Inaugural Post! The Sunday Snatch featuring Purple Prickly Pear

Inaugural Post!  The Sunday Snatch featuring Purple Prickly Pear

Hello world!  And by world, I mean my mom.  Hi Mom!  I’m glad you’ve tuned in to this new and exciting venture.


I’m starting this tiny little bit of daily writing to go along with my tiny landscape design and installation endeavor.  I don’t necessarily just do tiny landscapes, though (some big, some small, always a lot of digging).  Mostly, I want to share with you some gardening and landscape ideas fit for the West and Southwest, with a smattering of other thoughts/articles/cat photos/whathaveyous.  So, enough of an intro, onto the good stuff.


I’ve been dreaming up this weekly segment for years.  We’re going to call it “The Sunday Snatch”, and it’s sort of like it sounds.  You have a free hour on Sunday?  Time to snatch some plants.  And I’ll show you how.  We can even review some tips on how to look legit while doing it.  Honestly, who doesn’t love a free plant, especially here in the desert where you’ve probably killed quite a few non-free specimens already.


To be clear, I’m not talking about digging up your neighbor’s saguaro in the middle of the night – nothing quite that brazen.  But there are plenty of ways to add some gusto to your yard with limited (or no) bucks.  So today we’re going to start with an old standby that gives color and structure to any space – the Santa Rita prickly pear.  I love these guys!  Especially when they’re paired with lots of other structural and colorful stuff like blue agave and barrel cactus.  Bonus – the less water they get the more deep purple their pads become.  They also have lovely flowers and grow quickly.  Perfectly low-fuss.


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All you’ll need for your Sunday mission is a box and a pair of snippers.  You simply snap off a section at the joint, let it scab over for a couple days, then plant in some soil.  Super easy!  I’ve been impatient and planted them immediately, and have also forgotten about some in a box for 4+ months, and both approaches have been successful.  Just make sure you keep your hands and clothing away from the pads, or you’ll be pulling glochids (mini spines) out with tweezers for days.  I found my “donor” plant on a main drag, public property, mid-day, no troubles whatsoever.  You’ll find that throwing on a big sun hat and some gardening clothes gives you an invisibility cloak when it comes to plants.  Good luck and happy Sunday!


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  1. Cool! Looking forward to re-purposing some Sonoran plants!

  2. Can’t wait to set out on a plant-finding mission!

    • Plant missions are the best! I have tons more suggestions in the works, lots of interesting stuff. I have a neon work vest you can borrow for these sorts of things. (:

  3. It’s a beauty!

    • Thanks! Maybe now I can feel decent about spending roughly 700 hours on my OCD-inspired graphics.

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