Visiting Poot’s Cactus Nursery in Ripon, CA — again!

I took the day off today, and my boss was none too pleased. (And, for the record, I’m my own boss.) But given the beautiful weather, I decided that it was worth catching up with work over the weekend if need be. The temperatures have been tepid, if not somewhat cool, in the Central Valley lately — today was the first real balmy day of summer, so it was perfect for a brief outing. My family and I (and our three stinky dogs, at my dad’s insistence) drove down to Ripon this morning to peruse cacti and other plant goodies at Poot’s Cactus Nursery in Ripon, CA.

Cacti behind a white fence

Poot’s Cactus Nursery: A Central Valley gem

This is probably my fourth or fifth trip to Poot’s, but its phenomenal cactus and succulent selection never ceases to amaze me whenever I visit it. If you’re looking for the best cactus nursery out there (or at least in northern California), this is it! It pretty much carries every cactus and succulent on the face of the earth, and it’s so much fun to take pictures with the evergreen displays out in the front of the store! There’s even a cactus garden with towering cacti and a charming little koi pond. It really escaped me that there was a phenomenal cactus and succulent nursery so near me — it’s just a 10 to 15 minute drive away from my neck of the Central Valley.

Woman in floppy hat and blue shirt in cactus greenhouse

My mom spotted me for a few errands this past week, so I picked up a crested echinocactus grusonii for her — she’s really been into crested cacti and euphorbia lately. It’s essentially a golden barrel cactus that looks flattened and squashed (and that’s the appeal).

Succulents and cacti in a greenhouse


Mini succulents for three dollars

For myself, I grabbed a mini $3 Eve’s needle cactus to keep by my “office” window that gets southwestern light exposure. (My “office” is really my dad’s de facto storage room for shelf-stable food and toiletries, but it’s been nice to work in a space that doesn’t also double as my bedroom. This room also gets plenty of bright light, which is fabulous for cacti.) I also eyed a mother of thousands (millions?) kalanchoe, but I think I’ll hold out on buying one until late summer. 

Fuzzy red peaches

Ramos Country Corner: Delicious, affordable produce and snacks

After our brief excursion at Poot’s, we circled back to Ramos Country Corner, one of my favorite local fruit stands for fresh (and inexpensive!) produce. It’s officially stone fruit season, i.e. the most wonderful time of year. Since we don’t really have apricots or peaches in our garden, I loaded up on them – and at $1.99 a pound, how could I resist? With the option to mix and match, at that!

Pies of the day store sign

I also picked up sweet corn (2 for $1) and a mini watermelon.

And I’ve implemented a new tradition for myself: Grabbing a slice of carrot cake whenever I stop by! So good! So moist — is it still a faux pas to use that word to describe cake? Anyway, the cake is from El Bistro by Salt and Pepper, a local bakery in Modesto. And it’s delicious!

Our little impromptu trip was maybe around two hours? Maybe even less. But frankly, I’m ready to take the world’s longest nap, drool dribbling at the corner of my mouth and all. 

Before I leave, here’s a little fit check:

Woman in pink floral dress and white sneakers next to a succulents sign and actual cacti

Woman with white cat eye sunglasses on head and floral pink dress and buddha necklace doing a peace sign

I put on a swipe of coral lipstick and sported my latest thrift find, a $5 cotton milkmaid, cottagecore-ish dress that isn’t quite my vibe, but still looks very cute with my worn white Reeboks. 

 Signing off for now! Bye!

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