Monday, July 22, 2013

Crevice Garden Crazy

I hate cheesy puns in titles, and alliteration.  The tides of trend are strong.

Announcing a small outbreak of Crevice Gardens in Denver.  I think Mike Kintgen said he's put in five at Denver botanic Gardens to date (not just this year). It's a better way of growing plants.

(The Big Crevice Garden at the Entry to Denver Botanic's Rock Alpine Garden, in its second season, thriving. It makes a pretty solid arguement for Crevice Gardens.

(Crevice Trough by Mike Kintgen for Anita Cox)
A crevice trough is excellent for those who aren't ready to commit to a full one or have the space- I have several of these and the crevice environment benefits are the same as a "life size" one.

So far, it's the only way I've succeeded with plants like the Stemless Beardtongue (Penstemon acaulis) and the Rimrock Paintbrush (Castilleja scabrida).  {This one has clay in the crevices} 

I wanted to celebrate three which happened this spring, and make a nod to my friends who let me build them for them.  What they do with plants will be the real show and the great glory in future.  Each  one is so different and very individual: styles are extrapolated from personal preference, site, and existing garden/home.  Such parameters make building one possible.

Linda's vertical red sandstone garden:
She sought something highly dramatic that fits her style of house and garden.  Those highest and most vertical crevices will be harder to plant and maintain, (My go-to is small Sempervivums as pioneers) but they will be quite a statement.

From above.

Her garden is bright, bold, and playful.  It takes one a while to realise how small it is.  I hope the crevice garden does it justice.


Brand-spanking new, still covered in dust.  I can't wait to see how Linda has planted it.



The elegant Anita Cox (and estate supervisor Maggie) in front of her South-African Inspired Crevice-Garden.  She shared with me pictures from a trip she took to South Africa to inform the design.  Some of those stones were a beast to wedge and support into place, but deep and spacious crevices allow for shady, wind-protected spots.  It should be great for true alpines.  

Weighing in as the largest was Lee Ann Huntington's Rockery.  I particularly like how the rocks jump the path, or does the path bisect the outcrop, like a mini roadcut?

Just finished, mid spring.  I wish this were my Mesic rockery. Note the regular stratificaiton interrupted by the terminal face of the feature, a Czech Crevice Garden rule.

 Early summer, planted!  Photo Courtesy of Lee Ann herself.

She's aleady got a fine collection tucked into those hospitable places.  I'm finding that the tighter the spot, the closer to the meeting point of two rocks, the better the plants. Nice work, Lee Ann.

Each gardener was honoured to host a garden tour this spring, the first two by the  Rock Garden Club and the last by the Park Hill Garden Walk: so hopefully, tour-goers were introduced to the wonky and wonderful style of Crevice Gardens with these nacent ones.

Thanks all.





2 comments:

Acantholimon said...

What? No comments? Outrageous: this is one of the best blogs ever. Make sure you put Peter Korn on your schedule (he's talking in Denver on October 6)...fabulous pix. You're doing a great job!

Matt Mattus said...

Amazing blog! Thanks for turning us onto it PK~! How did I ever miss this one? Great work, Kenton - now, I need to snoop through all of the posts here!