cactus at Timberline Gardens

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from out garden. You may remember me from such posts as “May Day” and “This And That”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a very purebred-looking pose. Don’t I look like I’m the favorite lapdog of the Duke of Something? “Rather you didn’t interrupt the afternoon nap, old boy. My Pottery Barn rug could do with a bit of straightening, don’t you know?” 14061407In truth, it was yet another scary day, with thunder. I heard that they had really big hail (two inches…5 cm…in diameter) out to the east, in Denver, but we just had thunder and a few minutes of rain. Whew. My fort is an excellent place to be during weather like this.

The guy I live with made me get up really early, for no good reason I could think of (he said he was awake; since when is that a reason to get out of bed?), and after I had my breakfast, he took some pictures of the portion of our estate closer to the manor house (not the “way back”, in other words).

This is looking to the northwest. You can see the buffalograss coming in, in the strip next to what used to be called the Long Border. 14061404What you would see if you walked through the garden gate on the north side, took a few steps, and looked to the southwest. 14061405On the south side, looking west. The leaning thing there is an Arizona cypress, which got a lean on it after it snowed the last time. 14061406Then we went on my walk, and after a while, the guy I live with went to Timberline Gardens, to buy some annuals. Yes, that’s right, annuals. He only bought a few, to put in the empty containers you keep seeing pictures of, and maybe eventually he’ll take pictures of the new pelargoniums and calicbrachoas in the pots.

The cactus weren’t in as spectacular bloom as the last time, but they were still good, according to him. You can get these cactus either by going to the nursery, or getting them online at Cold Hardy Cactus, and now is an excellent time to root them. (The guy I live with doesn’t get, or want, any compensation for this or any other plugs, by the way.)

As you’ll be able to tell, these are flower pictures, instead of the whole plant. The first couple didn’t have names, or he didn’t see the names, but the rest did. These pictures were taken in “blindingly bright sunlight”, which only lasted until about noon, and then it got dark, at which time the guy I live with knew he had to come home and be with me. 14061403

14061402

Chocolate Princess

Chocolate Princess

Coral Rose

Coral Rose

 

Dazzler

Dazzler

Dazzler (again)

Dazzler (again)

Crystal Tide

Crystal Tide

Garnet Glow

Garnet Glow

Hawaiian Punch

Hawaiian Punch

Mandarin Sunrise

Mandarin Sunrise

Ruffled Papaya

Ruffled Papaya

Watermelon Man

Watermelon Man

Well, that’s it. Pretty neat, huh? So now he’s gotten that out of his system. I still might stay in my fort for a while longer, though.14061408

 

Until next time, then.

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9 Responses to cactus at Timberline Gardens

  1. Diane Lancaster says:

    Yes, that IS pretty neat. And beautiful. Thanks, Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I fixed the link to Cold Hardy Cactus, too. The guy I live with isn’t that good with HTML stuff. And he hasn’t fixed my rug yet, either.

  2. Tracey says:

    I hope the thunder goes away soon. You also seem to be getting an unusual amount of hail in June! Those are beautiful cacti. I’ve never seen any with such lovely flowers.

    It is your duty to train the guy to bring you afternoon tea in the fort. That way you won’t have to move.

    • paridevita says:

      June can be an icky month here, for weather. (“So can the eleven other months”, says the guy I live with, but we’ll ignore him for now.) Thanks to people like Kelly, one of Timberline’s owners, the number of named varieties of hardy cactus is on the increase, as you can see. This was probably started by Claude Barr, who introduced a number of cactus with different colored flowers; Crystal Tide is Barr’s. I like the idea of afternoon tea in my fort, a whole lot.

  3. Chess, it looks like you have a very good life, except for some thunder now and then.

    Please ask the Duke about all the deciduous trees in your yard. I was rereading his book “High and Dry” and it appears he has a distinct disdain for such trees yet I wonder if the cooling effect mitigates their sucking up so much water. Also I wonder about buffalo grass spreading into the long border. A problem or no?

    • paridevita says:

      The particular disdain here is for large shade trees in relatively tiny yards. It’s hard to grow anything under huge trees, and we just read a study that shows trees have an allelopathic relationship to turfgrass in that if the tree was planted first, it steals the nitrogen from the grass, which explains why grass under silver maples looks so crummy. There’s a big honey locust here, which was here when the house was bought, and is still here, because, well, because it is. The Russian hawthorn never gets bigger than it is. It just grows weirdly. He doesn’t know about cooling effects, and wonders if this contributes to the awful weather we have. An unpopular view, of course. (As is his view that the ultimate weather is a hundred degrees for weeks on end.) There are two dozen little oaks trees here which will eventually be scrub oaks by the time he reaches 150. Whether they’ll cool the place, or just look semi-deserty, I don’t know. It’s possible that the buffalograss will creep into the Long Border, though there is a sort of trench filled with nothing but gravel and rock that it’d have to find a way to root in. There are a lot of weeds in the buffalograss, because there are a lot of weeds in the yard, because there are a lot of weeds in the field next to us, and this fact might tempt people to spray any of a number of chemicals approved for use on buffalograss, with the guy I live with wants nothing to do with, because he has me, you know. Buffalograss, by the way, prefers a heavy, non-alkaline soil. The Cody, used here, “greens up” in March.

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, by the way, there’s really only one big deciduous tree here, the honey locust. The rest of the big trees visible in the photographs are in neighbors’ yards, or, in the case of the cottonwood, third picture, behind and to the right of the hummingbird feeder, out in the field.
        There’s a Kentucky coffee tree here too, but it keeps dying back. Not enough caffeine, maybe.

  4. If *that’s* not spectacular cactus bloom, I don’t know what is. If those were rose flowers – some of them look close – I’d be going gaga! What wonders the cactus world offers. We would be happy to have such a spectacular nursery near us. How many years now, Chess, has the guy you live with been effecting the garden change-over? Shaping up nicely, it is. Have you thought of asking your guy to refer to himself as the Duke, perhaps of The Way Back or The Long Border? You’d truly be the Duke’s dog, which you surely deserve to be. Thanks for sending us off with such a gorgeous smile, happy Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I’d say the garden makeover started only two years ago, or three at the most. Once he decided to accept that a watered garden wouldn’t make him happy, and that making the back yard look like the front was what he really wanted, then things took off. (Of course a zillion plants died, in the meantime.) The guy I live with thought he would call himself the Major, and wear a tweed-proof jacket and wellies, but that didn’t happen. At least he doesn’t dress like a homeless person any more. The cactus flowers, mostly Opuntia polyacantha, basilaris, and macrorhiza (it should be “macrorrhiza”, he says, but it wasn’t spelled that way initially), do look quite a bit like roses, don’t they? We only grow little padded ones here, really, because the big ones get very big. Have fun. I bet they have more sun in England than here, right now.

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