New Online!  The 1993 Special Edition, 67 pages of plant fun and photos from The Amateurs’ Digest

The Amateurs' Digest, Special Edition 1993
The Amateurs’ Digest, Special Edition 1993

The Special Edition of 1993 is bound in a white plastic spiral.  This is no doubt because there are too many pages to fold and staple (saddle-stitch).

I am doing way more than scanning at this point.  I am trimming and adding clean white borders; I am tossing the pages into Photohop to straighten them out.  I am Photoshopping the photos to revive them by adding brightness and contrast.

Marina would have been 85 years old on the 29th of November 2019.  Her Special Edition from 1993 is online today in her honor.  (Happy birthday, Ma!)

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter, and I don’t know anything about cactus plants.  Why do I always say that?  So you won’t send me cactus questions I can’t answer, and then you’d wonder, why does that woman have a cactus site if she doesn’t know anything about cactus!  The site is for my mother.

Happy 85th Birthday, Marina!
From your daughter, Kathleen.

Happy Holidays!  We are celebrating 2019-2020 with a Holiday Issue from 1995

Since the Holidays are coming up for 2019-2020, I have chosen to scan one of Marina’s own Holiday issues for you to enjoy.  The plants on the cover (excuse me, I don’t know what they are) look like Christmas candles.  Merry Cactusmas!  This is Volume 6, Issue 5, January 1995.

Happy Holidays from The Amateurs' Digest
The Amateurs’ Digest, “Happy Hollidays” issue:from January 1995 (Volume 6, Issue 5)

Happy Holidays! everyone.  I’m Kathleen, Marina Welham’s daughter, and I don’t know anything about cactus plants.

New Online!  Cacti & Other Succulents, Issue No. 1 from May 1989

Cacti & Other Succulents, Issue No. 1, May 1989
The first-ever print edition of The Amateurs’ Digest under its original name, Cacti & Other Succulents.

Now, here’s a real collector’s item:  Marina’s first-ever print edition of The Amateurs’ Digest under its original name, Cacti & Other Succulents.

This was a toughie to scan.  It took me as long to scan this 8-page first issue as it has taken me to scan some of her 40-page later issues.  The challenge is due to the fact that the only copies I could get of these early issues were trimmed and hard-bound into book format by a private collector.  Some article titles and most page numbers are cut off at the top.  I had to copy and paste certain things to complete each page.  Nonetheless, it was worth the effort to have the very first issue online at last from May of 1989.  The page size for this original Newsletter is also different from the later issues of The Amateurs’ Digest.

Whoever hard-bound these issues into volumes must have been an early subscriber.  A circular letter dated “April, 1989”.from “(Mrs.) Marina Welham” precedes the very first issue.  This is a great introduction to the origins of The Amateurs’ Digest.  It’s included with the scan of the first issue, and it reads:

Dear Fellow Hobbyist,

First of all, let me introduce myself.  I have been an AVID hobbyist for a number of years — still, however, very much classified in the ‘amateur hobbyist’ category.

Some months ago I wrote a short note in the American Cactus and Succulent Journal asking that other isolated cactophiles contact me.  To my delight some wonderful letters came ina nd I have made new and rewarding friends as a result.  The letters were circulated.  More friendships resulted.  Information, plants and seeds have eagerly been exchanged.  And for each one of us the chance to share with others has increased the joy of our hobby a hundred fold.

Now we feel the need to reach out a hand and try to enlarge our circle of hobbyist friends.

Trying to begin the publication and distribution of a brand new Newsletter to provide an INFORMATION EXCHANGE between hobbyists is no easy task and was not, I assure you, a decision made lightly.  Probably the one most significant reason I decided to go ahead iwth it was this recurring theme in most letters I received …

“I wasn’t quite sure if I were alone out there or not!”

To date a great deal of thought, time and effort and personal expense have gone into the preparation of the first issue.  This first issue is meant as a base on which to build future issues as Members begin to contribute because that is what this Newsletter is all about.  A means of communication.  You can ask questions, share information, buy and sell plants, etc., etc.

COS will be THE Newsletter FOR and BY amateur hobbyists and will be published six times a year.  Subscription rates are based on carefully calculated costs for printing and postage and DO NOT cover expenses to date or the extensive work that will do into editing, publishing and mailing it to you.

From a strictly business standpoint and so that you know to whom your subscription dollars go, as Editor I have an extensive business management and writing background.  I am originally from Montreal and have been resident of Victoria, B.C. for the past eleven years.

We would love to have you join us as a member of COS and will look forward to not only receiving your subscription but also to hearing from you with questions, comments, articles, drawings, photographs (black and white), etc.  Photos, by the way, will be returned if requested and if you provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

If for any reason — at any time — it becomes not feasible to continue publishing this Newsletter, the balance of your subscription which cannot be fulfilled WILL BE PROMPTLY REFUNDED TO YOU.

