Did you know Cactus grow wild in southern Alberta, Canada?
Prickly Pear cacti have actually been know to grow as far north in the province as the Peace River area.
In central Alberta, they have grown in our family’s flower beds for over 30 years.
The above picture is one of our beds of cacti here at the lake which had a building for shelter during the 2014 damaging hail storm. It has its first of many blossoms for this season.
Below is a before and after picture of a different flower bed that needed love this year. It use to be crammed full of large cacti like the other bed. Many of the plant’s in this one didn’t survive that hail storm a few years ago. The ones that did have been fighting their way back. Recent wet weather though is washing away the soil and the landscape ties trap rainfall leaving them often living in a water puddle. I can’t even keep up weeding the growing moss and wet soil grass.
It was a dreaded chore, but we removed all the cacti, dug out the grass and moss, filled the bed with 8-10 inches of sand, then separated and replanted the cacti.
I hope they appreciate the work and flourish once again.
Late fall these cactus will start to shrieval and lay over, ready to be covered with snow. Each spring they bounce back. As in the first picture, this variety gets large yellow blossoms in June or early July, depending on the spring’s warmth. Ours are later then usual this year.
Do you like unusual bedding plants?
Can you grow cactus outside in your area?
If you are wondering, how I weed these cactus beds, I use long handle pliers or a fish hook remover.
I’m glad we’re home to enjoy these beauties. I wish all the buds were open for this picture, but not one of my 4 bushes listened when I told them what day this post goes out. Even telling them they were the headliners didn’t speed up the process.
Tiger Lillie’s, are high on my favorite outside flower list that I can grow with my faint green tinted thumb. Next on the list would be Daisies, Pansies and Phlox, all hardy, faithful perennials. I do love Begonias, Geraniums, Gazanias, and Portulacas, but I didn’t plant any annuals this year, they just end up being fancy rabbit food.
Lilac bushes are a must for me, wonderful for both their beauty and their fragrance.
A somewhat unique outside plant for where we live, yet we have had luck growing them in our yards for years is, Prickly Pear Cactus. Even being buried under snow for months doesn’t stop them from coming back to life each summer. Keeping them weeded is a pain, sometimes literally, but my trick is long handled needle nose pliers, or a long handle fish hook remover.
Roses are a favorite, but I didn’t include them above because I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been torturing a bush for ten or so years. I water, prune, occasionally fertilize and sprinkle slug pellets when necessary, so it’s either a trooper or ornery. Don’t get me wrong it flowers, but is still only about a foot tall and often has less leaves than flowers. It’s planted in the sun as its tag suggested, I just don’t know how to make it happier.
Do you have a green thumb?
What flowers do you enjoy?
Which can you grow best?