Cactus Woe

Jun 24, 2015

IMG_9912We’re calling this “Cactus Woe” as we may be the only person on the planet that manages to kill cacti. Going back decades to a lovely specimen we had sophomore year at UCSB when we lived off-campus in a small house in Isla Vista, we were the doubting “Thomas” amidst three other young women—a Catholic, Methodist, and reborn Christian. It was an interesting year.

Along the way, we bought a cactus. We knew our green thumb was more mottled brown, a suspicion that had been growing since our parents tried for a lifetime—and several different homes and yards—to nurture a resplendent garden where they could harvest artichokes, green peppers, strawberries, chives, green onions, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and asparagus—and only succeeded in producing tasty tomatoes and extra-mammoth zucchinis. After a childhood of hamburger, sauteed onion, and cheese-stuffed zucchini, the idea of maintaining a garden and eating home grown veggies did not hold any allure.

But we were determined to maintain a cactus. How hard could it be? They hardly need to be watered. Toughest guys on the planet outside of cockroaches. Right…

Did we underwater? Over-water? Not offer enough sun? Did we not understand that a cactus sitting alone on the concrete floor in our almost-bare bedroom without ambiance and atmospheric stimulation would not thrive? Would in fact perish? Because perish it did.

Now, several decades removed from college and the specter of cacti death, we are trying once again…with a lovely cactus that’s in a lovely handmade pot created by Nat ‘n’ Mom.

Fingers crossed…









5 Responses for “Cactus Woe”

  1. Beautiful plant! What kind, specifically? I love the pot, too.

  2. Kat Ward says:

    I’ll ask the maker, Petrea. I bought it at the Jackalope Art & Craft Fair last month from Nat ‘n’ Mom (Sequoyah School mom and son who I know). They got most of the cacti for their pottery as cuttings from older cacti they have. I’ll let you know!

  3. Kat Ward says:

    Petrea: The cactus in question is called Pleiospilos or “split rock” and is native to South Africa.

  4. Thanks! I’ll look for it.



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