A desert garden in full bloom

The Desert Garden at the Huntington’s was in full bloom and I couldn’t resist sharing these beautiful images with you. First some gorgeous Echeveria succulents:

Succulent Echeveria michele roohani huntington desert garden

They have fleshy leaves with small delicate flowers like these:

Succulent Echeveria flowers michele roohani huntington desert garden

These are called black succulents and are truly magnificent:

black succulent michele roohani huntington desert garden

Agave (of the tequila fame) , Aloe and Cactus are all members of the succulent family—the cactus having more prickles than others. They are water-retaining plants. Just look at this gorgeous queen victoria agave:

Succulent queen victoria agave michele roohani huntington desert garden

and this pretty pink flower of another agave plant.

Succulent agave pink flower michele roohani huntington desert garden

This one had small blue and red blossoms.

Succulent agave blue and red flower michele roohani huntington desert garden

You all know this more common succulent: the creeping ice plant.

Succulent pink ice plant michele roohani huntington desert garden

This desert garden is nearly 100 years old and has more than 3,000 species of desert plants. Let’s go to the thorny cacti now; you don’t want to get lost on this road on a dark night!

golden barrel cactus michele roohani huntington desert garden

I loved these peach hued blossoms on this prickly pear cactus,

cactus peach blossoms huntington desert garden michele roohani

they turn yellow when they open.

cactus yellow blossoms huntington desert garden michele roohani

This is a more dramatic version of the same plant—it almost looked like under water coral…

wavy prickly pear cactii huntington desert garden michele roohani

Cactus is an oxymoron to me. How can a plant with fleshy leaves and prickles that repel you have such brilliant and intensely colored flowers? It rejects you and invites you at the same time…

prickly pear cactus yellow flower huntington desert garden michele roohani

A closer look,

prickly pear cactus yellow blossom huntington desert garden michele roohani

and the piece de resistance: the red flower cactus.

red cactus flower huntington desert garden michele roohani

This young gardener was busy the whole time that I was visiting the gardens.

straw hat huntington gardner michele roohani

Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.”  Lou Erickson

huntington library gardener michele roohani

11 thoughts on “A desert garden in full bloom

  1. میشل مهربان واقعان از عکس های تو لذت می برم ممنون که شریک می کنی تصویرهایت را .روز خوبی برایت ارزو می کنم رفیق جان

  2. J’aime beaucoup les cactées comme métaphore : charnues voire redoutablement piquantes à l’extérieur, tendres et parfois désaltérantes à l’intérieur. De surcroît, les cactées ont de très jolies fleurs.
    Il ne faut donc pas désespérer du regard de l’humanité.

    PS Dans les années soixante, en France, il y avait une chanson de Jacques Dutronc intitulée “les cactus”. Je ne saurais trop vous recommander une écoute attentive du texte.

  3. Thanks for the beautiful images! I had no idea desert plants can be so beautiful. I guess every thorny character has a good side. One just needs to wait for the right time for them to bloom!
    But when it comes to Agave, I can’t help but be reminded of a somewhat different application than a desert garden. I’m talking about 100% blue agave Tequila! I’m all for this plant! It’s a plant that keeps on giving and giving, until the next morning, when we awaken to the realization that we should have taken less!(speaking of Tequilas, Anjo’s Herradura 100% agave is great. You can also try Patron’s Arandas or Platinum brand (not silver/gold), which at about $30/shot in a fine restaurant comes with a hefty price tag and requires a forgiving liver for fast effect before bankruptcy. But the bouquet of a shot of 100% agave Tequila can also take us to a desert garden… and yes, it can also literally take us there, as we can wake up in the yard the next morning, with the cheek leaning against a cactus plant or a mouth full of grass and wondering what happened!

  4. Dear Michele, this is sheer beauty. For me Agave is the mother of Penteus from Euripides.She was so drunk that in her drunken stupor tore her own son to pieces believing that he is a wild animal. She was the central figure of the Dionysian cult. Please read Nietzsche on the birth of Tragedy. The Agave as a plant is a lovely beast. The juice of Agave could get you the worse rashes on you skin. Splendid from the outside, a chance to itch for a lifetime. Dangerous, juicy, water-retaining plants. The best, Tamas

  5. dear michele,
    thanks for your beautiful pictures,really i enjoyed,they are great

  6. As always Stunning Pictures ..

    The same stream of life
    that runs through my
    veins night and day
    and dances in
    rhythmic measures
    It is the same life that
    shouts in joy through
    the dust of the earth
    in numberless blades
    of grass and breaks
    into tumultuous
    waves of leaves
    and flowers

    Rabindranath Tagore

  7. greetings. am in islamabad south asia. just started cacti garden in small pots. one of my neighbour, mr. malik, provided me with a few cacti plants. before i see these pictures i was not much happier to succulents, but now i like it very much. wonderful pictures i never seen before, like heaven even with thorns. well done. i love vinca. because i have birds problems in my lawn, they eat my plants except vinca, garanium and now cacti.

  8. Hi nice website i come from the Mediterranean island of Malta we have lots of prickly pear here that grow wild in fields and their fruit is very popular here which is eaten we also make prickly pear liquor 🙂 i also have a huge golden barell which is massive and is growing in a pot i think it needs changing but it is imposiible as its very heavy and sharp !!!

  9. Trying to start a succulent potted garden here in the So.Calif desert. Nice pictures. Nice comments from the world. No cacti, just soft succulents. Thanks

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