A Cactus Fence in Curacao

An interesting bit of history, but the photo is taken in the front yard, so there’s no view of the named cactus fence. You’d think since the article was all about the fence, the picture would include the fence, but then you would be wrong. And it’s a small photo! Hardly worth “borrowing” from the Toronto Sun for this blog post.

In Ascension, on the western side of Curacao, is a little white adobe house fronted by a traditional cactus fence that once belonged to one of the island’s first freed slaves. His name was John Scope and today the house, known as Cas di Pal’i Maishi, is a museum run by Janine Bernadina, a fifth generation descendant.

Fortunately, Tripadvisor has a photo of the same house and this time the photo shows the cactus fence in question. Thank you, Tripadvisor! Now, do they have a photo of the Dalai Lama on his birthday?

Photos of Kas di Pal'i Maishi, Curacao
This photo of Kas di Pal’i Maishi is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

A Cactus Grows in Paris

It’s all available at Les Succulents Cactus. I’ve blogged about them before, but now we have a good picture of the store on JOELIX.com – a traveling friend to succulents.

Here’s a small picture I’ve borrowed from JOELIX to entice you to click through to see all the pictures of the Cactus in Paris.


The store as seen in these pictures is reminiscent of the late and lamented Red Desert cactus store in San Francisco up to about 12 years ago. Then they closed. Now you can go to Paris instead.

Again with the Cactus Massage

It has been brought to my attention that Saturday’s post about cactus massage, which referred to a previous post indicating that there is more than one spa that does cactus massage, was in fact referring to the <span style="font-style: italic;">same</span> spa that does cactus massage. I have been told there is only <span style="font-style: italic;">one</span> spa that does this special technique. Well, you can be the judge of that. First we have <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1724&amp;entry_id=1525" title="https://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1524-More-Cactus-Massage.html" onmouseover="window.status=’https://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1524-More-Cactus-Massage.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Saturday’s post</a>, from the Halifax Daily News:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The 160-hectare Four Seasons resort in Irving, just outside Dallas…</span><br /></div><br />And now we have a <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1725&amp;entry_id=1525" title="https://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1485-Cactus-Massage.html" onmouseover="window.status=’https://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1485-Cactus-Massage.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">post from 2 weeks</a> ago from the Toronto Star, suspiciously also Canadian.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The Spa and Salon at the Four Seasons Resort cultivates a calming balance…</span><br /></div><br />Now you can decide for yourself. Are there one or two spas featuring the cactus massage? Go on, decide….<br /><br />

Aloes in Habitat

Where do you go to see aloes in habitat? South Africa of course. And how about this, there’s an aloe park and it’s called Matlala Aloe Park in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.

It seems to have a private game reserve, so it appears to be a place for a safari adventure, fishing or maybe hunting too.

Oddly, I can’t find any pictures of any aloes. Maybe the word Aloe means fishing or camping or something. Who knows.

Here, have this aloe picture to tide you over.

Aloe aristata


Hap and I just got back from a short trip to Alaska where we stayed at a friend’s bed and breakfast, City Garden B+B, and they had some quite large and full pachypodiums in our room, plus lots of blooming orchids everywhere. We contributed a small Rebutia narvaecense in full bloom.


And in case you were wondering, we could not see Russia from our room, yes I have been to Wasilla, and the volcano was being monitored all the while, you betcha.

Arizona in Winter

The Washington Times goes traveling to Arizona and finds some cacti.


This giant saguaro cactus is one of thousands that dot the southern Arizona landscape….

What a contrast. From desert flora and fauna to a sensible Native American, then on to barren rocks, crooked pine and aspen trees sitting in snow drifts – all within a 50-mile drive.

I’ve been to Arizona and I can tell you there are giant saguaros all over the place, including spots where there aren’t paved trails and little signs. In fact, if you get off the paved trails, you can find entire forests of these things, and not just single sentinels.

At the Butterfly House

My final pictures from the recent New York trip are from the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly House. Everyone loves a Butterfly House, it turns out, including the teenage nephews.

These pretty pictures don’t have a lot to do with this blog, except the butterflies are all sitting on plants. And one of the plants is the Jatropha integerrima, a Central American succulent shrub with pretty red flowers. Good stuff.

I couldn’t capture any of the blue butterflies with my cell phone camera – for some reason blues are harder than oranges. But click through at the end for a special moth photo.