WE ARE EXCITED!!  WE ARE ENTHUSIASTIC!!  WE HOPE YOU ARE TOO!!!

Sincerely,
Marina Welham

Cacti & Other Succulents - Issue No. 1 May 1989
Cacti & Other Succulents – Issue No. 1 May 1989, scanned from inside a bound volume.
I personally know that Marina was an avid hobbyist.  As far back as 1985, I was mailing unusual cactus plants to her from Montreal.  My most spectacular cactus gift to Marina was a 6-foot-long hanging plant in full yellow bloom.  I had to wrap it in bath towels, slide the bath-towels into a zippered garment bag, and the garment bag into a huge cardboard box for shipping.

As a treat to celebrate the fact that Marina’s very first print issue, Cacti & Other Succulents, is now on the World Wide Web, I am giving her readers (and the search engines) three short articles from it, also linked on the Articles Revived tab in the top menu bar:

  1. “Jatropha Podagrica” By Mary Suski deFisher
  2. “Starting From Scratch:” “Culture of Cacti and other Succulents” By Grace Rollerson
  3. “Flowering Your Cacti” By Heather Farmer

Have a great day, everybody.

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter; and I don’t know anything about cactus plants.

A Special Treat:  “How Do Succulent Seeds Sprout?” by Harry Evans, Victoria, BC

Up till now, the only html articles added to this web site have come from The Amateurs’ Digest in The Wayback Machine.

Today, to celebrate Marina’s “1994 Special Edition” coming online, let me treat Marina’s new and old readers to an excerpt from the 1994 Special Edition (paper issue), an article entitled:  “How Do Succulent Seeds Sprout?” complete with diagram.

For this occasion, I’m posting the article in html on the Articles Revived page, which will get it into the search engines so that many can enjoy it.  See the embedded excerpt for the diagram that accompanies the article.

The Amateurs’ Digest 1994 Special Edition is Now Online!

The Amateurs' Digest 1994 Special Edition
The Amateurs’ Digest 1994 Special Edition
The Amateurs’ Digest 1994 Special Edition is now online.  It arrived from Terrace Horticultural Books on Tuesday, this week, the 17th of September 2019 along with 19 other issues.  So my scanning homework is mounting!

A “Special Edition” is the extra issue published annually after each of the 6-issue volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest had been completed.

Read the 1994 Special Edition now.

The 1994 Special Edition runs to 60 pages, including front and back covers. My favorite in this issue is the really nice black and white botanical sketches by artist Carla Wolters of Holland to illustrate … here’s a nice tongue-twister: “Mesembryanthemaceae,” by Doug Rowland, starting on page 46.

Mesembryanthemaceae “
Botanical illustrations by artist Carla Wolters of Holland


Click on an illustration to view them all in a slideshow.

Also in this issue:

  • Seed raising
  • Propagation
  • Fertilizing
  • Grafting (Cacti and the Other Succulents)
  • Report on a Very Unique Aloe
  • Bromeliads including Succulent Types
  • Lots of Excellent Photos

The 1994 Special Edition sold at $4-$5 apiece depending on the country shipped, plus postage of about $1 in Canada-USA and $2.50 elsewhere.  You can now read it free online, right here, embedded via Scribd.

This issue came from Terrace complete with its original cover letter from Marina to the subscriber, with the good news of a $2 USD credit for over-payment.

The issue also includes a 6-page tip-in (a multi-page insert also on black and white) announcing current and future publications, and other news of interest for cacti enthusiasts.

I’m an “originalist,” and I like to keep things together that belong together, for historical purposes. Therefore, scans of the cover letter and tip-in have been added to the scan of the journal. I hope you enjoy this wonderful package of plant information from 1994, still current and useful!

Have a great day, everyone.

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter. And I don’t know anything about cactus plants. But that should not stop you readers of this Archive from talking to each other in the comment forms under the posts and pages.

Twenty Back Issues of The Amateurs’ Digest arrived today from Terrace Horticultural Books

Marina Welham's The Amateurs' Digest - 20 back-issues arrived 17 September 2019
Marina Welham’s The Amateurs’ Digest – 20 back-issues arrived 17 September 2019

Twenty back issues arrived today in near-mint condition from from Terrace Horticultural Books, “Used and rare books, seed and plant catalogs, ephemera and periodicals bought and sold”.  Thank you, Terrace!

These will go to the top of my scanning list, along with my first lot from eBay, several weeks ago.  Here’s what came in, that you now can look forward to, that I will eventually scan, so subscribe.

