Thursday, February 9, 2012

B&B Cactus Farm, Tucson

B&B Cactus Farm was the second nursery stop for us during our brief stay in Tucson last October. It came recommended (I think perhaps Ian at the Desert NW?) and while their minimal website had a link to a website built by a fan I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Well, having been there it is safe to say this is a MUST SEE if you’re in the area. Let’s wander through their display gardens…
Pretty nice huh? Especially when you consider the price of admission is $0. Now let’s walk through the greenhouses and sales area…
And I’ll just go ahead and share right now that looking at these pictures I kept asking “why didn’t I get one of those?...”look at that!”…”I wonder how much that _____ was” and on and on. I guess it all came down to one really ugly word BUDGET, their prices were great, but we were on a two week vacation, I had to at least try to be good.
However since an Agave victoriae reginae like these has been on my wish list forever I did pick out one of these.
Is it a Tucson thing? I’ve never seen a table like this at a nursery and here was the second one I saw in Tucson. If it weren’t for the damn airplane thing I would have willingly given several of these a good home and lots of TLC.
Agave ferdinand-regis, I’ve never seen as many of these as they’ve got at B&B this is at the top of my “wish I would have bought” list.

At the top of my “wish they would have been for sale” list is this…
I think it’s a variegated A. bovicornuta?

And this one! Perhaps a variegated A. vilmoriniana?
Of course we know this is a variegated A. victoriae reginae…and a smaller one came home with me.
This one maybe a variegated Agave parrasana 'Meat Claw,' is that possible?
And finally a close-up my new Agave babies. At the husband’s encouragement we had the B&B folks ship these home, rather than carry them with us for the next 2 weeks. They kindly held our purchase until their arrival would coincide with ours and packaged them beautifully. There was not a single broken leaf or even a scratch. They did send them bare root which was fine with me.
Since I’ve seen their quality plants up in person and now know they ship plants so well I need to convince them to join plant lust so everyone has access to their fantastic selection!

24 comments:

  1. What a selection! I probably can't grow more than a handful of these here, but I wish I could. Those barrel cactus are *huge* -- aren't they?

    This is the type of place I'd visit on vacation only if I drove. Too frustrating otherwise.

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    1. If I had to chose to fly and visit, or not visit at all I would still want to visit (did that make sense?)...even though I couldn't take home many of these beauties I still loved being there.

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  2. Thanks for the tour. Just the sunshine I needed on a cold, gray February day!

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    1. Oh ya...so much sunshine and blue sky!

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  3. Superb selection of succulents, I never get tired looking at photos of your nursery visits! Those variegated agaves are gorgeous, and I admire your sense of restraint by limiting your purchases to just those two (ok, the plane ride is a massive factor...).

    I spotted some mosaic(?) urns on one of your photos, now I wouldn't mind one of those either!

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    1. Hey...you guys are so damn talented you could make gorgeous mosaic urns!!!

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  4. Bummer! I wish you could have tried some of those plants out on the table. Talk about pictures! Lots of great cacti here to try out and this is one of the top places to buy a cactus from in Tucson. The problem with you danger garden:) is that transporting all these amazing plants would probably end up in tragedy with needles and thorns in places you wouldn't want:) The sap, sharp points of the agave, glochids, ugh!!! I've had it all and I'm not a fan of that stuff....but these are all wonderful plants here. I have them sporadically placed around our garden here, but I'll admit that cacti look even more amazing placed together in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Great post. I hope you enjoyed your trip here. Chris

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    1. We loved our time in Tucson. The husband is much more enamoured with it than Phoenix...we still talk about moving there, someday.

      If you ever drive up the Portland way let me know and I'll happily rent your back seat and fill it with plants!

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  5. You had so much fun on your vacation! That is an amazing assortment. I don't think we have a place like that here. Some nice purchases you made too.

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    1. If you're ever over the Tucson way check it out!

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  6. Gadzooks! You must have been in heaven! Enforced restraint in purchases, perhaps, but you brought back plenty of treasure in the form of pictures to share with the rest of us.

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    1. When we visited Italy I said that would be my main souvenir, photos and memories...turns out it's the same with desert visits.

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  7. That was wonderful!!! Imagine what plant adoption tables would look like here. It would probably be late fall and full of dying petunias!!!!

    If only the airplane bit was less tricky . That's the hard part about nursery visits when you're on vacation! I think you need to road trip it next time and shove your car full!!!!

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    1. We initially planned a road tip (I was giddy with anticipation) then we worked out the days and the miles we had to cover and it just wasn't feasible. Maybe someday....but not this trip. And excellent point about the free tables here....sad no doubt.

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  8. Nice! The variegated vilmorinianas are so gorgeous.

    I would have left broke.

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    1. I know...that variegated A. vilmoriniana was AMAZING.....

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  9. I agree, but hopefully some Tucsonans gave those orphans a warm, dry home. That north demonstration area that resembles a botanic garden is incredible...my favorite are the cereus / columnar cacti climbing into the paloverde trees. Thanks for sharing Danger's Most Excellent (Spiky) Adventure.

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    1. I fear that table only looks so tempting to someone not jaded by the availability of beautiful desert plants, hopefully I'm wrong.

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  10. Nice going! I'm glad you got to see this place. It looks just as great as ever. Did you talk to Mark (is he still there?)? Yes that is the problem with flying to the Southwest. Unfortunately that will probably be our approach next time as we don't have any cars I can trust to drive that far right now :-) Thanks for the mention too!

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    1. Ian this place was amazing!!! Mark is still the owner (well, the second Mark...I was told) but he wasn't there. I talked to two different people, a lady in the retail area and a guy in the potting up/shipping area, they were both amazingly knowledgeable and helpful.

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  11. This is an inspiring place! A bit frustrating that so many were apparently not labelled, I imagine. There were some real beauties: that Agave with the elongated thorns (two pics before the A. victoriae-reginae you pick from), the variegated A. vilmoriniana and the wide white-margined agave just after the detail shots of the variegated A. bovicornuta. Hope you can persuade them to join Plant Lust!

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    1. Thank you Jane, people need to have access to this amazing collection of plants!

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  12. I've always had a soft spot for Tucscon and now I want to move there so I can hang out at B&B. Seriously, their display garden beats many "official" botanical gardens. What a selection of droolworthy plants!

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    1. No doubt...and yes we now talk about moving to Tucson. HEAVEN!

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