Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cactus Collection: First Look

My official inventory of the cactus collection is far from complete, as it takes me a while to track down the right names for each one. What's that? A botanist who doesn't know the names of her plants? Ha ha, well, yes.
Many of my cacti started as tiny, unmarked specimens in those dish gardens you can buy. Other plants in my garden came from neighborhood collection expeditions, where I've been known to snip off an agave plantlet or two from a flower spike. Doesn't everyone carry shears on their evening walks? Some of my largest specimens are gifts from a friend who might have had the wrong plant names. That all adds up to a garden of mysterious wonders.
While I do the research, I thought I’d share a few of the photos.

Three of the prickly pear cacti, including my favorite purple one:

An assortment of columnar cacti:

More shapes and sizes of cacti:

Here are some of the agaves and yuccas on the property:

Large and small aloes:

I’ll have more pictures of the cacti later in the year when they have flowers – some of them are quite amazing.

I understand that cacti and their Old World equivalents are successfully grown in many places less conducive than this hot desert. I have a friend in the chilly climate of Northwest Germany, who has a few cacti living on a windowsill in her house. Where there's a will, there's a way!



  1. We have a small cacti trough and some aloe veras - indoors of course! Wonderful to see them outdoors where they belong.
    I love plants but always feel ambivalent about growing them indoors - is it normal to feel guilty about plant treatment?

  2. Here they are

    if the link works

  3. I just looked at your September post - thanks for the link! I love your little indoor garden, and I'm glad to hear there are others who feel guilty. I hate throwing away sick houseplants and I feel badly when I do heavy pruning. Poor little plants.

  4. What lovely plants you have!

    During the years that I spent working 60+ hour weeks, I viewed outdoor gardening as more of a chore than a hobby, but I did enjoy taking care of my house plants in the evenings. It is just recently that I've been able to enjoy digging in the dirt outside, so planting gardens amid the landscaping is very much a work in progress. With that in mind, bringing shears along on evening walks is a fine idea!

    I hope that you're feeling better!

    xo, Anita