One more shot after the break… Read More…

Austin Succulents

Pam Penick’s Digging found a strange steel planter in Austin with an overgrown agave hanging off it. It’s a very interesting sight!

I do love a nice squid agave (A. bracteosa), and steel planters rock. This one is meant to be an address marker, however, and the squid has simply grown too large, obscuring the numbers.

Click through for the pictures.

Austin Succulents

Apparently a local Landscape firm in Austin, TX has now opened a Succulent Store.

If an alien race were to land in Austin for the purpose of surveying our dynamic with our natural world, they might surmise that Austinites in particular have a symbiotic relationship with succulents, as it appears nearly no stylish home or business can be caught without a sweet succulent adorning a corner, tabletop, window sill or bedside table….

Austin residents have a recent reason to rejoice (whether you love succulents or not): Austin landscape design + build firm Big Red Sun has reopened their nursery… at 1311 E. Cesar Chavez St. at Navasota.

Nice frontage. I’ll check them out next time I’m in Austin. It’s been a few years.

Australian Cactus Country

It turns out there’s a cactus garden that you can visit if you’re looking to visit a cactus garden when you are in Australia. First off, the article has some strange Australian english to get through.

To the west of Strathmerton lies the Barmah forest and its magnificent red gums. South, and you’ll find the irrigation centre of Numurkah….

But then they do get to the point of the story, the cactus.

So it is an odd site indeed to come across Jim and Julie Hall’s Cactus Country.

And what do they say about this themselves? Something about cactus hats?

It is, according to the couple, among the top 10 cactus gardens in the world.

Good to know.

Australian Gardening with Succulents Like Agaves and Such

This is a pretty garden indeed. Mature! Probably been around a few years and tended carefully and often.

THERE are some excellent gardens in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, one of which belongs to Susan Lancaster and houses a series of installations that she has created, often out of found objects. Her collection of succulent species also fascinates, however; they provide a perfect foil for the architectural form of the works of art.

Influenced by South American designer Roberto Burle Marx, the 0.75ha garden has been designed as a series of winding paths that lead visitors past collections of bromeliads, cordylines, agaves, yuccas, strelitzias, tiger grass and bamboos. Blocks of plants are repeated throughout the garden to great effect.

Wonder where this “Sunshine Coast hinterland” they speak of is? Let me show you.

Wow! That garden is a regular oasis.

Read More…

Back to Berkeley

We’re having a last minute tropical storm on our last morning in Florida. Assuming our flights take off, Hap and I will be back at the store this weekend, so you have one more day to harass the crew, or just go over and be really nice to them too. And then we’re back!

Have one more Florida plant, a Jatropha integerrima.


Baltimore Cactus Comedy Gold

The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1829&amp;entry_id=1650" title="http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.supervignette29jan29,0,5188069.story" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.supervignette29jan29,0,5188069.story’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Baltimore Sun</a> escapes the freezing frigid northeast to visit Arizona in winter.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">There are hundreds of varieties of cacti and succulents dotting the arid landscape that surrounds the Phoenix metropolitan area, including the classic saguaro cactus that can grow to heights of more than 50 feet. For some strange reason, however, cactus climbing has never caught on here.</span><br /></div><br />The travel reporter’s a comedian. We don’t feature too many cactus jokes here on cactus blog because most of them are pictures of saguaros that are, shall we say, rather Freudian in their implications. So here you go, a nice clean joke printed in a major newspaper.<br /><br />

Barcelona – Architecture and Cactus

A reporter from the Vancouver Sun visits Barcelona and the Gaudi buildings in he area, and also, just on the side, sees a cactus garden in passing. Who knew there were cacti in Spain?

A 15-minute hike away is the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Cathedral, long a symbol of the city. Architect Gaudi created the dramatic façade at the end of the 19th century, which was intended to have 12 irregular towers representing the apostles. A project is currently underway to complete the landmark, but it will likely take a few decades….

The nearby cactus garden, which grows some 200 varieties of succulents, is a pocket of peace.

There are other sights to see in the city, such as Europe’s largest aquarium.

Now that’s what I call a vacation. Of course, I would have taken pictures, while this Canadian reporter did not. Really, now, who can visit the Sagrada Familia and not take pictures? It’s practically heresy. Well, here’s on for you that I found on wikipedia, by Shawn Lipowski.

Big Sur Cactus

Rikki managed to get Keith to switch shifts with her and she ended up in Big Sur where apparently there are some mature cactus and succulent specimens.

