I forgot about the desert!

Since nobody who's been to St. Louis in the middle of summer would ever confuse it for a desert, it's not hard to understand why I've forgotten about my recent visit to a desert.


A desert show that is, at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I attended a couple of weeks ago when I went to the cactus show and sale -- the desert show was the third of the cactus-related events at the garden that weekend.


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Although I didn't spend too much time in this exhibit, there was lots to see.


The first thing that you notice is the "sky":


Such a wonderful way to hide the glass-paneled ceiling and trick you into thinking you're outdoors -- well, to some extent. It sure is beautiful though. (More in the last photo of this post!)

Lots of succulents and cactus, with an emphasis on the native peoples and how they used all of these plants:


I didn't read all of the signage, but they cultivated and grew squash and beans as well as utilized the yuccas, cactus, and other plants that surrounded them in the arid regions of this country.



This confirmed for me the ID of the cactus I have been growing for 20 years:




I should really put this into a bigger pot and see how large it will actually get. I don't want it to be crazy large (21' is to tall!) but I would like to see a few more stems and a couple more feet of height.

This was certainly not the cactus I am growing:


Oh, there are spines hidden under that fuzzy, huggable exterior. How nasty!

Relatively small specimens of most of these plants, which is to be expected. We're many hundreds of miles from the closest native plantings of these, so I suspect these have all been grown here indoors.




A nice exhibit in a beautiful space!

Click for much larger version. Look at that "sky"!

Incidentally, this is the same room where they hold the orchid show that I attended in Feb 2012. Amazing transformation (even though I didn't take photos of the room during the orchid show)!


The desert show runs through August 4 at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Just another reason to visit this wonderful garden if you'll be in the St. Louis area this summer.

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danger garden  – (July 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM)  

As odd as installations like this can look I am a big fan off them simply for giving those that might not otherwise have the chance to see these plants an opportunity to do so.

That sky is pretty creative!

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (July 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM)  

I agree with what Loree said. What a great way to showcase plants many Missourians (sp?) might not otherwise get to experience.

Barbie  – (July 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM)  

Hi Alan - this is striking and some elements I would put in my garden. However, hubby doesn't like aggressive spiky stuff! Love the 4th photo with the shelter....hmmmm got an idea!

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