One of the really big reasons why I wanted to move here was
because I knew I would be 'living amongst the cacti'! Sounds corny
of living where cacti grew naturally in your back yard sounded
awesome! Another plus is that Arizona is just a gorgeous state and
I knew I could really get used to not having 3 feet of snow on the
ground most of the winter.
Before I moved here I didn't really have a clue what an Agave was.
I’m sure I had seen pictures of Agaves in books, and maybe once
or twice on TV, but I had never seen one in person. At that time
Agaves didn’t really make a big impression. In fact they didn’t make
an impression at all. It was all about cacti for me.
And then I met up face to face with the Agaves! These plants won
me over with their bold, dramatic shapes. It was, and still is, a take
my breath away moment! Still, I would be hard pressed to try to
explain exactly what the draw is for me when it comes to Agaves.
Simply put it’s a passion! And since then it has become what some
people might call an obsession! Ok, fine, I will admit that Kelly has
said words to that effect at least once or twice!
I still grow cacti. My favorite species are Echinocereus, Ferocactus, Gymnocalycium, Mammillaria and Trichocereus.
Aloes are another favorite of mine, most likely because they somewhat resemble Agaves. Not many of the Aloes are cold hardy enough to be grown in ground where I live but for the
ones that are, I enjoy the splashes of color their flowers provide each Spring. Aloes do have their own charm about them. The patterns on the leaves, the colors of the spines and how
many of them will form nice looking clumps are all things that appeal to me.
I like variety in the plants that I grow. I like the differences that plants of the same species will exhibit when growing in different locations. I am a collector first and foremost so that
aspect really appeals to me. There are times when I will grow 4 or 5 Agaves of the same species but collected from different locations. I do the same thing with cacti.
|This is Dani. Before school started she was my constant
companion, spending hours with me in the greenhouse just
about every day. Dani always insisted on bringing her 'baby'
to 'work' with her!
Dani watered, potted up plants, organized the benches,
even did some painting. She also 'helped' by doing things
like 'sweeping' the gravel floor (how does one do that?), or
filling countless pots with gravel and dirt for me to find later!
As for me, I have been collecting cacti since I was 17 years old. They fascinated me and I would make weekly trips to the nurseries to see what I could add to my collection and I
would rarely come home empty handed! I spent hours pouring over the few books I could find on the subject. They truly captivated me and still do!
As far as I am concerned, cacti have something to offer just about everyone. And, even though many people are intimidated by the spines on most cacti, the spines are one of the
things I like the most about cacti, especially when the sun hits them, they just light up with color! And, as a huge plus, cacti have some of the most beautiful flowers in the plant
kingdom. Seeing a bench full of Trichocereus in bloom is a spectacular sight! Visit my Just Flowers page for a few examples.
|This is Kelly. She has been with me thru thick and thin and is always a
tremendous help! Kelly is the one who brings home 'stray' plants, or
equipment, that she just 'knows' I could use! But I know better. She is
addicted to thirft shops and yard sales!
In the beginning she would freak out when I would sow seeds in the
kitchen...so I would wait until she was at work before doing it. And it's
been smooth sailing ever since!
|Last but not least, here I am
working at the UCR Botanical
Gardens plant show.