Nurseryman Scott Calhoun of Tucson found a fitting way to display his house numbers: He put the digits on cactus-filled pots. Calhoun painted the zinc-coated containers lavender to match the house's trim but left the rims unpainted for contrast. He chose a very slow-growing barrel cactus with showy spines, Ferocactus emoryi rectispinus, which Calhoun calculates will take at least three years to outgrow the 6-inch containers.
To duplicate the look, apply a base coat of latex primer on pots of your choice. To ensure neat numbers, Calhoun used a stencil and a small artist's paintbrush. For added insulation, line the pots with foam cups (if the cups are too short, cut up another cup and use it as an extension piece). Select a slow-growing cactus, and plant it in a good, fast- draining mix like Black Gold Cactus Mix.