Saturday, April 21, 2007


Why is this such a big deal to me? There is always something blooming either in the greenhouse or in the garden. Why do I get so excited when my cactus blooms?
I have only owned this particular cactus for a few years. It was given to me by an 89 year old lady who could no longer carry it outside in the spring, and back into her home in the fall. I promised that I would take good care of it, and brought it home.
She informed me before I took it, that it would bloom only once a year, and the blooms would only last for one day. So I took the cactus home, (which was not an easy task, as you can see that it has a slight lean to it, and it is very prickly), and put it into the basement under lights, for the winter.
When I brought it out to the greenhouse in the spring, it began to bloom. Not once, but many times throughout the spring and early summer. I was especially proud that the cactus bloomed more than once that first spring, and at one point had over 20 blooms at once, but my friend was right about the blooms lasting only one day.
I have people come on those bloom days just to look at it. I guess people feel like they don't want to miss something that happens so rarely. This cactus tends to grow babies, and drop them randomly into the pot, where they root down, and start to grow. These are always offered to the cactus admirers, but there are seldom any takers.
Why do you think that is? Do they not want the responsibility of taking care of such a odd plant? Are they intimidated by all of those prickly parts? Or do you think that they would just rather drive over and gaze at the beauty of the flower, and then go home with a horrible feeling of cactus-envy?
I don't really know the reasons that nobody seems to want these babies, but I don't mind. I know they don't look very lovable, but each of these little ones will one day bloom like it's mama, and so they deserve to only go to a true cactus lover!
To quote Karl Capek, from The Gardener's Year, "I tell you, a mother's pride is nothing to the boasting and bragging of a cactus-man whose cactus has come into flower".
In my case, that would be cactus-woman!.


Robin said...

That is a beautiful bloom! What a shame it last only a day.

rusty in miami said...

That cactus is spectacular. I have a cactus that blooms at night and it only last one night but it is also worth it.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

What a great post! I bet if you show them the cactus blooms you'd get some takers. (Seems that lots of people just like the flowers, you know how that goes...)

flowergirlVT said...

Any chance I could get one of those babies? I live in Vermont but I could raise it indoors and try it. We do have hot summers here. I have a neighbor who has cactuses on his deck every summer. It is unusual to be sure, but I bet he gets a lot of comments on them. Let me know.

vonlafin said...

If you are willing to pay the postage, I would be happy to send babies to anyone who wants one.

Kylee said...

Oh, that cactus is beautiful! The blooms are so pure in color. I've never seen a cactus bloom so prettily.

Elaine Lane said...


My gramma (93, paralyzed by a stroke and can't speak for the last 27 years--but is a gardening queen!!) has a cactus just like yours and it just bloomed too!!

I am trying to research the type of cactus it is and learn more about it. She and I just watched it for ten minutes the morning it bloomed--saying nothing, but just in awe.

It was a magical and spiritual moment that I am so blessed to have shared with her.

thanks for any info you could pass along!


vonlafin said...

Mine is just ready to bloom again too. I don't have any idea what kind of cactus it is, I got it from an 80 year old lady, and she had no information about it. Sorry.