For those who think a rock garden has to be large, here's how I make use of a small space. This is my azalea bed which, after the azaleas have faded, can be rather boring for the rest of the summer. To make the bed more interesting I have created a small rockery-effect around the outer perimeter. The combo can be quite pleasing and make an otherwise boring bed into something which can be attractive all season.
You can put a rockery anywhere!
That's heavenly. I just wanted to fall face first into the enlarged view. Nice lawn too. I took mine out last summer. My water bill was running into hundreds of dollars a month and the lawn was largely responsible. Besides, it was taking up the space of what turned out to be six new flower beds.
Your azaleas are gorgeous. I live right near Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, with more than 7 acres of azaleas and rhododendrons. They have reasonable prices to begin with, and they knock off an extra 25 percent until the end of March. This year I found several blue rhodies there. I mean BLUE, not purple, ranging from powder blue to royal blue to a dark cobalt. They are usually sold out of the blue ones by the time I get there, but this year I happened to get there while they still had all five varieties available. They won't bloom this year because they're only the one-gallon size so far, but I can't wait until next year.
Todd, after looking at all your amazing garden pictures for a couple months now, I just have a fews questions. How long have you been gardening? Have you been in Horticulture in a profesional capacity at all? How big is your property?
I ask these things because every picture you post is absolutely, truly, breath-taking. I know we all say things are gorgeous, or beautiful....and sometimes I think we need a word that is not quite so over used. I looked back at some of your other photos and am literally moved by them. They inspire me to plan, and work, and make my own gardens better.
Have your gardens been photographed for any gardening magazines, or other outlets?? I think we are all blessed to have so many people here on DG to draw on for information, inspiration, and a good laugh now and then. And Todd, you are doing your part to make this place more wonderful!!
I've been gardening on this property for 25 years. The garden is actually fairly small, the back being about 50' X 50'...and I still have plenty of lawn although that is slowly receeding! I have a MSc in Plant Ecology and have been working in various aspects of horticulture for 15 years. Currently I teach horticulture at a community college. I am also a bit of an artist so I guess I have an eye for how a picture should look. Having a good digital camera helps as well. Some of the pics I've posted are digital pics of slides shown on a wall......the results are a bit blurry but I have taken slides for years (with 16 overstuffed binders as proof!) but digital photos were only last summer. I've posted most of the digitals so I'm now down to digital photos of the slides until the next season starts. We are still in the grips of winter so I won't have any outdoor pics until late April. I have my orchids to keep me through the winter. You can check some of the orchid threads to see pics of them.
Outdoors, I grow mostly alpines, although they are not all in a traditional rock garden...I use many alpine pockets scattered around the garden and have started now with alpine troughs. I also like ericaceous shrubs (our soil is naturally acidic) and in the last couple of years, I have gotten into Siberian and Japanese iris. I'm glad that with my love of alpines that this forum was re-instated.
Have you had a look at Todd's web sites? Very interesting and again, beautiful photography. I think he is too modest to post his links, so I will post one for the Newfoundland Rock Garden Society (and I hope he doesn't mind)!
Down at the bottom of the one page Todd gives an overview of how to build a Rock Garden for those who are interested in the challenge. Of course, I like the pages that feature 'Bulbs for the Rock Garden'....
Thanks again, Todd. ;-) t.
I never thought about posting the link to my rock gardening site. As the chairperson of the Newfoundland Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, I developed that website to help potential rock gardeners in Atlantic Canada, but the principles apply anywhere. I'm not sure how long that site will be running as my site provider charges and I cannot seem to be able to make changes anymore, so it doesn't seem to be worth the cost. Anyway, the site will be there until July at least, so enjoy while you can!
I'm glad to have been able to browse your site, Todd..got to reading about azaleas and rhodies there as well... I was wondering if I could ask you(without drifting to far from the rock garden plants)which little azaleas you have in the pictures above. they are so pretty, really. I battle the sawflies all spring with the various diciduous azaleas I have--kind of discouraging sometimes. Your site reminded me that there are also quite delicate and lovely smaller rhodies/azaleas that might not get eaten as much-the lepidote types, or hardier evergreen azaleas.... thanks for inspiring us with your pictures!
The rhodys in the pics are as follows: small white one in foreground is R. kiusianum album; middle azaleas are Spicy Lights and White Lights. On the right is Brickdust, left is Maricee and in the background, still in bud, are Gibraltar and Sweet Caroline. Behind them all is Acer palmatum 'Omure Yama'.
Todd, so glad I had the extra time to search the forums this morning and found this thread. I had bookmarked your website some time ago planning to keep it for future reference. Now that I know that it may be disappearing in July, I'll have to grab as much information as I can now! And once again, agreeing with jamie, th anks again for all the superb photos and information you consistenly provide to DG. Now that this forum has been reinstated, I may be in even more trouble as it renews my interest in these plants and my quest to find a suitable site in our garden.
Sorry it took me so long to say - Thank-you!!! I followed the link you gave and got lost looking at so many wonderful things. Bookmarked the site and wanted to say thanks for getting me there!!
Todd, you are popping up everywhere. I went to the mailbox today, got my NARGS Rock Garden Quarterly, and darn if you aren't in there with several excellent articles. Good work, great info! The article on Saxifrages of Newfounland and Labrador was fascinating, and the plants lovely!!! I wish I could come up for Annual Meeting this summer...maybe when the kids go off to college, I can jet-set off to such things...lol :) Make sure and let us know all about it afterwards!!
