As a general garden rule, I do not like — and so steer away from — plants that can hurt me. Roses are about as close as I get to this thorny issue, which has less to do with the plant and more to do with me. I know me. I know that I can be careless and klutzy — and that combination, along with some blood thinners, means I can easily become a human pin cushion.
A few years ago, Joe and I asked a neighbor if he would like our cactus. It was tall, only one stalk, and never really did anything. It was just there, slightly askew — a leaning tower of needles, so to speak.
The neighbor gladly accepted the offer, digging up the cactus and replanting it along the property line between him and us — far enough and close enough at the same time. Since then, that single stalk has expanded to about seven towering stems — and it’s now in bloom, giving a whole new definition to vertical gardening.
Look quickly, though, the flowers — which bees love — only last a day.