"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Botanical Cactus Gardens

"I'd like to be under the sea,
In an octopus's garden in the shade."

For some reason, this song is now playing in my head and it won't go away... !

 I've ditched the parka for today. 
Here instead, is the Mojave Desert - and you're looking at +42C :)

On our trip to Vegas in August, we visited a Botanical Cactus Gardens, situated at the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory in Henderson, Nevada. These gardens are beautifully landscaped, with walking trails throughout. 


There are 300 types of cacti on a 3-acre parcel of land. 
I've only ever seen the miniature versions of some of these.


Here is my lovely daughter Caroline & her buddy Prickly Pete;
Caroline's an extrovert - she seems to make friends everywhere she goes, lol! 


I love cacti and succulents and only wish some of the rooms in my house received the proper sun-exposure, or I'd grow them myself. I do have quite a few 'Hens 'n Chicks' in my back yard though, and they have survived many a harsh winter - which always amazes me each spring.

Here's an interesting factoid I learned while putting this post together:
All cacti are succulents - but not all succulents are cacti... confused yet?


The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory, which we also toured, has a system in place, called a "Living Machine," where all the waste water from the factory is recycled into an on-site waste water treatment facility, and by using bacteria, snail, fish & algae (completely chemical free), 100% of the waters needed to maintain the gardens are generated. There are also ponds which attract and water the many birds which live in the gardens. You can just see the blue of one of these ponds directly behind this knoll.


Expand these panoramics!


38 comments:

  1. so there's beauty even in the middle of a desert :)

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    1. Yes, at first I thought it might be a mirage!

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  2. Ja bym nie podała ręki kumplowi, bo jest taka kolczasta. Piękny i ciekawy ogród. Pozdrawiam.
    I would not hand pal said, because it is so prickly. A beautiful and interesting gardens. Yours.

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  3. Wow, +42C!! I'd say that's a little hot...LOL...

    I love these photos! What a gorgeous place this is. They certainly have the weather to have such a garden outdoors.

    Your daughter is beautiful! Yes, extroverts make friends everywhere they go, in all shapes, sizes, species, etc...LOL...

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    1. Thanks Martha. It was incredibly hot, but I really enjoyed it - the low humidity makes all the difference. I also loved how people have done up their yards there with feature rocks, sand and cacti - so interesting & different from around here.

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  4. Wow Jane these images are stunning. It was super hot there no?! Man, I was melting just by reading 42C....

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    1. It was scorching hot :D You'd definitely need air conditioning to live comfortably.

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  5. Puts our poor Muttart desert pyramid to shame, doesn't it?

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    1. Kind of, lol! The Muttart's great, though.

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  6. I too have only seen the small versions. These look very impressive.
    Your daughter is very beautiful, her friend, a little too prickly!

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    1. Thanks Tracey, she's very sweet and we're good friends - all a mother could ask :)

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  7. P.S. After reading this post I took dogs out. Walking in wind driven snow I found myself singing about the octopus's garden! I now have that tune stuck in my mind, lol.

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    1. Lol, it rolled around my head for 2 days :) Thank goodness it's a cute song!

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  8. We want to plant a few outside our windows. They say cactus are natures antiburglar systems.

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    1. Now that's brilliant - they definitely would make an amazing burglar system!

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  9. I too love cacti, so interesting and they take hardly anything to maintain.

    These shots are beautiful, however 42C is a bit too warm for even me and I love the heat.

    Nice picture of Caroline.

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    1. Hi Lorene, Yes, I think that's definitely part of their appeal for me: they're low-maintenance.

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  10. Lovely photos. Hope writing about this post made you feel warmer.

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    1. It kind of did... till I made the mistake of looking out the window :)

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  11. How beautiful! I've thought about building a vertical garden with some of these plants...especially since the weather here WON'T GET COLD!!! (Yes, I am a little bitter, because every time the temperature spikes - which is about every other day - my nose gets stuffier. I have to chose to breathe comfortably or stay awake.)

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    1. A vertical cactus garden would be amazing! Vertical gardening in general is quite intriguing - and makes wonderful sense, especially for apartment dwellers.

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  12. I love these pictures--and not just because they are a wonderful tonic to our present weather!! The desert is so fascinating and so full of life. My favorite is the Sonora Desert.

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    1. You are so right - from all the documentaries & tv shows I've watched over the years, the desert is teeming with life. I'd love to stay a few days in Boulder City the next time I'm out that way.

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  13. Wow these are really interesting photos. I admire the beauty of the desert, such fantastic and unusual life forms exist there.

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    1. Thanks :) So true - there are some very unusual life forms in the desert.

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    1. Hi Adam - I must say I was quite impressed myself :)

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  15. Oh, this place is so gorgeous and inviting. I especially like that first picture with the shade--it looks so refreshing and whimsical . . . a wonderful place to take a break. Right now I'd enjoy a bit more dry weather myself. :)

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    1. You know, I think that first pic is what brought that Beatles tune to mind!

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  16. What a pretty place to visit! (And your daughter is gorgeous!) When I was little I used to look at the pictures of cacti in our encyclopedias to see the blooms. I always thought it amazing that such a prickly plant could have such pretty flowers on it!

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    1. Thanks so much Dorothy :) I agree - cactus blooms are incredible & almost incongruous.

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  17. Thanks for visiting Jane I love the cacti garden It is fabulous you are able to enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, A Lady's Life, I really enjoyed your blog and will definitely be visiting you again :)

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  18. I love cactuses(I). Unfortuately i read a book about feng shui once that said they were bad luck in the house. Pooey. Wish I'd never read it. But great photos!!

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    1. Actually, for some reason I'm not at all surprised to learn that they are anti-feng shui. Regardless, I'd still have them growing in my house if I had the right conditions.

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