Friday, June 11, 2010


It has been a wonderful week for a gardener. But I must start with today.

I was out in the front this morning tidying up the large granite area when I happened to look across towards the front gate. Oh! my, I couldn't believe my eyes. My hedgehog cactus, Escobaria missouriensis, was in full flower. Last year it flowered on May 28th.

Not just one but two others close by. For these smaller ones it is the first year for them to bloom. They grew from seed and I see new babies on the way.

Last night as I glanced through the dining room window I caught a glimpse of yellow. The unidentified cactus, which came in the cactus bowl I bought in Arizona last winter, and which I split up and repotted, was in bloom. This cactus, unlike the previous ones, is not hardy, and will spend the winter indoors.
For some reason I tend to think that it is a small miracle when a cactus flowers, but actually they flower quite readily with little attention and are a joy to behold.

I have to wonder whether the flowering is related to the 2 1/2" of rain we had earlier this week. This was the scene in the garden Wednesday morning. It looked as though it would never stop. This was the day the Ivette Soler, the Germinatrix, was coming to Austin and was to visit EastSidePatch for a tour of Philip's wonderful garden.( In October ESP will be on the Garden Conservancy Tour). Maybe Ivette didn't mind the rain at all coming from a place where there is little rainfall. By the time we all arrived at ESP the rain had stopped and the sun was peeking through.

Philip thrilled us all with a tune on the bagpipes. Is there no end to his talents.

Ivette and her Aunt were in for quite a surprise.

We toured the garden, enjoyed a glass of Sangria, some delicious appetizers, chatted with our guest and tested out Phillip's newest project for our group photo. Yup! it's really sturdy. Thanks to Pam, Jenny, Philip and Leah for their hospitality.
Y'all come back and see us now, Ivette.


  1. Your cactus blooms are exquisite. I like both blooms, bu tthat bright yellow on the round one is awesome!

    That sure is a lovely group of folks in your last photo!!! :)

  2. Those cactus blooms are lovely. I'm always amazed at how delicate they look, on all those thorns.

    The rain was welcome. And, we were lucky not to get what New Braunfels got.

    Looks like your gardeners' visit was a lot of fun.


  3. I like the picture of your garden in the rain. :) And your cactus blooms are gorgeous! I didn't grow any cactus when I lived in CA, but I loved seeing them bloom in other people's gardens. I got to hear bagpipes and drums at someone else's home this past week, too. What a treat!

  4. I'm sure your garden loved that rain, although I hear your area got perhaps a little too much, too quickly. Love the photo of the garden in the rain. Your flowering cacti are quite beautiful. Bagpipes in Austin, that's not something you hear every day :-)

  5. Julie- I think the cactus blooming is one of my favorite events in the garden. Sometimes I miss them because they are all too brief. Now I have to get rid of the fire ants who have invaded.
    Linda- They are delicate, like tissue paper. And yes, the rain was a relief although the humidity is through the roof this year.
    Ruth- It was a real joy to hear the bagpipes for a happy event. A few weeks ago I heard them at a funeral. The cactus fit in well in our gravelly areas and they are so much easier to care for. I never grew them when we lived in Ca. I don't think anyone did back in 1981.
    Jayne- Yes, wouldn't it be nice to have 1" a week instead of 2"+ all at once. That will never happen here I'm afraid.

  6. I wouldn't be surprised to find that cacti flower after rain -- Australian native plants often decide to flower according to a combination of day length/temp and recent rain.