Whenever I go to our local ACE Hardware store, I walk through their garden center. The selection is fairly mainstream but they do carry a good and frequently changing selection of 3" and 4" plants from Lone Pine Gardens, a specialty succulent nursery in Sebastopol, California—the same town where Bamboo Sourcery and Hardcore Espresso are located, two businesses I’ve blogged about before.
I often walk away with a new addition to our cactus collection, and this Sunday was no different. I ended up buying a Gymnocalycium friedrichii, a small globose cactus from northwestern Paraguay that is actually quite hardy (down to USDA zone 8). I had eyed this species all summer, and this time ACE had nice-sized plants in 4” pots that were getting ready to bloom.
This is what the cactus looked like when I bought in on Sunday:
Today the flowers opened up in all their pink glory. While pink isn’t a favorite color of mine, it does complement the reddish hue of the cactus itself.
Like many cactus flowers, they’re only open from noon to mid-afternoon, starting to close at 5pm or so. When the flowers are closed, their pinkness is even more pronounced.
Unfortunately, as is the case with all cactus flowers, they don’t bloom for very long. But I think the cactus itself has a unique look, and I will enjoy it even without flowers.