Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cactus Crazy at Tohono Chul Park!!!

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'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.


  1. I am so glad I don't have snakes in my garden, as they also give me the heebie jeebies. Although it would be nice if they would eat some of the voles. I was out plant shopping a few weeks ago and a very large grass snake was sunning itself under one of the plant tables.

  2. Wow, what an eventful trip! Is that a spiny desert lizard you saw too? What an amazing place. Might have to rake a trip down to Tucson to see it for myself.

  3. H.N. I have to say moving from Wisconsin was a shock to my system...the critters here a bit more dangerous...there are a lot of poisonous things and you have to be careful digging holes and lifting rocks. I live in the downtown area now so we don't see the rattlesnake or tarantula....but we do have our lizards and our occassional skunk:)PS. I tried growing hostas here and I am not having any luck...even in the full shade!!:(

    Aaron VFT-I love the tropical plants you have all around your place, but I did notice you also have a cactus garden by your window as looks fact, your whole yard does!

  4. Hi Mo!!
    That lizard just posed for me...really cute. I am so bad with lizard names, but he was big:) Lots of the critters just casually hung out on the grounds with us while we were shopping. If you come down, it's located at the crossroads of Ina and La Cañada. Take the interstate down to I-10 and get off at the Ina exit and head a ways to La Cañada...take a left at the stoplight onto L.C. and the park is right at the corner on your right side. Enjoy your weekend. I forgot sugar for my coffee so I am off to get that fun stuff:)

  5. Hi Rohrerbot, thank you for visiting and leaving notes on my site, so i was able to come here today. That man you met on the road could just probably be your angel warning you to take care. That snake is surely so fearsome. BTW, plants on your header are mostly seen here in our tropical landscape too. I think the legume on the left is a Leucaena glauca, which we feed our cattle. Do you go to Noelle's site, she is a landscape designer also from Arizona: She has a beautiful blog and posts, and also have a beautiful soul. thanks, i hope you will visit here again.


Thanks for stopping by!