At the Big Sur Bakery there are plentiful cactus and agaves too.

And a giant Cereus.

I would say this looks like a productive day off in the high paced cactus industry.

Boise to Baja


A “Natural Park” in Baja, California, Valle de los Cirios offers some of the most unique vistas ever! Cycling in Valle de los Cirios – Notice the massive triple bike? Photo: Nancy Sathre-Vogel

It’s an Echinopsis terscheckii, also known as Cardòn Grandé. We have a 6 footer at the nursery that is sending out it’s first blooms. You’ll get to see the pictures as soon as they open. Unless it sells before then.

Boston Cactus

The Boston Globe travels to the California desert in Spring, and what do they find? Why, cactus!

Spring is to California’s southeastern deserts – Joshua Tree, Mojave, and Anza-Borrego – what autumn is to New England. From February to June, depending on rainfall and snow melt, the deserts are alive with color as flowers, cacti, shrubs, and trees come into bloom and migratory birds make their way north.

Those crazy Bostonians and their analogizing ways. Now, I’ve always felt that the desert in spring is like the glaciers melting in summer up in Alaska. Or, wait, maybe it’s like the pot-dens of Copenhagen in bud. Well, there you go, another Bostonian and his analogizing ways.

Boston Succulents

I’m back from Boston and I see we’re in for thunderstorms today. Thank g-d I got back just in time! It would have been terrible to have to have missed thunderstorms on the last day of the pottery sale.

So what did we do in Boston? Besides the nephew’s bar mitzvah and the giant seder? Flower and Garden Show!

There were a lot of succulents at the Boston Flower and Garden Show. And they were expensive too, compared to California prices. But most of all the show was small, very commercial and crowded. The show gardens were different than we are used to. Out here, they are designer’s show gardens; in Boston they are nursery’s show gardens. The difference is immediately obvious – showing old product rather than inspiring with new designs. I was amazed that they all had clumps of evergreens on display. I mean, really, evergreens at your spring garden show? That’s what you use to inspire new customers?

I didn’t take any pictures, and I think that says it all. Since we missed the SF show; anybody know a good source for SF Garden Show pictures?

Bud Vase, New York

I’ve got a couple more posts from the trip to New York. (Hint: We went to the butterfly show).

But first, yet another window while window shopping in New York. This time there’s no cactus, just a very special bud vase.

Yes, if you look closely you can see that this bud vase is very special indeed, $1000 worth of special. It looks just like something we would carry at the nursery! Or not. Would you pay $1000 for a bud vase from us? Because if you would, let me know and I can make sure to have a very special bud vase ready and waiting for you too.

Cactus and Ghost Towns

The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1786&amp;entry_id=1594" title="http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/01/11/travel/escapes/20080111_AMERICAN_SLIDESHOW_index.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/01/11/travel/escapes/20080111_AMERICAN_SLIDESHOW_index.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">New York Times Travel section</a> visits southern Arizona on a lovely drive.<br /><br style="font-style: italic;" /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><img width="432" hspace="5" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/11amer.01.jpg" /><br style="font-style: italic;" /><span style="font-style: italic;">On a road trip along the borderlands of Arizona you’ll find vast open land, big Western sky and adventurous people ­ some who live there and some just passing through. At left, a visitor drives on Ajo Mountain Loop road in Organ Pipe National Monument five miles north of the Arizona and Mexico border.<br />
<br />
Photo: Jeff Topping for The New York Times</span><br /></div><br />I always try to get out of the car too. Check out the rest of the photos, it seems they got out of the car too.<br /><br />

Cactus Art in L.A.

Barry Goldwater was a Senator from Arizona, so it makes sense that if he was sketching he might sketch a cactus. And now that cactus sketch is in a gallery show in Los Angeles. Anyone from the gallery have a picture they want to share with us?

Art Made by U.S. Senators
Every once in a while, Margo Leavin Gallery pulls out one of the most precious artworks in its vaults, Jeffrey Vallance’s Drawings and Statements by U.S. Senators. In 1978, Vallance sent letters to senators in office, telling them he was working on a project about art and government, and asking if they’d send a drawing to support his project. The result? A quirky, almost intimate portrait of our elected leaders. One senator sent a snowman drawn by his daughter; two assigned their staff members to draw the Capitol (Jake Garn’s staffer was particularly precise); Dick Stone sent an autographed photo. Jesse Helms took the opportunity to espouse on regionalism, Barry Goldwater drew a delightfully abstract cactus (with a caption, in case Vallance didn’t recognize it), and Ted Kennedy explained that he used to paint but hadn’t had even “a moment to make a sketch” since taking office. 812 N. Robertson Blvd.; through March 10. (310) 273-0603, margoleavingallery.com.

