My brother had heard the Old West Cactus Farm, just north of Phoenix, was a good place to find a bargain. He wanted a few things to add to his new garden so we hit the road.
Looking at their website I wasn't quite sure what we'd find. But there was a great selection and many different sizes (not all 5-gallon pots).
We never did find the 1/2 off plants advertised by the sign though. Not that it mattered once we started looking...
Nothing was labeled and nothing was priced.
While the staff was helpful I also got the feeling they didn't know the plants very well, I asked for a couple of things by name and they didn't know what I was referring to. Things we later found on our own.
I guess we asked the right questions though, and thus were identified as potential collectors and taken into the special greenhouse to see the owners personal stash. I think he likes crested cactus...
See it's not all large sized plants!
I'm assuming (for the right price) they'll dig up the planted Saguaros? Lots of pottery...
And plenty of "old west" kitsch.
But of course it was all about the plants for me!
My brother, checking if it was safe to go inside.
What do you think?
Harvesting seed or bulbils? Or maybe just for decoration?
This place just went on and on and on. I was in heaven and soaking it all up, especially because I was getting on a plane later that afternoon and heading back to rainy Portland.
Someday I'll have a house with a fencepost cactus (Stenocereus marginatus. (syn. Pachycereus marginatus)) fence.
I wonder how often the plastic gets replaced?
Ouch! Ya. I wasn't looking down and felt a sharp pain. If you look close you'll see two red dots further up my leg. There were about a dozen more. Ants had attacked me earlier in our visit, also ouch.
Hmmm...what's in the plastic container?
Okay, so what did we buy? Here's the haul. The Agave macroacantha on the far left is mine. They nicely bare-rooted it for me, to make it easier to get on the plane. The baby Saguaro and two barrel cactus at the back are for my brother's garden. The Agave americana var. medio-picta 'Alba' (white stripes) is also his.
So cute, and so mean!
I should have asked him for that little pup...
Mine! Oh and there were a coupld of pups in there too.
This was our real find of the day though. My sister-in-law fell in love with it, then they told her they wouldn't sell it because the owner wanted to propagate it (even though it wasn't in the special greenhouse but rather out in the fields). She didn't give up though and eventually they gave in. So what is it? Well after consulting with the experts, including Gerhard, I got a name...Agave sisalana ‘Variegata’.
As it turned out my flight was delayed by an hour or so, while I waited to board I got planting updates. They went to work that evening and got everything planted before I even boarded the plane!
Weather Diary, January 19: Hi 52, Low 33 / Precip .71 (? I need to find a better source for 24-hr precip)
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