Monday, July 18, 2016

Late spring update

Pediocactus despainii
It's almost hopelessly out of date--pictures mostly from May and even April: I loaded them a month or more ago as my "farewell to spring" and now summer is half over! Oh well...I managed to load them and label them and might as well publish them if only for Jacques Thompson, who let me know he checks up on my blog regularly...we'll see if that's the case. So this post is dedicated to Jacques and his fabulous wife, Andrea, whose garden I featured a year ago in a whole series of glowing posts which I hope you will re-visit if only to compare and see how many treasures THEY grow that I don't. The Thompsons garden was one of two that received the North American Rock Garden Society's Millstream Award (given each year to a garden or gardens of great beauty and merit). Oh yes, the Pediocactus above--smaller than a quarter: one of my favorite treasures.

Arum nigrum
I have noticed that I'm growing a lot of Arums lately. And this is near the top of the list: I saw this in a flower book and yearned for it for many years. In 1991 I visited Brian Mathew--and he gave me this piece..pretty nifty pedigree.

Delosperma Wheel of Wonder Orange Wonder
I am always intrigued at how different plants look in sunlight and oblique light: you can compare with these two delos--the one above in sun, the one below at dusk (Same plant: honest!).

Same plant in overcast light...

Delosperma Jewel of the Desert 'Topaz'
Delosperma Jewel of the Desert 'Garnet'
Potentilla cuneata
From Laporte Avenue nursery (and ultimately Tibet): Karen Lehrer (who knows her plants) rates this did bloom for a long time. I have great hopes for it!

Erodium cf petraeum
Erodiums have been uncommonly good performers for me. Some are even mild pests! All bloom forever and a day.

Paeonia officinalis 'Anemoniflora'
I have a long story about this. This is not the time or the place...

Papaver orientale
Almost as good as Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere' (which I keep trying to obtain--my favorite color form. this one showed up and is spreading--and is almost as red but not as tall. No: I do not know the cultivar name!

Salvia phlomoides
Mike Kintgen collected this in Morocco--one of the very best miniature salvias.

Thalictrum tuberosum
A heavenly meadow rue! closeup...

Thalictrum tuberosum
The whole plant: isn't it cute?

Salvia caespitosa
Catanache caespitosa
The flower may look like a dandelion--but this is a cut above the everpresent one...

Catanache caespitosa

Alium oreophilum

I've planted many bulbs of this onion, but this is the first to really clump up and thrive. I've always liked it, but seeing it above treeline in the Altai whetted my anxiety to grow it!

Aquilegia bertollonii
It COULD be A. pyreneica instead, I spose. Whatever it is, it's super.

Dianthus brevicaule
One of the consistently best tiny pinks.

Arum dioscurides
Very well...this may be my other most favorite arum. First time it's bloomed for me.

Verbascum x 'Letitia'
I actually met Letitia Aslet in 1986. It adds a zip when you know the cultivar name personally...

Springtime in the rock garden!
A medley of gems...
Campanula barbata
This should be grown in drifts. Oh well...I have a drift of one.

Senecio macrocephalus
A pink/purple senecio that's easy to grow and also has good foliage. Pretty cool...

Saxifraga cotyledon

Campanula x stansfieldii
Bloooms forever and glows in the shade...

Ophiopogon umbraticola (NOT O. chingii)

See this link...I believe it's the first time it's bloomed for me...

Erodium macradenum
Seeds about a tad much, but wonderful color. I can't bring myself to pull them out!

Erigeron 'Olga'

Echium plantagineum
I didn't plant this. Rather weedy, but I don't care!

Digitalis mariana
The finest foxglove (for shade anyway)...I refuse to call it just "D. purpurea" since it's not biennial, nor a water hog.

Sedum nevii

Onopordon acanthium
I know Scotch thistle is a weed: but what a pretty one! I can't resist leaving a few each year...

Dicentra 'King of Hearts'
It's been blooming for months.

Iris prismatica
Alas, it needs it wet. Fortunately, I have a bog for it to ramp in--one of America's finest irises.

Lilium croceum v. bulbiferum
In Europe they think this is gross. I love it anyway!

Moltkia petraea
I've grown this a very long time--its finally shaping up to be oustanding dwarf shrub.

Clematis viorna
It turned out to be a vine...I put it in the wrong spot. Will it transplant next spring?

Lilium martagon 'Album'
Nuff said.

Codonopsis clematidea

Codonopsis clematidea

Senecio pudica
Not for the average gardener. But I love it.

Campanula kemulariae
Or is it C. raddeana?

Symphyandra armena
Wrongly distributed as Symphyandra zangezura, this one is biennial.

Campanula formanekiana
Usually monocarpic...

Scutellaria orientalis ssp. pinnatifida
The best form I've ever grown...

Another overall shot of the back of the rock garden...

Sedum nevii
A rare sedum from Tennessee--easily grown in a pot here...

Hypericum olympicum

Dianthus nitidus

Allium caeruleum
A particularly fine form of this onion...

Melica nutans
I had to tear most of this gorgeous grass out: too much of a good thing... which would like to grow everywhere...

An overall shot showing one of my favorite onions--from Central Asia...

Allium carolinianum
A very distinctive onion: easily grown from seed. You need this!

Yucca elata
This is over 10' tall--but the taller form on a trunk was much taller and later to bloom...

So there you have it--a few gems from my spring bloom! Hope you liked it, Jacques and Andrea! You two rock! Hope we'll get you out here next year!


  1. I finally have just one Scutellaria orientalis growing from the seed you sent me. It took a few years for it to germinate.

  2. It's one of the best! Thank you, incidentally, for seeming to be the only person who reads my blog consistently: it's heart warming to see a note from you--and you so often provide interesting data. Hope one day I might see your garden (and you ours)...

  3. You left enough of the Melica nutans for a gorgeous, haunting shot! Some of the others that made me gasp: the phlomotic blue sage, that "shrub" Moltkia petraea covered with sky-blue flowers, and {sigh} the white martagon lilies. We don't care how late the pics are, they're all worth seeing. Thanks.


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