George Pinyuh's Garden, Renton, Washington

Retired King County extension agent George Pinyuh has created an impressive cactus and succulent garden with many species, on the east hill of Kent, Washington, about 10 miles east of Sea-Tac Airport. This location receives about 50" of annual precipitation; however, his very well drained soil, with even more grit added, enables the plants to endure the winter wet. The location in front of the house, where most people would have their front lawn, receives virtually no morning sun, no evening sun, and virtually no winter sun: hardly ideal for cacti, yet the sun still shines during the afternoon and many plants thrive. Especially impressive is the number of non-opuntoid cacti thriving in this situation: possibly the largest collection of such plants in any unprotected Washington garden at this time. George notes that a re-evaluation of his cactus garden may be needed after the rather nasty cold spells during the winter of 2006-07. Many rare and interesting broadleaf evergreen shrubs and trees can also be found in his garden.

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Agave chrysantha.

Agave lophantha.

Agave palmeri with Grevillea juniperina var. sulphurea in the background.

Agave parviflora with Sempervivums. This plant flowered two years prior to the picture. It has produced a couple offsets, but the main rosette hasn't died yet, and still remains green. It appeared to set some seed, but they may have been inviable since none of them germinated.

Agave protamericana has done very well here and is a clear winner for Northwest Gardens. The strappy leaves in the back at left belong to a Beschorneria species.

This is probably Agave x 'Snakeskin'.

An attractive pink-flowered form of Opuntia phaecantha.

Agave utahensis with Rubus calcynioides.

Agave lechuguilla from a grower in New Mexico. If collected at the northern end of its range, this species is fairly reliable for the Pacific Northwest. Note also a small Agave bracteosa at left.

Echinocactus texensis.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. inermis.

Epithelantha micromeris, button cactus. In this photo, it has not been through a winter outdoors yet.

A dark spined form of Escobaria vivipara.

Gymnocalycium baldianum flowering in October.

Gymnocalycium bruchii, which grows very well in the Northwest.

Opuntia basilaris var. aurea.

Opuntia 'Burbank Spineless'.

A local form of Opuntia fragilis from the San Juan Islands.

A long-padded form of Opuntia fragilis, also with Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus (left of center), Opuntia humifusa (back center), and Echinocereus triglochidiatus (far right).

Opuntia fragilis var. denudata.

A robust form of Opuntia humifusa.

This plant sold as Opuntia macrocentra appears to be closer to something in the O. santa-rita/violacea clan.

Showy flowers of the above plant.

Opuntia imbricata.

Opuntia whipplei.

A broader shot of part of the cactus garden.

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