Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pavement Gardening - edge of the path

Here is yet another series of rock garden plants I grow among the stones on the garden paths. However these are some of the ones I grow only on the edges of the paths, because they cannot be stepped on.

The first one is a variety of Iberis sempervirens. Normally the flowers are white. However, in this variety, they start white, but as they age, they slowly turn pink. It is a low variety whose name I do not know as I grew it from a cutting I was given at Larkwhistle Garden many years ago. It probably would prefer more sun than the 4-5 hours that it gets, but it seems to manage well.

Perennial candytuft

Germander 'Summer Sunshine' (Teucrium chamaedrys 'Summer Sunshine') has a very attractive foliage. It has not bloomed yet, even if it has been in place for a few years, but it is really grown for its foliage. It is grown next to a patch of 'Snow-in-Summer' (Cerastium tomentosum). Although you have to pull out the Cerastium by the hand full to make sure it does not smother the germander, the latter's solid yellow foliage stands up better next to the white and grey of Snow-in-Summer.

Germander 'Summer Sunshine'

Not all Cerastium are thugs. 'Mouse ears' (Cerastium alpinum) does not spread much. Still, I find the common Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum) more attractive, because it blooms much more generously and for a longer time.

Mouse ears

Antennaria dioica, Pussy toes, is usually white. 'Rubra' is a pinkish version. It grows very well and is most well-behaved. I have had this clump for about 4 years. It has always come up beautifully, but it has not  increased much in all this time.
Red "Pussy toes"

The rock soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides), not a rare plant but a beautiful one with an airy poise and a profusion of pink blooms that look best overflowing over stones or concrete.

Rock soapwort

I grew Gypsophila repens 'Filou Rose' (pink trickster) from seed. It is the same size and is used in the same way as the rock soapwort and the two look alike from a distance. However, the Gypsophila grows more densely, and the flowers are slightly bigger.  Both like full sun.

Gypsophila 'Filou Rose'

Eriophyllum lanatum pointe or Woody sunflower is a garden variety of a short daisy native to Oregon and Washington states. It likes full sun. Mine has moved about a foot away from where it was planted. I don't know if from seed or from root. It is a nice plant that blooms all through July.

Woody sunflower

Veronica prostrata is a small version of the tall veronica. Contrary to the many small speedwells that are creeping, it produces spikes of flowers like regular veronicas but only a few inches tall. We have two varieties of it, the one above is not identified, and the one below is a variegated version called 'Goldwell'.

Prostrate speedwells

To end with, a plant that is perhaps less refined but does put on a good show. It is the  common bird's foot trefoil, but a dwarf variety (Lotus corniculatus 'Plenus'). The bright yellow flowers are double, and the plant is very tough. The label indicates it can be mowed without any problem!

Bird's foot trefoil


  1. I love the way you grow these tiny beauties in between cracks and stones. It looks beautiful and although it must be quite difficult to create a garden in such a rocky place you have done a great job.

  2. I planted a saponaria this year and am waiting for it to flower. The birdsfoot trefoil is a wild flower here.

  3. I'm amazed at how many lovely flowers there are that prefer such dry conditions, no wonder they don't want to live in my garden! They seem to delight in a very stony soil and show that indeed, there are plants for every situation. They all look so beautiful.

  4. So many plants that don't like the conditions in my garden Alain so a treat to see them all doing so well over there.
    I love the soapwort but have given up after 3 years of trying to get it through a wet winter. Some real wee pretties, thanks for sharing.

  5. All lovely. I especially like the red pussy toes. The white version grows quite widely around here on road margins and the like.


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