Sunday, July 12, 2015

A perfect rock garden

(Attention: after publishing this blog, I got a fantabulous email with some elaboration from Jacques and Andrea: it was not intended for me to publish--but I love what they wrote so much I am going to interlard their comments: it's just too wonderful and valuable--and I think should make a great "conversation" between them, myself and you. Their comments will be in blue!...
Jacques and Andrea Thompson live in the fringes of Ypsilanti (a suburb of Detroit). I visited their incredible garden on Memorial Day weekend for a few hours when I took way too many pictures (not all of which are posted here!). I already extracted most of the irises and trilliums and posted those separately, as well as their daphnes. I still had too many I took out the garden art and containers (which I shall post separately as well). I weeded out duplicates and the least flattering...but there are still dozens and dozens of images to see...

Start of the Thompson commentary: Your keen eye and much-exercised shutter-finger make this place look better than when one is standing in it!  I will say this, that after going thru and finding what names I could, you have given me cause to reflect about this garden.  From looking at many of the images you’ve posted, that this is a garden in spite of the gardener.

Many of the plants I’ve added over the years have become (in my opinion) weeds, they’ve succeeded that well. That due to the size of the garden I haven’t been able to eradicate them and while I was working elsewhere they’ve been putting on a show for more discerning gardeners to photograph.  You are not the first plants-man who’s selected what I consider weeds to photograph.  Just goes to show that all my taste is in my mouth!

Secondly most of the plants that have persisted have been gifts! Very nice gifts to be sure! While I have spent tens of thousands over the years for a bunch of notations in my journals.  Alas.

Photo #1 Perfect rock gardens don’t have big old dead tree trunks in them with wire scaffolding on them to support winter killed lonicera but I’m nit picking.  This Cornus florida is one of several that came from Dick Punnetts 7 acre garden.  They are native & self so there.
If you never got the opportunity to meet Dick, he was my mentor, my dearest and best friend for over 25 years.  At least 50% of the plant material present is directly due to Dick. To say this garden would not be here without our bromance is an understatement.

Rock and woodland gardens aren't to everyone's taste. But they are very much to my taste: I believe that I have rarely captured a garden at such a magical time: they and their huge staff of zero had the place weedfree and groomed. A large proportion of the plants there were in full bloom (although I start with rather green shots, just wait--this is a season long garden: there will be blooms in summer and fall as well). I have visited well over 100 botanic gardens in North America--and not one of them has been as floriferous or balanced or as well designed as the Thompson garden was last mother's day: we so-called "professionals" have been terribly upstaged by these rank amateurs! Which is a very good reason to join the North American Rock Garden Society. The Thompsons are surely in the first rank of gardeners in this group--but there are others as well around the US and Canada.

Photo #2 Amen about NARGS
Anemone trifolia

Photo #3 Another Dick Plant  - DP

Ostrich fern (Matteucia struthiopteris) emering

Glaucidium palmatum

Photo #5 Glaucidium a gift from Don LaFond

Pulmonaria rubra

Stylophorum diphyllulm

Epimedium x sulphureum and Stylophorum diphyllulm in the distance

Photo #8 Epimedium grandiflorum ssp.koreana ‘Harold Epstein’ cc 940173 a DP and one of 16 divisions of first rate Epi’s he sent me home with one day, and there were many many days like that.

Asarum caudatum and Stylophorum diphyllulm in the distance

More Epimedium koreanum

Anemonella thalictroides 'Oscar Schoaff'

Paeonia cf anomalum

Photo #12 A fern-leafed peony given to me by Marion Jarvie

Pulsatilla vulgaris (red form)

Photo #13 Pulsatilla vulgaris red form, seed sent to me by a guy in Poland 

Arisaema sikokianum and Anemone blanda and friends

Attenuated Acer

Photo # 15 Acer saccharum ‘Monumentalis’.  To see it is to want it. I saw it during an ACS garden tour in Ohio.  Next trip to Gee Farms Nursery I came home with one.  This is exactly how it grows.

Another rock garden view with phlox

A different view

Do we really need captions? will skip unless plant names needed...

