Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pavement Gardening 3



Last Spring I did 2 posts about plants that grow between the limestone rocks that pave the paths in the garden. These are mostly rock garden plants or some slightly bigger plants used to edge the paths. The following are new rock garden plants that are blooming for the first time this year, or that were not included last year.  The first one is perhaps the prettiest, the Mount Atlas daisy (Anacyclus pyrethrum). The inside of the petals is white but the back is red. I grew it from seed and it is supposed to be hardy to zone 6 but seems quite happy in this zone 5 garden. Apparently it is not long-lived but self seeds.


Mount Atlas daisy




The following dainty little daisy is Erigeron compositus discoideus. It was started from seed by my friend Glen who gave me one. It is very attractive growing only to 5 cm. Both this one and the previous daisy need full sun. I find that the erigeron is almost as pretty when the petals close at night because you then realize they are pale lavender rather than white.

Minature Erigeron


These two little stonecrops are invasive on rocky, thin soil in full sun. However, they are easily removed. The red one gets redder the more sun it gets. I find they look best growing next to each other. The green variety is called 'Baby Tears'. Left to their own devices, with time they would overtake the paths!


sedum album 'Baby Tears'
Stone crops



Hypericum cerastoides 'Silvana' is a little St-John's Wort that blooms profusely. The whole plant disappears under the blooms (in the picture, the first flowers are just starting to open). This is also supposed to be a zone 6 plant but I have grown it for many years. I bought it as a plant and over the years have put divisions in various places and they always do well as long as they are in full sun and the soil is well-drained.


St-John's Wort


The most common name for Azorella trifurcata ‘nana’ is 'Bolax' but it is also called the  Living Astro-Turf, not a very prepossessing name but I must say that the plant does look as if it were made of rubber, though very healthy looking in full sun. It is supposedly indestructible. Mine has not yet produced its yellow blooms. I bought it two years ago and divided the small patch into two. They did not do anything last summer but have just settled in this year and should now increase. The plant grows slowly and requires no maintenance at all.

Bolax


An other mini-daisy, this one yellow. I bought Othonna capensis 'little pickles' only a few weeks ago but it seems to have taken to the sandy spot in full sun where I put it like a fish to water. It has been blooming continuously and looking very happy. It is similar to ice plant (Delosperma sp.) although no ice plant has ever done so well in the garden from the word go.


Othonna capensis

I had pictures of Dianthus alpinus last year. The 2013 crop had fewer, larger flowers. In 2014 the new self-seeded crop includes more clumps and the flowers are smaller but more densely packed than they were last year. They also all seem pink (there were some white ones last year). These little buns are always one of the loveliest plants here. No need to ask why they are called Pinks!


Alpine Pinks




21 comments:

  1. Those are wonderful little scree plants, most I have never heard of . I have a thing for saxifrage but have never grown it. Where are you getting your plants?

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    1. Actually, the best rock garden plants I found this year were for sale at a gas station! Go figure! Many plants I start from seeds I get from seed exchanges. I was just thinking of doing a post about the few saxifrage I grow. I might do it before long.

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  2. I've planted a lot of little fill in plants to fill in the rock paths. My favorite ground cover is turning out to be the wooly thyme; it loves my garden.

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    1. You cannot beat thyme. They are just starting to bloom here and some of them are simply beautiful.

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  3. A super collection of some wee beauties Alain - all pretty in their own right and it's good to read they are enjoying your conditions. I like the miniature Erigeron best.

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    1. Thank you. Rock garden plants are amazing seeming as they do to thrive on harsh conditions.

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  4. Nice daisies and Miniature Erigeron, Alain! I think I could plant them in my rocky garden as well.

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    1. They would do well for you too, I think.

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  5. Hi Alain,
    Some wonderful rock plants you have. I particularly like the Erigeron. Any chance of some seed from it?

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    1. If I get any seeds I will be pleased to send you some.

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  6. All your wonderful little plants seem so happy where you have put them, as we say over here, " right plant, right place" it makes all the difference!

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    1. I think we all grow what our gardens like!

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  7. Delightful little treasures - you'd be in heaven in the Alpine houses in Wisley, Alain. If you ever visit the UK you must go and see them. You can shrink and admire for hours :)

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    1. I did visit it but many years ago, before I was interested in rock garden plants. Perhaps, without me knowing it, that visit was what created my interest!

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  8. We have such different soil! I grew Mt Atlas daisy in a pot last spring but it died once summer hit. But I really liked it and need to try it again. As for Borax, what a funny plant! Do people ever think it's fake?

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  9. Borax is funny. I think though that it will look nice once I have a large patch. You could think it is faked if it was not so well anchored to the ground.

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  10. I used to grow many alpines but where I am now doesn't suit other than for container culture. I have grown Dianthus alpinus which I really liked but my favourite was the Cheddar Pink, that was D.caesius which somehow sounded right unlike its new name D.gratianopolitanus which is a real mouthful! I know it is perhaps more rampant and loose growing but I do try to grow as many British natives as possible.

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  11. Hi Rick, thank you for stopping. I also have cheddar pink - here they are just starting to open. Dianthus seem to interbreed a lot. I have lots of pinks that have self-seeded but I believe many are hybrids of the various dianthus I bought or sowed over the years.

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It is always nice to hear from you!