Thursday, April 4, 2013

Things to do in Palm Springs - Moorten Botanical Garden

Even though succulents and cacti have been the "in" plants for quite some time, I always had an affinity for them.  I remember the first time I received them as a gift I couldn't believe that you only had to water them once every 10 days.  Suffice to say, that pot of plants perished. - womp womp.

Ahh, Debbie Downer - always adding a bit of perspective to every situation

So, last year I was in Palm Springs for Coachella and I think going to Moorten Botanical Garden listed higher on my list than seeing Florence and the Machine perform live. When I found out there was a Cacturium (yes, it is an actual term that was coined by the Moortens) I dragged my crew to travel out there on our bikes in the scorching heat.
YES!!!!  I am in the Cactarium!  Okay, I'll calm down.

The botanical oasis have been part of the Moorten family estate since 1938.  Chester "Cactus Slim" Moorten transformed the home he shared with his wife, Patricia, into an emporium dedicated to the world of desert plants.  With over 3000 varieties, from miniatures to giants I was giddy going through all the different types.  I took so many pictures in the Palm Springs desert heat that my iphone actually shut off because it was burning up (I think my friends were, too).

I find succulents and cacti fascinating.  They survive in the most extreme high temperatures with very little water.  When flowers do appear they're vibrant and clothed in cheerful colours; they serve as a reminder that the desert is not an uninhabited, desolate, and deserted land.  Life exists at a different pace in different forms on their own time. Cacti and succulents have the oddest shapes and textures and their peculiar appearance just puts me in a gleeful state.  Can you guess which one is the "Cat's Palm" Cactus, in the series of photos, below?

Now under the care of the second generation of desert plant experts, Clark Moorten continues to share this "living museum of desert lore". If you're a fellow desert plant lover or just want to try something different, I recommend popping by Moorten Botanical Garden if you are visiting Palm Springs.  Bring your camera, some sunscreen, some water, and your wonder. or 760-327-6555
Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92264
Hours:  10 am - 4 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

You may also be interested in:
News Flash - Gardening - August 2011
News Flash - The Saguaro Hotel - Palm Springs

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