Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

More Pictures from the Desert Dome

Yesterday I posted on a bit on the desert dome at the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I took a fair number of pictures so will be sharing some of those with you over the next couple of days. Cacti can be grown successfully indoors in northern climates in a sunny window. It is amazing to see the variety of cacti available, some more suitable to growing indoors for the gardener than others.


A nice feature of conservatories is many of the plants are labeled with their common and scientific names. If this is a plant you are interested in trying your hand at growing then take a picture along with recording the tag information. This will help ensure you get exactly the plant you are looking for.

Cleisrocactus (Cleistocatus hyalacanthus) [note a typo on the card] is a columnar cactus that is hardy to USDA Zones 10 and 11. This tall, fuzzy cactus grows to 4 - feet in height with small pink or pale red diurnal flowers about 1.6 - inches long.


Welwitschia (front bottom) is a low sprawling, sideways growing plant that grows from a short, thick, woody trunk. Two leaves continuously grow from their base for the entire lifespan (1,000 years or more) of the plant. These leaves split to form several strap-shaped sections disguising their origin. Welwitchia has a long, thick taproot.

Variegated Elephants Bush (Portulacaria afra variegata), just behind the Welwitschia is a small branching succulent shrub. It resembles a small variegated jade plant. This plant can make a fabulous indoor or outdoor container plant. If growing outdoor it is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 10. Indoors treat as would other succulents such as jade. Be careful to not overwater. Variegated Elephants Bush has tiny pink blooms but these are seldom seen under cultivation.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


  1. I had a cactus plant for a long time. It even got to have a few blooms when I lived in an apartment with a great sunny window. Then I moved and somehow during the move all my plants picked up some kind of white powdery fungus. It killed them all. But I miss the cactus most of all. Took so many years before it really great and got blooms. It was a a big disappointment to lose it.

  2. Oh my, losing all your plants like that would be horrible! It is really a shame especially when some like your cactus are more like members of the family.


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