Structure + Fluff : Pairing up Saguaro and Foothills Palo Verde

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Here’s a quick re-cap on the whole “structure and fluff” concept: too much fluff (shrubby, wispy, blurred-edges stuff) = boring, too much structure (architectural plants like agave, barrels, columnar cactus) = wildly expensive (but super cool, so if you can afford it I totally recommend an all-structure portion of you garden), but somewhere in between = magical and lovely.  Our Sonoran desert is a great mix of structure and fluff and it looks magnificent, so garner as much inspiration as possible by taking a walk in one of our desert parks.


The saguaro and foothills palo verde combination is one of the quintessential desert pairings.  The palo verde acts as a “nurse plant” for the saguaro as it is getting established, meaning it protects the young cactus from sun, erosion, and trampling by two and four-footed creatures.  So not only is it an aesthetically pleasing combo, it’s functional!


These are a few shots from Greasewood Park where you can see all stages of the saguaro and foothills palo verde pairing.  I recommend taking a nice walk out there before we hit May and it becomes similar to the surface of the sun.


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Do you already have this plant duo in your yard?  I have a number of foothills palo verdes growing, but they’re each about 6″ tall and I suspect it’s going to be approximately 200 years before I can call them trees.  I’m hoping to snag a few small saguaros from an upcoming cactus rescue to add to the backyard desert ecosystem currently in the works.


Hope you’re all having a fantastic Wednesday!  I’ll see you back here tomorrow for whatever nonsense I drum up in the coming hours.


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1 Comment
  1. hi, your photo came up in a fpv image search. cool.

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