Friday, December 30, 2011
Buffalo Bill’s Exotic Cactus Ranch
I just couldn’t get inspired to write the post I’d planned for today, so instead we’re going back to the Desert SW and a stop at Buffalo Bill’s Exotic Cactus Ranch, yeeha! I realize the sign just says ‘Exotic Cactus Ranch’ but trust me on the name, after all there is a buffalo on the sign. And isn’t the phrase “cactus ranch” just the best? I want to own a cactus ranch! That way Andrew could say things like: “nope Loree’s not in town this week, she’s out at the ranch, the cactus ranch”….ah that would be the life. I also love this little scene, just look at those fabulous old street lights… Anyway, the Cactus Ranch is located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, also home to my in-laws (click here if you wonder how Truth or Consequences got its name). Last time we visited T or C the nursery was closed, but we still poked around, looked at the plants outside and peeked in the greenhouse. Remembering that visit I was disappointed to see how small their selection was this time. I assumed it was the economy causing them to scale back, but I was wrong. Turns out it was the weather…a one two punch of a freak cold winter and a freak wind storm. The cold took out a lot of the large potted Agaves which sat outside, and the wind storm was so powerful plants ended up across the street. They had a very old and huge Pachypodium lamerei which was snapped in half. So sad. Still I found plenty to gawk at… These guys looked like they’d been rescued from a construction site or maybe a gardener who didn’t appreciate them, can you imagine planting these? You’d need excellent gloves. This Euphorbia trigona v. Rubry stopped me cold (hot?). If I’ve ever seen this color on this plant before (I’m used to see a dark green) then I don’t remember it. Gorgeous! They had smaller sizes too; one of those came back to Oregon with me. What a tall Kalanchoe! And babies… Euphorbia horrida 'Snowflake' Spikes! And flowers… And fur! So many wonderful things! One of these little Aloes came home with me too; I couldn’t resist the powdery blue color combined with the pink stripe along the edge. Of course now I can’t remember what it’s called! I had to leave these tall Aloes behind. Here is evidence of a past Agave bloom (A. vilmoriniana perhaps?). If I remember right they said a friend or neighbor had a plant bloom and offered them the little "plantlets" (or bulbils) that formed along the spike. The tiny white tag has 11/5 written on it, which would mean these little guys are almost one year old, we visited on 10/15. Well I guess it was fitting that I wrap up 2011 with a spiky post from the desert and pictures of baby agaves. Hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve, be safe…and I’ll see you in 2012!