I’m a Pacific Northwest native, and if you’ve never spent time in this area, trust me when I say it has a lot of natural beauty—Beautiful mountains, incredible rain forest, the Columbia River Gorge, and the coast line! But when it comes to bringing nature into my home, I find myself irresistibly drawn to a particular plant that is the opposite of what I find myself naturally surrounded by: Cactus! I love the desert vibes and colors more indicative of the Southwest and Southern California. They add a pop of color to my life during those traditionally dreary Portland winters. (I also have a personal affinity for tropical flora as well. Maybe it’s a “grass is greener” type situation.) My cactus obsession started off small. Literally! An impulse buy from a local grocery store started my collection with one very small cactus. It lit a fire in me. So I bought another, and another, and another until I had a nice collection of small potted cactuses along a bedroom window sill. That’s when I started searching out larger and larger cactuses. Being that the Pacific Northwest is not a natural habitat for the cactus, finding larger varieties locally can be a bit of challenge. While some local nurseries and flower shops sometimes stock the larger beauties, I’ve taken to experimenting with growing harder-to-find cactuses form seeds. (We’ll see if any of them take and I end up with a new hobby of cactus growing). Maybe someday I’ll even take a road trip through the Southwest and be able to visit some nurseries in that region.
My dream is to eventually have a few larger potted cactus in my living room in addition to aloe and range of different sized cactuses decorating a large built-in bookshelf I have. It might be raining outside but that doesn’t mean my home can’t make me feel like I’ve escaped to my own personal retreat in Joshua Tree. As I set forth on bring my dreams to life, I thought I’d share some of my favorite way’s I’ve seen people use cactuses in their own homes. Perhaps you’ll also feel inspired to bring a bit of that desert vibe into your own home.
GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING AND ADVERTISING WORK. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS AND WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER.