Day 110- Visit a nursery

#320, Visit 3 great nurseries, 1/3

I am a huge fan of nurseries. Recently, when my favorite local nursery closed, I nearly wept. It was a huge sprawling place with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs, bulbs, annuals, a greenhouse, free popcorn, a huge selection of pots, and a thoughtfully stocked gift shop. It is a real loss to the community. My only solace is that I know others feel the same way.

Today I was interested in visiting the California Cactus Center. Growing up in the desert, I didn’t have an appreciation for cactus yet. I longed for green trees and pansies and hydrangeas. But, now, I am recognizing both the beauty and practicality of these prickly plants.

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The California Cactus Center is in Pasadena. It was a hot day when I visited, but none of the plants were wilting. They just soaked up the rays and seemed to say, “Is that all you’ve got?”

There were hundreds of varieties of cacti and succulents. “Christmas” cacti were blooming in profusion. There were also the standard colorful variety of cactus that you’ve seen many times before.

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But there were many varieties that I’d never seen before.

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I fell in love with this rare agave with black edged leaves, but because of its rarity and the “staging” in this contemporary pot, it was $350. Not in my budget today. It’s much larger than the photo suggests- it’s probably 18″ or 20″ across.

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I also thought these flower shaped succulents would be useful for patio pots. They only need to be watered once a week.

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The nursery offers several different potting mediums and will stage the plants for you.

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It’s a great place to wander. So many of the plants are so unusual, it feels like you’re walking around on a different planet.

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They sell pre-made cactus and succulent bowls for centerpieces too.IMG_7131

The nursery staff were knowledgable and helpful, but they also let me wander at will.

I’ll be back soon with my kids, so they can help me lug pots to the car.

256 days to go!

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