May 2009

Misc31 May 2009 06:59 pm

People ask us if succulents will do well if they regularly get over 100 degrees. Of course, with a little extra water, and maybe a bit of shade.

But it’s been so foggy lately that I don’t know what they’re worrying about.

Photography31 May 2009 11:49 am


Echinocereus armatus

Photography30 May 2009 01:42 pm


Echinopsis subdenudata

Environment30 May 2009 10:48 am

I like pictures. I’ve been posting mostly just articles with pictures. If they don’t have pictures, then I probably don’t care. I mean, it’s not like I can be bothered to read the actual article, now is it? 

I know, some bloggers not only read the article, but do research, and followup and write actual articles themselves. Well, that’s just not me. I prefer to post articles that have pictures. And this is a good one.


Nice sense of space, wide angle, lots of cactus and kids and an entire city in the background. Good stuff.

What’s the article that goes with it? Well, this is the caption in the LA Times:

Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times
In an effort to bring the cactus wren back to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park, where it hasn’t been seen in a decade, Dorsey High students are restoring the coastal sage scrub preferred by the bird.

That’s enough for me.

News30 May 2009 08:11 am

Finally, a good idea to come out of Denver.

Try hens and chicks in baskets

Yes! Hanging baskets dry out so fast, so why whouldn’t you fill them with drought tolerant succulents from the Alps.

Whippets29 May 2009 02:27 pm

Hap got me a new flip video, and this is what I’ve done with it: recorded Jason trying to stay awake.


Whippets29 May 2009 01:05 pm

Jason was visiting with Jaxx. They are a handsome pair.


Photography29 May 2009 10:36 am


Echinopsis subdenudata

Maybe another picture tomorrow? Maybe. It is a very photogenic plant.

Misc28 May 2009 02:08 pm

Those Brits and their famous phallic fascinations. The site is from London, but the cacti are all New World.

Here’s one that I’ve borrowed, but you’ll have to click through to the Environmental Graffiti site to see the rest of their top ten.


Image: Alex T.

Travel28 May 2009 12:07 pm

Travel season is finally here.

So where do you go when you want to beat the heat, find some unusual flowers to photograph and enjoy amazing scenery? Well, we visited Saguaro Lake and came home with some great memories. 


This past weekend the Saguaro Cactus forest was full of blooms. This is typically a May phenomenon. 

That’s pretty far to go if you don’t live in Arizona. But they do have cactus in bloom and boating too. It’s an unbeatable combination, unless you compare it to sailing in the Sea of Cortez.

California Native Plants28 May 2009 10:01 am


Solanum umbelliferum

Kinda shrubby, but a small and airy shrub at that. Showy violet flowers are in full bloom and can keep going through summer and fall.


Recipes28 May 2009 07:39 am

The Examiner gets in on the nopales health fad.

Nopales taste good and good for you


The pads are… “nopales” when they’re whole, and “nopalitos” when they’re diced. They taste something like green beans. The fruits are called prickly pears, cactus pears, or “tunas”.

Whether you add sliced or cubed pads to omelette’s or gently urge the fruit from its stickery skin and eat it fresh or cooked into jelly, this cactus has much to offer. Even the seeds can be eaten in soups or dried and ground into flour.

They don’t share any recipes with us. I wonder why? Everybody loves recipes.


Like this one from Big Oven.

California Native Plants27 May 2009 10:09 am


This is a local native onion. And it’s a pretty annual bloomer, with clumps of grass-like leaves through the winter and spring. But I’d call it a deciduous bulb.

Allium unifolium

Science27 May 2009 07:40 am


From the Smithsonian Collection of Flora of Puerto Rico.

Jatropha curcas L. det. by P. Acevedo-Rdgz.

Those large seed pods of the J. curcas are the future of bio-fuels.

The Jatropha is in the Euphorbia family, has succulent stems, and gets nicely shrubby with beautiful leaves. Most Jatrophas are known for their leaves, some for their caudexes. And all are, as members of Euphorbiaceae, poisonous.

News26 May 2009 01:08 pm

After the Chelsea Garden Show finishes up, the subways are filled with plants.

Obviously, for residents of Chelsea and Kensington, they are used to seeing members of the public struggling through the streets and on the tube with large succulents and perennials and the occasional medium-sized shrub.

It ended this past weekend, so there must have been some good gardens this year.

The Canary Islands Spa Garden has lots of nice aeoniums, don’t you think?


That’s about all the succulents I could find from the Times. It does seem like there were a lot of English Gardens at Chelsea this year.

News26 May 2009 12:55 pm

How do you learn about what hardy cactus you can grow in your Oregon garden? Why, take a class!

CHS Garden Center presents Bill Willis, the “Cactus Guy”. “Everything you Wanted to Know About Hardy Cactus” Bill Willis provides a free “gloves on” lecture on cactus varieties suitable for Central Oregon.

Great! When is it?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oops! Too late. Sorry for not being more timely about this. Oh well, I’m a bastard.

Photography26 May 2009 10:29 am


Leucadendron galpinii, also known as Conebush, but I like the common name in the title better, since those cones are so round.

Will grow shrubby to 6 to 8ft. tall. Primarily used in gardens for it’s twisting grey-green leaves, but those ivory cones with the little yellow flowers are astonishing and good for cut flowers too! You will be in its spell if you let yourself get absorbed.

News26 May 2009 08:56 am


Photograph by John Wood

It’s not often that the burgeoning field of cactus art makes it into the New York Times, and with a photo! There are 2 exhibits through July at NYU and ICP, whatever those are.

Travel25 May 2009 02:05 pm


A “Natural Park” in Baja, California, Valle de los Cirios offers some of the most unique vistas ever! Cycling in Valle de los Cirios – Notice the massive triple bike? Photo: Nancy Sathre-Vogel

It’s an Echinopsis terscheckii, also known as Cardòn Grandé. We have a 6 footer at the nursery that is sending out it’s first blooms. You’ll get to see the pictures as soon as they open. Unless it sells before then.

Questions25 May 2009 12:34 pm

 …in Cleveland.

Q. My cat knocked my Christmas cactus out of the window. How can I save it?

A. All is not lost when a “bad kitty” takes down a good houseplant. If the main stem or trunk is in good shape, the plant can be repotted and pampered to replace what was lost….


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