For seven years I’ve been taking care of a Christmas cactus. I take it with me back and forth from my winter home in Florida. The cactus was grown from a start taken from the plant my mother took care of when she was alive. Taking care of the plant reminds me of the good times I shared when her. It’s only a cactus but I want to keep it alive as long as I can.
This year I’m not taking the cactus back north with me. I now have a place to plant it in Florida. I’m hoping it will do well but since I planted it there have been problems. The primary one is that the rabbits like to chew off the new growth. In the photo you can see that the cactus is struggling (it was full and gorgeous with several blooms when we brought it down in November). What also appears in the photo is the new wire cover (cage) I built to keep the rabbits and other animals from chewing on it. Now that the cover is in place I am optimistic the plant will thrive.
As seen in the photo, the chicken wire cover I made is not a work of art. It is simple, functional, and inexpensive. I initially searched online for a suitable cage, but was disappointed to find a basic wire cage sells for $25 plus shipping. So I purchased $8 worth of chicken wire at the local hardware store and in an hour or so produced the resulting cage. I make this point because years ago I worked with chicken wire to make papier-mâché structures as a teenager. With this background I had no concerns as to whether or not I could make a simple cage with modest time and effort. One never knows when a little knowledge from one’s experiences will come in handy.
I also learned a new word in this process. The word cloche refers to a small cover for protecting a plant and also refers to a woman’s bell-shaped hat. I suppose I could say I made a wire cloche for the cactus. Only, if I said that who would know what I was talking about?