Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Very Fine Cat-us Has Joined Us Today

This morning, on our way out the door for a long day of physical therapy and shopping, we discovered the UPS guy had left us a package last night.

Naturally, we had no interest in leaving for that PT and shopping until we saw what was in it.

Oh! The return label was Desert Cat's, so I knew exactly what it was. --Walter! Walter! It's here!!!

It's gorgeous! Check it out! That is one healthy, happy cactus.

Walter loves cactus and other desert plants. That's why I planted him Walter's Western Garden. Not just because it's on the west edge of the property, but because he wanted western plants in there.

This beautiful kitten has R. E. D. flowers. (Granny J loves R. E. D!) You can even see the red remaining in the spent blossoms on the plant. Since our only three true cacti all have yellow flowers, we are tickled pink!

I'm a tiny bit nervous about this one, I want to be very careful with it. Not all cacti do well in our humid climate. I think I'll clear away the pine bark mulch and give it an inorganic mulch instead, like coral. Let it dry out faster after it rains. That should help prevent fungus from hurting it.

Luckily, we have this wonderfully draining sugar sand, and I've mixed some peat and compost in all the sand in the yard. So according to what DC says about its usual conditions, it should do well in our soil.

And in Walter's Western Garden we'll find just the right place for it, to give it a little shade protection from the midday sun. It's actually the best spot in the yard for that.

Walter says --Thank you, very much!-- to you, Pops. He really is delighted.

Me too.

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Desert Cat said...

More of a vivid magenta actually.

You're welcome. I hope it does well.

k said...

*Vivid* is probably the one single best word to describe what I go for in flower color.

I can't wait to see the blooms. Since it obviously flowered very recently I hope it's still in the mood, and ready to go for another one as soon as it settles in to its new home.

Desert Cat said...

You will probably see one next May at the earliest. They have their particular season.

Pretty Lady said...

Very cute!

Kenny said...

Very nice but I try and stay away from plants that can hurt me.

Desert Cat said...

The entire State of Arizona is braced and ready to pounce.

Bane said...

I suggest you keep it inside, where the sun will hit it routinely.

k said...

Not till May? Ah well. Luckily, I'm a fountain of patience waiting for blooms. Growing orchids does that to a person.

Oh, PL, isn't it though? I'm trying to decide if it's a He or a She. Any hints, DC? I want to ask Walter if he'd like to name it.

Kenny, that's because you are wise. Perhaps someday I'll write a post about Exxxtreme Gardening! Adventures!!! heh!

It's not just the thorny ones. Oh no. I've acquired so many with poisonous sap it's pitiful. And two Spanish Daggers...both of which need dividing. And did you check out the thorns on the Hearts of Flame? Those things are not only horribly sharp, AND barbed like fishhooks - they actually reverse direction in mid-leaf here and there. They will not let you go.

And people think gardening is such a peaceful activity...

DC, considering the formidable array on this one cactus alone, I'd have to say Arizona has a very fine collection of Pointy Ends waiting to pounce.

Bane, that's surely the best way to grow it here. Or it would be if I were, say, normal with cactus.

Our Florida homes are usually constructed so we don't get much sunlight in the house. And, even if I could find the right place for it, I'm not supposed to have any indoor plants. Ramps up the mold etc. allergies something fierce.

But overriding all else is this: For some reason the only place I consistently kill cactus is indoors. If I leave them outside and never water them, they're fine. The minute I try to grow them inside, I murder them.

Not normal. But there you have it.

Outside, I'm overrun with pancake cactus, some other kind of smaller-bladed prickly pear, and Florida prickly pear. I'm going to have to dump loads of that in a yard sale sometime soon, just to get a little ground space back.

Because it's time for me to put up some serious orchids.

Which will knock your socks off, boys and girls.

Granny J said...

That fellow is called a mammary cactus, for obvious reasons. Seems to me that you'll find them up in higher elevations as well as in desert Tucson. BTW, the prickly pear really should be America's official flower -- it grows native in, as I understand it, 47 of the 48 contiguous states, though in a couple (NY, for one) it is considered an endangered species.

k said...

Granny J, thank you for the ID! I think DC told me it's science name, but knowing it's called a mammary cactus cracks me up for another reason. That one has to do with some of the brickwork I put down in the front yard.

I had no idea the prickly pear was that widely indigenous. Wonderful! And the beauty of their flowers should certainly rate them up there in contention.