Narcissus 'Thalia'

Primula vulgaris (double white)

Photo # 20 Primula vulgaris ‘Dawn Ansell’ ex Siskiyou 3/08

Saxifrage and Ramonda in tufa

Photo # 21 Saxifraga x gloriana ‘Godiva’ a Wrightman’s Alpines purchase.  Harvey used to sell bare rooted cuttings; these were perfect for “greasing” directly onto tufa.

Miniaturized Sempervivum in tufa

Photo # 22 one of many tiny sempervivums from Dick came with out name

Pulmonaria and viburnum

Textures are lovely even without bloom...

Photo # 24 Thalictrum sp. Gift from David Michener from Matthaei Botanical Gardens, he brought this back with him from a trip to USSR. I doubt I can find the label, certainly not until after the foliage dies down.  At first look I thought the geranium was a seedling G.psilostemon that carpets the ground directly behind you when this shot was taken.  A gift from Betty Blake, however the foliage on this one does not look right. So I’ll have to see if I can locate the label.

A mass of Stylophorum diphyllum (native hereabouts)

Hepatica nobilis in a bright blue form

Muscari muscarimi (white) with a blue cousin

Not the showiest Aethionema, but effective combined with the tulip.

Photo # 28 - 29 the Aethionema is some weed that came in with something else from Dick or Arrowhead, I have not been able to weed this out despite concerted efforts.  The tulip is T. linifolia from Brent & Becky Bulbs 9/14

Closer view

Love this Allium altaicum.

Photo # 30 Allium pskemense from Janis Ruksans foliage is peppery-hot to eat!

Trillium recurvatum (a local specialty): forgot to put this in with the Thompson trillium blog...oh well.

Stewartia pseudocammelia: a huge enviable specimen (sorry no close up) I envied this so.

The tree in this photo is Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Gold Rush’ or ‘Ogon’  same tree. I got mine from Gary Gee.

Photo # 32 You got your notes a little scrambled on this one. Stewartia  koreana is out of the shot to the right and behind the bird feeder.  Some say S. koreana is another S. pseudocammelia.  My own experience in this garden tells me otherwise.

I have tried several pseudocammelias, self-sown seedlings from Dick’s whopping-big one, so they are plenty hardy for our area. And they were 3-4 footers.  They all croaked.  In my clay loam soil,  S. koreana I got from Gee Farms seems fine with my higher pH soil and this windy site.  I now have another self-sown seedling from Dick’s garden planted in a much sandier and protected site along the south side of the tall red fence along the north property line.  60 -80 ft. Picea abies to its south, shield it from winter sun.

Cool combos.

Photo #33 -34  Double tulip shown is T. ‘Monsella’

From further away: bold couple to plant that double tulip...and it works.

The Euonymus somehow sets off the Cornus florida.

Photo # 35 Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald N Gold’ started off as a 6” rooted cutting from Betty Blake.  Unfortunately it ‘s covered a cool looking rock.

What wonderful interplays of bloom and foliage and rock!

Photo # 36  A talk could be done on this photo alone.  So many friends, acquaintances, nurseries, represented here.

Paeonia tenufolia from Marion Jarvie, to its right our native Penstemon hirsutus, one on many seedlings, the original one from Tony Reznicek, the red Pulsatilla, seed raised from that guy in Poland, the Aubrieta from Siskiyou, just beyond Meconopsis cambrica seedlings, offspring of a DP, next Trillium cuneatum, self sown there from a very nice form given to us by Steve Whitsell, that is planted 60ft south of here under the Cornus florida.  Go left about a foot and there is self-sown Oxalis acetocella, a  pink flowered form that Tony Reznicek spread around to us.  This show up in all of our shady places with rich soil and sufficient moisture.  Further left still is one of the Anemonella thalictroides ‘Schoaf’s Double’ one of the first things I purchased (from Bussee Gardens) after reading about it in “Cuttings from a Rock Garden” by Linc & Timmy Foster.  Above the ‘Schoaf’s Double”, a Helleborus multifidus, yet another DP plant, as are the Epimediums, the Pachysandra terminalis, the Schisandra chinensis, and others we can’t see.  The Berberis thunbergii ‘Bonanza Gold’ in the background, most likely from Heronswood.  The Trillium albidum smothered by the Epimedium grandiflorum ssp. Koreana ‘Harold Epstein’, comes from Frederick Held ‘s  Nature’s Garden in Oregon, as do the T. chloropetalum.  In the wire cage is a very dwarf rose from Arrowhead Alpines,  between it and the aubrietia is Fritillaria orientalis from Janis Ruksans.  The narcissus with withered blooms probably came from Richard and Elise Havens of Grant Mitch Novelty Bulbs, in Hubard, OR. And the dead sedge seedlings Carex flagellifera ‘Bronze’  whose great great great whatever grandparents came from Kurt Bluemel.

