Your favorite rock garden plant(s)

melikesthepeculiar(7)August 1, 2010

Although I have a significant wish list of plants I'd like for my rock garden, I do have a few favorites from what I do own currently.

Azorella trifurcata (very often it is incorrectly sold as Bolax gummifera, which is an entirely different plant). Azorella is a very low taller than 1 inch. It has shiny green spikey leaves that feel like plastic. Gets tiny yellowish flowers in spring/summer. A great ground cover plant for between rocks and boulders, but too large for a small trough; also don't plant near tiny alpines that will get smothered by it. Pic of a small plant grown from a rooted cutting:

Scleranthus biflorus - Small, slow growing mound of bright green foliage that looks like moss. Very tight knit and excellent for between rocks...probably good for tufa or trough since it is slow growing and compact. Pic below shows Scleranthus at top middle..looking like a mossy ball. Also in picture to right side is Azorella trifurcata. Left center is Raoulia australis. Below that is Sempervivum arachnoideum.

Ilex crenata 'Mariesii'- extremely slow growing, compact dwarf holly shrub with tiny leaves that are close together, and usually with interesting trunk and branch formation. Takes many years to reach even a few feet in height, and probably can be pruned to remain small. Unique and exciting shrub as an accent or centerpiece in a small rock/alpine garden. Looks great with moss or tiny groundcover.Pic below is an old picture but the only one I have right now:

Wishlist includes:

Dianthus alpinus 'Joan's Blood'

Dianthus haematocalyx ssp. pindicola

Dryas drummondii

Gentiana verna

Saxifraga 'Kath Dryden'

Saxifraga x anglica 'Cranbourne'

Saxifraga x irvingii 'Jenkinsiae'

Sempervivum marmoreum 'Brunneifolium'

Sempervivum 'Pixie'

Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I'm partial to dwarf and miniature conifers like this Pinus flexilis 'Comanche'


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:04PM
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That's a beauty! What is the max height and width of that pine?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:39PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Conifers never stop growing unless gravity or death stop them. This one grows about an inch or two a year so at 10 years it would be about 16" X 12". In twenty years roughly double that. This is the fifth growing season I've had it (although that pic may be from two summers ago) and it was bought as a two year graft.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:41PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I have this ice plant that has spread out of control..I can see using that in a rock garden, same with yellow sedom, forget-me-nots, creeping phlox, lanium, alyssum, candytuft,dianthus to name a few. I'd want plants that would provide color for my garden.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 5:39AM
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Adding to my own list:

Hebe pimeleoides- blackish stems with small greyish/bluish/silverish leaves that creeps along the ground at about 1 foot tall. Excellent for textural contrast and unique appeal, best against large rocks and contrasting foliage of other plants.

Hebe "McKean"- dwarf 1 foot tall and wide dome of bright green/yellow scaly leaves, similar in appearance to a common heather plant (although in my opinion much more exciting and beautiful). Excellent near large rocks and contrasting foliage and colors.

Most Hebes like very well drained soil with moderate moisture. See link for more info

Cotula hispidula- feathery fluffy soft grey/silver foliage, low creeping, with interesting yellow button-like flowers on thin stems. Likes good drainage, full to part sun, and moderate moisture. Excellent between rocks, with gravel mulch under plant crown and stems to keep the feathery leaves clean and reduce chance of rot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hebe Society

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 3:26AM
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Wow I love that Cotula hispidula. I wonder if that would grow in the Dallas TX area. I see it is also very hard to find a nursery that sells it online (I tried to google it and I could not find an online nursery. I was only able to find one picture and I was very fascinated by it!)

Rock gardens are my favorites!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 12:50AM
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I so ejoy my whole collection,but Semps are hard to beat

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:18PM
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