A Great Month for Relatively Young Horticulturists

I am always excited to connect with other people in my approximate age group, who have similar passions about horticulture that I have. And when these friends are recognized for their accomplishments, it somehow encourages me even though I had nothing to do with it myself. Here I will share two such examples.

Organic Gardening magazine has just produced a splendid article featuring six “young horticulturists” who are each pursuing their passions in their own special ways. This article was fun and I really enjoyed reading it – I hope you will too. I think out of the six I most identify with Brienne, especially when she said “I have found nothing else to be as satisfying as seeing newly formed roots on a cutting.” Yeah I am kind of weird that way myself, no doubt about it! I suppose, however, I am older than all these people, so I hope I can still get away with considering them my peers and calling myself “young.”

Then we have Riz Reyes (featured in the above article, BTW), for whom congratulations are in order for pretty much stealing the show at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. His ‘The Lost Gardener’ garden (is that redundant? sorry) was so well executed that it won numerous awards including the founders award. We are honored to have been able to contribute a few plants to this garden. It appears Riz really went out of his way to get the coolest and best plants, lending credence to my personal theory that 2/3 of the secret to a great garden is to avoid boring plants. Sounds like a no-brainer but some people who design gardens (including some of the ones at the show) still don’t get it. Anyway, enough about that – we wish to publicly congratulate Riz on his success! Way to go Riz!

(Update 3/7: Check out more pics of ‘The Lost Gardener’ and a great write-up at Danger Garden!)

To follow up on my last post, I ought to say a little bit about what’s going on at the nursery. I still have not done anything with the web site, but I have actually been working extra hard outside getting geared up for spring. Most years it seems like spring always gets away from me before I can get on top of things, so this year I am determined not to let that happen. Last year at this time I injured my shoulder snowboarding and couldn’t do much lifting for a month. Two years ago it snowed about this time, plus I was committed to the Flower and Garden Show which sucked away a bunch of my time. (This year I did not even attend – oops.) So this year I am going to get done what I need to get done here at the nursery to make it look awesome for summer open houses and sales, with tons of cool plants available and looking sharp earlier than last year. Hopefully I’ll do the web site soon enough as well. Wish me luck!

I should also mention that almost all the plants on the mail-order list are still available. And please don’t hesitate to ask if you want to check availability of something in particular.

Finally, on a sad note, we wish to lament the passing (about a week and a half ago) of retired King County extension agent George Pinyuh. He was a pioneer of cold hardy cactus and succulent gardening west of the Cascades, having attempted at least a couple hundred species; and was also an avid enthusiast of broadleaf evergreens. To others I don’t doubt he was much more, but I will remember him for his enthusiasm about under-appreciated plants and generosity in sharing them. We hope to honor his memory by getting a lot of the plants we have from his collection into general production (mostly from small cuttings… so it will be a while) with the promotion and recognition they deserve.

I think that will be all for now!


Here’s a pic that I don’t think has seen the light of day (I can’t imagine why not) – George Pinyuh talking to some weird long-haired dude, his cactus garden in the foreground, October 2006.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Desert Dweller
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 18:48:21

    Nice review – can’t wait to read the article. I’m 46 but that’s way younger than 22-ish people here who graduate with LA degrees but are quickly indoctrinated into boring plants and cold obsession. Your posts always make me smile about what the possibilities are!

    Your comment on designers know it’s interesting plants – I agree, and your post also has me hopeful for that happening in central and southern NM someday. Though I may have to start a “Desert SW Nursery” to have that…..


  2. Panayoti Kelaidis
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 19:53:02

    You youth-ists! Bah! Humbug! All gardeners are kids no matter what our age. I remember my mentor when he was five or ten years older than I am now informing me that you only age on the OUTside. Except for fuddy duddies of course (and they’re rarely gardeners!)…

    Hurry up with that website!


  3. Ian
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 22:49:34

    David, yeah, I think “indoctrination” sums up why I abandoned the pre-LA program at WSU… but it all turned out fine as far as I’m concerned. I’m much more of a plant geek type anyway. I hope you like the article!

    Panayoti, well I don’t like to take aging to seriously, that is for sure. Ah, the website… I used to love working on it, but now I need to find a way to make it easier on myself. We’ll see what I can come up with.


  4. Heidi Kaster
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 06:20:51

    Nice job Ian, I am like you in many ways and it is nice to see young plant people getting in there and getting recognition. You included. Great job to all of you.


  5. Paul
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 19:18:19

    Great website – thanks for putting it together, you’ve created a great resource for us. Hope to see you at the open house in May/June.


  6. Riz
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 19:01:31

    I’m so glad you let me use your plants for the display! Even if it was just a handful, you being represented in “The Lost Gardener” meant a lot to me and I hope people will catch on to the work that you do for us gardeners young, younger and older.


  7. Ian
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 11:28:43

    Thanks all! Riz, if you do something like this again, I’ll be sure to see it in person. What an effort… not to mention, proof of your actual skills as a gardener/designer/plantsperson.

    Paul, I’ve just figured out that the May/June open house will have to be reduced to two days, Friday and Saturday (31st/1st) only. Will update the web site to correct this, but I just thought I’d better let you know. Thanks!


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