Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cactus Mart…denied!

Q. How do you know that you're a complete plant freak?
A. You visit a nursery only to find they’re closed, yet you walk the entire perimeter of the place sticking your camera through the chain link fence to take pictures.

Yep, that’s just how sick I am. It was a Sunday when we stopped, but the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Guess that’s why they were closed.

I’d spotted Cactus Mart right off CA-126 as we headed towards the Huntington Gardens from Fillmore, CA . I looked them up online and found they had no website, but lots of reviews on Yelp promised a great deal on cacti and succulents. I vowed to return.

Only to find a locked gate and a pile of Opuntia pads. Free for the taking or dropped off by a “vendor”…I guess if they were free there would have been a sign right?

Here are some of those “through the fence” pictures. Doesn’t it look like a swell place?

This Saguaro was on the wall of what must be their office.

Andrew thought it was made of stator windings (a stator winding is the stationary winding in an electric motor, either for rotary or linear. That clears it up right?).

OMG…FIELDS of Agave!

Rock bottom prices!? (you’re killing me!)

Isn’t this just beautiful country? Look at those hills!

Ya, my luck had certainly run out. Why couldn’t they be open!?


Looks like a pile of agave death over there…

Even the wildlife is laughing at me, stuck on the outside of the fence.

Walking back towards our car I notice these seemingly unloved Aloes…

There were so many pups in there just begging to be liberated and taken somewhere they would be loved. But I didn’t.

Ah Cactus Mart…so close, and yet so far. Maybe next time…

40 comments:

  1. Stalking Cacti behind bars? You my friend are an addict and need to seek help as soon as possible!

    What a great looking place and the "Rock Bottom Prices" sign...Yikes! Hope you find it open sometime! Maybe I'll plan a trip...

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    1. Where exactly does one find help for this kind of addiction?

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  2. So funny to find your post today. I was thinking my place is starting to look like a Cactus Mart and hauled an enormous potted Agave amer. medio-picta to the curb yesterday, bigger than any in your photo, free for the taking. What a monster. It's still there today but a neighbor says she wants it if it's not gone in a couple days. It looks so beautiful at the curb! Must not weaken and drag it back inside...

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    1. I hear, and read, tales of agaves and succulents given away for free all the time in California. It boggles the mind. I wonder if I lived there would I learn restraint?

      (I look forward to reading that you pulled it back inside)

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  3. I love everything about this post. You are wonderful.

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  4. Been there, done that. Well, not THERE, but I've walked the perimeter of many a closed nursery and snapped photos. Great post!

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    1. So the Outlaw (above) would probably recommend a 12-step program for you too.

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  5. What a bummer that you weren't allowed inside. Looks like a great place, and you got some excellent pictures through the fence.

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    1. Bummer indeed. I so could have gotten one of those big agaves home on the plane!

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  6. Another destination for my dream trip to Southern California. I wonder what "rock bottom prices" means?

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    1. I thought of you when I was putting this post together. You really do need to go, and tell me all about it. Luckily my bro-in-law and family live nearby in Fillmore, CA so I'll probably have another opportunity.

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  7. If only they knew who was outside their domain! Lucky Andrew, it would be hard to fit that all into your property. Very nice find.

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    1. Oh I don't need it all...just one or three nice specimens!

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  8. So close...but so far away!

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    1. Amazing what a see through fence can do.

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  9. Omg. Tragic! My heart was racing as I read that. Maybe the owner would just happen to drive by and see someone stalking out the place. Maybe she broke in! Maybe, just maybe.... I'm crying inside for you. That place looks epic!

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    1. All good endings, sadly not to be "next time"...

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  10. Georgia O'Keefe hills in the background and a prison full of Loree plants. What? You couldn't talk Andrew into camping out until they opened up? Also quite a few pots in there with your name on them.

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    1. Hopefully next visit to Fillmore we'll be driving, not flying, home! Danger!

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  11. WOW loads of danger there.....what was that cool tree in the first pic...to the left? Those pics with the mountains in the back ground wer awesome....O my what a change fro where I live.....nature is so cool!

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    1. Sharon I hate to disappoint you but I have no idea! It is cool though.

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  12. How disappointing! Really though, based on most of these photos we never would have been able to tell that you didn't get in. Nice paparazzi work!

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    1. Spiky plant paparazzi...I think that's going on my resume!

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  13. It must have been a treat to find this place. Gorgeous day out there, huh? So sorry you couldn't hop the fence or take a free sample:) Whenever I go up to Phoenix, I go clip cactus pads, arms etc and replant around our property here. It's one of my favorite things to do. Everything looks so healthy and happy. I hope you get a chance to go back and spend a little cash:)

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    1. Gorgeous day indeed. You're not clipping from peoples gardens are you? I'll admit to taking a couple opuntia pads from a deserted lot in T or C, NM, and an agave pup from a very sad looking plant in a parking lot in Phoenix.

      Cash spending...I hope so too!

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  14. That's an impressive inventory and a huge disappointment. I'd walk around too. I'd love to know what rock bottom prices actually are.

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    1. Hopefully Gerhard will make the trip soon and report for us all!

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  15. I bet you were leaving a drool trail as you were wondering around taking photos outside the fence......once again looks like a place for great shopping.

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    1. That paints kind of a gross picture!

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  16. I am surprised you didn't hop the fence, then again, if you did you would be in need of a horticultural intervention.

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    1. Since my garden voyeurism is restricted to the public sidewalk it would seem wrong to have different rules for a nursery...besides that whole "jail-time" thing could really restrict my blogging schedule. Probably not many plants to blog about from behind bars, even in California.

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  17. 126 is beautiful. A lot of Southern California used to look like that, before all the houses went in. It's a bit of the past...

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    1. The citrus groves, huge palm nurseries, pepper-berry trees, castor bean and those hills! It's beautiful!

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  18. I love your post and your pictures! Were you able to go back to this nursery? I'm thinking of checking it out this week. :)

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    1. Nope, we haven't been back that way since last year. If you do go I hope it's as amazing as it looks to be!

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  19. Just a follow-up; I went this week. This place is epic! Incredible variety if cacti and succulents (most of the succulents are under a shaded canopy not viewable from the fence!). Great prices. I'll be going back! :)

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  20. I have been there many times; use to work in Fillmore for a time and drove by there all the time.
    They were closed most of the time; some times I got lucky. I found there business hours erratic. I live in the Acton area' and don't work up there anymore. Was very impressed. Hope to go back soon
    Yes they do have good prices.

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