Monday, April 25, 2016

Cacti conversion!

After almost ignoring cacti and succulents for all my years of growing plants and gardens - over 50 dare I say -  I think I have finally been converted! A visit to the Huntington gardens this last weekend finally persuaded me that these are beautiful and fascinating plants!  I have been here several times and written about the desert garden on a couple of occasions but this time, it was just spectacular! So many beautiful cacti in bloom! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Echinopsis 'April Dawn'

Dyckia in flower

Echinopsis claviceps ritteri

Aloe camperi

Echinopsis 'Flying Saucers'

Echinopsis 'Red Rocket'
Sorry - missd the name of this one!

Echinopsis 'Spring Blush'
Hesperaloe 'Brakelights'

Notocactus claviceps

Aeonium arboreum - maybe 'Cyclops'  in flower

Puya berteroniana

Puya chilensis
X Echinobivia 'Peach Monarch'
Dolicothele longimamma
There were other parts of the garden looking splendid but we didn't get much time to see them. We were anxious to leave and avoid the Friday afternoon exodus from Los Angeles - didn't make it - return journey took three hours! Few pictures next time!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Gardens Tour 2016

Last Sunday I parted with $15 for the Desert Horticultural Society's 11th Annual Desert Garden Tour. Credit must go to those garden owners, who allowed visitors to wander round their private gardens and examine their horticultural enterprise in detail. However can the DHS really only rustle up seven properties worth visiting in Palm Springs, once a year? Two of these were tiny patio gardens and two front gardens?  When I compare with the National Garden Scheme in the UK which has hundreds of gardens open each weekend in spring and summer, this is really rather underwhelming

The first location we visited was a commercial landscape around  a Community Project. We decided not to stop and as we were checking for the next location, Jim's car was side-swiped by another visitor who reversed into us without looking in his rear-view mirror - not a good start to the afternoon.  The next garden was newly completed and beautifully designed but just a front garden with a tiny enclosed patio.

The second garden that caught our attention had maturity and was obviously well cared for over some years.  Annoyingly the driver who had hit us had also arrived at this garden and pursued us apologising!

Now that's about it! However, whilst parking, I did spy a beautiful cactus in  a roadside garden that I believe to be Opuntia aciculata. I feel a painting coming on!