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I wrote about the Living Desert Ranch in my other blog, The Bright Lights of Muleshoe, but for those of you truly interested in cactus, I wanted to give you a little more information on this place where you can get lost in myriad varieties of our favorite plants.

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Darrell Dunten, owner and locally-known cactus whisperer, knows his stuff, having been selling cactus since 1978. He does have probably more cactus than succulent varieties, but oh, what a variety! He does extensive grafting and propagates nearly everything from seeds he gathers and germinates on site. He is also quite artistic, and besides painting lovely pictures, which are also on display in his interesting home, Darrell creates hardscape items from slag glass and metal that can add unique touches to a garden.

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As you can see here, Darrell has piles of glass to use in sculptures and in dish garden plantings. Plus, the glass just add a neat, colorful touch to the setting among the oak and mesquite trees.

I could talk at length about all the plants, but I think they do a better job of it on their own. So here they are. He has the main greenhouse where you park, but a large growing nursery in the back just full of plants.
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The Living Desert Ranch is located west of Austin at 22701 Hwy 71, Spicewood, Texas. The phone number is 512-577-9106 and the website is www.livingdesertranch.com. The nursery is open Wednesday through Sunday. I would suggest going early in the morning-it can get pretty sweaty in the greenhouse! And besides, you want to give yourself plenty of time to see everything.

And tell him Alice sent you.

 

For more on the history of the Living Desert Ranch, go to my other blog at www.brightlightsmuleshoe.blogspot.com