Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rock Garden

The rock garden is beginning to develop nicely in its second year.  Check out these pics ...

The rock garden was built up with gravel and topsoil, using recycled deck boards as a retaining wall.  To prevent the retaining wall from falling away from the garden, wire cables were strung from eyebolts at two locations and anchored at the back of the garden under the gravel during construction. 

The background lattice work design was copied from a feature we saw in a gardening magazine, and we think it works great here.  It's covered with canary bird vine and has chalon pansies in pots hanging on plastic clips.

Miss Froggy in the rock garden proudly presents some Ultima Morpho pansies.  The smooching Dutch couple was a gift some years ago from my folks.  And the garden clock on the lattice was given to us by friends this spring.

We just love this dwarf iris in the rock garden.  The blooms don't last long, but they're so perfectly formed and a delight to see.

This yellow lamium adds an interesting color to the rock garden, and its low-lying habit makes a great ground cover.

These are Pussytoes, so called because the blooms resemble the toes of a kitty.

This plant, Sempervivum - commonly referred to as 'hens and chicks', is the subject of some interesting folklore in Europe. The blooming plants are said to bring homeowners good luck - so we're very pleased we have one. And it seemed to work, too! We were very blessed this summer with wonderful weather and a nice garden.

Planting sempervivum on the tiled rooftops was believed to prevent lightening strikes - presumably based on the idea that the plants would tend to dissapate the effect by absorbing the surge of electricity. 

The healing power of sempervivum's sap seems to be similar to that attributed to aloe vera - speedier healing of cuts and scrapes.

The medieval alchemist, Albertus Magnus, determined that sempervivum mixed with arsenic and alum combined in the gall bladder of a steer would produce a coating for the hands that would then allow glowing hot metal to be picked up without getting burned. As they say, "Don't try this at home!"


  1. Hi Hank, beautiful post, I'm crazy about blue irises. Your rock garden is lovely, the lattice & vine are a wonderful backdrop. I'm not sure if you noticed, but I left a message in your daylily post, I didn't realize that it was from so long ago. :) Rebecca

  2. Thanks, Rebecca. I did notice your message. It's a bit confusing, I know. I'm backdating some recent posts to bring the blog up to date. Glad you like the irises and the rock garden.