Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Winter Losses and Some Rock Garden Gems

I just realized that it is the peak of the apple blossoms and I didn't photograph them!  Oh well, will try to remember it tomorrow.  However, my greatest enjoyment at the moment is the "rock garden" or so I call it.  The bright colors of the spring bulbs and violets make me happy.  While I did plant most of the spring bulbs in fall, I did cheat on a few of the grape hyacinths and bought a few pots of them at the garden center.  Every time I see these little gems I do want more of them (and the other spring bulbs).   
Grape hyacinths
Kitty stalking nature (a rare stroll outside)
 Yellow colors in the rock garden are from the new growth of the Euphorbia polychroma and the densely planted mass of Narcissus "Tete-a-tete" (mini daffodils).  Both are winter hardy, unlike the hardy ice plants, Delosperma nubigenum, which did a disappearing act over the winter.  This was particularly irritating, as this same plant survived all winters in northern Saskatchewan.  Either it lacked the protection of snow cover, or it resented being damp in a bed covered with bark mulch.  I am testing my theories by planting some of the same ice plants in some sandy soil in a non-irrigated dry part of the yard.     
Hybrid "Sorbet" series violas, which I started from seed
Rock garden, with Tete-a-tete narciccus (yellow bunch) with a background of apple trees
Finally, low-growing, white-flowered hardy perennials.  I hope to see these develop into lovely white mats over time.  I also have another white-flowering rock garden plant, Arenaria montana, which I started from seed and should flower next year.  The Arabis is a bit taller and more loose, while the Iberis looks like it will make a nice dense carpet. 
Iberis "Snowball"

Arabis caucasica next to a Primula auricula
Aside from the ice plants, my forsythia produced only a few feeble blossoms and looks half-dead, my Bay laurels are dead (I just realized they are "zone 8" and therefore not hardy in zone 6), some of the Pieris are suffered significant winter kill, and one Cornus sericea "Kelseyi" did not make it.  I saw more of these same plants being sold at the Canadian Tire, but I don't think it would be rational to plant the same again.  Moving on, trying other things.  How has your garden fared?

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