In the same bed are others we can’t see like the Erythronium japonicum  one of the very few things I still have from Halda Seeds,  Clematis viorna  from NARGS Seed,  Arisaema ringens  from Boots  Case.  The very green form of Trillium lutea a gift from Bob Stewart,  Dewy had sent Bob 3 copies, they were on the top, when he opened the shipment, The tree of us looking down at them and Dick had commented on how different they looked from the rest,  Bob handed one to Dick and one to me, kept the third for the nursery.

A few obligatory can see a label peeking out here; they're uncommonly tactful. But there.

Photo # 37  Some Helleborus hyb. Seedlings more Marion Jarvie gifts.
I can’t recall the name of the oxalis but its leaves have a heavy substance to them, a distinctive triangular shape, and are quite big and has big white flowers,  I’m thinking it cane from Heronswood but it’ll take further investigating.  The Trillium grandiflorum that’s just starting to open is one of Fred Case’s Doubles, T.g. ‘Pamala Copeland’ It’s a division of the one that came to me via Tony, and that’s a story in itself.  I Divided this clump about a month ago, got to spread em around.

An outrageous Polygonatum from Chen Yi.

Photos # 38 -39 I got this yet another DP as Polygonatum sibericum, Dick got it from Heronswood.  This is a tough site with severe root competition from the big Picea abies, and so can get droughty.  And yet this thing goes to about 5 ft. here and sets copious amounts of seed.

Closer view

Epimedium ? davidii (there were many forms)

Photo # 40 You could be right about the Epimedium but there’s no telling, so many things dug out of Dick’s garden cane with bonuses tucked in among the roots.

A fabulous double Anemone ranunculoides

Photo # 41 like so many of the anemones this is another DP

A large patch of Papaver alpinum naturalized...

Photo # 42 Papaver alpinum holds a very sweet and tender spot for me.

It comes to our garden via a dozen seed capsules from the garden of Betty Blake.  I met Betty at Matthaei Botanical Gardens where I volunteered so I could be around plants as I had moved from across the State and I was renting so no garden.  Eventually I was the Spring Plant Sale Coordinator this was in 83-84 Tony was the assistant director at Matthaei then as well as working at the herbarium,  Betty was in charge of the rock garden plants. This was still 2-3 years before Tony introduced me to Dick, Before I crossed over to alpines, and fell in with the likes of Fred Case, and Jim Briggs, Harry Elkins and Leila Bradfield and so many others who would become the core of my

world.   Before Tony and Dick, Betty was such a patient and generous teacher, who always sent one loaded with treasures.  In her closing years I visited her every 2-3 weeks and called her weekly.  I

deer-hunted in her garden and there’s tales to tell there.   With these poppies she is always near by.

White form of Lunaria rediviva

Photos #43 -44  Lunaria rediviva, these are seedlings of the original plant that Tony probably brought to a Great Lakes Chapter plant sale.
Currently the seedpods look good but still green.  I have not forgotten to send you some seeds.

Love this pale Anemone x seemanii

Photo # 45 Anemone x seemanii.   One of the most asked about plants during the garden tours. As I said most of the anemone came in as bonus plants with other dick Plants.  So many threaders wove a carpet throughout Dick’s woodland garden beds.  The weed in the middle is all mine.

