I live a charmed gardening life. Within easy driving distance of my home are a multitude of exceptional independent nurseries and garden centers. I support them with my blog and (god knows) my money. Not everyone is so lucky.
Take Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, population 6,411. As a previous blog post has shown the town isn’t exactly overflowing with gardeners, but for those that do want to buy a few plants, where do they go? The obvious choice would be Buffalo Bill's Exotic Cactus Ranch (I visit every time I'm in T or C), but beyond that what is there? Drive 2 hrs north to Albuquerque? A little over an hour south to Las Cruces? Yes, both of those are options but there’s another…Walmart. I know, I can’t believe I just typed that and no, I'm not endorsing the biggest box store of them all. I'm just saying that in a small town you take what you can get.
When we were in T or C at the beginning of October for my father-in-laws funeral I made repeated runs to Walmart to get things which were needed for a house full of people. Truth be told I also found a little bit of peace among the plants. I didn’t expect for them to have such a great selection, but they did. Euphorbia ammak variegata...
The label caught my attention, it's a shrub! Of course it is in its native area, I just don't think of it that way.
Euphorbia trigona rubra
Plain old Aloe vera, and a lot of them!
Opuntia 'Baby Rita' is the plant I broke down and bought, so cute and colorful. Plus it's theoretically hardy here in zone 8...
It was nice to see a few things being sold which should/could withstand the winter temps in T or C. After all their average low in December and January is 28 F, with records in the single digits and under.
There was even a palm being marketed for its cold hardiness.
Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis
And a few plants I would expect to see being sold at every Walmart across the country.
Caesalpinia pulcherrima bloom (Mexican Bird of Paradise), you do see these around town where there's been an attempt at gardening.
Not so much for the tropical looking cordylines.
This one I almost tried to haul home.
The flowers started out pink but the older ones faded to orange. Not at all hardy so I decided to wait until spring to try and find one.
One other image from my visit(s) to Walmart, found in the produce department...
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