So one of the first things I did, once I became comfortable finding my way around on my own here in Illinois, was to check out the various nurseries in the outlying areas. In 2004, I discovered Geimer's Greenhouses, in Long Grove. I will never forget the first time I walked in. They had a nice selection of houseplants, but what really floored me was the array of cacti and succulents. I had never seen so many for sale in one place in my entire life. The variety was impressive as well. They had things I had previously only seen offered for sale by specialty mail-order companies. Sansevieria species other than S. trifasciata. Lots of Haworthia varieties. Succulent Peperomias. Euphorbias. Okay, some of the larger plants were out of my price range. But there were reasonably priced smaller plants as well. That first day, I purchased an Aloe juvenna, a mystery Aloe that might possibly be Aloe sinkatana, a Peperomia dolabriformis and Sansevieria ballyi. After that, I made it a habit to visit Geimer's at least three times a year, (Long Grove is a bit too far from home for frequent casual shopping ) and I never left empty-handed.
Mystery Aloe, possibly Aloe sinkatana, purchased in 2004. I don't really care what it is; this is my favorite of the Aloes that I own. This photograph is from last summer, but the plant is still going strong. When I purchased it, the main stem was about the size of the two pups seen here, and the pups were just getting started.
The Sansevieria masonia on the left, the dark Sansevieria trifasciata variety at the rear center, and the Sansevieria kirkii var kirkii to the right are all from Geimer's. (The S. kirkii var pulchra 'Coppertone' in front was purchased elsewhere.)
Well, on Thursday, I decided to stop by on the way home from the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and discovered, to my dismay, that Geimer's will be closing as of Labor Day. Apparently, they hadn't been doing well enough lately to be able to renew their lease, and announced their upcoming closing last spring. Somehow, I missed this information when I visited in spring and early summer. Statement from their website here. If you click through to their gallery page, there is a picture of their succulent selection near the bottom. That is what I saw when I first walked into the place six years ago.
Ten plants purchased from Geimer's on Thursday. I purchased eight of them for under thirty dollars, (full price would have been nearly $100) then went back and purchased two more (The Sansevieria parva on the far left, and the grey Euphorbia mammillaris to its right). Also pictured, Sansevieria dawei, Agave victoria-reginae, Aloe nobilis (I think) and Sansevieria kirkii var kirkii. (Yes, I just had to have another one.) There are also yet-to-be identified Gasteria, Haworthia, Ledbouria and Crassula varieties shown.
When the cashier commented on my considerable savings, I said that I would be have been happy to pay full price if it meant that they were staying open. And I really meant it. I've only known Geimer's Greenhouse for 6 of their 82 years, and I wish it could have been more.