Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blue cactus in a yellow pot

My favorite group of cacti are the barrel cacti. Everybody loves the golden barrel (Echinocactus grusonii) and so do I, but my favorite is the blue barrel (Ferocactus glaucescens), also known by its Spanish name biznaga.

Here is a particularly nice trio at UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley

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…and here is a clump at Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara:

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A few weeks ago I bought three small blue barrels with the intention of putting them in a rectangular glazed container. I thought a dark brown or black container might be nice but none of the places I checked had anything I liked.

Last week on my way back from Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville, CA, I stopped at a huge pottery place called Garden Essentials. It’s located right off the Peña Adobe exit on Interstate 80. I’d seen it many times from the freeway, but this was the first time I stopped. The selection is jaw-dropping. I don’t think there’s another pottery place in Northern California that has such a variety. Check out their Facebook page for photos.

At Garden Essentials I found what I think is the perfect container for my blue barrels: a rectangular glazed trough in a pale yellow.

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Here’s the final result:

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I’m very happy with how it turned out, especially since I don’t usually color-coordinate plants and pots. The pale yellow of the container and the grayish blue of the cacti look great together.

As the cacti grow, I will need to take out one of them or move them all to a bigger container. However, since cacti grow fairly slowly, I should be able to enjoy this arrangement for a number of years to come.

18 comments:

  1. Great choice, a yellow-blue combination is always nice and yours looks so good in that container I couldn't imagine anything better.

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    1. Thank you, Shirley! Since the cacti are a pale gray-blue, I thought a pale yellow pot would work better than a bright yellow one.

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  2. The yellow container looks perfect with the blue of the cacti and the yellow of their spines.

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    1. Thanks, Alison. That's why I thought this color combination would work.

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  3. Well done Gerhard, and thanks for tip on the pottery place..

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    1. It's an easy stop for anybody traveling along that stretch of I-80, for example going to the Bay Area or returning from Tahoe.

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  4. Love it! Rectangular pots like that call our for a planting like this, well done.

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    1. Thanks, Loree. I want to do something similar with three small Mexican fence post cactus.

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  5. Powder blue, pale yellow, perfect combo!

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  6. OMG! Where did you find that blue golden barrel? I have never seen it in any of the nurseries before. I love that yellow pot with it.

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    1. Laura, it's a different species, Ferocactus glaucescens. I found these at Green Acres, a Sacramento nursery. Ferocactus glaucescens is becoming more common, luckily, so keep an eye out for it.

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  7. Rectangular pots are the best, aren't they? (Especially when you have to jam lots of them together)

    Looks great!

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    1. You're right! Too bad rectangular pots are almost aways more expensive than round. I wonder why?

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, Candy. Means a lot coming from an accomplished plant arranger such as yourself!

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