Mount Evans / Descent, June 2014
A recent cactus fiend
My Denver trip wasn’t just about the cacti and succulent encounters, so I hope you will bear with me over the next week or so as I share some off-topic photos.
Next stop: Golden, Colorado
This tiny home of Coors Golden Brewery is a popular day trip located just a half hour outside of downtown Denver and is the perfect place to enjoy Clear Creek. The day I went with my friend, Megan, the water was closed to all but kayakers, so we just sat by the shore and watched them do the course and do tricks in the rapids.
We followed this up with Colorado-style pizza from Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza. What is Colorado-style pizza, you ask? Well, simply put: save the crust and dip it in honey.
…and with these last two non-cactus shots, our tour of Timberline Gardens has come to a close. I felt like I took many more photos than I apparently did. Now, I need to sort back through them and my mental notes, and decide what cuttings I would like to add to my collection.
For those of you in the U.S., you couldn’t find a nice guy to buy from - seriously. And if you’re not exactly sure what would work for you, email Kelly and he would be more than happy to assist you in choosing the best species for your locale:
(This is a completely unsolicited plug for him. Visiting and touring his gardens only reaffirmed the encounters I have had via email and previous online orders)
Opuntia species / Timberline Gardens, Arvada, Colorado
cactusmandan, this is one you’d love, right? Owner Kelly Grummons received this from a friend, and wasn’t exactly sure on the proper ID. He doesn’t have it listed on his site, but I’ll be asking him for a cutting of this one for sure!
This greenhouse is furthest west on the Timberline Gardens property (just behind it, a small pond with a locally threatened fish that is thriving). It is used for several purposes: it houses plants that aren’t quite cold hardy in Colorado, owner Kelly Grummons conducts cross-pollination experiments, and it is used to raise seedlings and immature plants.
Once the Opuntia reach gallon size, they are transported to these long rectangular beds across the street from the main commercial side of the Timberline Gardens greenhouses.
First, just take in the beauty of so many prickly pear and cholla in one place. Ok, now, do you see those plastic pallets in the background? It turns out, those cottonwood trees past the field behind them are a real nuisance (as they are most places), so every fall they must choose the right time as summer temperatures begin to dissipate and the cottonwood leaves begin to fall. They can even cover the plastic pallets with cloth with pallets preserving air flow around the plants. Once the leaves have fallen, they remove the coverings and let winter takes its course. Pretty low tech and effective strategy.
After touring me through his specialty prickly pears, Kelly Grummons took me across the street to view some other growing areas. Here are a few more shots of the Opuntia mother plants from which Timberline Gardens and www.coldhardycactus.com collect their cuttings.