Thursday, June 18, 2020

Likely and unlikely crevice dwellers

Allium karataviense
Many onions had a habit of seeding about--and this (one of the loveliest) has been known to do so: but in a crevice? Why not I suppose. Over the years I've tried many plants in crevices--but the best ones--like this--often volunteer!

Anthemis marscalliana
It seemed like a good idea...and it bloomed nicely. Alas, it's not there any more (too many crispy days this June).

Campanula portenshlagiana
The Campanula (like most campanulas) is a natural for crevices. And delospermas seem to take to them as well.

Dudleya brittonii
I am very aware that this will not be cold hardy--but why not try it for the summer. I have some D. cymosa nearby that are just as happy--and hopefully hardy. By summer's end this should be pretty impressive--and not too hard to pop out to overwinter in a pot.

Aethionema grandiflorum
Another volunteer--and the best looking specimen of the species in my garden. But it does look good on the flat as well.

Scabiosa lucida 
I don't remember planting this, but I must have. I've seen no end of Scabiosas and their cousins on Mediterranean cliffs, so this is not a surprise.

Verbascum bombycifrum
NOT what I expected let alone planted! I've left it for the nonce: I don't think it will bloom this year. After it blooms it should expire. I've noticed many of species of mullein in Greece and Turkey love rock walls--so this is not a surprise. In fact, Bob Beer has a picture of himself alongside one of these on Ulu Dag growing pretty much the same.

A picture of a small portion of my wall this morning: from left to right--Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Stansfield' (which must be a hybrid not the species) is probably my best of the genus in rock crevices--although many will adapt. Above it the same Dudleya--but the white tufts dotting across are all Origanum dictamnus: When my plants from last year came through so well, I couldn't resist adding five more-which should make quite a show in July and August when they bloom: the classic chasmophyte of Crete, my ancestral home.

Growing with it a slightly too vigorous plant of Opuntia fragilis which may have to go...

Verbascum roripifolium
My biggest surprise this year was seeing this most unlikely mullein show up and bloom: the rosette is so un-mullein like: lacy and green. And the stem is so wiry the flowers seem to float: I hope it will seed around more--despite its size, I love to see it here--and the honeybees and butterflies agree!

1 comment:

  1. If I had such a nice wall, and the money, I would hire someone to bore holes from the base of the wall to a high point in the yard. I would feed piping through the hole to keep it from collapsing. I would stuff something in the pipe to prevent air flow which could be easily removed on extremely hot or cold days. At the pipe outlet from the base of the slope, I would plant things that needed cold conditions like high elevation or north plants. Where the pipe exits near the high point in the yard, I would have a cold frame or small green house and grow plants that could not tolerate too much cold.


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