February 2011


Misc20 Feb 2011 10:15 am

The scene: A man is shot and leaps off a train into a cactus. How was it done? Hint: a stuntman.

“One of my favorite stunts was for ‘How the West Was Won’ in 1962. I was doubling for an actor who was shot. I had to leap off a train going 30 mph, hit a cactus and tumble down a rocky hill. A cactus is like a telephone pole. Hitting it dead on would have sent me back under the train. So I had to figure out the right angle to hit the thing.

“I also wanted the cactus to be flexible. I dug four feet down and cut out the tap root. Then I filled in the hole with the dirt so it would spray up when I hit. I also calculated the angle so I knew when to jump from the train. Next I took a blowtorch to the cactus needles where I had planned to hit to avoid being impaled.

“In the scene, the train sped along, I jumped, hit the cactus just right, the cactus fell over with me and I went down the hill perfectly.

They killed the cactus?!!!??

News19 Feb 2011 11:08 am

City workers in Albuquerque failed the local kids who made a nice large green fiberglas cactus sculpture. What did the city workers do? The chopped it down and took it to the dump.

Oh.

Misc19 Feb 2011 07:26 am

Nordstrom now sells cactus. Yay!

Oh, wait, it’s a cactus charm with words on it.Can you ID the 3 cacti on the charm? Looks like a Ferocactus, a Saguaro and… a blooming Echinocereus?

I suppose it’s better that they haven’t actually started selling live cactus – we don’t need the competition from a national department store.

Tip from Angie. Thanks!

Nursery18 Feb 2011 11:15 am

Our first organic starts of the year are out in the heavy rains which they are promising me are ending tomorrow.

Whippets18 Feb 2011 09:19 am

News18 Feb 2011 08:10 am

This time in Australia.

Resident angry at theft of pot plants

HILLMAN resident Betty Astrand has warned her neighbours to be on the lookout for suspicious activity…

Three big succulents, including multiple aloe veras in a fake terracotta pot, and two green/white striped corderlines in a pale green plastic pot, were taken.

She said one of her neighbours had a birdbath stolen…

Plastic pots and… not a birdbath too! I’d be angry too.

Photography18 Feb 2011 06:57 am

This new cultivar is from Canada. A transgenic hybrid in the Aloeaceae family, with parentage including Aloe, Haworthia, Gasteria and Astroloba, this new hybrid is the talk of the plant shows this spring.

Ahhh! Just kidding. It’s an animal. A Green Anemone, from National Geographic’s Photo of the Day. Photograph by Jens Troeger.

News17 Feb 2011 10:41 am

Well, not yet…

(A) proposed schedule of controlled plants currently before the Attorney-General… (that) targets common ornamental garden plants like datura (angel’s trumpet), various succulents and other plants… has ecologists and plant enthusiasts up in arms.

What began as a legitimate attempt to shut down the drug trade’s access to illicit drug precursors in 2008 by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has been extended to more obscure drugs like… mescaline – hallucinogens which hold little prominence in the drug trade and are predominantly extracted from… cacti.

True enough, but really now, there’s a lot of plants that have hallucinogenic effects if you get right down to it. Anyone know of a list?

News&Nursery17 Feb 2011 10:16 am

No customers, which is fine since most of the crew went to the NorCal garden show in San Mateo, assuming the storm wasn’t too bad on the peninsula and they could get through. We have a flood advisory going, and this is exactly! (approximately…) one year from when we had to close for a day because of flooding. I’m watching the street levels….

The weather reports are still calling for some sun this weekend, so that’s good news. So come on by! We have our first spring organic veggies out, soaking up some of this delicious rain before the sun comes out and they start growing like mad.

News17 Feb 2011 08:45 am

Odd headline, and yet that is what the article tells us. In Scotland, someone has been putting cactus on a pizza, and has been winning awards for it!

Mamma’s Pizza and Panzerotti invited diners to create the most innovative pizza topping in celebration of the popular restaurant’s 25 successful years in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

Jayne-Leigh Thomas… from Edinburgh… beat stiff competition with… creative pizza topping suggestions. Jayne-Leigh’s ‘All American’ pizza includes cactus, artichoke, proscuitto, garlic and fried egg.

Ewww.

Questions17 Feb 2011 06:39 am

Hi Hap and Co.,

My beautiful barrel cactus has developed orange areas. Mostly they’re along/near the ridges, although there are some small spots further down. This side of the cactus does have some past scarring (from frost I believe). Is this orange a treatable thing? Will I lose the plant?

