Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Grand Plans for the Big Rock Garden

It may not look like much in it's frozen state, but this garden spot is my pride and joy. I was peering down on it, this morning, from the upper deck, trying to remember everything I planted out there. 
Because I'm almost done drooling over my 2-foot-tall stack of gardening catalogs. Which, naturally, inspires all sorts of grand plans! Including three goodies I'd like to start from seed:
  • Butterfly Flowers
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Blue Cupidone
Plus, a few more I might be forced to pay for. I need at least a million Hot Papaya Coneflowers. And, the Belladonna Amaryllis is absolutely calling my name.

Here's my Big Rock Garden in summertime. 

I love this time of year because it's filled with sky's the limit possibilities. After all, I'm still 3 months out from actually plunking down a credit card so it's not like reality will be raining on this parade. Not for awhile anyway...

This garden spot is a 50-foot oval, bordered by a half moon driveway, with an unbelievably big rock, smack dab in the middle.
Three years ago, I decided to camouflage that gigantic boulder [about the size of my Jeep Wrangler] with all sorts of waterwise flowers:

Off in the distance, you can see my tiny town.

I fantasized about drilling a hole in that big boulder, adding a spout and turning it into some sort of extravagant water feature. No can do ~ the depressions on top of the rock provide a shallow water source for butterflies.

Oh! And, did I mention I'm the sprinkler system? Yup, it's all up to me, schlepping a hose around. Hence the reason for waterwise flowers.

That's also the reason for this post! I've a feeling we're all doing the same thing. Pouring over garden catalogs, schemin' and dreamin.'

That had me wondering... Have you discovered any brand new, brightly colored, not thirsty flowers?
Pink Evening Primrose and Centranthus Jupiter's Beard.

* Sticker Shock: Last, but not least, I desperately want to plant a whole bunch of Italian Forget-Me-Nots. However! That particular garden catalog wanted $13.99 for one 4-inch pot! Might anyone have some seeds to sell?


Iron Needles said...

I want to SEE the big rock garden. Up close and personal!!!

Noelle said...

Hi Kate,

I love your boulder garden. It is hard to believe that under all that snow there are flowers ready to come up. Hauling water isn't fun, I have to do it as well to certain areas of the garden. I do like the Evening Primrose, we grow it here. Have you tried any of the Penstemons? They are quite drought tolerant.

Kate said...

Hi, Iron!
You and Jan should pay me a visit this summer. Just let me know ahead of time so I can pull some weeds! :)

Kate said...

Hi, Noelle;
What's really amazing is how much growing they do under the snow. When it melts away the poppies are already 6 inches high.

I have about half dozen Blue Lips Penstamon in there. It's a gorgeous blue color but they don't flower very long - only about 3-4 weeks. So, this year I'm looking for some serious workhorse flowers that will bloom for about 8 weeks.

KC said...

These photos bring back some lovely memories. I'm sure it will be more beautiful each year as the plants spread.

Gail said...

Kate, it's a beautiful garden and it looks lovely covered with snow. I would plant lots of agastache...but I can't keep them happy and they call to me!!! Also every salvia that is out there they are just splendid plants ...A baptisia would be splendid and they look great in winter. Hauling water or dragging heavy hoses gets old fast! gail

Anonymous said...

I love what you've done with using the gi-normous rock as a centerpiece for an exquisite flower garden.

So much beauty, so great a metaphor, that.

Gail said...

I love your rock garden. There is just something about a rock contrasting with flowers, that makes them both more beautiful.

Kate said...

Thanks, KC;
I'm excited for this summer. It's been a few years, now. Most of the perennials should be good-sized and jam-packed with flowers. :D

Kate said...

Hi, Gail;
Agastache and Salvia, yes, great suggestions. And, I can easily start some of those beauties by seed this month!

Kate said...

Thanks, Titanium and Gail;
Last year I planted Clematis and Honeysuckle vines. Am training them to do an even better job of hiding that monster of a rock.

Carol said...

Kate you have made a beautiful garden! What a view!! I love the photos especially the one with the water falling down. Good luck with your plans. ;>)

Kate said...

Thanks, Carol -- that's just my old reliable sprinkler, doin' it's thing. :)

sweet bay said...

Your rock garden is beautiful in both winter and summer. The boulder adds a lot of character. How far away is the town from you?

Kate said...

Thanks, Sweet Bay;
I don't mind the boulder so much now that it's softened by so many flowers.

It's a short walk, about a mile to the shops in that photo.

Melanie said...

It's amazing the difference between winter and summer in that garden. You view is fabulous! Portulaca is drought tolerant and blooms all summer with deadheading, it will even self seed for next year.

Kate said...

Hi, Melanie;
Not familiar with that flower but I sure love the sound of it... I'm always on the prowl for long blooming perennials. Thx for the tip. :)

jan said...

Love, love, the rock garden! I think that species tulips are very hardy and can be left on their own, for the most part. They increase wonderfully, from year to year, but of course, they are spring bloomers, only.
So, I will commit that we will be coming this summer. Is that enough notice?

Kate said...

Hi, Jan!
I'll start pulling weeds the second the snow melts! :)

Rose said...

You have inspired me, Kate! I have two large boulders much like this that I've planted a few flowers around. But a larger rock garden like yours looks so much more attractive--yours is beautiful! Like you, I've been poring over seed catalogs and ordering far too many seeds--but let's face it, they're much cheaper than the potted plants! Right now my must-have this year is a new zinnia, Zahara Twilight.

Kate said...

Zahara Twilight - what an interesting name... I'll have to do a search on that little goodie. :)

Brad said...

That island looks great with all the plants. And I really like that rock. Adds something even with all the snow.