Last year we "rescued" some barrel cacti that a neighbor was getting rid of. They were redesigning their front yard landscaping and the 3 cacti were destined for the landfill.
By the time we got them, they had been dug up and baking in the sun for a few days. We carefully transplanted them into our yard, and made simple cardboard sunblocks to protect them from any further sun damage. We weren't sure how they were going to do.
We kept a close eye on them, but there didn't seem to be much change or growth.
Then, about a month ago one of them started to bloom.
Over the course of the last few weeks there has been a steady display of beautiful red flowers around the crown.
"The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous."
~ Rabindranath Tagore