What are the names of the BLUE Rhodies you mentioned further back in this thread. My blue and yellow bed needs an anchor plant and I would love to look into these....Thank-you in advance!
Jamie, you were late getting your Quarterly. Most US members got theirs back in late January and even in Canada, we got ours in mid-February...did you just joins NARGS? With the upcoming meetings here, the editor wanted a Atlantic Canada issue, so she asked me and our local members for articles. Then she heard about my trip to Greenland and wanted an article on that! The end result, was 4 articles! In earlier issues I have done articles on Newfoundland's native Primula, the Arctic-alpines of Northern Newfoundland, Campanula's for winter-wet climates, Penstemon for the Northeast, Dwarf Chamaecyparis for the Rock Garden, Dwarf Rhododendrons for the Rockery...maybe a couple of others I can't remember. I try to get an article per year in the Quarterly if possible...keeps Newfoundland on the map!
Todd, yes I joined very recently...soon after going to your website and getting inspired! You just keep popping up where-ever Rock Gardening takes me...LOL. I was speaking to a lady at one of the Alpine nurseries...I think Mont Echo, and she mentioned your name...(i.e. Dwarf Rhodies for my wetter Rock Garden), in a good way of course.
So this was atypical to have 4 articles in one issue?? So you are just a mere human then, not omnipresent? LOL :) Is there any way to get previous issues? And who does one contact to learn how to get an article included?? Oh no, another thing for me to ask questions about!! Sorry Todd, but you are entirely to nice of a guy - and helpful to boot!
Have a great day!
I have no idea how this pic got flipped upside down but it is my first P.v. 'Rubra' bloom...almost open...edited after I saw pic upside down???Strange!!
This message was edited Apr 2, 2005 2:25 PM
If you look inside your quarterly, you will see that Jane McGary is the editor. She has here email address there. You can send potential articles to her...she will also require either slides or digital pics to accompany the article. I don't know if there is a NARGS chapter near you but if so, it is well worth joining. There is also a stipend of US$300 for first-timers to a AGM meeting. Diffeent chapters host this in the spring or summer. Ours is this year. I think next year's meeting is in the west...maybe Utah..either way, it will be closer to you so you might want to take advantage of the $300...it will pay for registration. Those meetings are always fun and a great way to meet fellow rock gardeners. Great plant sales and field trips as well.
One small part of my garden melted today and there are lots of crocus just breaking the surface. meanwhile, most of my garden is still under 1-2 feet of snow. Its a very late spring here...normally our snow is gone by now and my crocus are starting to bloom. Just our luck! This year, the tulips won't be open until late June at this rate!
Jamie, my blue rhodies are "Blue Bird," "Blue Diamond," "California Blue," Mood Indigo," and "Eleanore." I'm attaching a link to Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, which is where I bought them. They have gorgeous yellow rhodies too, especially "Hotei" and "Carolyn Grace."
The last time I was there, Polo (the owner) mentioned something about mail order, although I don't see anything about it on the Website. You should contact him. He also has huge Primula japonica plants in gallon cans for $6.00 if you have any boggy ground. I bought a Lapageria rosea there for $9.00 in a gallon can earlier this year, saw it on the Web for $60.00 in a 6-inch container, and promptly went back and bought two more. I think it now costs $12.00 at Sonoma Hort. I wish you had asked me last week. Everything is 25% off until April. Even without the 25% off, though, his prices are really good.
If you ever come to California, you have to come to Sebastopol and see this nursery. Eight acres (I thought it was seven, which seemed colossal enough, but the Website says eight) packed full of gorgeous azaleas, rhodies, clematis, dogwood, etc., etc., etc.
If I ever come to your area, I hope WE will go there together..:o) After I invite myself over to your house to see all the plants I read about here, and am dying to see!!
We have a nursery here that is known worldwide for Rhodies...Greer Gardens:
I am going to their web-site now and try to get at least a couple of these plants you named. Then off to the website you gave (and good job by the way, look at you posting links..:) ) Soon you will be taking and posting digital pics...
Jamie, of course I'm going with you to Sonoma Hort if you ever come here, and of course you're going to come to my house. That was implied when I said you had to come to Sebastopol. Not only that: There are at least a dozen choice nurseries within 10 minutes of my house. People in Sonoma County are gardening fools. There's really nothing else to do here. The best thing, though, is that I'm only about 45 minutes away from Annie's Annuals: Two acres of 4-inch containers, all at $3 and $4.
I have a friend who just sold her house on Whidbey Island, drat it. I was all set to send you a couple of flats the next time she went up there. I figured if she could drive all the way there from San Francisco, a little side trip to Vancouver would be nothing.
I already knew about Greer Gardens and I drool ever their Website regularly.
By the way, Jamie, that wasn't the first link I left for you. I left you a couple back on March 22d in the "My New Rock Wall" thread. I don't know whether you ever saw them. One doesn't work anymore, so I'll try leaving it again.
It's the flower that knocked me over when it bloomed. I told you it was a geissorhiza before, but it's Lapeirousia oregana.
Never mind, it stopped working again so I removed it. It works about three times and then just shows some silly message with a bee looking for your plant (and never finding it, as far as I could see).
This message was edited Apr 3, 2005 12:12 AM