|"This is Colchicum hungaricum form Odyssey bulbs"|
|"C. biflorus ssp. crewei JJA 034.1150 ex Turkey Denizli- seed started Jan 2008-"|
|Another view of "C. biflorus ssp. crewei JJA 034.1150"|
|. "Galanthus forsteri"|
|"Galanthus ex Greece"|
|Dr. Tony Reznicek|
My "mission" was Michigan, and it turned out to be possible (to explain my arcane title)...
A few posts back I featured a Colorado garden in late winter: since that time our gardens have exploded with hundreds of spring flowers. I visited Michigan last weekend and they were poised in the same spot: truth be said, if your garden is not beautiful in winter, it sucks. I was privileged to visit four best of class gardens in a single day (Sunday, March 22), and I must say that aside from the two Stireman masterpieces in Salt Lake City, Ann Spiegel's gem in New York and one or two others (which I shall not divulge), no rock gardens in America approach these four for superb garden design, wealth of plant collections and just plain genius. Michigan has been blessed with a great history of garden excellence: Fred and Boots Case, Bob Stewart and Betty Blake all have been luminaries in the Rock Garden Zodiac. These four gardens are all worthy of them!
|A few shots of Tony's amazing crevice gardens|
|A few MORE shots of Tony's amazing crevice gardens|
I have to say something about the daphnes in Michigan: I thought we grew daphnes well... I've never seen so many grown so superbly: tucked into crevices like this, or forming monster masses in more open sites. I must have seen several dozen that were well over a meter across!
|Choice Eriogonum tucked in a crevice.|
|Xeric sand bed full of treasures (dianthus, acantholimon and yucca here)|
|He grows lots of cacti too|
|This very long spined Echinocereus triglochidiatus amazed me|
|Cylindropuntia whipplei with a very dense form of E. umellatum:v. porteri?|
|A very happy Aucuba: I believe he'd given it a little protection from winter burn.|
|More shots of the xeric garden: Cylindropuntia imbricata doing well despite a very cold winter.|
|The obligatory Hellebore: Tony had lots of them.|
|The path climbs and climbs and the garden is suddenly far below!|
All manner of rock work, and wonderful dwarf conifers livening up the wintry scene...
|Merendera (Colchicum) trigyna|
|What a shock to see Dryopteris sieboldii after a -25F winter!|
|Lots of coum budding up to bloom...|
|Wonderful rock garden slope with specimen evergreens...|
|A hefty clump of Adonis amurensis about to bloom...|
|An enviable Acer griseum|
|Who doesn't dote on the bark of Acer griseum|
|Helleborus niger 'Potters wheel' with enormous flowers.|
|Very different rock work along this wall...much of it tufa|
|Another view--love the red Penstemon hirsutus 'Pygmaeus'|
|Some fabulous cacti--including a huge clump of Escobaria leei: how could a plant from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico be so hardy?|
|Quite the lump of Tufa...(a rock with a story: come to the meeting and find out!)...|
|The bark on the Hydrangea competes with yet another paperbark maple.|
|Two kinds of palm trees made it through this hellish winter: Rhytidophyllum on the right and Sabal minor from Oklahoma on the left|
|I suspect there will be some more rock work accomplished by meeting time in a month and a week!|
|Don and Mary Lafond|
|Troughs everywhere full of treasures...|
|The first glimpse of yet another extravaganza!|
I love this rock garden in a wooden framework...
Stately views in every direction: can't wait to see these brimming with color in five weeks!
|More monster daphnes. Grrrr.|
|A choice Dracocephalum I have lost...|
|Gypsophila aretioides--one of the greats.|
|Even a skull: the Lafonds could join the Rocky Mountain Chapter (you're required to have one here)...|
|Lots of wonderful conifers--although Don was lamenting the damage on his giant Cunninghamia: I would too actually.|
|More wonderful graceful views...|
|A very happy Acantholimon perched on a raised platform...|
|Another long view...the orange Cunninghamia on the left: he's darn lucky to have had it so many years!|
|These woodland gardens will burst with color in a few weeks...there were buds everywhere.|
|Carex platyphylla a new one for me. Tony identified it (nothing like walking in the footsteps of the Carex deity)|
|Hellebores just coming out: Don was surprised to see them.|
|More garden next to the house.|
|A vew to the alpine house on the left of the house...|
|Goodies everywhere: here a tufa wall and pond.|
|A wonderful mat of Gypsophila nana|
|Scots pines are succumbing along the road--but an understory of Japanese maples will make a great screen soon.|
|Even the shed was elegantly decorated!|
|Sneaking into the Alpine House|
|Lots of booty in here!|
|Arabis cypria--a new one for me.|
|Conandron and other wonderful alpines for the sale in May...|
|More good stuff in the cold frames: I love the brick pattern on the patio...|
After seeing this stewartia, I'm not sure I can live another year without one. It was just too beautiful for words!
