I’ve been wanting to give some Saxifrags & a few other shorty plants a shot for a couple months & this big honking container didn’t have anything going on, so I made my alpine garden dreams come true. The little dude front & center is Maihuenia poeppigii. It’s a funky little cacti from the mountains of Chile that actually likes moisture. The limey green guy to the left & in the back is Saxifraga x arendsii ‘Purple Carpet’. It’s hard to see unless you click in for the big pic, but it’s made up of itty bitty rosettes. It LOVES water, especially when in sunnier spots. Are you noticing a pattern? These plants are water likers which scares me a little. Teeny weeny Dianthus pyrenaicus native to the Pyrenees mountains is drought tolerant, but won’t mind average watering either. Instead of just throwing in a random mish-mash of semi-used mystery dirt I went with cactus mix, so there shouldn’t be any drainage issues. Matti’s always in search of new crested freaks, so I brought him home Iceland native, Saxifraga cotyledon getting its crest on (it’s sticking out of that weird wood chunk thing & likes it kind of moist, too). Hopefully things work out & my mini mountain plants will fill in.
Check out NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) to learn more about wee little plants that like hanging with rocks. There are lots of cool drought tolerant options out there. Here are a few pics of my favorite circle of rock garden awesomeness at the SF Botanical Garden.
A couple shots from the rock garden at Olbrich Gardens in Madison, WI.
So what’s the difference between a rock garden & an alpine garden? NARGS defines it best, “Gardens in which rocks and plants appropriate to them are the chief landscape elements are called rock gardens or sometimes, if the plants are entirely or mainly sorts to grow naturally at higher altitudes or under subarctic or arctic conditions, alpine gardens. Well planned and well executed rock gardens are aesthetically agreeable as well as horticulturally stimulating.” That means that all the plants in the new container are hardy from zone 6b on down to 3!