Finding Inspiration for Natural Desert Gardens

Mammilaria grahamii (Fishhook Pincushion)In desperate need of either inspiration or intervention, I set out on a hike in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.  I tend to tackle these things as if Target’s my sponsor and I’m in training…for the Iron Man.  Which, by the looks of my thighs, I am not.  So I have to remind myself to slow down…stop…and look around.

It’s frickin’ amazing what happens when you do.  I discovered this little fist-sized gem, Mamillaria grahamii, growing out of a pile of rocks.  This tiny xeriscape plant, commonly known as a Fishhook Pincushion or a Nipple Cactus (for somewhat obvious reasons),  likes being tucked into or around a rock in our desert gardens.  And with a little water, these guys will bloom with a bold profusion of color in the spring.

Stopping to see how plants live in their native desert environment allows you to re-create similar growing conditions in your own landscape…especially if you want a more natural desert garden.


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