The new Inland Northwest Gardening website now has photo galleries for six gardens in south-central Washington I visited and photographed the last week of April.
One of the more interesting gardens showcases cold-hardy cacti. Ron McKitrick, who gardens on the outskirts of Yakima, has been collecting and growing cacti for nearly 30 years. He’s traveled throughout the Americas to see these interesting plants in the wild and is now growing and propagating a large number of species. I learned during my visit that cacti are native only to the New World. They’re found as far north as the plains of Montana and as far south as Patagonia.
The first cacti to bloom for Ron are the Echinocereus, Escobaria, Mammilaria, Pediocactus, Sclerocactus, and Thelocactus. Opuntia, Cholla, and other species will be along later.