Over the course of the last 5 years I’ve learned a lot about my cacti through trial and error. A lot of what I learned has to do with how to water my cacti properly so that I can prevent root rot, but I have also learned that there are other environmental ailments my cacti face. Specifically my plants have suffered from etiolation, sun burn, over watering, and, most recently, a thrip invasion. I’ll talk through how I identified these problems and provide solutions on how to fix them.
In my post How to Deal with Rot Part 2: Saving Your Cacti & Succulents, I briefly touched on how propagating succulents is an excellent way to keep your plant’s legacy alive when you can’t save the mother plant. Aside from saving our cacti and succulents, it’s also a great way to grow your collection without having to buy new plants. Have a sempervivum, echeveria, aeonium, or opuntia you love? Are you dying to have more? In this tutorial, I take you through not only how to propagate cacti and succulents, but also how to propagate and grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables.
This Memorial Day I took to the road to make my way to St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida where I visited the Florida Botanical Gardens and the Sunken Gardens. While it’s been hot here in Atlanta, down in Tampa I felt the tropical heat more pointedly. Despite the heat my excitement couldn’t be hampered with all the palm trees and blooming tropical life all around me.
As spring was wrapping up around the country this May, I made my way from a tulip filled Michigan back to an unseasonably cool and rainy Chicago, Illinois where I finally fulfilled my dream to explore the Chicago Botanic Garden. After a day of exploring this botanic garden, I visited Lincoln Park and took the opportunity to amble through the Lincoln Park Conservatory. This time around Chicago’s spring had much more to offer.
After spending spring time in the desert, I went to the mid-west to enjoy a time honored spring tradition: the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan. The Michigan spring I experienced was lush: white farm houses sitting on green rolling pastures, vineyards budding green, and many-colored and textured tulips flooding front yards, side streets and fields. Not only did I attend a day of tulips, I also managed to sneak a visit to Frederick Meijer Gardens Park. Here are the highlights:
This April I made a pilgrimage to the desert to see spring blooms and commune with the Saguaros. I visited both Tuscon and Phoenix, Arizona to see the Saguaro National Forest as well as the Desert Botanic Gardens and Tuscon Botanic Garden.
Of all the places I’ve been in the last several months, spring in the desert was the most thrilling and beautiful experience. While spring bulbs and tree blooms are lovely in their own right, there is nothing like seeing the desert flowering after a spring rain where the palo verdes, opuntias, Saguaros, barrel cacti, and brush are budding and blooming in fiery colors across the dull beige and brown of the desert.
From Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee spring changes quite drastically. Where spring was just beginning in Chicago, spring was in full force in Nashville where the world was alive with birds singing and colorful flowers and trees blooming in the streets and in Cheekwood Botanic Garden.
So far my pursuit of spring has taken me from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. and on wards to Chicago where I visited Garfield Park Conservatory. One of the things I’ve discovered about going above the Mason Dixon is that spring comes much later in states north of Georgia. Chicago wasn’t frigid nor was the windy city particularly windy, but the weather was cool and clear. The daffodils hadn’t quite budded and the trees were still bare and the only place to see much green was in the glass houses of Garfield Park.
In my continued attempt to follow spring across the country, I had the distinct privilege of visiting our nation’s capital and in it the U.S. Botanic Garden. This garden is steeped in history as it was founded by Congress in 1820 and is the oldest botanic garden in North America. Of its vast collection, 240 plants were gathered in the 1840s during the Wilkes Exploring Expedition, or U.S. Exploring Expedition, which circumnavigated the world and made stops throughout Polynesia, the west coast of the United States, and Antarctica. Surely the 241 year old cycad living in Kew Gardens in London scoffs at how young the plants at the U.S. Botanic Garden are, but 176 year old plants are still really cool.
Although we had come too early for the cherry blossoms and spring had not quite sprung in D.C. or in the National Garden, the plants inside the Conservatory were in full bloom with every color under the sun. Here are some of my favorite plants and exhibits from this expansive “28,944 square feet of exhibition space.”