Over the last couple of years my niece has developed an interest in gardening and has grown fruit and veg in their garden over the summer. Her family all helped us move the plants during which she had great fun going through all the different pots deciding which varieties she liked the best. For her 10th birthday I promised we could go cacti shopping so she could start her own little collection.
For once I was actually very responsible; normally I take great pride in being an uncle and buying the presents that her parents would most dis-approve of. After all isn't the whole point of uncles. But when it comes to plants I couldn't bring myself to let her buy things that would only die. So the plants were limited to those that would survive indoors overwinter on her windowsill. Aloes and echeverias and the like were out as they tend to get leggy and need careful control of watering, while many cacti being so slow growing cope without problems with less than perfect care.
So last weekend we visited a local garden centre and selected a few small plants for a little bowl planter and one for an individual pot. We also selected some gravel dressing, no let me correct that, she selected some gravel for top dressing (the reason is obvious from the photos). Here is the little bowl:
And the pot with a little now compulsory pink grafted cacti
It was interesting to see how she selected the cacti, wanting different shapes and textures. Who knows she may become spiky obsessed as well. Although we are going to have to work on her colour selection for gravel.