Oak Dene Nurseries — near Barnsley

As you'll know by now we love a cactus nursery. We consider ourselves very lucky for living so close to Abbey Brook and often fall in there after a drive out to see some epic view or another (Derbyshire never stops giving).

Visiting this nursery was a real gamble for us; an outdated webpage and no sign of life when we called ahead but we decided that we'd go for it and figured that the worst thing that could happen was that it didn't exist anymore and we'd had a lovely drive out to a new (to us) bit of countryside. 

I crossed my fingers the whole way there because I had an inkling that it might just be all of our cactus dreams come true. When we drove down the overgrown driveway we were skeptical but a slight glow from a bare bulb told us we had found success and when Joan (the owner) came to meet us at the door I knew our drive was worth it. 

Rows of Cacti
Rows of different cacti.
Plants in the potting shed.
Aloe in pots

In the centre tables there were sections of very neat and perfectly-formed rows of cacti, all lined up for sale with handwritten labels which must take an age to write. Around the outside was the personal collection; a NOT FOR SALE sign and of course because of that they were ultimately more desirable. Wild and rampant and all kinds of wonky, spilling into one another and making odd shapes - even the Oxalis was welcome here. 

Close-up cacti
Plants on a shelf at the greenhouse window
Looking down on plants in the potting shed
Inside a cactus nursery
Rows of cacti
Plants through the greenhouse window
Holding cactus and succulents in a greenhouse

We spent a while looking at all the different ways that cacti can take shape and because we already have SO MANY PLANTS we had to choose very carefully what we'd be taking home. We ended up with:

Crassula marginata variegata (which is quite nice to say)

Astrophytum myriostigma

Aloe elegans

and a Lapidaria margaretae which is a beautiful dusky-coloured geometric thing.

All are doing very well in their fancy new ceramic pots - which we will introduce you to soon.  

Oak Dene nursery is in Royston near Barnsley and it's worth phoning ahead before a visit on 01226 722253 as Joan is often away for shows.