Photo #46 The Petasites japonica is a DP. (Dick Punnett) the geranium looks exactly like the mystery geranium shown earlier on the tufa, which is directly west of this one and so down wind, hmmm, still no name.  The Night Heron figures are from my mom as are just about all the garden art.

Photos #47 – 48 Another composite of shared memories.   Already discussed A. x seemanii, Tulipa sylvestris from Betty, and she introduced me to frits and gave me my first F. pallidflora, Trillium kurabayashii and Corydalis solidas beneath, came from Ruksans, the Oxalis acetocella arrived with any one of the plant that came from a Great Lakes Chapter member, but introduced to the group by Tony.   The white flowered disporum ( D. cantoneuse – Chen Yi spelling) is battling with 
Disporum uniflora, which Fred Case gave or put into a chapter plant sale.

Add caption

Dicentra eximia or formosa forms

Photo # 50 Dicentra from DP. Rhody is  a yak ‘Ken Janek’  from Roslyn Nursery

Disporum uniflorum (formerly flavum)

Disporum uniflorum (formerly flavum) closeup

Could this be a mere juniper? A pleasant palette cleanser from all lthe color!

Photo # 53 No juniper this is Paxistima canbyi  a plant I introduced to the group so it most likely came from an east or west coast nursery, maybe Forest farm  or Roslyn no wait I believe it came from Eastern Plant Specialties out of Maine.  Wow I pulled that one from way back!  I think I hurt my sphincter.
Rheum palmatum in a dark form

Photo # 54 Rheum palmatum (Atrosanguineum)  from Heronswood 3/2003

Photo # 56 Sedum Angelina gold.
A honking big Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke'

Photo # 57 – 58 Abies koreana ‘Silver Show’  an improvement on ‘Horstman’s Silberlocke”

Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' closeup

A magnificent mystery peony

Photo # 59  Magnificent mystery peony is P. ‘Early Scout’ at least that’s what dick gave it to me as.  He got his from  Reath’s Peonies out of Vulcan MI. in the U.P. !

bloodroot seed about to pop!

A magnificent clump of river birch (Betula nigra)

Photos # 61 – 62 Betula nigra  this clump needs to be cut to the ground again.  It sprouts from the stump and you get much better looking bark from the younger trunks.  I did so about 15 years ago.

See what I mean? with the garden beyond

Photos # 63  way in the back where the sand comes up to the surface and I can grow Rhodies like these yaks they were seedlings Dick raised.

Photo # 64  Isopyrum biternatum  wild collected from an abandoned sandstone quarry about a 2 hr. drive NW of here.

Lamiastrum goleobdolon at the fringes of the garden (where it belongs!)

Photos 65 -66 Lamiastrum goleobdolon   if you say so, I have no idea this hitched a ride with something else and as its way back here I’ve let go but I’ll probably regret doing so as I run out of room.  May have come in with the Berberis (see black cane to left), stoloniferous Berberis division came from Dick who got it from Tony.

Mertensia virginica

A gnarly old Picea abies 'Pygmaea' (I think)

Photo # 69 Picea abies ‘Little Gem’  On the first conifer order from Robert & Dianne Fincham’s Coenosium Nursery.

Photo # 70 Self-sown geranium hyb.  Crossed with our native G. maculatum

Photo # 72 Close up of Fagus sylvatica ‘Horizontalis’ foliage

Geranium carolinianum

Photo # 73 One of countless Geranium (I thought) maculatum seedlings .

I selected the largest flowered forms  from a woods about 5 miles NNW of our Garden.

Photo # 74 Arisaema sikokianum  very first plant from Roberta (Boots) Case who gave me my first Arisaemas  I still have My A. ringens from her, it must be 25-28 yrs. old now.   Later others came from Arrowhead Alpines.  Now I raise them by the hundreds.
On and on it goes! I can't keep up with captions!

Photo # 75  Juniperus procumbens nana.  There are several large (across) specimens in the garden, all were rooted cuttings from Dick. The Arabis (flowering ) also from Dick.

Adiantum venustun

Photo # 76 Adiantum venustum  this mat, which is starting to recover from its winter nap, measures about 12 ft. in diameter, with a Pinus strobus at its center (not shown in the following photos.  This fern started off as a little division, another of Betty’s little treasures.

