Between 2003 and 2005, I tried what I termed the "County Challenge", whereby I strategically placed single plants in various counties of the UK. The idea was based on the same principle as the 'message in a bottle', letting something go to see where it might end up. No-one got in touch. Although it did provide one of the great stories of Day Of The Cacti: The barber shop at the Barbican: Ask me.
Latterly, friends have remarked that it’s a “bit Banksy” and also like the FODrocks - which I’d never heard of before. You decide:
January 2019 - The Celtic Manor - massive Weilsh Carbuncle that Obama and The Beckhams stayed at during The Ryder Cup:
Boxing Day 2018 - a walk with the son into the Welsh border town of Chepstow to put nine cacti into iconic places. More pictures on the Instagram page - can you name them all Chepstownians?
UPDATE: January 4th 2019 - so far three of the cacti have been found - two by Tracey (Derek’s Gym and Merricks) and one by Esme who found hers in a car park, which is intriguing as we didn’t place one there.
October 2018 - St James’ Church in Lancaut, Gloucestershire - yes, another church, is this a natural descent into religion as I get older? Hope not. This amazing little ruined church was said to have been established in 625 AD (just a generation before the one below in Kortrijk).
Update on November 18th 2018……gentleman called Attila found the cactus and sent me an email…..he should be heading back very soon to take it home and keep it….more news on that soon hopefully.
October 2018 - Left in the little kitchen window of my wonderful Mum’s house in Bury-St-Edmunds. Mum had Cactus number 12 for many years which made many offspring, so it’s fitting that this cactus is a great grandchild of that cactus.
In September 2016, I decided to resurrect the idea as "Cactus Bombing" (thanks Becca of Green City Events): here's some of the new ones so far....
August 2018 - At the front entrance of the magnificent Saint Martin’s Church in the historic town of Kortrijk, Belgium. The church itself dates from 1390 but is on the site of a Roman church built in 650 AD…..pretty confident that this is the first cactus that’s been left there.
July 2018 - Greenwich Meridian Line - to the bemusement of several international tourists, I left this one on the Meridian line that separates East and West
Yes, it's slightly in the East.....a group of Italian students watched me place it and then I begged them to leave it be, who knows it could be in Milan right now....?
April 2018 - Kortrijk, Belgium - popped into a penny falls machine and placed it above the unit. It had disappeared the next night
January 2018 Monmouth - Rolls Statue
November 2017: Stow-on-the-Wold, Visitor Centre & Library.
November 2017: Birmingham New St, wedged into some railings. Tremendous update in January 2018, this cactus was found and posted on Instagram by a guy called Marc. It now sits on his window shelf at home.
October 2017: Caldicot Castle, in a small window of one of the runied turrets; just a simple placement.
September 2017: London, Cleopatra's Needle at around 2.30am on a Sunday. The stone obelisk made of red granite which was originally erected in Heliopolis, Egypt around 1450 BC sits now on the north bank of the Thames just below Charing Cross and Embankment stations. It's one of my favourite places in the world and seemed very fitting to site a cactus there.
September 2017: Leeds Art Gallery: Henry Moore's "Reclining Woman: Elbow 1981". The cactus was perfectly positioned within the cupped hand of the figure. Also saying hello here too to the lovely staff at the Jeffery West shop in Leeds. Go to https://www.artsy.net/artist/henry-moore for more info on Henry and other artists.
September 2017: Hestercombe House in Somerset. The cactus was positioned on a window sill overlooking a beautifully manicured country garden. Inside the building was a very average art exhibition using ink poured down large pieces of creased white paper. More interestingly, here is the montage of the cactus and house:
August 2017: Tebay Services in Cumbria on the M6 Motorway, who are transforming the experience of stopping at service stations in Britain. Apologies for the rubbish image which I've had to manipulate so that you can see the cactus in the bottom left of the shot. Note the amazing scenery through the window. It would be lovely to imagine that the cactus will stay there.
June 2017 On the bridge over the M6 Motorway at Hilton Park Services, north-west of Birmingham. Here's the view.
May 2017 In the stairwell at Cardiff City Football Club
March 2017 Upstairs in the superb Swansea Waterfront Museum, there's a kind of contemporary room set; retro chair, sofa, rug, lamp, big tv...I thought it was missing a cactus so I left one in the corner of the window. Looks perfect....(update, September 2017 - the cactus has disappeared).
February 2017 Love the name of this church in the centre of Bath: St Michael's Without. Cactus was placed on a top of a small wooden cabinet with great natural light flooding through the church windows....how long will it stay there for?
January 2017 Placed inside a classic red telephone box in Brecon. The door hinge was broken, hence why the door is wedged open. I cannot see this one staying there very long.
November 2016 Inside the wonderful Malvern Winter Gardens. Just a few yards from the room where Joy Division played on 5th April 1980.
October 2016 A cactus was left on the window-sill of the underground car park next to the Cardiff Blues Rugby Stadium in the centre of the city. Here it is on the right of the picture: it lasted there at least a week, it had disappeared by the 20th of October.
If you found this cactus it would be great if you got in touch at dayofthecacti at gmail.com - let me know what you intend to do with it. There's info on how to look after it on this site. Good Luck!
September 2016 A cactus was left strategically on a window-sill of a cool place in Cardiff: Little Man Coffee. Here it is:
So, it has a new life. As above, please let me know what you intend to do with it if you now own it. Thank you.