Cactus Weddings

According to some newspaper somewhere the best place to hold your wedding in San Angelo, Texas is at the Cactus Hotel.

Perhaps one of the most well-known sites for weddings in San Angelo is the Cactus Hotel. More than 60 weddings a year take place at the Cactus, said Marilyn Flage, manager of the Cactus.

I wonder if they have any cactus at the Cactus Hotel? Let’s find out, shall we?

This looks like a wedding, but I don’t see no cactus nowhere. Even if you click the picture to embiggen, you won’t see any cacti in that photo at the Cactus Hotel.

What about the exterior?

Wow! You never know what you’ll find on the internets these days. A classic antique postcard of the Cactus Hotel in San Angelo, Texas and not a single cactus in sight. Beautiful card, but still, what a ripoff.

New Museum

Last weeks travels took me all the way down to the Bowery and the New Museum New York where they were closed due to installing new exhibits on all floors at the same time. Interesting!

However, I did get to see one piece of art on the facade of the building as part of their facade art program. This is Isa Genzken’s Rose II.

The rose sculpture, which measure 28 feet tall, is on loan from a private collector who, as The Observer noted, paid 750,000 Euros for the sculpture.

And the building was designed by recent Pritzker Prize winners SANAA who also designed the interesting glass pavilion in Toledo.

Final NY Gift Show Item of Interest


I’m back from the Gift Show and I was able to get myself over to MOMA and see all the pretty arts and things. (The Diego Rivera murals are up through May. I recommend them.) And I found this cactus item at the MOMA gifty-artsy store. Now to be fair most of the crappy little gifts you can get at the MOMA store are all things I saw at the gift show too, plus a few that we even carry. But not this item. It’s new. And expensive. So no, we will also not be carrying this cactus item.

Gratuitous Calder mobile photo from MOMA:

This has been hanging out in a back stair of MOMA for years. Nice!

Urban Gardening

A building in NY that’s not quite finished yet, but has interesting plantings. Some of which are already dying.


Read More…

More NY Gift Show Finds


Last day of the show and these were the only cactus candles I was able to find.

As usual, these are items we’re not going to be carrying. And we won’t be carrying the lizard either. You’ll have to find them elsewhere if these are the products you must have.

Travel Week

I’ve got some posts lined up but blogging may be slow this week. Unless I find some exciting new material to share at the super secret location I’m going to. Stay tuned.

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,

Not Open


I see the Cactus Grill at the Home Depot is not open yet.

Passing Through

The brother-in-law and nephew stopped last night in Barstow, driving between Disneyland and Las Vegas (woot!)

The nephew did not send me that picture from Barstow.

He didn’t send me this cactus picture in Barstow either, from or any other pictures of the trip through the desert.

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!


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.


We’re at Annie’s (it’s my day off…) And what do I photograph and blog? Not the natives, not the succulents. No. The chickens!


Growing Cactus in Washington

The Tacoma Zoo has it all figured out.

At Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium a full blown – and often blooming – cactus garden is thriving alongside the meerkats and lemurs.

It seems like an oxymoron of gardening: a cactus garden in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Don’t these leafless plants need long days of scorching sun and drought-like growing conditions?

…The garden just inside the main entrance to the zoo is now in its fourth summer. The long crescent-shaped space contains not only cacti but other arid zone plants…. “Year-round this will stop people,” Jones says of the garden. “(There are) lots of questions about how to grow these.”

Indeed if you read further into the article they tell you how they succeed. Including this truism:

“Snow is a positive. It acts as an insulator.”

Green Roof… Walmart?

(T)he roof of Port Coquitlam’s new Walmart Supercentre was quiet and serene. To the east the view of the coastal mountains was spectacular and the lush foliage on the banks of the Pitt River created a wall of green. But it was the 220,000 hand-planted sedums and succulents that were taking root on Walmart’s roof that drew one’s attention.

The tiny, colourful, drought-tolerant plants that more-rightly belonged in rock crevices or an alpine meadow stretched out as far as the eye could see.

Sounds like Canada. Let’s look up this Port Coquitlam. And… it’s in British Columbia, so you know it’s gonna be pretty.

Well, the park’s new gym equipment is pretty.

And the trails are nice and neat and cleaned up too.

So if you visit Port Coquitlam in British Columbia, remember to visit the Park and the Trail and the Walmart roofscape.

Virginia is for Succulents

From the Staunton News Leader comes a recommendation that Virginia gardeneners plant more succulents.

You’ll find them peeking from the cracks in stone walls, decorating the corners of old barns, tumbling out of crumbling containers. Succulents grow just about anywhere and last just about forever, says Chris Lockhart, co-owner of the Staunton Plant Co.

The huge selection and easy maintenance of these sturdy plants makes them a good choice for Virginia gardeners, Lockhart said, since we have weather that’s often unreliable: cold, then hot; rainy then dry. He said one particular succulent is so hardy that it’s used for “green roofs.” The living roof absorbs water and also deflects the harsh son, while it flourishes and spreads in the blazing sun or bitter cold.

That is so true. I think he’s talking about all the different Sedums and Sempervivums that can survive on a roof in Virginia. But Staunton does get cold, regularly getting in the single digits and occasionally below 0F and about 40 inches of rain. So there are a lot of succulents that won’t survive there. Plus I would guess they’re pretty humid in the summer. In fact, I wonder which succulents besides the sedums and sempervivums that Chris is recommending? I should read further…. Clicking through to the 2nd page of the article leads me to his list. And in fact his list includes Sedums and Sempervivums and Portulacas, all fine choices.

Staunton seems like it could be a nice place, what with the cygnets being born there.

New Zealand Winter Garden

Succulents in Dunedin Botanic Garden winter garden. Photo by Gerard O’Brien.

The western wing of the winter garden glasshouse at Dunedin Botanic Garden is home to a weird and wonderful selection of intriguing succulents…. you might see a party of bizarre creatures reminiscent of desert-dwelling starfish, statuesque aliens with fearsome spines, and zig-zagging worms from an Escher painting.

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…

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.

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.

More New York Cactus

I found more cactus in NY, fake just like a couple days ago. This one is in the Peccary diorama at the Natural History Museum.


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.


Selby Gardens

A few more photos from Florida.

Selenicereus is a jungle cactus that is quite large in this particular case, I think. It was big enough to catch my attention and cause me to photograph it.

And then I see a nice big fat, tall Pachypodium. Ours are all inside in Northern California and never end up looking quite like this.

They grow their Staghorns big in Florida, as you can tell from this Platycerium.

Those are the only remaining shots that came out from that day. It was cloudy, and my phone is a less than ideal camera. One lesson: Do not zoom. The loss of detail is too great, or there would be a couple more nice epiphytic cactus shots. Live and learn.


May 2020

US Constitution


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