Photo #77  Same bed, now east side of Adiantum mat.  The Corydalis nobilis self sow.

First one a gift from Tony or a plant he donated to the Chapter’s plant sale that I purchased.

Photo # 78  Same bed however across the path (west) from previous photos.  It was in this bed that the Oxalis acetosella  pink flowered form was first planted.  As I said earlier Tony introduced it to the group, he got it from the first owners of Rice Creek Nursery.

Photo # 88  Thalictrum coreanum  I have no recollection of just who gave this to me but the usual suspects are Betty, Tony, or Dick.

Photo # 89  I grew this peony from Archibald’s  Seed as P. mlokosewitchii from pink flowered forms.  As I recall he collected the seed from a botanical garden in the country of Georgia.  I’d have to check my seed lists.

Photo # 90  Another seed raised peony.  Paeonia suffruticosa Gansu mudan type. I got the seed from Phedar Nursery in England. I won the gift certificate as a door prize or a can raffle prize at the NARGS meeting in Snow Bird UT. In '06.  This one is one of my most favorites.  Its raspberry pink petaled with a purple-black blotch at the base.

Photos # 91 - 92  Epimedium acuminatum  with emerging Syneilesis palmata.

Photo # 93 Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Sirius’ cc 920024 ( I believe )

Photo # 94 A study in white and yellow. E.g. ‘Sirius’ over  receding Corydalis solida foliage,   balanced by blossoms of Leucojum vernum,Trillium flexipes, and Stylophorum diphyllulm.  The bent wire supports in the garden are usually for various Lilies, however in this instance they are for the largest of the Arisaema consanguineum, which will follow later on.  Those arisaemas will come in such numbers as to completely smother everything in this area.

A garden without thistles is sad indeed!

Photo # 96 Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’  These second year bi-annual’s are perhaps twenty something generation plants so I’m not sure they are correctly named.  Regardless I have a thing for BIG WEEDS in the garden.

Photo # 98 Tufa under weeds. (I think Jacques is being a bit unkind here: those "weeds" are all manner of veronicas and other choice groundcovers)

Photo # 99  Rheum sp.  A gift from John & Laura Serowitz.  There will be no finding this label until after the foliage dies down.  Corydalis ornata foliage peeking out from beneath will not be visible for much longer.  This corydalis has milk white flowers with a very heavy substance.

Photo # 100  That  same Thalictrum sp. That David Michener brought back from his trip to the USSR.  It does seed about (sparingly).

Photo # 101 Arisaema thunbergii var, urashima.  These are seed raised form my own plants.  I got my first ones from DP, he raised his from seed that Jim Briggs (another Great Lakes Chapter member) sent him  over 30 yrs. Ago when he was teaching English in Japan.

Photo # 102  A Dysosma sp. From Chen Yi, the Trillium grandiflorum’s are DP divisions,  the Cornus alternifolia ‘Golden Shadows’ was a gift from Don LaFond.

Photo # 103  the ubiquitous Oxalis acetocella, with a Helleborus multifidus seedling.  (seed came from Phedar Nursery).  The fern was a gift from local nurseryman Andy Duvall.  He picked it up at a nurseryman’s meeting, it came with a label that reads Temple fern ‘Trudi’.

Photo # 104 Allium victorialis ssp. victorialis.  Seed-raised from Chapter member Bev Walters plant.

Photo # 105 Oxalis acetocella ever-colonizing with it’s eyes on a dwarf Chamaecyparis.
Polygala vayredae (not often seen)
Photo # 106 Polygala vayredae  from Arrowhead Alpines, another plant that Dick added to their inventory.

Photo # 107 Callianthemum anemonoides. (PK adds that I photographed this entirely for my own interest: I've not been able to grow callianthemums very well, and was impressed to see this husky specimen--a month or so past prime: I think I just missed it on my first visit earlier),,,

Photo # 108 – 109 Sedum pilosum  another little treasure from Betty.

Sedum pilosum self-sowing (not often seen!)

