Just recently stumbled across the most wonderful little garden shop while doing a photo shoot in the high desert. If you live in the desert, you either love the native plants and desert landscaping or you hate all the sand and want grass. Coming from New England I fell in love with the exotic (to me) and dramatic landscape of the desert. I wouldn’t want anything else in my desert garden.
While the big box stores are always convenient for last-minute gardening needs, I’d much rather spend a couple of hours wandering around one of our local desert garden shops. My two favorites are the Living Desert in Palm Desert and Moorten’s Botanical Gardens in Palm Springs. But now I can add The Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley to my list.
Not only do they have a splendiferous selection of succulents and cactus, they also have an art gallery filled with beautiful work by local artists.
My personal favorite is their “dig your own” section where you can make your own assortment of baby cacti to take home at a very affordable price.
And you don’t really have to dig. It’s more like scooping. I picked up these little beauties you see here. Aren’t they adorable?
But if you don’t have the patience to wait for them to grow, they have bigger sizes…
If you’re getting married, you can pick your succulents straight from the greenhouses and they’ll design beautiful arrangements for you, even a succulent bouquet.
The owners and staff are super friendly and very knowledgable about drought tolerant landscaping. They offer desert gardening classes, some taught by the prominent Maureen Gilmer, columnist for the Desert Sun and author of Palm Springs Style Gardening.
One of her recent workshops was on how to successfully grow a vegetable garden in the desert. I know I’ve only been able to grow herbs and tomaotoes in the desert until now. The Cactus Mart supplies heirloom non-GMO seeds that are well-suited for the desert climate, so that’s going to be my next step.
The place is much bigger than you would expect when you first pull off the highway. I had no idea there was also a hardware supply store, wild bird seed, bird feeders, and pottery for sale.
They’re planning on offering even more for the desert gardener, so be sure to check out their website for the latest news. It’s only a short drive from Palm Springs and on the way to Joshua Tree National Park. I can’t believe it’s taken me 14 years of driving past the place to actually stop and go in, but better late than never. Right? If only I had know there was so much there…
The Cactus Mart is located at 49889 Twentynine Palms Hwy (Hwy 62) in Morongo Valley. 760.363.6076
*All images taken with my trusty iPhone 4S