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106 years old! Cactus + Succulent Photos and a Happy Birthday shout out to Ruth Bancroft!


My love affair with Cactus + Succulents began during my 6 years of living in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. Since then, wherever I have lived, I keep a little of the desert with me at home with a collection of indoor and outdoor cactus and succulents. (I posted a couple shots of some of my outdoor cactus in my small backyard here in northern California. You can see them here).

Many of my plants have been acquired through sales at The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California.
These are some photos I took one warm and sunny day touring The Garden. The day I snapped these images I bought “several” gorgeous plants, and are they ever happy at my place. The Garden offers to “take back”, at any time, any plants that are a little too happy and get too large for their new homes. Good thing: have you seen how HUGE some Agaves can get? I won’t have to worry for a few more years, but this is a good thing to keep in mind!



I love the play of light and shadow and the geometric yet flowing shapes of cactus and succulents, and I like to take photos with an eye for a future painting. A cool thing about the awesome Ruth Bancroft Garden is that painting, photography, or other classes may make an appointment to bring their group to The Garden. How I would LOVE to draw and paint en plein air there. And it’s only a few miles from where I live. Hmm…
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen”. So, who knows?

Ruth Bancroft will be 106 years old on September 2, 2014!
Happy Birthday & Thank You dear Ruth for this great legacy.

Don’t miss these photos & stories about and from Ruth herself:
Ruth visits her garden:

Keep scrolling down for a brief history of The Ruth Bancroft Garden…

PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-2-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-3-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-4-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-5-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-7-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-8-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-10-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-11-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-12-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-13-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-14-2009 PHOTO-RuthBancroftGarden-15-2009

The Ruth Bancroft Garden is located in Walnut Creek, California. It began in the early 1950s as a private collection of potted plants within Bancroft Farm, a 400-acre (1.6 km2) property bought by publisher Hubert Howe Bancroft (grandfather of Ruth’s husband Philip) in the 1880s as an orchard for pears and walnuts. In the 1950s, Ruth Bancroft brought home a single succulent, an Aeonium grown by Ms. Glenn Davidson. In 1971 the last walnut orchard on the property was cut down, and Philip offered Ruth the three acres to begin a new garden using her large collection of succulents, which had outgrown the space available to house them. Ruth, then in her 60s, seized this opportunity.

In 1989, it became the first garden in the United States to be preserved by The Garden Conservancy, and has been open to the public since 1992. Today the Garden is an outstanding landscape of xerophytes (dry-growing plants). It is open to the public for an admission fee.

A brief history of The Garden and how it came to be >
View more photos on The Ruth Bancroft Garden website here.


 To see more articles & photos about Cacuts & Succulents on my blog click here & choose
“Desert Gardens” from the “Other Passions” menu

all photos taken with my iPhone

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