Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Danish Rock Garden extravaganza

Porophyllum saxifrage (yellow) behind a large stand of drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata)
I am so far behind! Three nights at a very clean and friendly hotel in Darmstadt where our room was cursed with having impossible WIFI connections: we have experiences so much throughout Germany that I can't believe we still have Denmark to contend with, but before I move on the Teutonic wonder of a high order (Germany right now is like a vast Klimpt painting, with sound provided by all the "B"'s (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms...) in other words, sublime...

I chatted a bit about Denmark in my last blog for DBG. But the vast rock garden (and the rest of the very lovely garden) in Copenhagen cannot be passed by in silence: it is at least an acre in extent. Maybe more. And very hilly, with an enormous number of microclimates where there is everything from a large cactus section (sorry: bad pic) to a north slope full of primulas and saxifrage (see above for a part of it)...

New paving throughout the Rock Garden
The last few years this garden received a large grant of several million dollars, and has had a facelift: much of the rock garden was freshly planted--and these amazing and very beautiful stone paths now fill the whole place: TO DIE FOR!

Mukdenia rossii
 I have a DEVIL of a time calling this by its modern name (although I know Mukden is a valid geographic reference)...I much prefer Aceriphyllum. this is growing lustily in every garden in Germany, but I saw it first in Copenhagen. Mine don't look like these...

Rhododendrons coming into glorious bloom everywhere in central Europe. There were innumerable good dwarfs in this rock might read the label if you strain hard enough (I gave up)...

 The label on this fritillary is much more readable. What a charming clump. There were charming clumps of frits all over the garden, and good many other bulbs--many from the heyday of research into the Green Mountain flora--which gives these collections added meaning.

Attractive overlooks in all directions--although a tad empty this time of year, I am confident the beds fill up by June (we had an incredibly late year throughout Scandinavia--and Colorado)..

 Some interesting combinations--like the Yucca with Tulipa australis in front! Not that I haven't committed some sins...

 The last two winters have taken a toll--although I suspect this colossal Minuartia will recover before long...

Another vista--this one full of rhodies...

There are huge patches of Erythronium tuolumnense in every European botanic garden I visit--how amazing that a rare plant from California has proved so tough~here with yet more rhodies!

My last shot does double duty: a glimpse of one of the new areas featuring crevice type planting,. and part of a huge patch of Epimedium pubigerum (one of the few European native epimediums)--which I have not seen in America...
I have dozens more pix and would love to share them. Not only the rock garden, but their woodlands, the perennial beds, conservatory and many greenhouses--but life is short and it's late and I have more big days in Germany ahead! I wish I could bring all of you along. Europe this year is so glorious (and Colorado so damaged from late frost) I am very grateful to be here in what looks to be a banner year for Germany in particular. I can't begin to express my delight with the Old World. Thanks Lucky Stars (and Denver Botanic Gardens, and Peter Korn! For making this possible)...


  1. Love the striped Fritillaria (graeca?) I'd be happy to have this one in the garden. Can't wait for the next installment of your travels.

  2. Enjoying very step (and pause) of your travels sir.

  3. Perhaps you haven't seen Epimedium pubigerum because you're not in the happiest of Epimedium habitat in CO, the species is not that uncommon in the USA. I grow three forms of the species. While the flowers are very small, they're above the leaves (a plus) in airy sprays, and the foliage is typically evergreen here in New England. This one is fairly drought and heat resistant, it might be doable in Colorado in an open shaded location.

    Ditto on the striped frit, very unusual to be so strongly striped.


    Mark McDonough
    In Massachusetts, where we just had two weeks of non-stop perfect 68-70 F sunny spring weather and one of the best spring seasons ever (sometimes we get lucky and don't get stupid weather).

  4. Danmark er en lille andedam, men en meget smukke andedam!

  5. Ann--the Fritillaria is graeca ssp. thessala. And there are a lot more installments coming.

    We do do pretty well with Eps in Colorado, Mark. Just don't have enough (hint hint hint)...

    Jeff: Tyskland er en gigantisk hav ved sammenligning. En botanisk hav fuld af haven hvaler!

  6. og en af dem er grækker,...-)


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