Rock-a-bye baby

Rock Garden 6-10-09We’ve been so intent on planting the Display Garden that we’ve – not forgotten exactly – and not neglected certainly – but perhaps put off the Rock Garden a little lately. Since it’s at its very cutest now we made sure that the Rockettes (after planting the entire checkerboard bed in the Display Garden) Rockettes planting the kid's checkerboard bedgot a chance to fuss a little over the precious Rock. I’m not entirely sure what makes the Rock Garden so “cute” – it’s not really diminutive, and although rock gardens are often a showcase for tiny alpines that you have to bend down with a magnifying glass to see, ours is not that exclusive – there are sizeable clumps of geranium and iris and columbine and hosta of an average rather than microscopic size along with the wee Alchemilla alpina and tiny campanulas and dianthus. I think there must be something about the poetry in the relationships between the plants and rocks and light and shade that makes this garden too adorable for words.


Lilah and I saw the poets themselves in some of the plant combinations. The ghostly pale spirea and skeletal columbine is Poe of course and the fleshy hosta combinations are as evocative as Neruda. Edna St. Vincent Millay recites the geraniums and Emily Dickinson always has something to say about an “admiring bog”. The violas remind us of Blithewold’s own dearly missed poet, Mary.  And for me there was at least one painterly association but then who doesn’t see Monet in the waterlilies?

Columbine capsules and Spirea 'Little Elf'Hosta, Begonia grandis and HelleboreGeranium sanguineum 'Lancastriense'Coral bells and geraniumhow public like a frogfrog hollowViola cornuta 'Etain'Giverny

Do you ever find yourself reminded of an author or artist as you look around your garden?

3 thoughts on “Rock-a-bye baby

  1. Yeah, but they are confined to ‘Little Rabbit Foo Foo’ or ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’. I will have to upgrade my reading material. Great shots and send me the Rockettes as I am way behind.

    Layanee, The Rockettes are on their way – they’re just going to stop by my house first! -kris

  2. As a rock hound, rock climber, and rock garden aficionado, I love this post! It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see it in person soon 🙂 The poets don’t seem to visit our garden, but I will put out an invitation. A member of a local Shakespearean troupe is about to send me the list of plant that appear in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and I’m to help them identify what he’s talking about so they can have plant props in this summer’s plays!

    Lynn, What a fun project! You’ll have to tell me all about it when you visit – and how serendipitous that your visit is timed so perfectly with the Rock Garden’s cuteness! -kris

  3. Thanks for sharing my mom’s violas!

    Maggie, Thank you for sharing them with us! -kris

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