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Plants in the Garden: Rock Garden at Kew

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Started by: Richard Wilford

Some plants to see in May

Go to latest contribution by Richard Wilford, 25 May 2010, 11:47. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Richard Wilford 19 May 2010, 15:52top / bottom of page

The Rock Garden at Kew is reaching its peak. It still surprises me every May when the rock garden bursts into colour and below are just a few examples of the plants flowering now. Credit to Joanne Everson who looks after this area. She has done a great job, especially planting the newly built areas around the alpine house. First a general view:

The phloxes are doing particularly well this year, with some plants bought at the auction of Ingwerson stock in 2008. This is Phlox subulata 'Marjorie' and just behind it is Penstemon scouleri 'Hopleys'.

A couple of other plants from Ingwersons are Anacyclus pyrethrum var. depressus, the Mount Atlas daisy, from S Spain and N Africa, and Arenaria montana, from the Alps.

Older plantings include this dazzling combination of yellow Ranunculus gramineus, from Europe, and the pink, Turkish, Aethionema pseudarmenum.

Bulbs are still going well. Scilla litardierei is from SE Europe. We also grow it in a pot for display in the Alpine House but it is doing very well outside too. Also the last of the daffodils, Narcissus poeticus, looks lovely at the moment.

And finally for now, a juno iris. This is Iris cycloglossa and it is one of the species that can be grown in the open. It likes good drainage and a hot sunny position. This clump is doing really well with many flowers on each stem. It is just opening now so by the weekend, if the weather forecast is correct, it should be in full flow. This one was collected in Afghanistan by Per Wendelbo in 1969 and donated to Kew by M Hoog in 1977. It used to be outside the old alpine house but was moved to the rock garden when the new house was built, and seems to be loving it!

Contribution from Colin Dolding 21 May 2010, 21:42top / bottom of page

Thank you for a good insight to this part of Kew. I really must make the effort to visit again. Probably have not been since 1991. Please keep the thread gong with more pictures.

Contribution from Richard Wilford 25 May 2010, 11:47top / bottom of page

Thanks Colin. Here are a few more taken this morning. The first is the view from the Asian section of the rock garden looking towards the Davies Alpine House.

...and some plants.

Scutellaria alpina, from the mountains of Europe and W Asia.

Geranium maculatum from eastern N America - quite tall, about 60 cm but a lovely plant, quite similar to G. sylvaticum.

More North Americans, the bright red Penstemon eatonii (the firecracker penstemon), and Phlox douglasii 'Lilac Cloud'.

The bizarre and very smelly Arum dioscoridis, from the eastern Mediterranean.

Also from the eastern Med, one of my favourite speedwells, Veronica macrostachya and from gorges of Crete, the yellow Linum arboreum.

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