Our most beautiful and common hobby are the cacti. Here we use all our energy to achieve something. Some spend their time and a lot of money to grow many new plants from seeds or shoots and to multiply and spread the cacti. The other, in turn, sparing no expense, travels to their natural locations in order to study them there and to gather knowledge about their living conditions. In Europe, too, although these plants can only be kept in protected areas for climatic reasons, countless people are busy with them and sacrifice their time for them. We achieve most when everyone works together and, depending on their area of activity, makes their contribution.
So I want to support my friend Gerald Niess with this foreword. With a great deal of knowledge about optimal care and a great deal of commitment, he builds up a remarkable collection in a short time, although he has never been to the natural sites himself, almost exclusively from seeds. What is striking is the extremely good condition of all of his cacti, including the most difficult species. Of the many large collections that I know, none can hold a candle to him in terms of plant quality and abundance of flowers. Despite my scientific training, I have had to learn a lot from him too. He achieved my old idea of being able to grow cacti like potatoes or swede by carefully studying their living conditions in a relatively short time.
Günther Pichler, Dipl. Ing. TU
I would like to thank Günther Pichler sincerely for enabling us to look into his travel diaries. I hope, of course, that you can get some great suggestions for your own tour through this cactus landscape here. With this in mind, I hope you enjoy reading ...