Santa-Rita cactus~ glows softly and carries a big stick

This is my Santa-Rita Prickly Pear that I purchased this weekend at Barton Springs Nursery; I went on a mission to find one, and BSN graciously supplied a beautiful selection to choose from.  I wuv it!  The color combo is stellar.  I like that it is cold-hardy and will get more purple when it’s chilly or thirsty, so I assume when it’s stressed in general.  I saw a very purple one in someone’s “hell strip” near 45th Street – should I leave them a note to water it?  

I want Ms. Rita to go some place special in my Purple Haze entry garden; I’d prefer to only plant her once, that is, not change my mind and move her (unlikely)…so I’m still considering the location- she becomes quiet statuesque, maybe over six feet, but I’ll keep her pruned lower probably- which means baby ‘ritas to share in the future : )    Maybe I’ll re-pot it in a contrasting colored pot (like red or yellow), so I can get her out of that hideous plastic outfit – she’s too good; that way we’re all happy, and my fear of commitment  is fed.   

You might notice her boo-boo on the bottom right;  I was driving down the fast and winding 2222, and Ms. Rita catapulted from my hatchback into the backseat.  I don’t think I was speeding, Officer….but what if she had whacked me in the back of the head? You can see some spines on this lovely, but you can’t see the thousands (I swear) hair-thin (read  invisible) spines that ended up in my dry-cleaning, back-seat and then my hands…but none made it to the back of my head- so thank you, universe – lesson learned.  I still wuv her.

Helptul tip-  to remove cactus spines from your skin, the ones you can’t get with tweezers- spread a thin layer of white / Elmer’s glue to the area, let dry, then peel away – worked for me!   I read that hair-removal wax strips work well for the really stubborn ones, but I didn’t need to resort to that – so happy I didn’t have to wax the back of my head.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana/SharingNaturesGarden
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:26:44

    So glad to know you are an Austin garden blogger. I think your boulders and grasses are great — look forward to following your posts.


  2. Pam/Digging
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 18:31:23

    Funny story, Cyndi. I’m so glad the spines didn’t get you in the back of the head. Hey, I’m going to remember that glue trick. I’ve gotten a pawful of glochids (the almost invisible spines) a few times myself.


  3. Diana/SharingNaturesGarden
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 21:40:14

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Since you commented anonymously, my responses won’t get to you – think you need to sign on to google/blogger just with your name so you can comment. Anyway – that’s so funny that you recognized my rock path. I thought you were going to say you recognized it from the Statesman, because it’s been in there — I think it was a few months ago. I write a monthly column for them that usually appears on the 3rd Saturday of the month.


    • cyndik
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 15:18:05

      Diana – Thanks for the welcome, and I will look for you in the Statesman! Please, chime in if you stop by again and have an opinion about what I’m up to in the garden. I need to go to your blog and ask you this….but maybe you’ll see it here- Did the lamb’s ear make it in your new front bed this summer….that bed gets FULL sun, right?


  4. Tina
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 14:39:56

    That is a funny story about Ms. Rita–glad you weren’t injured. I liked the post about the Gulf Muhly–I love that plant and for some reason, mine just never looks like all the others that I see. It grows, but never seems to develop the beautiful seed head plumes. Sigh. I enjoy them in other’ gardens though .


    • cyndik
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 15:12:58

      Saw your answer to me about the roses on your blog; I inherited some roses with this house….need to move them…not sure if it’s worth it…but a friend gave me a book to learn more about growing them. I’m just noticing blogger’s roses a lot…they’re on my mind. I kinda whacked at mine a couple of weeks ago and gave them some fertilizer – organic all-purpose. I dunno….


  5. Shirley
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 14:43:31

    Cyndi, I put a Santa Rita it in the “hell strip” I share with the neighbor and she was thrilled. So we all “wuv” it!


    • cyndik
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 15:05:19

      Yeah, think I’ll be sharing mine also; I’m putting her in a very dry strip between me and a neighbor (she’ll be along side a gorgeously shaped old sago that thrives there. As the Santa-Rita grows (knock, knock), she’ll eventually screen the huge municipal transformer box that sits on the property line. Funny how I haven’t posted photos of that lovely view yet!


  6. Cat
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 18:34:10

    Welcome to the Austin garden blogger’s world! Love the idea of your ‘boulder’ bed as they will definitely survive future heat and drought! I’ve been thinking about adding some cacti to my garden after the brutal summer we’ve had. I really love the idea of the purple hue the Santa Rita adds to the garden palette – nice…


    • cyndik
      Oct 07, 2011 @ 12:58:53

      Hi, Cat….just cheked out your blog….what a delightful escape! Yes, i think the soft hues of Ms. Rita are dreamy – she’s part cactus part sea coral I think.


  7. Shirley
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 02:22:54

    Just had to tell you, I got into a bunch of tiny cactus thorns this evening while working in the garden and I used the glue method. It works!

    Can you believe you’d help someone The Very Next Day! Really, thank you. I have never, ever done this before and it’s painful. So thanks so very much because they are impossible to get out any other way.


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