I'm always interested in seeing how each place arranges its mountain/rocky zone since it is such a contradictory challenge: "Let's plant these things in places where plants don't want to grow." It makes you wonder if they would completely turn their little green noses up at fertile soft soil if offered a choice.
Some plants do turn their little green noses up at fertile soil. Years ago I bought some fancy irises for my garden. The clerk at the nursery said to put them in good soil. I did so and they did nothing at all, wouldn't grow, a couple just withered away.
Then one day a neighbour went by and we chatted about gardening. I told her about my irises and she said, "Have a look around. They grow where there is concrete, lousy soil." So I moved them to where my driveway was crumbling into the flower beds and the irises took off. Over the years I have given away tons of them since they multiplied so much.
Wow ~ what a place! Super pictures and so many interesting plants, although once I saw the Bukiniczia cabulica the adoring stars in my eyes made it hard to look at other stuff. What IS that? It's a succulent, right? desire desire desire desire
I didn't know that about irises, Bjd. However, after reading your account I realized that the last time I had really nice, hard-blooming irises was when I had to plant them in a little strip between the concrete patio and the cement block wall.
I first encountered the Lewisia cotyledon hiking in the high mountains of northern California as a youngster. They're pretty spectacular in their wild species form but since I first saw them the breeders have done a lot of work and the cultivated varieties have become a lot larger and showier. Back in the '70s, in the unlikely event you found one in a nursery, it'd be the same as the wild ones. There's also a slightly plainer variety that grows along the Columbia River in eastern Washington State--well two actually a white one and a pink and white type. They both make a wonderful surprise to find in bloom when desert hiking.
Plant trials? What have they ever done wrong? Poor things. They can't help it.
Stinging nettles are nasty though, and vicious. Decapitating is the best sentence passed on them. Cactuseses cacti are forgiven because they are only defending themselves but poison ivy?, well, the name says it all. Locked up for life, they should be.
Absolutely beautiful, Mick and gorgeous captures of Spring in all her glory.
I love the anal-retentive mower patterns in the grass. However I must report that I saw that being done in one or two of the Grand Gardens and it's no charming scene of a shirt-sleeved man pushing a spinning unmotorized mower. No, it's a man in safety glasses and giant yellow ear protectors making very loud mechanical noise echo between the mossy stones of a castle and yon densely clipped yew hedge. One did wonder why that couldn't be done in the off hours.
That first picture in #16, the blooming tree next to the rill, is delightful. What is the blooming tree, please?
There are some great pictures up here. It's a long time since I visted Wisley. If I happened to be on the A3 I would pop into the Wisley shop which contains books on every plant subject. I loved browsing in there.