Thursday, April 06, 2006

the cacti that ate Paris

Many years ago, after my father died, my mum bought a house in our street to be near us.
As a moving in present, my father-in-law, who was a keen gardener, gave her some plants, including a sweet little cacti which was duly planted near the front door.

I've googled for images and think it might be a Cereus or Column Cactus, but wouldn't swear to it.
Over at This isn't Sydney Spike has a picture of one of these cacti growing in someone's yard at Woy Woy (which, by another weird coincidence, is where my father-in-law and the original cactus piece came from)

Over the next 20 years, the cactus grew and grew

Mum passed away and my son moved into the house. He thought the cactus was 'cool' even after riding his mountain bike down the front steps, catching the handlebar and landing head first into the cactus. He picked spikes out of his head for days.

Son moved away and daughter moved into the house.
She too, thought Nanna's cactus was 'cool' (although she is too cool to use the word cool)

We tried to persuade her that it needs lopping, for safety sake, it's awfully close to the front steps

and it almost lifted the gutter off the house at one stage, the weight in the stems is massive, if one broke and fell ....well, I wouldn't like to be under it.

The cactus only flowers at night, enormous pale yellow flowers which are finished by the next day, sometimes they develop a pod like this

Daughter often spends some quality time standing under her cactus at night, admiring the flowers, talking to the cactus,
She tells me a recent conversation went like this:

"Hello big cactus, your flowers are beautiful, you wouldn't fall on me, would you"

On cue the cactus dropped a flower on her head.

We haven't worked out what it was trying to tell her.

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