In fact, we have decided to designate the lower right corner of the yard our "Southwest" section. This idea comes both from our love of cacti and the fact that horrible soil and intense sun exposure make it next to impossible to grow anything else there.
One thing I love about cactus is that you can grow a whole new gorgeous plant just by sticking a tiny cutting into some soil.
This area by the fence has an arm from a large cactus that sits in one of the patio planters alongside some cuttings from a climbing cactus given to us by a neighbor who was moving away. I'm hoping they will fill in the hole between the jade plants, which line most of the fence on that side.
This one is from a single small cactus pad that I, um, acquired while walking the dog one day. I put it in a pot, it grew some additional pads, and now it's gone into the Southwest section so it can grow big and strong. This one seems to spread horizontally, and makes nice pink flowers when it blooms. It will be very pretty once it grows bigger.
And this pad is from a cactus from my sister's front yard in San Antonio. She says it grows like crazy, and that even pads that have fallen to the ground on their own sprout and grow new plants. My parents have grown some good-sized cacti in their yard using cuttings from the same plant. I like the idea that all three of us will have the same cactus growing in our yards.
There are also several other varieties of cacti and some hardier succulents in the Southwest section, both purchased and picked up for free. I even got a really nice big cactus pad out of a neighbor's green bin (yard waste can) a couple of weekends ago. I'm not above digging cactus cuttings out of the trash, and I only got about tiny, painful 40 spines in my hand doing it.
All these photos should be considered "before" shots. In six months or so I'll take some more pictures to see how much progress I've made. Hopefully, in a year or two there will be a really cool cactus garden down there. I just have to be patient.