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Brad Brown, Cactus King Nursery
1534 Crest Drive, Encinitas

Brown's as expert a guy as you'll find. His dad bought the 50-year-old Cactus King Nursery 22 years ago. " 'Lawn' is a dirty word here," says Brad. "Lawn means profligate water use, fertilizers, pesticides, and high maintenance. With our plants you can vacation for a month and not fret. They love you to ignore them." He sells everything from cacti resembling classic "Pecos Bill" saguaros ($10 and up) to edible cactus (prickly pear, $6.50 for a gallon size) to the agave you make tequila from (Agave Tequilan, $8.50 and up). "You grow to love your cacti," he says. "They grow quietly, they live long, they belong here." Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thursdays.

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