Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mini cactus garden

 Mammillaria species in flower now
I am always on the lookout for interesting containers or bowls in thrift shops which can be reused as decorative pots. Low flat bowls make good homes for groups of cactus and succulents or for bonsai 'forests' of miniature trees, while in cooler climates they make excellent scree gardens for alpine plants.
This ceramic casserole dish was planted out a few months ago with various cacti and some are just starting to come into flower. Cactus flowers always draw your eye as they are often extremely bright, though these are only at the bud stage and will probably turn more red than hot pink as they age. Handling cactus can always be a bit tricky as you do your best to avoid the spines. I always use a piece of folded newspaper wrapped around each plant as I position them and tamp down the soil around them with the handle of a small trowel once they are in place. Special soil mixes which contain plenty of grit are worth using for potting on and you will be rewarded with lots of flowers in the spring and a fairly low maintenance easy care garden.

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