INEVITABLY, ALL ROCK gardeners have to reckon with the Himalaya. Not only are they the loftiest and vastest mountain range on the planet, the Himalaya also harbor the lion’s share of practically every major group of rock garden plants—particularly androsace, gentiana, meconopsis, primula, and let’s not even think about rhododendron. Although many of us grumble that the highest alpines are hard to grow in our lowland gardens, there are steamy, nearly subtropical valleys and steppe-like plateaus throughout this region that have plants that can adapt to any kind of temperate climate regime. And of course, gardeners who live in cool summer climates – the Pacific Northwest, northern Atlantic seaboard and of course much of northern Europe – find a vast number of plants from China or Tibet that thrive in their gardens.
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