Thanks
Tony

Tony,
It looks like a form of “Rust” (a fungus). I recommend you treat with Neem Oil, a natural fungicide that works well on cacti and succulents. You can spray it on in a 1-2% solution once a week, for three treatments and it should take care of it. There may be some long term scaring where the fungus is, but usually if it is treated quickly enough it heals up and is not too disfiguring. Like all oil treatments don’t spray on a hot sunny day, only spray in evenings or on overcast days so there is no chance of the oil causing sunburn.
Good luck,
Hap

Blogs&How-to16 Feb 2011 02:28 pm

Capping off a very lazy day, filled with how-to links so you have to go elsewhere just to enjoy my blog today, I come to you with an entire how-to on planting succulents in toolboxes. No, really, that’s what it is all about if you click the link. Don’t forget to come back though.

News16 Feb 2011 12:26 pm

Dominica News Online’s Photo of the Day feature a few weeks ago featured a very nice photo of a Parodia, that they decided to headline, The Penis Cactus. I don’t know why.

How-to16 Feb 2011 10:23 am

In my lazy state today, I pass along this long story of a man who decided not to shave his cactus.

Have a quote:

I considered, since there was already shaving cream on the cactus, if I might just shave it. Why don’t cactuses shave?

I think that gives a good flavor of the rest of the long blog post on shaving a cactus.

How-to16 Feb 2011 08:20 am

She lives in LA and this is what she does in her spare time.

I boiled the cactus in salted water for ten minutes. It kind of looks like green beans, but its slippery like okra.

I sauteed the cactus with the onion and bell pepper in some Pam and a healthy squeeze of lime. I added 3 scrambled egg whites with one whole egg. Quick and easy!

Add some pretty pictures of an omelet in the making, and voila! Blog post heaven!

I think I’m feeling lazy today, so let’s stipulate that I’m only going to reblog news items today.

Whippets16 Feb 2011 07:06 am

I see that a sight hound won best in show last night. A giant sight hound, but still. Benjamin and Jason are suitably impressed.

News15 Feb 2011 10:58 am

I really enjoyed the opening paragraphs to this article from the Deccan Herald.

Alas with so much hustle and bustle about roses and hollyhocks, and velvet cockscombs no-one bothered to invite their cheeky cousins, the prettiest oddest, alien Cinderellas to the Glass House!

But they didn’t seem too bothered – they were Lal Bag’s most gorgeous cactus and the succulents, who stayed home like the mean witch kept away from Sleeping beauty’s birthday party, in their very own Cactus House…

It’s a very mysterious thing, full of Disney Princesses and cactus. I feel like I should stop right here, and not read any further. But no! Too late! I already read this part,

…make up their very own… stars, clusters, bows, ties, hair bands and plaits and buns! Some even have the cheek to resemble chocolate muffins…

Do tell…

…dressmakers from an alien planet…

The new giant planet out in the oort cloud?

…patios of glass-filled underwater-themed restaurants…

We are talking about cactus, right?

As if they have landed from a mad boutique…

This is too much. Unacceptable!

…Last month I cut my finger badly in the garden and bled horridly…

By now you probably think I’ve made the whole thing up. No, actually, I only made up one of these quotes about cactus. Can you guess which one? Read the whole article if you don’t believe me, and please go ahead and tell me in the comments what you think this article is really all about, because I DON’T KNOW!

News15 Feb 2011 08:56 am

What do you do in Wisconsin in winter long before spring has come to town? Pretend like spring is right around the corner and start gardening with succulents.

The Chippewa County UW-Extension and Chippewa Valley Master Gardener Association are hosting a “Think Spring” gardening seminar on Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Chippewa Falls Middle School, 750 Tropicana Blvd., Chippewa Falls….

In “Create Your Own Dish Garden” participants will have the opportunity to plant a collection of succulents in a 5- to 6-inch pot to take home. Learn how to maintain and care for these plants as they grow. Cost is $20 to cover plants and materials. The workshop is limited to 20 participants, so register early. All items made in the workshop must be taken home at the end of the seminar.

I especially like the part at the end about items must be taken home. No giving them away to other people, or abandoning them at the festival. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant I once went to that charged extra if you took too much food and didn’t finish everything on your plate.

Misc15 Feb 2011 06:37 am

Sedum spurium “Red Carpet”

I thought this one was Sedum spurium “Dragon’s Blood” but I was wrong. Can you see the difference? I can’t. These groundcover stonecrops can form a very dense mat, but they’re also semi-deciduous and will be thinner, more stemmy, in winter, if you don’t have snow to hide them under.

Whippets14 Feb 2011 01:31 pm

I see Benjamin has made it to the big time – featured on Gardening Gone Wild. Now that’s some exciting news.

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