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Carefree Desert Gardens to hold last program of 2017 season


CAREFREE – Carefree Desert Garden’s last gardening seminar for the season will focus on cacti of the desert foothills.

Scott McMahon, manager of the Desert Botanical Garden’s world-class cactus collection, will speak at the April 8 meeting. In the first hour, McMahon will speak on cacti that benefit from the climate of the desert foothills area. Genus Echinocereus, hedgehog, is characterized by their small mounding appearance, dramatic spines, and brilliant flowers. Opuntia, prickly pear, have flat pads; some stay at ground level, some grow to tree size. Cylindropuntia, cholla, have a dense covering of spines over thin, cylindrical stems. Ferocactus, barrel cactus, may grow up to 10’ high. 

McMahon will also speak on other cacti from North and South America and how they benefit from the climate of the desert foothills area, being more suited to the higher elevation and cooler nights compared to conditions in the low desert. The talk will cover species selection, horticulture, and proper site placement.

In the second hour,  McMahon will guide participants on a walking tour through the Carefree Desert Gardens, showcasing intriguing plants and trees of dramatic and unusual form. Participants may want to bring along hats, sunscreen, cameras and walking shoes.

 The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run approximately until noon at Corrado’s Cucina Italiana, located on the northwest corner of the U.S. Post Office building, 100 Easy Street, in Carefree. A $5 or more donation is suggested to support these programs.

For more information, call (480) 488-3686.