I'm eager to share with you my recent visit with a remarkable succulent collector---Rich Zeh.
Located in the community of Paradise Valley on the outskirts of Phoenix, Rich's landscaped garden encompasses an acre. In my new video, Rich shows us his garden and 960-square-foot, 20-foot-high greenhouse.
Of the latter he says, “I had a backhoe dig down 10 feet and had block walls installed." Along interior walls are in-ground planters that enable desirable (and occasionally finicky) cacti and succulents to stretch their roots---helping them grow more robustly than in pots.
As for Rich's extensive potted collection, you'll see succulents and cacti that have attained impressive growth, some thanks to being grafted onto host plants. However such specimens are not without challenges, Rich says, explaining why he prefers "plants that grow on their own roots."
Rich accumulated his Aladdin’s trove of rarities over the 30 years. "I'm pretty much maxed out on space," he says of a collection reminiscent of a Cactus & Succulent Society show. (He belongs to the Central Arizona C&SS, which when Covid isn't an issue, has a show and sale in spring.)
For both the YouTube video and gallery below, I combined photos taken during my visit with others provided by Rich. We wanted you to see as many of his plants in bloom as possible.
You’ll enjoy Rich's descriptions of succulents he’s nurtured for decades. Hear him explain how he keeps them healthy, where they came from, and what he likes best (or finds challenging) about each.
Btw, much of Rich's garden is underneath the lacy canopies of palo verde trees, which were in bloom when I was there. See clouds of yellow flowers overhead and drifts of dry petals in pathways. Heaven in Paradise Valley!
Don't miss the estate garden where Rich is a consulting expert
For 15 years majordomo Woody Woodruff has kept everything running smoothly for billionaire homeowners on 7 acres in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, in Paradise Valley NE of Phoenix. His love of his “babies”—thousands of cacti and succulents—is evident, as is his Southern drawl.