I’ve been meaning to add to my collection of cacti for a while now. I have two big window ledges at the front of the room known lovingly as the “Oil Baron’s Sunken Lounge” and though one of them was filled with a row of the cacti I’ve been lovingly killing since 2007, pictured above, the other was completely empty.

And so I wanted to fill it with more cacti.

My sister calls my special south-facing window ledges “the torture garden”. Basically, anything that gets placed on it is condemned to a life of repeated near-death experiences – plants are taken right to the brink of expiration and then pulled back to life at the very last viable moment. My existing cacti, in their little stone pots, have been waiting out their torturous sentence for the past sixteen or seventeen years. Bless them.

But it’s not intentional, obviously – I’m not a horticultural psychopath. It’s just straightforward forgetfulness. They get the same treatment as all of the other plants, indoor and out, which is neglect for 98% of the time and then 2% manic overwatering when the inevitable sense of guilt spurs me into action.

With the cacti, I’ll usually give them something to drink when they’re so dehydrated that they sound hollow when you tap them. I’m pretty sure I once heard a cacti sigh in The Torture Garden sigh with relief when I held the watering can over the top of it. It then it made a strange glugging sound as the soil around it darkened with moisture as though it was desperately sucking up the water from the soil*.

It’s shameful and I’m telling you: if AI doesn’t take over the world and punish me for my mistreatment of the household Alexa (post upcoming) the cacti will definitely rise up and have their revenge.

Anyway I’ve bought some more. Bigger ones, so they should be hardier. (?) Hopefully they’re not used to a life of luxury because BOY will they have a shock coming to them!

I bought my new plants from a website called Hortology and this entire post is basically a massive waffle around the fact that I really enjoyed the whole experience. The Hortology site popped up when I Googled “large cacti” and I quickly price-checked them against a few other places to make sure that they weren’t extortionate. They seemed to be in the same ball-park, cost-wise, as most other sites, but the thing I loved was that they were very clear about what pot size you needed for each plant and then they also had the right pots to fit! 

My God, I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted, a few years ago, buying plants from a local place and then not being able to get the right pots. I ended up buying them online and then still getting the wrong sizes. And these things are heavy – you don’t want to be paying for returns on a 25cm concrete pot, I can tell you that for free. So you end up keeping them all and then having to buy more plants to fit them and before you know it the inside of your kitchen is like Kew Gardens and your walls are covered in weird aphids and you have creeping vines edging their way across the units and curling around the door knobs.

Hortology Discount Code*

Anyway. I thought that the ease of plant-to-pot matching at Hortology was great. I know that some other sites do this, but I had never been very impressed by the look of the pots before. It always seemed to be a simple offering whereas Hortology had loads and loads of different shapes, styles and colours.

Most of which, I have to say, were right up my strada.

I ordered two “Blue Columnar Cacti” and an aloe vera plant, which actually has to be re-sited from its new home already because it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight. Apparently. (“Oh you don’t like these conditions, huh? It’s too sunny for you here, huh? Get used to it kid. It’s survival of the fittest.”)

I then ordered three pots – two “earth cement” ones, which are very robust and heavy and grey and then one called “Alice” that looks like a supermarket creme caramel or an old French jelly mould. I love it.

I made my order on a Monday and got free delivery on the Thursday, which was more than speedy enough for me. I don’t think there was an option for faster delivery but I can’t imagine a situation where you’d desperately need a cactus or cheese plant for the very next day…

Wow, my imagination is running wild on that one.

If you want £5 off your first order then use the link here* – it’s not a special affiliate code, they just give it to you when you sign up, but I do get some sort of loyalty points in return. Feel free to ask friends and family if they have a code before you use mine, it’s just there if you need it.

*as usual, I exaggerate for comic effect. The plants are doing alright. Most…of the time. I mean keeping cacti alive for fifteen years and through about seven house moves has got to be worth something, hasn’t it? Hasn’t it?