The lowly cactus is often relegated to the novelty shelves at gift and flower shops. Often, you might find them planted in themed pots at souvenir kiosks for tourists. They’re often purchased for or by people who lack a green thumb.
I’ve enjoyed cacti for their own sakes. They’re highly evolved to endure within their harsh, native environments. It’s this adaptation that also enables cacti to be perfectly suited to homes of negligent windowsill gardeners. The beauty of cacti, is that they thrive in periods of intermittent drought. This happens in the domestic environment when the owners remember to feed and water their plants only sporadically. The humble cactus is the perfect plant for the modern, busy person.
I’ve been known to not only have a few cacti around the house, but to also create arrangements with them. While it’s fun to plant one or two into a terra cotta pot and scatter a few stones amongst the planting, there are other ways to enjoy your cactus plant.
Vintage pottery doesn’t only serve conventional flower arrangement requirements, it can also work with cacti. I came across this old USA Pottery planter at the Goodwill Store yesterday. I instantly visualized what I wanted to create as soon as I saw it. A pair of cacti are dressed up with three plantings of desert flowers. Some small stones dress up the sandy soil as accents.
A souvenir shop cactus in a cliche’ terra cotta flower pot is the “canvas” for some fun with dried flowers. I removed the cactus from the pot so I could give the plant fresh bedding. I took standard potting soil and mixed in sand in a 50% blend. I added a thin layer of brown moss plus some river stones from the backyard, to add character to the dirt. Then, the addition of assorted dried plants were wedged between the stones for a novel effect.
For a surreal, 60s retro mini-garden, I chose my old faithful Haegar 3085-S that has served me well, many times in the past. First, I poured in the old dirt mix from the terra cotta planter, above. I spread it around evenly. I then formed an indentation to hold a standard terra cotta flower pot. That pot contains an array of two succulants and three cacti. After the pot was placed to my satisfaction, I topped off the surrounding dirt with a layer of river stones. The finishing touches are a variety of dried and artificial flowers and plants. The result is a nearly carefree cactus garden that looks great almost anywhere.
Do you have a lonesome cactus sitting around the house? It doesn’t take much effort to give it a new lease on life.
The Blue Jay of Happiness reminds you to wear heavy duty canvas gardening gloves and carefully handle your cactus when it’s time for transplanting.