By Dan Bodine
By Dan Bodine
Yeah, I have a cactus garden, too — today’s landscaping thing, no? But three years into it hasn’t rattled off a lot to write home about. Maybe posting this will draw enough comments for me to either step it up and expand my thinking somehow, or turn it over — one way or another. Cold turkey!
No doubt my health and advanced age are factors keeping the excitement thermometer down in this new hobby. And some of it could be, indeed, that part about old dogs can’t learn new tricks!
Names of most common landscaping shrubs, flowers and trees in North Central Texas (D-FW area) where I grew up, I learned as a boy, i.e. — by working many years after school in a plant nursery. But were cacti in landscaping plans then? Uh…
Cactus is a plant, too, yes. But 60-65 years ago that region was heavily farm & ranch land — with prickly-pear cactus flaring throughout it like acne on teenagers.
Oh, there was more than one type of cactus then? Few people discussed the topic.
Now cacti and succulents together are the rage of the globe, and learning the names of these strange critters is more than a bit difficult to a flatlander. Thus in the mountainous desert I usually shift to my default naming position — e.g., what does it remind me of? The first thing that jumps in my mind?
I started the cacti collection like this 3-4 years ago now, I think, after attending an El Paso Garden Club sale one weekend.
And then, it turned out, (like thousands and thousands of others, no doubt) I fell victim — e.g., I HAD TO ASK, about an image I saw online somewhere. And thus I gained 3-4 more plants.
Where it ends? Who knows? These things are more serpentine than Mother-In-Law Tongues! (The plant, of course!)
Daughter Maiya Kareli, i.e. (to family, Kareli [goes by middle name, like Noemi and I]; to friends — her 1st name, Maiya) bought me a Cactus of Texas Field Guide last year, and it’s been helpful. But it’s limited to Texas.
So, as I go thru these few photos below of my little collection, be aware my personal naming system is at work. Don’t scream I’m desecrating or belittling in some way.
You want to know the real name of them? Type in “cactus photos of the southwest” in your search engine? And happy hunting for that one, identifying photo!
More-‘n-likely you’ll be hurdlin’ a Latin naming system whose different names on papyrus Cleopatra used to rotate daily with a little clip at the end of her backscratcher. Damn thing burnt out when she was 38 and supposedly she hadn’t even gone thru half of the alphabet yet!
Maybe some glorious day I’ll get more personal with these critters and actually learn what types of cacti they really are! And respect their history, too, etc., etc.! But don’t bet on it. I’d probably have to give up watching Sunday and Monday night football or sumpthin’!
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