What a great morning! I went over to one of Tucson's great local gems and did some cactus shopping. Tohono Chul Park has so much for the desert gardener to see and it seems to me to be a place where the local aficionados gets together. So while I wouldn't recommend it for a tourist on a tight schedule, I would say to a Tucsonan....go and get your desert on!!!
The cactus sale was incredible and had a huge variety of plants for the cactus and succulent garden. I went on a mission and my goal was to purchase just 2 plants!! The Crested and Totem Pole Cactus will have to wait until next time as I have chosen the Cereus and the Silver Torch. They will add texture and color to the cactus garden on my window sill....it's hard just picking a couple as I had wanted to buy a WHOLE lot more:) Oh money...why couldn't you grow on trees? The people and guides at the park were knowledgable and extremely helpful.
Locals take cacti for granted and do not appreciate the fact that we can grow these very unique plants in our gardens. I love how they have their separate shapes and forms.....and when put with colorful pots or art, they really add a lot of design punch.
For the serious gardener, I would highly recommend this place for the design. There is a restaurant here where you can relax and ponder about your own garden while viewing the desert landscape. It's absolutely incredible. The sale was called "Monsoon Madness" and I would say that the prices were fair compared to places like Home Depot or Lowe's. They were about 10 dollars cheaper than the retail outlets, but I did my local duty and supported our growers here:)
Now about the fun....I just love Tucson. There is so much to admire about this place even if it is 112 degrees out there!! I was on my way up to the cactus sale and a strange man was approaching me mumbling something like..."brracnack". I didn't know if he was one of the special ones that walk this Earth or if he had been senile, but he kept repeating it softly. It could also be that I am losing my hearing:) So I kept going thinking whatever...but I am very observant and found out rather quickly that he was saying "black snake". My heart started beating at the discovery. I just watched the slinky critter cross my path taking his time. I have a lot of respect for snakes, but they do give me the heebie jeebies. With that said, I do get angry at people who throw rocks at them or bring out the shovel to chop them up into little pieces. Why, as people, do we treat our natural friends so poorly? So perhaps the man was freaking out and letting me know ....Or aware of people's skiddish reactions..... Or letting me know quietly so that it didn't attract a million people....I'd like to think it's the latter and that this guy was just a sensitive genius. I watched and smiled...what luck I had today!! I also have several other pics and a movie to share...they have the most beautiful butterfly garden there. I saw a lot of the Queen Butterflies out and they resemble the Monarch, but apparently according to local fauna, they don't taste like Monarch:)
Finally in the landscape today, I discovered the name of the vine that is crawling up the ramada. A person at Tohono Chul told me that it is a wild native grape vine....I'm not sure how the grapes will taste.
I cracked more castor pods open and gathered more seeds. I have a half a bucket left. No wonder the seeds are so cheap at the store....I have definitely gotten my money back on these guys. And lastly, the datura has two buds!! These plants have a beautiful bell shaped flower that hang down. At night, they give off a sweet smelling fragrance that floats around our courtyard. Until next time, happy gardening!!
The catepillar above is the Pipevine.