Monday, October 8, 2018

Whodda thunk? A plant grows where it wants to grow...Scarlet montain mint.

Monardella macrantha 'Marian Sampson'

A few years ago I blogged about a mint we'd thought we'd mastered: Monardella macrantha is largely restricted to higher elevations in the coastal mountains of southern California, going inland only a very short distance. If you peruse the Jepson Manual page on this species (click here to do so) the LAST place on earth you'd expect to grow this well is on the high plains just south of Denver.

Ever since Plant Select promoted the clone that had been selected by a specialist native plant nursery in California, every plantsman in the Rocky Mountain region just had to grow it. If you check my earlier blog (click here) you will see it thriving in an amazing range of public gardens in the Rockies.

Most of those plants are in rock gardens, among rocks. The last place I would have dreamed to have put it was on the level, in a LABYRINTH for Heaven's sake.  Perhaps my Cretan ancestry has developed a certain dubiousness about these mazes?....

If you look carefully at  the picture of the Labyrinth you'll see many clumps of this gem forming enormous mats. Whodda thunk? My clever colleagues at Chatfield somehow deduced the best way to grow this waif from the southern California peaks...

So I suppose I shall have to design my very own labyrinth so I can tiptoe among the scarlet mints...I never cease to be amazed how plants know where they like to grow better than we do ourselves. Did I mention this is self sowing about?

1 comment:

  1. Aha, that's what the Chatfield Labyrinth looks like at peak flowering, it's awesome. I think I might have discreetly harvested a seed or two when we visited Chatfield last October (2017) :-)


Featured Post

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 ...

Blog Archive