Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Senior" Moments

All work and no play, makes for dull Spanish teachers. I'm pretty sure that's the quote. Teachers love to complain about those darn Seniors who have just seemed to tune out from school. And Senior Ditch day!!!!  How many of those days do students really get anyway? I thought it was just one!  But what about teachers who really are Seniors....physically?:)  Here's a trip we took recently over the weekend to a very hot Phoenix(100 degrees!!) about a week and a half ago. 

Our mission was to replenish our cacti that died during the freeze this past winter.  While Phoenix suffered the same freeze, it wasn't as harsh as Tucson.  My friend's sister has a beautiful cacti garden with literally 100's of varieties of plants on a big lot of land.  We took a saw, some tongs, tough gloves, and got to work......

Some people think that the desert is a boring bland place with rather dull yards.  I'd love to tell them that it doesn't have to be this way.  The pics here show a very xeric and lush cacti and succulent landscape that quite simply blows me away.

It is a "cacti" jungle that blocks surburbia from their home.  It is private and quiet.....and one of the best private cacti gardens I've seen in the Phoenix or Tucson area.  What is even more special about this garden is that it attracts A LOT of native wildlife to the grounds!!!!  We stayed overnight at their place and I left the screen door open all night to hear the wonderful desert critters rustling around in the cacti forest. 

It's shocking to leave their plot of land because the homes surrounding this gardener are rather dull and lifeless lots of land.  This individual began her garden in the late 90's and today it is the magical secret oasis hidden away somewhere in the ritzy Scottsdale area.

These pics demonstrate that lush and xeric shade gardens are out there.  So after many stickers, laughs, and sweat, I am ready to begin the whiskey barrel project again without the threat of a freeze.  I have boxes of cacti ready to go.......a couple rules before you begin.  When you take clippings from cacti, remember that you need to give them a week to scab over before planting.  Also remember NEVER go out to the desert and take a cactus as it is against the law that comes with a hefty fine.  My advice is to head over to your local nursery or botanical gardens during this month for many wonderful cacti and succulent selections.  If you are on a budget, like I am, ask friends if you can take clippings from their yards.  Some gardeners may feel uncomfortable with you going into their private collections.  If that is the case, you might ask them if they could walk around their property and take some clippings for you.  This was the case with my friend's sister and I was really appreciative that she was out there guiding us to what plants we could take clippings of and which ones we couldn't touch.  I completely understand her line of thinking and would do the same thing if someone asked me for clippings.

We had a great weekend and accomplished our mission PLUS we got to spend some time and have a couple laughs with a sip of wine with friends. I think that was the best part about our trip:)  Until tomorrow......


  1. What a great garden. A little time, a little vision, a little planning and beautiful!!!! It is always wonderful when gardeners share plants. Being respectful of the opportunity to get the plants is very important indeed. There are some plants I have a lot of but am trying to fill an area. Those can't be shared yet. I hope all your cacti grow in your garden.

  2. It is indeed a beautiful garden and it is indeed a good friend who shares their plants!

  3. What a wonderful friend indeed! You are so lucky to have a great friend to let you have some of these awesome clippings. When I visit other people's houses I always ask or let them ask me for clippings. When people are here if they are interested I will offer clippings. Can't wait to see that whiskey barrel!

  4. Sweet, sweet, sweet. What friends, what a garden, what colors!


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