All Six Issues from Volume 8
Volume 8, Issue 1, May 1996
Volume 8, Issue 2, July 1996
Volume 8, Issue 3, September 1996
Volume 8, Issue 4, November 1996
Volume 8, Issue 5, January 1997
Volume 8, Issue 6, March 1997

All Six Issues from Volume 7
Volume 7, Issue 1, May 1995
Volume 7, Issue 2, July 1995
Volume 7, Issue 3, September 1995
Volume 7, Issue 4, November 1995
Volume 7, Issue 5, January 1996
Volume 7, Issue 6, March 1996

All Six Issues from Volume 6
Volume 6, Issue 1, May 1994
Volume 6, Issue 2, July 1994
Volume 6, Issue 3, September 1994
Volume 6, Issue 4, November 1994
Volume 6, Issue 5, January 1995
Volume 6, Issue 6, March 1995

A couple of these, from 1994, are duplicates of issues I already have, which is alright, because I will submit them to the cataloging department of Canada’s National Library and Archives in Ottawa.  They have an undisclosed number of Marina’s cactus journals, “kin preservation,” where I presume it’s hard to look at them.  So, I will donate my duplicates with a request that they be made available to the public.

Special Edition 1994
This Special Edition includes a cover letter from Marina to the subscriber announcing a $2 credit for an over-payment.  There is also a multi-page insert with pricing and bonus information on how to get a free subscription.  (Obviously, this is historical material, it’s not for sale any more.)  Best news:  I’ve scanned it, Special Edition 1994 is already online, free to read via Google Docs, the new embedder.  Scribd isn’t working this week, and I couldn’t wait another day to see if they’ll fix it.  (This is actually, Friday, 20 September, 2019, and I’m putting all this week’s posts up at once, including a complete scan of The Amateurs’ Digest Special Edition from 1994, from Terrace Books.  Look for it on the 1994 tab.)

Special Edition 1993
This one is 68 pages, counting front and back covers, and is bound in cirlox spiral binding.

Thank you again, Terrace Horticultural Books, in Minnesota, USA, for very prompt service, these items arrived in no time, in excellent condition, which is really important to be able to scan them.  One comment:  no need for customs duties from US to Canada on used reading material.  I had to pay an extra $15 cash at the door to get the parcel.  Until today, I have never had to pay customs duties on Marina’s journals from eBay, or on the huge box of them last week from Florida through Biblio, or on used books in general that I buy for my own interest on other subjects from Amazon.

Nine bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest  arrived by Mail today from Florida

“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of <i>The Amateurs’ Digest</i> arrive on 12 September 2019
“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest arrive on 12 September 2019

I’ve been shopping!

And this is the first of two big packages ordered last week, the one from Biblio.com that came in today, and the other from Terrace Horticultural Books, “Used and rare books, seed and plant catalogs, ephemera and periodicals bought and sold,” which I am still expecting.

The door buzzer woke me at half past noon (I work nights) and a petite but wiry French Canadian woman in a red and navy shipper’s uniform and head-set hefted the enormous box with ease down one curved flight of stairs and into my arms.  The box was half the size of the delivery woman who smiled to learn that my own mother’s journals were in it.

Biblio Item Description

The Amateurs' Digest - Cacti and Other Succulents - Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina - Editor
The Amateurs’ Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina – Editor

The Amateur’s Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989 -1998/1999 / Welham, Marina – Editor

Sidney, British Columbia: Marina Welham 9 books. Book one is Volume 1/II 1989-1990 is a larger size, 11 1/8″ x 8 3/4″, and contains Volume 1 Issue 1 May 1989 thru Volume 2 Issue 2 July 1990. 1. The other 8 uniform volumes which are 7 1/8″ x 8 5/8″. Book labeled 2 has vol. 2 no. 3 Sept. 1990 thru vol. 3 no. 6 March 1992. No book labeled 3. Book labeled 4 has Vol. 4 No. 1 May 1992 thru Vol. 4 No. 6 March 1993. Book labeled 10 has Volume 10 Issue 1 May 1998 thru Volume 10 Issue 6 March 1999 with a special 1998 supplement. All bound in identical light green buckram and stamped in gilt on spine. Contain bi-montly issues. A continuous chronological set even though there is no volume marked #3, May 1989 – March 1999. Early issues have ISSN 0843-8234. Faint smoker’s smell. All clean and appear unused. Very Good.

The original shipping cost was $35.09 USD, but since I’m in Canada, and the seller is in Florida, they bumped it up another $68.00 USD, so the shipping cost nearly as much as the books at $102.41.  The journals were $100 USD, or $136.64 CAD.  Total final price:  $239.05 including United States Postal Service, Priority Mail, to recover another small lot of my mother’s journals.

