Just found a picture of Arabis androsacea, Tim!
For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.
The rabbits have not bothered my crocuses. I think it is because my crocuses are in the front of my house. Rabbits tend to spend most of their time near cover. My back yard is edged with evergreen shrubs and a chain link fence. Rabbits love chain link fences because they can escape through them and predators cannot follow. The rabbits usually stay near the shrubs in my back yard grazing on lawn grass and weeds. The only exception was when I parked a car on the driveway near a garden in my front yard. This car provided excellent over head cover for the rabbits. It was also parked near the chain link fence that extends from my back yard around the side of my house. My expensive coneflower cultivars were being nibbled to stubs. A little chicken wire solved this problem. A neighbor recently has let their cat wander the neighborhood. It is not surprising that the garden in my backyard has become a favorite hunting destination. I do not want to debate the issue of outdoor cats. However, this has caused the few surviving rabbits to rarely leave the cover of taller weeds in a neglected corner of the yard. My wife and I miss seeing the rabbits lazily grazing on our lawn. In winter I did have a problem with rabbits eating small twigs and stripping bark on my smaller shrubs. I found this was easily solved by removing snow that was covering lawn grass. The rabbits would flock to the patch of exposed lawn grass leaving my shrubs alone. This worked as long as I quickly removed the snow after each storm. I was lazy after one storm and was not motivated to shovel my grass. The rabbits soon started crewing up my shrubs which was all the motivation I required! I guess the moral of the story is ... if you do not plant near cover and the rabbits have a better food source then you probably won't have a problem with them. If this is not feasible, then some chicken wire will solve the problem.
Just found a picture of Arabis androsacea, Tim!
What I have been growing as Arabis androsacea is essentially stemless* (though the plant description, below, said 4cm stems), and quite furry. The seeds were from Holubec and described as: "ex. Turkey: Ala Dag, 2200m, limestone scree; small cushions, white hairy rosettes, white flowers on 4cm long stems; 2009 seed". I have photos of them in full bloom somewhere in my vast, unlabelled(grrr!!) photo collection but only this recent photo showing a late, repeat bloom is readily available:
*Edit: Wait, the stems do elongate with time. Here's another photo:http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=274.msg8868;topicseen#msg8868
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm
What rabbit species do you have coming to your garden, James? Must be very small ones to get through chain link fences, unless maybe the styles of mesh are much bigger there than what is used here? (N. B. It would be really helpful if you could add your general location to your signature or to your profile, so that readers can see how closely their situations relate to yours in terms of geographics, climates, zones, etc.. :)) Here, the rabbits one sees most often in the city are whitetail jackrabbits - big, long-legged, long-eared critters of the open plains that are not much tied to cover. (I suppose people who live on the edges of the ravines may have the smaller, cuter snowshoe hares coming into their yards, but I don't know if that is so.) I don't have any real complaints with their feeding... so many plants for them to choose from in the yard and elsewhere that their impact is small. Well, okay, I admit I sometimes get mildly irritated at their nibbling my drabas in the troughs out front, though this seems to be a new thing related to the recent snowy winters we've had, where snow has covered things they'd probably otherwise be eating. They also seem to have found my Trifolium rubens irresistible this spring, and munched it to the ground, but it recovered. Oh well, overall, very minor damage and I don't begrudge them their choice of food. :)
"What rabbit species do you have coming to your garden, James?"
Cottontail Rabbits - Sylvilagus floridanus
"Must be very small ones to get through chain link fences, unless maybe the styles of mesh are much bigger there than what is used here? ... Here, the rabbits one sees most often in the city are whitetail jackrabbits - big, long-legged, long-eared critters of the open plains that are not much tied to cover. (I suppose people who live on the edges of the ravines may have the smaller, cuter snowshoe hares coming into their yards, but I don't know if that is so.)"
Actually, neither jackrabbits nor snowshoe hares are rabbits.
Yeah, right, they're hares.
The plant of Arabis androsacea I have looks closer to Lori's than Panayoti's, though I have yet to see it in flower. I am not sure we are too successful with western American alpines here, and there is certainly not a strong tradition of growing such plants in the garden; most growers in the AGS concentrate more on exhibiting plants, and in a curious way I think that this can tend to restrict the range of plants grown. My dream would probably be the old alpine house at Wisley from the 1980's which was beautifully planted with dryland alpines by Ralph Haywood (who used to work with Joe Elliott at his famous Broadwell nursery). How much has alpine gardening taken off around Denver? There seems to be a much better link between Botanic Gardens and horticulture in the States than in the UK - ie: the sense of partnership in growing and learning about plants.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
Here, Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst' (Sunburst honelocust) is only all yellow in the spring, and with fall color. As leaves mature in summer, they turn green, while new leaves are still yellow.
Tim, what is that pine with the long weeping needles in your second to last pic, (and also the pine behind it). Is it a P. wallichiana?
I am also befuddled by James's chain link fence comment. We have cottontails here, and they are kept out by what we call chain link.
Rick Rodich zone 4a. Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
The absolute cutest rabbits I've ever seen were the "Texas fightin' bunnies" (or so we referred to them) that we saw in spring in Rio Grande Village campground in Big Bend N.P. years ago; I suppose it was mating or play or territorial behavior, as a pair of tiny bunnies (relative to the jackrabbits I'm used to, anyway) would rear up and box each other for a bit... and then, just as suddenly, lose interest and start munching on something instead! Hardly fights to the death (thank heavens)! ;) From range maps, it would seem they were either desert (Sylvilagus audubonii) or eastern cottontails.... danged charming to watch, whatever they were up to!
Fall colour on Arabis procurrens 'Variegata':
Autumn crocus, looks like I'm down to one this year:
The veining on those crocus are quite striking, and they seem to have a glow in the centers, too!