Looking sharp

By Shepparton News

Pardon the pun, but the humble cactus is enjoying a spike in popularity in modern gardens, homes and office spaces.

Often only seen in dry, dusty desert scenes in old Hollywood western movies, the prickly plants are becoming the go-to statement plant for contemporary living for a number of reasons.

An endless variety of shapes and sizes boost the appeal of the stylish and architectural plant and the easy-care maintenance requirements are a plus for time-poor gardeners.

Dookie property owners Andrew Lyle and Tim Young have dedicated a section of their 1.6 ha garden to the prickly succulents, which are flourishing in the ideal conditions.

Featuring interesting names such as golden barrel cactus, carnegiea gigantea, notocactus and mammillaria, the various varieties of cactus add a wow factor to the otherwise predominantly native garden.

“I’ve always been fascinated by them, I’ve seen a lot of them in my travels to north and south America,” Andrew said.

“The flowers are stunning, and the spines on the golden barrel cactus, in particular, catch the light and they really glow.”

Good drainage, morning sun and some protection from the very hot afternoon sun were basic requirements, but different species had different demands depending on their native habitats, Andrew said.