Mobile Cacti

My Phoenix hotel has an interesting way of reminding guests that they are in the desert — as if the near-constant sunshine weren’t enough of a clue. No, the hotel keeps wheeled racks of little barrel cactus plants and other desert flora at hand, ready to wheel out to remind us that we’re in an arid zone.

I like desert plants, so I think it’s pretty cool. In fact, I wish I had one of these gadgets for my office.

Desert Flora

I’m out in the Phoenix area for a conference, and last night I attended an event at the Desert Botanical Garden. It was a fine function, and one of the highlights was a chance to just wander around the grounds, looking at the different kinds of cactus and other desert plants. I like the brown and stony desert scenery and I like the plants — they are tough and spiny, differently shaped than plants back east, with unusual silhouettes that are pleasing to my eye. On this particular occasion, the Botanical Garden has unusual glass sculptures placed among the plants, but as nice as those sculptures were they paled in comparison to the attractiveness of the plants themselves. Kudos to Mother Nature!

I think part of the appeal of these desert plants is that we don’t see them every day. Perhaps if we had a yard full of prickly pear cactus, I might not find them so interesting. It makes me wonder whether westerners who come to Ohio for a visit marvel at our trees, and flowers, and lush green grass, which they don’t find in their home towns.