Happy New Year! For my first post of 2015, I thought that I would sneak right past Old Man Winter and focus instead on late spring.
If you ever find yourself lucky enough to visit Nova Scotia in spring or summer, you must pay a visit to the Rock Garden in village of Bible Hill (near Truro, Nova Scotia).
Located at the heart of Dalhousie University's Agricultural Campus, the Rock Garden is both a place for botanical studies and a local tourist attraction.
An impressive four hundred and fifty tons of local red granite were used to create this garden.
Covering a little more than an acre of land, the garden has, as you will see, a remarkable collection of plants. In today's post, we begin in the courtyard and stroll through the woodland.
A close-up of the gorgeous Pink Azalea that you may have noticed in the lower
lefthand corner of the last shot.
Originally I thought that this was Moss Phlox, Phlox subulata one of my all-time favourite spring groundcovers. But as a reader pointed out, the rounded and not moss-like. I now believe it to be Phlox stolonifera.
Wondering what this is?
It's a Fern Leaf Peony. It has delicate ferny foliage, and depending on the cultivar, stands about approximately 18-24 inches tall.
When it comes to most peonies, the flower is the star of the show and the foliage can be rather nondescript. Here the opposite is true. The foliage is the standout feature and the flower is somewhat secondary.
The majority of the Fern Leaf Peonies I have come across have single flowers in shades of red, pink or white. If you hunt around you may find a nursery that also offers Fern Leaf Peonies with double red flowers.
Fern Leaf Peonies require full sun and will grow in most soils as long as they have been improved with some organic matter. They emerge a little later in spring than most other types of peonies.
A fern with white Candytuft, Iberis sempervirens at its feet.
On the left you can see the pink Peony that is shown in close-up in the next photograph.
A Peony with a single pink flower.
Bugleweed, Ajuga adapts to full sun, part shade or full shade. In moist soil, Bugleweed will quickly forms a dense carpet. It spreads a little less vigorously when conditions are on the dry side. Height: 10-15 cm. If you are considering Ajuga, try looking for one of the newer cultivars that is somewhat less invasive like Ajuga genevensis. USDA Zones: 2-9
These pretty flowers are Spanish Bluebells (not to be confused with English Bluebells, which have similar bell-shaped flowers. On English Bluebells the flowers extend up one side of the stem, whereas Spanish Bluebells have flowers which whirl all the way around the stem).
Spanish Bluebells hail from the mountains and woodland areas of Europe and North Africa. They prefer full sun to light shade. Not particular fussy, Spanish Bluebells naturalize well (to the point that they are sometimes considered a bit of a nuisance). They make a nice companion plant for Narcissus which bloom at approximately the same time.
Japanese Woodland Primrose, Primula sieboldii
I am not sure about this plant either. Any ideas? A Geum or Heuchera perhaps?
Update: Many thanks to Patty and Trilliam for taking a stab at identifying this plant. It has been confirmed as Tellima grandiflora or Fringeflower.
Candelabra Primrose, Primula japonica is a group of woodland plants with fresh green foliage and a crown of flowers in late spring. They prefer part shade and moist or wet clay soil that is rich in organic matter. Height: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA Zones: 5-9
Foam Flower, Tiarella is a close cousin to Coral Bells (Heuchera). Depending on the cultivar, they have white flowers or white flowers tipped with pink that appear mid-spring. Part shade conditions and moist, rich soil is preferred. Height varies slightly according to the cultivar, but is approximately: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA zones: 4-9
At this point, the Rock Garden takes a humble bow. More of this wonderful garden up shortly.