Program: Southern Africa has a huge amount of exposed rock slabs, in these areas are billions of depressions that fill in with grit, sand and other soil types. Many other things also grow in these pans like mosses, other succulents, and other plants. A whole ecosystem develops in these pans and in part each pan becomes its own little world. Often these pans are small, from a few cms to a few meters.
The surrounding high rocks are very barren compared to the depressed pans, so the high rocks are too hot to support the complexity found in the cooler pans. In the western regions of South Africa and Namibia there is a winter rainfall climate with some rain, drizzle, fog, snow and frost at night. Many winter nights in this region have some of the mentioned sources of water, and all forms of it trickle down into the pans keeping them cool and moist compared to the heat and dryness of the higher up rocks.
Steven Brack Bio: "I started to grow cacti and succulents from seed and acquired a few plants back in 1970. Soon was on the hunt for seed lists, and what was amazed me was to get seeds with a Latin name and the geographic source. Then I read a series of articles in a British journal about the travel adventures of an English tourist that visited New Mexico. At this point I was interested in seed growing and the idea of moving to New Mexico to start a nursery really took hold. I wanted a life working with seeds. My wife accepted this weird idea instead of becoming a physics teacher, and we moved to NM in the spring of 1973. After 3 years of working on the project we started Mesa Garden in 1976.
Since 1973 we have taken many trips to collect seeds to grow stock plants for the nursery, it has been a great life of desert camping, hiking and seeing plants in nature. After 41 years of running the nursery we sold it to a couple that were employees and are busier than ever in retirement."