Too good to be true!

A few weeks ago, in the succulent section at the big box store, I saw this cactus in bloom that I really, really liked. The flower was bright green – the greenest one I’d ever seen. It looked completely unreal… And since I’m madly in love with green flowers, I brushed aside any nagging suspicion that everything wasn’t right. It was such an unusually bright green…. Damn, this thing was cool! Excited, I grabbed it, and continued on my way down the isle. “You know that’s glued on…. right?” , I heard a voice say. It was one of the garden section clerks, who apparently did know what she was talking about. Actually, no – I didn’t know… WTF??? The shape of the flower looked an awful lot like a straw flower, but since I don’t know enough about how cactus flowers look to even be able to generalize about its authenticity, it fooled me. So, all of a sudden, I felt like a real sucker. Bummer… I was so disappointed! I walked around clutching it for a little while longer. But, the more I scrutinized it, the angrier I got. Even when you looked at it closer, you couldn’t really tell it was glued on. I spent a few minutes studying the craftsmanship on some of the other beauties, and indeed! On a few of them you could see the errant strands of hot glue marring the final result. Hot glue!!! That poor cactus!

Well, there it is. Now that I'm a bit wiser it just looks ridiculous, but I really thought it was so cool....

Well, there it is. Now that I’m a bit wiser it just looks ridiculous, but I really thought it was so cool….

Anyway, long story short, feeling cheated, I put the cactus back on the shelf, and went home. But before I did, I photographed it, thinking I should write something about it. Of course, before long, I forgot all about this little annoyance. It wasn’t until I walked out in the garden the other evening, and saw what had happened to one of my other purchases that I remembered. Instead of this fake one, I bought a cool little plant called Pleiospilos nelii, or Split Rock plant. Holy moly – it was blooming! Such a cute little flower! And, best of all, it is real! Love it, but still feeling a bit stupid. I didn’t even realize it had a bud! There are few things that can keep you as humble as gardening…

Cute, isn't it?

Cute, isn’t it?  🙂


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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12 Responses to Too good to be true!

  1. Loree says:

    Oh my, that lil’orange flower is adorable! I’m still kind of amazed that the big box employee bothered to say anything to you. Somehow she realized you might (eventually) realize what you’d bought and be upset about it? That’s just crazy good…

    • annamadeit says:

      I was really grateful she did, because yes, I would have been upset once I had seen the error of my ways… She surprised me too, but then I thought that maybe she is one of those frustrated plants-people that would be very valuable in a real nursery setting. Lowe’s is lucky to have her!

  2. Elvis says:

    Don’t feel bad, Anna. The split rock flower is so much nicer! I have always had an interest in those when I see them…such odd, yet compelling plants. And with a living flower, now complete!

    • annamadeit says:

      You know, when I brought it home, I showed it to my 14-year old. I think he’s a lot like me, although he hasn’t realized it yet, and I think I can gradually lure him into gardening by exposing him to the weird and the quirky. Sure enough – he loved how unusual appearance of that, and the other two I brought home that day. I sense a gardening ally in my not too distant future! 🙂

  3. I have given a second glance at those glued on flowers too. Such deception! I do like the bloom on your split rock — sort of looks like a Delosperma bloom, wonder if it is the same family? Time to read up on it. 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Janet – thanks for doing the research for me! You are right – it looks a lot like an Ice plant. There is so much to learn about these plants. I feel like I’m just nibbling on the edge of a vast new field…

  4. Peter/Outlaw says:

    The craftsmanship of the glued-on cactus flower is getting much better these days. It was nice of the clerk to let you know! Your split rock flower is very sweet!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Peter! I still wonder where they are made? And who came up with the idea?… Stateside, or are they the work of little Chinese children? Either way, it reminds me of that shameful practice of adding eyes to cut flowers like chrysanthemums… And those awful dyed orchids… (shudder)…

  5. it makes me soooo angry when they glue fake flowers on cacti !!!!!! you can’t remove them without damaging the plant !

  6. Danielle says:

    I can’t believe someone would actually glue flowers! That’s just ridiculous!

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