Kings of Cacti - Part 2

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Heba Moeen 0 Comments

Abdul Aleem's love for cacti goes beyond words ...

This is not the Saguaro National Park but in fact a part of a cacti collector's garden. The last post was also about an avid cacti collector, hence the title, 'Kings of Cacti' and this one too will focus on the same theme; it is about Mr. Abdul Aleem who is one of such nature lovers that we are truly blessed with and it's absolutely amazing to get to know such people with unique hobbies. Anyone who is kind towards animals and the environment in general is the kind of a human being we need, especially during these testing times of global warming and environmental turmoil speaking of which one gets reminded of the Conocarpus that are an environmental hazard for the city since it's not indigenous. 

It's a little off topic but let me go off tangent about an amusing incident that took place two days back. My friend came over to meet but was lost upon entering the building and couldn't locate our apartment, she called but I somehow missed her calls (somehow I have become quite immune to my X-Files ringtone, I need to temporarily remove it or at least assign a different one to clients) so she summoned the chowkidaar's daughter and asked, 'Where does the toutay wali baji live?', and the girl knew exactly where to bring her. I'm sure the entire neighbourhood knows about the presence of my parrots for the noise they create because they can be heard till the end of the street. At least it's better than making people suffer from passive smoking ... again, off topic. Neighbours who are smokers can be difficult in Ramzan for they enjoy inflicting carbon dioxide upon us post-iftar and continue doing so pre-sehri, anything that hurts the lungs more than ears is more toxic as you may or may not agree depending on whether you are a smoker or non-smoker.

Now moving on to cactus again ... last year I was quite lazy at the blogging front and even though I had been meaning to write something about our visit to Mr. Abdul Aleem's cacti garden, procrastination amidst corporate life (using a better word lol) took over until the idea almost vanished into thin air. However, I feel it's rude to deprive people about the presence of such a person.

Be it a a birding trip or a green spot exploration, one has to be an early bird to make the most of it and so we complied. Mr Aleem given his amiable demeanour was waiting for us to give a warm welcome. 

You would enter the street and know where his treasure is as a part of it is also displayed around the garden's boundary and oh were we not drooling already?!?!

He walked us through his cacti, bonsai, and orchid collection and the air plants were quite a pleasant sight as they seemed like very unique plants since at least i had not seen anything like that until the flower show that I had attended just before this visit. 

Mr. Aleem, who started collecting cacti plants since 2001 is a chartered accountant by profession and despite his field, his hobby is very colourful. He is also part of Pakistan, UK and USA cactus and Succulent Society and participates in various exhibitions. A look into his library will have you awestruck considering his massive collection of books that he has purchased from Amazon plus magazines of cactus societies. 

Below are some of his gems:

Golden Barrel Cacti a.k.a Echinocactus Grusonii (must be very comfortable to sit on yeah?)
A landscape view of the cactus garden 

Echeveria Crassulaceae (gorgeous but not really recommended for Karachi's weather conditions since 25 C is the maximum it can tolerate unless you keep it in a controlled environment)
An assortment of more cacti 

An now my obsession with Haworthia continues, these were the plants that were the first ones I saw or rather it was my selective observation. Below are the various types of Haworthias:

Haworthia Limifolia

Haworthia Fasciata (I LOVE these!!!)

More Haworthias!!!

Again ... Haworthia Fasciata

Haworthia Coarctata

Okay ... enough with my Haworthia obsession, let's move on to other plants.

And now presenting the orchids!!! The purple ones are my most favourite!

Below the orchid pots are these AH-MAZING air plants as you can see above.


And then there was this mini jungle with natural velvet like moss in the form of a bonsai:

And some more here. Look! 

Concluding this post with some more cactus images, folks:

My all time favourite - Haworthias again

A very interesting tip given by our host was about the soil to be used for cacti. Below are the best options that you can explore and dig out some Earth for your cacti:

1. Nooriabad 
2. Hub
3. Manghopir 

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