Friday, May 9, 2014

Christmas Cholla Added To Landscape

A few days ago I wrote about the Wascaly Wabbit mutilating the Christmas Cholla that I had planted.

Shortly after that post, I had gone to explore Tohono Chul Gardens. After exploring and taking photos of the gardens, I ended at their retail greenhouse. There I saw a potted Christmas Cholla. Perfect. Deciding that I was not going to do any landscaping until fall, now I knew where to get the plant when I returned. I was assured that they always had at least one Christmas Cholla.

After the Tohono Chul visit, I was chatting with Tucson friends Flora and Phil. Upon their recommendation I went to Bach's cactus gardens to check out their cactus selections. They had two Christmas Cholla. There were only two in their acres of cactus -- and they were on the $10 close out table. As not a big seller, there would be no guarantee that they would have any in fall. I've proved it once again. Seems I am always into the unusual and doing something off the beaten -- and popular -- path.

With no guarantee there would be a plant in fall upon my return, I bought one of the two plants. I took it home and waited for the first cool day to plant. That was more for me than the plant. To make sure the Wascaly Wabbit wouldn't mutilate this plant, I spent as much time installing chicken wire around the plant. I hope the plant will develop enough thorns to keep critters from future mutilations and then I can remove the chicken wire.

Perhaps there will never be enough spines on the new growth that comes from the bottom of the plant. I sure don't want that chicken wire there permanently. Perhaps I could build a double row of six inch long pikes around the base of the plant facing outward to prevent the access by the Wascaly Wabbit. Geesh. This could get expensive.

That will definitely be a fall project. I just have to get the plant to survive the planting and the long hot summer ahead.

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