4/27/2013

Watch Out for Those Thorns!

As you probably guessed with the wedding around the corner, a domino effect takes over, and thousands of projects spring to mind to go along with it all. Apparently life events are great motivators.Today was culling out the cactus day. My good husband, with a pry bar and shovel went to town on the cow's tongue cactus which was mostly decimated by single digit temps this winter. It was pretty unsightly anyway --overgrown, ugly shape. The main part of the wicked plant had become hollow and rotten. The thorns are quite long - a couple of inches and it didn't come out without a bit of attitude. And as you might guess, the roots go to China.

In the middle of it all was a prolific agave with jagged leaves. They're like a bouquet of serrated knives, daring you to take it out. The mother plant had a large cluster of "pups" that had grown around her over the last nine years. I removed one to a new location. We'll see if it survives. The rest were tossed carefully into the wheelbarrow for removal. Cactus care can be daunting and dangerous task.  Most varieties grow fast and soon overtake the area.  To keep them healthy, pruning and sometimes removal is warranted.

I took a whack at the bunny ears cactus a few weeks ago. It's a low growing cactus and the paddles have fuzzy, cottony looking tiny thorns. Unfortunately for me, I was wearing shorts when the wind kicked up and those cottony looking thorns blew onto my legs as I sliced back the little ears.  Not fun. Of course, I should have been wearing jeans, but it was a nice day. That particular plant was trimmed back nonetheless and is now growing within its assigned boundaries.

It's getting close to blooming time for them, and they should have a nice floral display when our company arrives after the wedding. There are a few lessons to appreciate from our thorny flora, but I'll let you figure them out for yourselves.

Aggressive Agave
Husband leaning on shovel, taking a break.

Belligerent Bunny Ears

Painful Pencil Cholla
Yellow pods are its fruit.  Fuchsia pink blooms will come soon.

Purple Prickly Pear and more Bunny Ears

1 comment:

Rose Ciccarelli said...

Interesting piece -- I didn't realize the thorns from the bunny ears could become airborne. I enjoyed the photos, but I sure don't miss having cactus. The hard ground makes digging them out even more of a challenge.

Positively encouraging

4/27/2013

Watch Out for Those Thorns!

As you probably guessed with the wedding around the corner, a domino effect takes over, and thousands of projects spring to mind to go along with it all. Apparently life events are great motivators.Today was culling out the cactus day. My good husband, with a pry bar and shovel went to town on the cow's tongue cactus which was mostly decimated by single digit temps this winter. It was pretty unsightly anyway --overgrown, ugly shape. The main part of the wicked plant had become hollow and rotten. The thorns are quite long - a couple of inches and it didn't come out without a bit of attitude. And as you might guess, the roots go to China.

In the middle of it all was a prolific agave with jagged leaves. They're like a bouquet of serrated knives, daring you to take it out. The mother plant had a large cluster of "pups" that had grown around her over the last nine years. I removed one to a new location. We'll see if it survives. The rest were tossed carefully into the wheelbarrow for removal. Cactus care can be daunting and dangerous task.  Most varieties grow fast and soon overtake the area.  To keep them healthy, pruning and sometimes removal is warranted.

I took a whack at the bunny ears cactus a few weeks ago. It's a low growing cactus and the paddles have fuzzy, cottony looking tiny thorns. Unfortunately for me, I was wearing shorts when the wind kicked up and those cottony looking thorns blew onto my legs as I sliced back the little ears.  Not fun. Of course, I should have been wearing jeans, but it was a nice day. That particular plant was trimmed back nonetheless and is now growing within its assigned boundaries.

It's getting close to blooming time for them, and they should have a nice floral display when our company arrives after the wedding. There are a few lessons to appreciate from our thorny flora, but I'll let you figure them out for yourselves.

Aggressive Agave
Husband leaning on shovel, taking a break.

Belligerent Bunny Ears

Painful Pencil Cholla
Yellow pods are its fruit.  Fuchsia pink blooms will come soon.

Purple Prickly Pear and more Bunny Ears

1 comment:

Rose Ciccarelli said...

Interesting piece -- I didn't realize the thorns from the bunny ears could become airborne. I enjoyed the photos, but I sure don't miss having cactus. The hard ground makes digging them out even more of a challenge.