Rock garden quarterly

v79 #1
Convening in a Time of COVID

AS A WHOLE year of COVID-19 comes to a close, with several waves of this insidious disease cresting around the world, we gardeners are fortunate to have our flowery havens to nurture and support us. But the wonderful hubbub of monthly meetings has transmogrified into Zoom webinars where we catch...

Lizardhead Pass
Durango: Where the Four Corners of America’s Flora Meet

OF COURSE, EVERY spot on Planet Earth is special, but one could argue that Durango and its setting is the biological ground zero of the United States, if not North America. Elements from far points of the compass seem to meet here.

Ice Lake Basin. Photo by Kyle Ledeboer
A Siren Song or a Vortex? Durango and the River of Lost Souls Beckon You

YEARS AGO, a bumper sticker appeared: “Durango. Because Every Other Place Just Sucks.” It was undoubtedly the harshest, rudest, and most sanctimonious explanation for one’s choice of hometown.

Journey of a Plantsman

OUR 2021 CONFERENCE will bring us to Durango, Colorado, my hometown near the very southwestern corner of the state at the edge of the mighty San Juan Range of the Rockies and the high desert plateaus of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. My own route here was a circuitous one from the U.S. South to...

Opuntia fragilis in the snow.
In the Land of the Balsam Fir, Cacti Thrive

THERE IS NOT much that can compare to the thrill of a good challenge, whether it be bungee jumping or lion-taming. In my case, I get my thrills from the challenge of successfully growing plants in far northern Wisconsin, just about an hour’s drive from Lake Superior, where winters can be seriously...

Tiny Prairie Remnants Yield Yet Tinier Cacti

SOMETIMES IT IS the little things, embedded within and contrasting with much larger things, which grab one’s attention. Thus it was for me with the tiny brittle prickly-pear cacti, Opuntia fragilis, which grace rocky places within relict prairies in the vast open landscapes of central and western...

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Latest Plant of the Month

Description and General Information:
Yellow lady's-slipper is native to much of North America and three varieties have been recognized. There is great variability in the size of the flowers, the colour of the lateral petals and the degree of lateral petal twisting. Its habitat varies from wet fens to relatively dry coniferous or deciduous forest. It also extends into the sub-alpine in the Rockies as well as the limestone barrens of Newfoundland. In all circumstances, it has a...

Plant Gallery

Primula algida
Primula algida
Primula auriculata
Primula auriculata
Taraxacum rubrifolium
Taraxacum rubrifolium
Ajuga chamaepitys
Ajuga chamaepitys
Thymus tiflisiensis var. alba
Thymus tiflisiensis
Scutellaria orientalis
Scutellaria orientalis
Galanthus platyphyllus
Galanthus platyphyllus
Galanthus platyphyllus
Galanthus platyphyllus
silene specious?
Linum elegans
Linum elegans
Iris reichenbachii
Iris reichenbachii
Iris reichenbachii
Iris reichenbachii
Crocus veluchensis
Crocus veluchensis
Anemone caucasica
Anemone caucasica
Rhododendron 'Wren'
Rhododendron 'Wren'
Rhododendron 'Wren'
Rhododendron 'Wren'
Clematis marmoraria
Clematis marmoraria
Polygala calcarea
Polygala calcarea
In the garden, Calgary
Convolvulus suendermannii