Cactus Garden Redesign


I redesigned a section of my backyard cactus garden yesterday – moving a four-foot-wide succulent black-spined-aloe from the garden section next to WP 668 (our caboose) to another area.  To make room, I had to remove a bed of smaller striped-aloes that were creeping onto a brick walkway on one side and slowing attacking a columular Cereus cactus patch on the other. My husband John had urged the removal of the invasive striped-aloes for some years, so he is happy. The striped-aloes are now colonizing our river bank in San Jose, California, where they have scope for expansion.

This project sounds like it required less work than it did.  Aloes are covered in sharp spines and they fight back.  The dirt was full of bits of aloe root – any of which can grow into a full plant given time – which had to be sifted out.  About a dozen boulders needed to be dug out and re-placed.  I am happy with the result even if I am scratched all over.

. After:

Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

1 Comment

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One response to “Cactus Garden Redesign

  1. Aunt Lou

    Beautiful gardening work! I love gardening but not with cactii. When I was living at Ft. Carson, Colorado, I complained that there weren’t any plants around the duplex. When Jim returned from an Army field training exercise, he brought me a large cactus that he had chopped down while out in the field. Very fat, big, green and lumpy, with long dangerous looking spines. I planted it with some trepidation – you’re right, they do fight back! The only thing that helped the incessant itching from the scratches and pokes on my hands was Comet, scrubbed on with a rough sponge. The cactus looked beautiful and thrived! Yours look wonderful and well tended. Lou

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