Monday, April 22, 2013


On the last two Sundays, Mom went to a place called Loose Park, and she helped a bunch of people from the cactus club make a garden for hardy cactus plants.  A hardy plant is one that will live all the way through the winter here in the frozen north of Missouri, without getting killed by the cold weather.

The space laid out for the cactus garden.

Loose Park has that funny name because many years ago, a man named Jacob Loose gave the city the land for the park.  I don't think I would like to have a name like "Loose" for my last name, but I guess a person can't help being born with a certain name.

Barb is spreading sand while Brad builds a wall

Anyway, last year the park made a new driveway and more parking spaces, and now all the different garden clubs are going to make flower beds.  So there will be one for day lilies, one for irises, one for dahlias, one for peonies, and one for cacti.

The big pile of rocks.

Last week, the cactus club people decided how big to make the bed, and they marked the space with rocks.  A truck brought a whole bunch of rocks from somewhere and dumped them in the parking lot.  The club has to move all the rocks by May 5.  Lots of the rocks are heavy.  Mom knows this because she lifted a bunch of them, and it made her back hurt.

Bryan tills up the soil

The other thing that had to happen was the ground had to be tilled up.  Then some sand and gravel was put on top, and it got tilled in.  This process got repeated a couple of times.  The reason for all the sand and gravel was so the plants would have soil with good drainage to grow in.  Also, there will be a bunch of rocks in the middle of the bed, where the plants are.

Pat, Brad, Bryan, and Brian

Maybe you are wondering what kinds of cactus grow outside all year in Missouri.  Well, here are some examples:

Prickly Pear (Opuntia polyacantha)

Pencil Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima)

Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)

Escobaria missouriensis

Also, you can grow other kinds of succulents such as yuccas and hen-and-chicks.  So someday, when the hardy bed is all finished and when all the plants are planted and start growing and blooming, it will be very pretty.


Hen-and-chicks (Sempervivum)

I would just like to warn all the dogs who are walking their owners in the park to stay out of the cactus bed because if you run into some of those really spiny plants, it can hurt a lot!  And yuccas are poisonous to dogs, so don't be eating those.

Also, I want to warn anybody who is thinking about digging up the plants and stealing them not to do that, because if you do, I will track you down with my little doggy nose.  Then I will bite you on the ankle and make you give the plants back!

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