Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cacti and succulents

A few weeks ago the Minnesota Horticultural Society had an open house. In the drizzling rain I met Dennis Hoidal a wholesaler of cacti and succulents. I bought a few plants to add to our small collection and made an appointment to visit his greenhouses. My wife Mashell and I have a growing fascination with these plants, their exotic sculptural shapes, beautiful flowers and easy care are very appealing.

Dennis makes selections for sale.
Dennis began growing his passion in the 70s after giving his newlywed wife three cacti for their barren apartment. Today he has a large succulent greenhouse filled to overabundance. He also has a newer cacti greenhouse filled with rows of prickly beauty.

As we approached the first greenhouse I remarked about the large Golden Barrel Cactus and the flowering opuntia, commonly called prickly pear, or desert rose growing along the south wall. While the opuntia wintered outdoors the Golden Barrel were potted and wintered in the greenhouse. The opuntia were flowering in shades of yellow and rose pink.

Inside the succulent greenhouse (cactus also) was a fabulous array of exotic plants some were familiar, I had collected haworthia at one time, many were unknown to me or had such variety of color and form I had not encounter before. Sometimes my sight was overwhelmed, they all shouted "look at me!" I had asked Dennis if we could purchase a few. Mashell kept selecting the most rare and expensive, which Dennis would not let go, she has good taste!

To walk into Dennis's greenhouses is to walk in a world of odd and striking colors textures, and forms. An exhilarating step away from fields and forests.

Blooming Prickly Pear

Exotic shape

Beautiful color
Prickly texture
Incredible variety of form
Lets not forget height.
Bizarre and colorful
Silver blue for your windowsill
Summation to exotic beauty