Saguaro cacti are elegant and unusually tough plants surviving with very little water and growing very tall. Each one has its own distinctive shape. Some of the saguaros seem to be gesturing and beckoning, even waving at us sometimes. I have never seen plants or trees that are so individualistic. In my photo, you can see the saguaro cactus’ basic upright habit. These amazingly strong cacti definitely celebrate diversity, as each one mysteriously grows branches in a unique configuration. Look at them, but do not touch–they have very dangerous spikes that cover their surfaces like porcupine quills. In this cactus forest, there are plenty of warning signs for tourists. Just driving through the Saguaro National Park is a fantastic experience.
©M-J de Mesterton
From the National Parks Website, Lightly Edited:
Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona was first established in 1933 for the purpose of protecting the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantean) and the associated Sonoran Desert and Sky Island ecological areas. Following several park expansions in subsequent decades, the National Park Service continually works to preserve desert, mountain and riparian habitats in the Tucson and Rincon Mountains, as well as the largest roadless “sky island” in North America — all of which comprise a wide range of elevations that support extraordinary biodiversity. 78% of the Park’s 91,327 acres are federally-designated wilderness. Saguaro National Park is being preserved, its wilderness qualities protected, while understanding and stewardship of its natural resources are promoted through ongoing scientific research.
|Gardening with Trees in Dry Climates
Create a well inside the mulch-ring, and keep mulch pieces away from trunk as shown..
Dry-Climate Landscaping with Stone and Gravel Conserves Water
|Create a well within the mulch, keeping mulch away from the trunk.|
Use the bath water to give your outdoor plants a drink. They especially like Epsom salts, a time-honored fertilizer in England.
Use a large, gallon-sized pitcher of bath water to flush your toilet. Pouring it down fast creates a flush; sometimes you will want to do this twice. A tubful of water can constitute twenty or more flushes. It works great.
While running water to get it hot, fill pitchers, glasses, any empty vessels you have handy until the water gets hot enough to use, saving the cooler water for drinking later.Water doesn’t grow on trees!
Photo and Conservation Tips Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008