Cactus Blooms in Texas Herald Spring

Dina Arevalo | Valley Morning Star

Vibrant spots of color amid the brush-lined paths of Hugh Ramsey Nature Park in Harlingen — seen Monday, March 19, 2012 — herald the arrival of spring. The spots are mostly lemon yellow against the verdant backdrop, but in hidden corners the rare prickly pear cactus displays bright red blossoms with fiery hints of orange and pink seemingly set ablaze in the glow of afternoon sunlight.

Those are some gorgeous colors there in that there cactus bloom prickly pear flower. I’m impressed and I see a lot of prickly pear cactus flower bloom inflorescences. I wonder where this Harlingen, Texas is? Let’s us all go and visit since it’s cold and rainy here and it’s partly sunny and 90 right now in Harlingen, Texas. Although they do have the chance of thunderstorms tonight, so let’s not stay too long.

Yucca getting ready to bloom in Harlingen, Texas.

Aloe blooms at sunset in Harlingen, Texas.

Flooding in Harlingen, Texas.

And my favorite from the City of Harlingen’s own website:

Harlingen Thicket
Amenities: 40-acre tract of native brush in the city center, restrooms, parking, and extensive trails.

That’s a mighty fine stand of cactus.

Cactus Cupcakes 

Are you wondering why no nobody in New York has offered a holiday cupcake party with a cactus and succulent theme? Cupcake Decorating Workshop by The Sill has you covered, if you are available and in New York next Tuesday only. Nice!

I wonder if they teach you how to make delicious cupcakes, or just how to decorate any old cupcake.

You will learn how to decorate cupcakes like a pro. 

OK! No good cupcakes, only decorative frostings. I mean, I assume they don’t prevent you from using delicious cupcakes, but it’s hard to say for sure. 

And what if you’re a beginner…. 

This class will be good for beginners who want to explore their interest, and for semi-professionals who want to develop new skills in buttercream design.

Cactus Derby, 1914

They held a race and called it the Cactus Derby. It was a derby insofar as it was an off-road car race, interstate paved roads being somewhat rare. And cactus as it was a race through the desert from LA to Phoenix, which couldn’t have been a very big city back then.

cactus derby 1914

Sharlot Hall Museum

Avid racing fans line up along West Gurley Street anxiously awaiting a glimpse of the first racer into Prescott on Nov. 11, 1914.

Wow! How about that. And I checked, so you know, and Phoenix’s population in 1910 was 11,314. It has grown by 23,332% since then.

You can read more about it here, in Part 1. More to come.

Cactus Flower


Another picture of a Parodia nivosa in bloom. So much pretty.

And a bonus photo! Of a perfect fall day in Central Park in New York. Nice!


Cactus for Christmas in the Idaho Snow

It’s starting to look a little snowy in Idaho and Hap’s Mom’s cactus is covered in snow. Brrrr…

Idaho Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus in Snow

Idaho Cholla Cactus

Cholla in Snow

Idaho Agave

Agave in Snow

Succulent Wreaths in California

And for effect, our last few Succulent Wreaths in the California Sunshine before the Christmas Break.

Cactus in Missouri

Head out to Sand Prairie Conservation Area and there’s sand there, and cactus too.

The sand creates an environment where rainwater drains quickly, leaving everything high and dry. It’s a quality habitat for prickly-pear cactus.

I’ve seen cactus at isolated locations in Missouri and Illinois, but Sand Prairie is covered by an impressive number of colonies in a variety of shapes and sizes. Look for them in the grassy area north of the parking lot, but watch your step!


Cactus Lake

Travel season is finally here.

So where do you go when you want to beat the heat, find some unusual flowers to photograph and enjoy amazing scenery? Well, we visited Saguaro Lake and came home with some great memories. 


This past weekend the Saguaro Cactus forest was full of blooms. This is typically a May phenomenon. 

That’s pretty far to go if you don’t live in Arizona. But they do have cactus in bloom and boating too. It’s an unbeatable combination, unless you compare it to sailing in the Sea of Cortez.

November 2021

US Constitution


We Get Questions

Email your questions to:

blog [at] cactusjungle [dot] com