Stonecrop Plant Sale

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Last Saturday rose to find sunny skies and gently drifting clouds. A perfect day for a plant sale! Not just any plant sale, but a venue from the cream of the alpines. Whohoo! Stonecrop Gardens has sponsored this annual event for a few years now. Have you been there? If not, plan to make a trip - it is a beautiful garden, well maintained and full of great garden performances. And remember to look for the April sale next year.

A variety of vendors have cycled through over the years, but stalwarts Wrightman Alpines, Everymay Nursery and Don Dembowski reliably show along with the crew from Stonecrop. This year Garden Vision Epimediums and Betsy Knapp Troughs joined the list. And they did not disappoint. Rare alpines, shrubs, and  perennials were available in limited numbers. Of course it pays to get there early as the horticultural cognoscente zoom in from three states. This was definitely a two elbow event! Yes, most of those elbows belong to old friends, and it was good to see and talk with all of them, after buying.
Don Dembowski Jacques & Anne
Richard MayWrightman tufa
Stonecrop sales tableLori & Joe
Jacques & Alex Stonecrop sales table
Dean & Anne Caroline Burgess
Garden VisionsSylvia & Ginny

The new crevice garden needed quite a few choice xeric alpines to create the backbone. So I stocked up with the likes of silver saxes, small ipomopsis, choice daphnes, tiny genistas...a little of this and that...all small, dryland, and impressive. I am very interested to try the new xeric salvias. One would think if it is hardy in Ontario, it would be also in Litchfield County. But Ontario does get a bit more snow cover, which hopefully explains the difference.

Yes, I already have batches of penstemons, miscellaneous choice composites, a few alliums, eriogonums, lewisias and zinnia (to name a few) coming from seed. I was especially impressed with Eritichium howardii germinating like cress this year. Seed came from Alan Bradshaw (Alplains) in 2009. Imagine if it were not already a year old already before I sowed it! The crevice garden is a big new canvas that will hold multitudes more of seedlings yet to come. I just need to remember to be selective.

After organizing Saturday night, I spent Sunday planting in perfect weather - raw and misty. I got them all in, including the few more androsaces, primulas and saxes for the Zvolanek beds. (Wrightman has been growing some really unusual androsaces lately!) Then the rains came to press in all the roots. The new gutter on the south porch did its duty well and the cylindropuntia remained dry. This bodes well for the rest of the hardy cactus which are to be planted soon. Maybe this garden will beat the black rot to which they have been prone out in the open. Those lost in trials were generally planted in too much shade, I think, and with a western exposure. So this new southern exposure with a roof overhang should help.
Magnolia at Stonecrop

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