Or visit us at our website: https://www.new-mexico.cactus-society.org/.