Friday, March 5, 2021

If it’s a good plant, you’ll see it here—at the Cactus Club Resort Garden Show and Competition

As published in the Desert Times—June 10th, 1947, Palm Springs, CA

The gardening cognoscenti are turning out in droves to admire the new look of desert-style gardening. For as long as we can remember cactus and other plants from the desert have been viewed as undesirable—dry, spiny and just plain ugly. When it was announced the famous Cactus Club Resort would hold their first annual garden show and competition this month—coinciding with real estate offerings for the latest housing development to surround the resort—many thought the small garden displays would be dull and dreary. “Why would anyone pay to see those dead looking plants?” asked a local landscaper, whom it must be said has made his fortune by laying down miles upon miles of luxurious sod. But pay they have, people lined up by the dozens for an opportunity to gawk at the cactus and agaves. 

To assemble these “gardens” plants were brought in and “planted” in sand and gravel bordered with rocks—no irrigation whatsoever—yet the show spanned a 3-week-long SOLD-OUT run and the plants didn’t wilt or demonstrate even the slightest sign of dehydration. It looks like dry-gardening just might be the wave of the future…
Two landscape designers rumored to be working on Frank Sinatra’s new home that's being built in the 
"desert-modern" style eye a small garden chock full of spiky plants.

Of course this is all a fabrication, I'm having fun with tidbits from an old b&w photo and a desire to create a tall tale...

—   —   —

Weather Diary, March 4: Hi 60, Low 38/ Precip trace 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. You did it! As promised, you imagined a lovely story to go with the vintage photo.
    The white foot wear cracked me up but maybe it was high of fashion for landscape designers in the late 40's.

    1. Oh yes, it was a form of prestige to wear white, proving that while you thought about gardens and sometimes even plants you certainly did not actually plant the plants.

  2. LOL, this made me laugh. It's as if you hitched a ride on a time machine and traveled back 75 years!

  3. Oh pooh! I swallowed the story that this was a real article from 1947 indicating that people were smarter about cactus/succulents "back in the day" that I'd given them credit for. Well done.

  4. Fun! Definitely a photo worthy of 1000 words!

    1. Oh, I still have hundreds to go then...

  5. Fun! I like the idea of this exercise. We so often do this in our heads, but it's fun that you've shared a creative story with us. Hmmm, I'm not sure how I would caption that photo...


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!