Monday, April 28, 2014

THOSE LITTLE BEAUTIES

You wait all year and suddenly they arrive. Sometimes it is just for a fleeting moment and you find you have missed the show. But not today.


The Ladyfinger cactus, Echinocereus pentalophus opened the first of her blooms today. I was so lucky to pick this up at a garage sale a couple of years ago. I had to repot it because it was in very heavy wet soil and as I took it out the whole thing fell apart. However, cactus are more forgiving of mistreatment than many plants and recovery didn't take long.


The crown of blooms on this mammillaria sp. is reminiscent of a little tiara. It is also in a pot and protected during the winter. It blooms for days.


Another potted, yellow flowering mammillaria. This one blooms year round.


Then there are my cactus in the ground. The hardy lace cactus, Echinocereus reichenbachii. It is outside the walls in the front.



And this one, about to open. It is growing in a spot where someone removed a large stand of prickly pear cactus years ago. A much better substitute. It is growing on almost bare rock and is so happy I am reluctant to move it, although I would like to have it in my inside rockery.
The garden has already had a wonderful show of Claret cup cactus, whose blooms last much longer than other cactus. It will be next year before they bloom again.

8 comments:

  1. I'm hoping for a cactus bloom show this year -- even a single bloom would be fine with me. How old do plants grown from seed need to be before they start blooming?

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  2. The Green Hills garden has some prickly pear cactus growing on an limestone outcropping in the lawn. I think I will take some tongs and move a few paddles to a container along the front walk. Its flowers are such a pale yellow. They are not as spectacular as your cacti, but you have the climate for those,and I don't. (4 inches of rain this morning and more on the way). Our garden center up the road has some agaves. Having seen yours, I might try a few. Plant Delights sells them as well. I guess they could spend the winter in my window.

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  3. It never ceases to amaze me how flowers with such delicate beauty can appear on a such prickly plants!

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  4. Such spiny delicacy! Some 15-20 years ago I had dish garden filled with several tiny cacti - a gift from my Dad. Every year they'd delight he and I both with a short span of delicate blooms. I lost the cacti to cold one year when we were away and I didn't adequately protect them. Seeing your blooms I'm remembering my Dad today, and thinking of the wonderfully small garden that he and I shared all those years. Thanks, Jenny!

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  5. Your cactus are so beautiful. I love how big they are. I had Ladyfinger cactus but it froze. My cactus collection is getting smaller every year. It's just too difficult to grow them when winter is too cold for them and you don't have where to store them during the winter.

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  6. Your cacti are amazing. I have a few that I generally mistreat and I’m always shocked if they actually bloom.

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  7. Wow - the blooms on the hardy lace are beautiful! I didn't use to be a fan of cactus plants, but I'm starting to incorporate them more into my gardens for the variety of texture, and of course their drought/heat tolerance and ability to keep the nibbling critters away. The fact that some of the varieties have these amazing blossoms is definitely a bonus - I'll need to add some to my garden soon!

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  8. The colors of these never fail to amaze and delight. I'll never forget my first sight of cacti blooming in the desert. Too shady for them in this garden.

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