Monday, April 15, 2013

Daft over Drabas!

Draba polytricha in a trough yesterday

I know, they're almost all the same crazy tone of chartreusy yellow. And yes, I know they almost all bloom in the early spring. But after the last nutty cold snap on April 8, when the temperature dropped to +7F with only a dusting of snow (I know--it could have been -7F), just about the only group of plants in my garden that haven't wilted or just plain turned black are the drabas. And yes, I know--most of our native plants are still dormant (they know about these late frosts)--but alpine plants are a different creature altogether: they LIKE the cold! Which is why you must come to our Rocky Mountain Chapter rock garden sale this Saturday at Mitchell Hall (Denver Botanic Gardens) and load up! The Draba polytricha above was taken yesterday: could anything be more enchanting?
Draba hispanica and Corydalis solida 'George Baker'
 I can tell your eye is drawn to the bright red Corydalis solida 'George Baker' in this picture: Stop that! Look at those lovely cushions in front (those red corydalis weathered the frost OK, but look a little worse for wear this week--but the Draba looks better than ever!)

Draba strreptocarpa in a trough
Here is a native alpine draba growing in one of the monumental troughs that were in late lamented Wildflower Treasures garden--now mothballed in the nursery. It almost looks like it was taken on Mosquito Pass, don't you think?
Draba bruniifolia
I finish with the dwarf form of a widespread European draba, this one from southern Turkey--which has formed thick masses on one of my rock gardens--and gets better from year to year. One could have hundreds of variations on the theme of draba in a Colorado rock garden--and after this nasty spring--that's a pretty appealing idea to me at least! I know there will be LOTS of drabas at the sale this Saturday. Don't miss it!


  1. I like draba. It was one of the first rock garden plants I grew while living in an apartment. It did well in pots on my front step. Ironically, I do not currently have any of the typical rock garden drabas in my garden. I have concentrated so much on "difficult" plants or plant that are rare in cultivation that I have neglected to obtain some of the really great rock garden plants.


  2. p.s. my condolences to those who were impacted by what occurred in Boston today. If I had not gotten injured last year, I might have been there myself.


  3. It will surely be a great view to watch in the garden. Its bright yellow flowers bloom in early spring on tufts of evergreen foliage with hairy, rounded leaves is indeed a relaxing to see.


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