Monday, February 27, 2012

Unusual container for an unusual cactus

One of the plants I bought at Annie’s Annuals & Perennials last month was a strange little cactus from southern Chile called Maihuenia poeppigii (check out this post for more information).

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Maihuenia poeppigii
(kudos to those of you you can pronounce it)

At first I thought a handmade hypertufa container along the lines of what you see in the next photo would the most appropriate way to present it. I’ve never experimented with hypertufa before but I’ve been wanting to since reading this post on It’s Not Work It’s Gardening. Hypertufa is right at the top of my “want to do” list for this spring.

Photo source: mygarden.lt

Then, as I was going through my stock of plant containers in an attempt to organize and declutter, I came across this unusual looking creation. It’s not deep enough to be called a “pot,” so I’ll call it a “dish.”

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I bought it from Stockton potter Steve Pate on a field trip with the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society (SCSS). While not practical in the utilitarian sense of the word, I think it’s a thing of beauty.

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A light bulb went on in my head, and in no time I had made a mound for my Maihuenia poeppigii. I topped it with chunky gravel to simulate what the cactus’ native habitat might look like. (Plus, I like the look.)

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Definitely an unusual presentation, but I can already see the cactus spreading out across the mound.

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I’m hoping Maihuenia poeppigii will grow slowly so it can stay in this dish for a while, but I know that eventually it will have to be moved.

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But by then I should have gotten around to trying my hand at hypertufa.

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10 comments:

  1. I think it's more like a "plate" than a dish... but a very cool one for sure! At first it looked like something that got pulled off a vehicle (was that the primary buffer panel?)

    In my yard this would be called "raccoon puzzle", and they would have most of those rocks scattered about in no time. I still can't believe you don't have raccoons. Based on that recent Nature episode I watched, they're in every urban area.

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    1. No raccoon. I've never heard of anybody having problems with them in our area. The last time I had to deal with raccoon was 25 years ago when I lived in Monterey on the Central Coast.

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  2. That is a great paring, I love it! Only one question, why don't you want to plant it in the ground?

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    1. Loree, the cactus is so small that I was afraid it would get lost if I planted it out. It's such an interesting plant that I want to be able to look at it up close. Maybe later when it has outgrown this container.

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  3. That's a great combination, perfect even! As the Cactus grows and spreads out it will fill the container very nicely. And both makes for a great looking focal feature wherever you place them!

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    1. I think I'll put it in the middle of the bistro table on our front porch. The only time we ever sit there is to have a beer or glass of wine so it won't be in the way.

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  4. Now that is creative and it works unbelievably well!

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    1. Thank you! I'm very happy with the pairing because it came about in a completely accidental, unplanned way.

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  5. I like that dish a lot and the plant will fill it out nicely!

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  6. Love this cactus, dish & presentation. The stones look great! Is it still growing slow/well? Best! :)

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