Photo # 110  Phlox sp. I haven’t found its label, will have to consult the journals.  Behind are another weedy allium I am still trying to weed out, these have since been pulled.  The veronica is another old mistake, and one that gets regular tearing out but always returns.

Photo # 111  The viburnum was elsewhere on the property when  we arrived.  The dead magnolia was M ‘Galaxy’, the rest are weeds !  Oh yeah perfect garden!

Photo # 112 Daphne arbuscula

Photo # 113  Another D. arbuscula selection in the foreground then Gladiolus 'Polestarfoliage emerging thru receding Corydalis solida leaves.  The next Daphne, I’ll have to get back to you on, but its one of Ric Lupp's.  There are two sempervivums battling it out to see who will reign the top of this section of tufa bed, both from Dick (sans names) the red one will turn pale, lime-green in late summer.  Across the path is  a dark purple form of Allium insubricum, I was hoping for A. narcissiflorum, but them aren’t we all.

The low shrubby mound on the right is my very first Daphne D. alpina from Betty.

The tall spire of a conifer was called Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Van der Aker’,  but nootkatensis have been moved into some xantho-something-or-other, the likes of which that makes mlokosewitschii just roll off your tongue.  The bare tree is a vet to leaf out Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’.

Photo # 114 Gentiana acaulis  ex. Arrowhead Alpines

Photo # 115  The usual alpine subjects, Saxes, Dianthus, alpine poppy,  Daphne velonovskyi, Semps, et al.

Photo # 116 There is a black plastic fishpond buried under here.  The downspout from the gutters is piped out at the base of the tufa wall (behind you), into a shallow depression and then piped under the gravel path (you are standing on), and empties into this bog-ish bed. I’d have to pull the Primula a part to find the label.

Photo # 117 Thuja occidentalis ‘Yellow Ribbon’ sans any kind of winter burn, which is more than can be said for the yellow needled Taxus next to it.

Photo # 118 Aquilegia flabellata v. nana ex. Laporte Avenue Nursery.  The conifer above and to the left is Thuja occidentalis ‘Golden Tuffet’

Photo # 119 Iris lacustris ‘Alba’  wild collected from the northern lower peninsula,  along with Iris x histrioides  ‘Katherine Hodgkin’foliage and Trillium nivalis.  I warn everyone who asks for Stylophorum seed that it’ll be everywhere, but it is easy to pull.

Photo # 120 Cypripedium x andrewsii (C. candidum x C. parviflorum).

Ranunculus cheiranthifolius: a Thompson specialty!

Photo # 121 I got this from Dick as Ranunculus millifoliatus a lifetime ago, its tiny bulb-lets  get scattered about.
A wonderful Clematis hirsutissima

Photo # 122  Clematis hirsutissima, as all of the western clematis in the garden comes from Kirk and Karen at Laporte Avenue.

Photo # 123 Phlox subulata and Allium cernuum out of control …

Photo # 124 While Pulsitilla vulgaris holds its line.

Photo # 125  This plant alone (in flower)is worth a return trip. Just a week away form opening here, had it been, it would have been the most asked about plant in the garden.  I raised this from Archibald’s Seed, and I never pass on getting more seed whenever I find it.  This is the Real Deal, Paeonia mlokosewitschii!  Colchicums love our heavy limey soil and the hostas (H. ‘Sun Power’) and Eremuris himalaicus don’t complain either.

Photo # 126  a stray Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ in the forefront, with Allium or Nectaroscordum tripedale, shooting up behind and to the left.

Photo # 127 Anemonella thalctrioides ‘Schoaff’s Double’  in much need of dividing.  “Keep dividing or you’ll lose em” was an oft-quoted Betty-ism.  Carex siderostricha ‘variegata’ is on the more.

Helleborus multifidus (DP), Oh so very slowly, grows.

Photo # 128 Anemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’,  one of the first DP gifts.

Photo # 129 I believe this is Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Silver Queen’ above some out of flower Anemone ranunculoides.

Photo # 130 If this is the same plant as the previous image then it's Epimedium grandiflorum ssp. koreana ‘Harold Epstein’  with faded flowers.

Photo # 131  Berberis thunbergii ‘Bonanza Gold’  getting a little too shaded for maximum leaf coloring.

