Tucson Lifestyle Home and Garden March 2014 : Page 27

J Janet Hale’s fascination with trichocereus cactus started innocently enough. She and her husband Johnny moved to their dream acre on Tucson’s eastside in 1997, and she had a big backyard space to fill. She bought a few of the big blooming South American natives — often sold as torch cactus — and stuck them in the ground without much thought. They grew quickly and bloomed at a young age. Pieces that were broken or knocked off the mother plant re-sprouted in new locations. Soon Janet had a little bit of a theme going. Fast forward to 2010 when she decided it was time to get serious about finishing up the shade tree and cactus garden she had always wanted. The majority of the natural desert vegetation had been more or less wiped out by drought and insects. It was then that her trusted handyman Brian Hurd, of Bear Canyon Services, pitched the idea of creat-ing an all-trichocereus garden. Janet went for it. She knew the plant stalks came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and that hybridizers had created dozens of different flowers, including multi-colored, multi-petaled, and some the size of saucers. “Brian has his passions,” she laughs. “He has a trichocereus collection himself and knows other growers. We got a lot of plants from expert hybridizer Mark Dimmitt, and from Carol Scannell at Tanque Verde Greenhouses. Our idea was to create mounds throughout the yard and to display the trichs on these. OPPOSITE Janet and Johnny Hale’s flagstone patio was created in the center of the yard for a 360-degree view of their prized cacti. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT A cluster of bright orange trichocereus bursting into bloom; a metal-and-glass sculpture created by artists Patti and Mark Johnson holds a place of honor atop a mound; a small group of many of the trichocereus that dot the landscape. TucsonLifestyle.com T ucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / march 2014 27

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