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How to Decorate Cactus and Succulents with Lights

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How to Decorate Cactus and Succulents With Lights
cactus garden ethel m

The Botanical Garden comes alive at night.

Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor

Unique Shapes Make a Magical Display

In the Southwest and other arid climates, cactus and succulents replace ornamental shrubs and trees as landscaping. With the philosophy of playing up what you have rather than trying to hide it or substitute something else, home decorators have been decorating cacti with holiday lights for several years.

So, how do you string lights on a succulent or spiny cactus? Very carefully, for starters. Wear a pair of suede or leather gloves that can't be penetrated by the needle-like spines of a cactus, which can even poke through the strongest types of gloves.

Ethel M Chocolates' breathtaking Botanical Cactus Garden is Nevada's largest and one of the world's biggest collections of its kind. Based on the English landscape model of naturalistic design, the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden features four acres of cacti, succulents and other drought-tolerant plants and trees.

The factory was named after the mother of the founder, Forrest Mars, and is the company's gourmet chocolate and candy division. In 2012, Ethel M's expects more than 100,000 people to visit the light display this year, which usually opens mid November and runs through New Year's Day. Admission is free.

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