|Dozens of troughs--one more imaginative than the next.|
This garden will blow people's minds for the Annual Meeting in May!
|What's that under the tree?|
|An especially fine spread of Eranthis|
Wonderful conifers and shrubs combined artistically wherever you look...and daphnes up the wazoo. Don't ask where that is.
|Three wonderful Rottweilers help keep the garden deer and rabbit free: I think I need a few myself...|
|The containers are amazing and everywhere, and elegantly planted...|
|Wonderful rockwork combined with conifers and alpines...on and on and on...|
|The style differs in each bed, with some fabulous and interesting rocks brought back from trips...|
|I just love these convered pipe containers: they bring the level of the garden to your face!|
|This Daphne cneorum had to be six feet across. I was livid with envy.|
|Maybe the daphnes need an occasional Rottweiler to stand in them to thrive like this?|
|The vistas across this enormous garden are beautiful in all directions.|
|A look back towards the house, with a few of the "perched" trough gardens..|
|An enormous tufa garden full of saxifrages and other treasures...|
A mini tufa garden to bring the surrounding one into perspective...
|More views...What a place!?|
|A fascinating piece of tufa with calcified stems of Vernonia (says Tony--and who's to argue?) I believe they said this was to bu up for auction at the annual meeting.|
|A marvellous cactus bed.|
|Love them cacti!|
Get a load of the fabulous Opuntia compressa lower right, next to an Eriogonum, but a variety of conifers further back, and a wonderful treeform Hydrangea: this garden has it all!
|Lesquerellas and other westerners ramping around large Oil Shale boulders brought back from Garfield County Colorado in another giant trough.|
|A local Opuntia fragilis--I forgot to ask for a cutting! It would be fun to have one from Michigan.|
|The pit house had lots of bulbs coming on.|
|Some conifers in the pithouse and other shurbs.|
|Adonis amurensis had just popped...|
|There was a fabulous form of Helleborus foetidus all over the garden with deep red stems.|
|An enormous Abies koreana ''Horstmann's 'Silberlocke'|
|Some wonderful conifer plantings--balm to winter eyes...|
|Yet another rock garden...|
|Another tufa garden...|
|Jacques and Tony in contemplation...(Sean Hogan lurking in the shadows beyond)|
|Yet another trough filled with tufa|
|Susann Devries on the right with pet in arms, talking to Tony|
|A terrific spread of Eranthis hyemalis again...|
|There is something of all styles of rock gardening here--I love the cushions, mats and conifers along with gnarly rocks.|
|Not sure what species--but delightful backlit.|
|Another colossal daphne. Harumph! Heck: it's bigger than the car! [this was identified by Rimmer as |
Daphne x napolitana 'Bramdean'
|Wonderful bulb frames filled with rarities|
|Endless pots of seedlings in the bulb frames.|
|Another iris to die for: who's ever heard of "Iris zagrica"? But I want it!|
|The Devries were justifiably proud of their brand new pergola--what a great place to sit and admire the plants!|
|I loved this elegant rock--and some very nice dwarf pines...|
|A very healthy Sarracenia bog--vicious creatures apparently need to be caged!|
Rimmer has clarified that " the cage keeps the rabbits from eating the Lilium iridollae growing in the bog." The pitcher plants are not as blood thirsty as I'd supposed!
|Another fine spread of Eranthis...|
|A form of Galanthus elwesii|
|Gentiana acaulis budding up to bloom...|
|More wonderful contrasting mounds and cushions (pines, daphne and silene?)|
|I believe this was Colchicum trigyna...another wonderful spring bloomer...|
I'm sorry you've seen these gardens in midwinter: you can see a few more of these garden in full color on their newsletter, just click on this URL to access these. It will give you a sense of what I have NOT shown: but better yet...sign up for the AGM of NARGS and you can enjoy these in REALITY (imagine that)--as well as meeting up with fellow rock gardeners from around the World. You won't regret it...
Click HERE for more data on the annual meeting See you in Ann Arbor!