2020 Fall Club Activities

Greenhouse Manager Louise Pierce shows off the new hose storage reels installed by each of the hose bibs outside the greenhouse. These decorative reels were donated by Louise.

Getting his hands deep into the mixing tub, Tom Cavanagh mixes another batch of the club’s special cactus soil mix. The formula for this mix included commercial cactus dirt plus pumice and gypsum.

After making an appointment, two ladies check out the smaller plants. The number of people in the area was limited to ten or fewer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thank goodness that many of the “mother” plants in the greenhouse made it through the summer shutdown. These plants were not for sale as they were maintained to produce “pups” or new plants which then could be potted up for sale.

Monday mornings brings Marcia Landis and Glenn Landis to the Beardsley Recreation Center as part of the watering crew. Each pot was watered carefully to avoid getting too much water on the plants as wet leaves or pads often caused rust or even killed the plants.

Mike Anderson loads a tub of Beavertail cactus cuttings into his van. The president of an HOA near Echo Mesa Golf Course invited our harvesting crew to salvage several cuttings including some Blue Steel Agave pups and several pieces of Eve’s Needle.

Club member Linny Thompson checks in with president Kathy Church before shopping for new plants. Linny found two pots of Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) to take home.

Desert Garden Club member Glenn Landis combines the three parts of the special planting soil mixture. Prior to this activity, he used a diamond-tipped drill bit to bore drainage holes in several decorative pots.

It did not take long for the club volunteers to harvest and pot up thousands of plants. By the first week of December, the Sun City Residents had quite a variety of cactus and succulents to pick from.

Erv Johnson and Sid Lundquist work on getting the materials together to mix the club’s special cactus soil. These two, plus Tom Cavanagh, spent nearly every Tuesday and Thursday morning potting up the larger plant cuttings.

A Sun City West resident shops for some Moroccan Mound plants. To control the spread of COVID-19, the plant sales were limited to SCW residents only. They had to register their Recreation Card numbers which were recorded for contact tracing if necessary.

Following the brutally hot, dry summer, this outside potting station was a busy place to replace so many plants that did not survive into the fall. By December, the walkway next to the Beardsley Pool was repopulated with hundreds of large plants being rooted and then sold to the residents.

On a cool December morning, Vice President Linda Hunter, Greenhouse Chair Louise Pierce, and Program/Social Chair Sue G. discuss the plant sales appointments. Even though the COVID-19 precautions limited sales to only Sun City West residents, some days netted hundreds of dollars in plant sales.