“They weren’t in ‘expensive pots’”:
BC Trustee

They weren't in “expensive pots”.
They weren’t in “expensive pots”.
My mother’s own copies of her journals were “destroyed” (might better say they went “missing”) in the hands of the British Columbia public trustee who hijacked her estate when she died, and refuses to account to me for the whereabouts of decades of my mother’s published work, and all the inventory, business lists (subscribers, advertisers), correspondence, accounting, her plants, photos and records.  My paying to recover a few of her journals here and there will only slightly mitigate the enormous, and irreplaceable loss.

The public trustee is supposed to keep a record of every item sold.  They liquidated the contents and the home behind my back.  There should have been an expert horticulturalist’s inventory of Marina’s plants and journals, and a record of their sale, if they had been sold.  Yet, there is none.  Also, this being a business, the trustee was required to maintain the assets, which because of Marina’s Will, now belong to me.  However, when asked to account for my mother’s collection of plants in her two small greenhouses, with a list of their value and their Latin names, the BC public trustee replied, they weren’t of any value because they weren’t in “expensive pots,” and then pretended the plants had been left behind in the windows for the future “new owners”.  As the realtors’ photos indicate (below), the “windows” at Lochside, and both of Marina’s greenhouses, were empty before the property was sold.  Both of her greenhouses were added to the home after she purchased it; so they are not “old” realtor’s photos, they are current ones.  So, basically, NO RECORD WHATSOEVER by a public trustee of what happened to any of Marina’s cactus journals, CD Rom products, hard-cover books she produced, or her plants and her business assets that cover a good three decades.  Isn’t that interesting?  Not a single record kept by the BC trustee of all this inventory.

Moreover, Marina collected plants years before she launched her journal.  In the early 1980s, I shipped a number of unusual plants to BC for her, including an 8-foot long cactus with yellow flowers in a hanging basket.

I flew to Vancouver in March of this year and sued the BC Public Guardian and Trustee on Friday, the 5th of April, the day before I took my flight back.

(Above:) Marina’s home and garden greenhouses at 8591 Lochside Drive, Sidney, B.C. (realtor’s photos)

Languidly, their man Magnusson acknowledged being the proper party to be served, then waited four months before sending me an email — ordering me to withdraw my Notice of Dispute and hire a lawyer, alleging I had used a wrong procedure.  I had in fact filed a Notice of Dispute on the advice of a lawyer.  As to hiring, lawyers want thousands of dollars just to read a couple of memos.  So, I’ve ignored Mr. Magnusson’s feigned indignation.  We’ll see what he does next in my mother’s probate file that he sealed to hide his activities notably from me — the lawful appointed trustee — and from the public.

Most lawyers, in BC and elsewhere, are in government pockets, if they value their careers.  In this case, if they work in probate, they routinely deal with the public trustee, and in eight months of looking, I couldn’t find a single one willing to take suit, including the one who told me to file the Notice of Dispute.  One Vancouver lawyer I met with wanted a “nominal” $2,000, not to defend my mother’s Will and me, but to “communicate with” the government trustee “on my behalf”.  Translation: you pay me, I work for them, and for a fee I will make you knuckle under.  I worked for top Montreal lawyers for a number of years; I know their double-talk.

What’s in the Package?

Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Someone had these cactus journals hard-bound in green buckram and gold-stamped on the spines.  On top of the package, bound volume number “4” has “Happy Birthday” written onto the cover of the opening issue.  Were the bound volumes a birthday gift to a cactus lover?

The binding is nearly in mint condition.  Too bad it will make it harder to scan the issues, but at least they are here.  The very first issues were 11-1/8″ x 8-3/4.  The larger first volume looks as though it took a ding on a corner during shipping and is bent.  A couple of heavy weights for a period of time may straighten it out.

All the subsequent issues were printed on “legal” size paper, folded and saddle-stitched (stapled).  The spines are gold-stamped with the title of the Digest and a volume number.  There appears to be a numbering error.  There is no stamped “Volume 3,” but the dealer explains, the issues all are here in these nine volumes (they really count as ten) and span a decade from 1989 to 1999.

These new items will be online as time permits.  (It seems I will be scanning for the rest of my life.  It takes a whole evening to scan one 50-page issue, not including work the next day to OCR and embed it.)  And aren’t you folks happy!  If you were not a subscriber to Marina’s journals, you have never seen these issues before, and now you can read them cover-to-cover for free, right here, via Scribd.

Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Marina, you are being reconstituted!  And your daughter is battling for justice for you in the courts of British Columbia.

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter.  And I don’t know anything about cactus plants.  I hope you enjoy The Amateurs’ Digest Archive (Marina Welham’s Archive).

Have a wonderful day!