Monday, May 18, 2015

Wary Exhilaration

It is exhilarating to plant a plant that was previously unknown to me and see that it not only survives but thrives and looks good doing so. I continue to be overwhelmed by the range of choices of plants offered up for rock gardens, most of which I am relatively unfamiliar. The problem is that most are unsuitable for my hot summer rock garden, but I don't know which ones. So when one of my most recent set of recruits does very well in my rock garden I celebrate. Most recently Hutchinsia alpina (Pritzelaga alpina) (Chamois Cress) has fit this success mold.

Hutchinsia alpina gratifying in its adaptability to my garden and a bit ominous in its vigor as it starts only its second year in the garden.

But now as its vigor is displaying itself this first spring after its first winter I wonder if this isn't going to be another of those great rock garden plants that eats the rock garden. I have several. They have the frustrating habit of overwhelming my more demure plant jewels before I realize it. Gypsophyla cerastioides (Alpine Baby's Breath), Dianthus deltoides  'Arctic Storm', Geranium 'Biokovo' (I should have known better; its all out of scale), Cymbalaria muralis (Kenelworth Ivy, I did know better; it arrived uninvited), Campanula poscharskyana  (Serbian Bellflower, I knew better but thought I could control it). These are representatives of the overly prolific rock garden plants that are consuming my gardens. Will Chamois Cress be another?

Dianthus deltoides 'Arctic Fire' is in danger of overwhelming its more demure neighbors such as in this case, Saponaria pumilio
A great performance for another context, this Geranium 'Biokovo' is all out of scale and too aggressive for this garden.
Kenilworth Ivy is one of those cute little plants that sneaks into your garden, you think its cute for a while and then it gets everywhere.

Gypsophila cerastioides (Alpine Baby's Breath) Too much of a good thing.

Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian Bellflower) is busily pushing out everything around it.