If you don’t know me, I absolutely love nature. Camping, hiking, bouldering, trail running — I enjoy it all. No matter where I am, nothing beats the smell of fresh pine trees or the sound of a babbling river. Because of that, I’ve been to many national parks over my lifetime (thanks, mom and dad!), but until now, I had never been to the one closest to me: Joshua Tree National Park. So this past December, I went there for the first time. And it was SO different from all the other parks. For one, everything is flat, dry, and “dead.” It’s hot, and there’s no really escaping the heat of the sun.
I used to avoid this park because, well, it’s a desert. I’m never really like, “I want to go on a relaxing vacation. Oh, I know, I’ll go to the DESERT.” However, it was on this trip that I realized how beautiful it is in its own way. Everything seems dead, but everything is very much alive. The plants and animals that thrive there are survivors, and I think that demands some level of respect!
It was also on this trip that I learned to appreciate the beauty of the cactus. Each one is so unique, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Some flower, some don’t. This the first time I got to see a Joshua tree in person, too. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty creepy. It has hundreds of little spiky arms and grows amazingly tall — like I feel as if it could come alive and kidnap me. But as I drove through Joshua Tree and saw the clusters and clusters of these stolid species, I realized how strangely majestic, unique, and beautiful they looked.
I never really got into the whole cactus fashion thing — “You know what would make me look beautiful? DESERT TREES.” — but now I understand. Not only is it a style that represents California and the southwestern U.S., but it’s also a trend that the rest of the country — and most of the world for that matter — can’t claim or copy. It’s a slice of Western iconography that is ours and ours alone. How cool is that?
To me, a cactus represents patience, dependability, resilience, and strength. It’s not threatening at all; just don’t mess with it, and it won’t mess with you. :D Basically, we should all be cacti.
To honor this sacred succulent, I put together a list of cactus-themed items for you and your home if you feel inspired to take part in this Western trend.
Collection of 5 Unique Succulents ($15.70)
These adorable little succulents come in five different varieties and are delivered in cute little square pots. The best part? They’re drought-tolerant, so they’re even good for chronic plant killers!
Cactus Ceramic Diffuser ($20.99)
This cactus-shaped diffuser looks like a mini planted cactus and holds up to 60 mL of fragrance or essential oils. I can’t even handle how cute this is.
Cactus Watercolor Wall Art ($10.99)
Elevate your home even more with these modern, simple, yet elegant cactus watercolor prints. The purchase comes with three digital downloads, so you can print them in the size you want and use your own frames (Dollar Tree sells some great ones!) to match your décor.
Margarita Cactus Glass ($3.49)
This is one of my favorite items on the list. It’s a clear, deep margarita glass (so less spillage) supported by a glass cactus stem. The stem and base are made of translucent green glass, making this a supa classy but fun product to add to your collection. And you can’t beat the price.
Ceramic Cactus Ring Holder ($19.51)
This ceramic ring holder is GORGEOUS and depicts a detailed cactus with three arms mounted onto a little white plate. It’s great for holding all your rings, earrings, and other small jewelry and will look perfect on your dresser or bookshelf.
This adult coloring book features 55 cactus-themed mandalas and detailed terrariums that’ll help you wind down and relax. It’s also perfect for a coffee-table book! Just put one of your mini planted succulents on top, and you’re all set.
Cactus Camp Mug ($13.90)
This sturdy, soft-lime-green mug is dishwasher- and microwave-safe and holds up to 12 ounces of liquid. It’s lead-free and is absolutely perfect for snuggling around a campfire or lounging on the couch.
Cactus Throw Pillows ($8.98)
These cotton-linen throw pillow covers will elevate your room décor in a second. They’re modern and washing-machine-friendly, and include a discreet side zipper for easy removal.
Because Shannon and I believe in budgets, you probably shouldn’t buy all of these in one go — although it’s really tempting! Choose your favorites, and build up your collection slowly. And even if the cactus trend does eventually die down, who cares? You live in SoCal, and we get to celebrate the cactus every day!