Photo # 133 – 134  Dwarf Quercus  palustris  wild collected from western Washtenaw Co. in a sandstone trough, a lone Viola pedata.

Photo # 135 Arum italicum  patch.  A squirrel or chipmunk buried an entire seed-head and I never did get around to doing anything about it.

Photo # 136 A Smilax (perhaps S. rotundifolia) got seeded in with some hostas. It hasn’t misbehaved in the dozen or so years its been here.  Just another example of gardening by benevolent neglect.

Photo # 137 Early Nature’s Garden purchases which have succeeded to the point of becoming weeds.

Photo # 138  More (emergent) Arisaema thunbergii var. urashima This clump (once its up) will be the sinister-looking Black Flowered Form.

Photo # 139  A mess-O-foliage, emerging Kirengeshoma palmata, self-seeded native geraniums, Erythronium americana,  seedling Dicentra spectabilis ex ‘Gold Heart’, Frit. meleagris, et al.

Photo # 140  This  shot is back in the narrow bed along the west side of the house.  I believe the Anemone nemorosa shown is one that came from Janis Ruksans with the improbable name of A.n. ‘Fire and Ice’, the Erythronium leaves belong to E.  x ‘Pagoda’

Photo # 141  This Cypripedium parviflorum ssp parviflorum was one of hundreds that were rescued from a road-widening project in the U.P. It now resides in the same bed as the previous photo.

Photo # 142  Back to the front of the house.   Lower left to right,  A seedling  Asarum europaeum, one of countless native geranium seedlings,  more European ginger with Erythronium americanum behind, Kirengeshoma palmata coming up with Dicentra spectabilis in front, next a white flowered Helleborus hyb. More native geranium s with Lycoris squamigera  foliage  (I think) and finally a Paeonia suffruticosa. 

Photo # 143 Winter-killed Magnolia soulangeana ‘San Jose’ with a Stylophorum skirt.  Another BIG WEED although just a seedling, of Heracleum maculatum, center left and another weedy filler Hesperis matronalis, and of course the star of the garden, at least to the gardener

Photo # 144  Mixed border west of the pond.  Lilies, sedum, and narcissus, and then Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Mops’, next Pinus strobus 'nana',  then Fagus sylvatica v. purpurea ‘Pendula’ with a complement of colchicums, and another Berberis thunbergii ‘Bonanza Gold’, in front of another Thuja occidentalis ‘Yellow Ribbon’, followed by a Pinus strobus ‘Pendula,  sedum ‘Angelina’ lights up the front edge of the bed, and a spreading mound of Juniperus procumbens 'nana' finishes the other end.

Sorry I gave up the commentary: I am grateful Jacques took the time to complete and complement the commentary this garden is simply too much! It even wore me out. But I am delighted to have this of a record of the most enchanting garden visit imaginable. Don't even THINK of going to Detroit without giving them a call and visiting.e commentary: this garden is simply too much! It even wore me out.


  1. Utterly magnificent … many thanks for giving us the opportunity to see such a wonderful creation.

  2. This is a beautiful garden. I am especially envious of the tufa. However, many rocks are a little round for my tastes. I think to be "perfect" a rock garden has to have more true alpines and some desert plants.

  3. James; you make me blush! I have not done justice to the Thompson garden if you feel that way--there are oodles of saxifrages, androsaces and other wonderful gems on several slopes (not just tufa)--and especially in the dozens of enormous troughs they have strewn everywhere: since I featured almost 150 images on this blog, I did bulbs and daphnes separately. I also left out the troughs and containers and a slew of delightful garden art... which I obviously much feature soon for balance. Most importantly, I did not show the large cactus garden (which was in early spring collapse while I was there--a few weeks later it would have been pert and photographable). Believe me, the Thompsons have it all! Albeit much is more woodland than pure sunny alpine (as one should do, perhaps, in Michigan). You're not too far away, you ought to visit. I can assure you you'll not walk away empty handed...


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A garden near lake Tekapo

The crevice garden of Michael Midgley Just a few years old, this crevice garden was designed and built by Michael Midgley, a delightful ...

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