This is my last blog post on the gardens we visited during the 2019 Garden Bloggers Fling in the Denver area. I didn't quite stretch my Fling coverage to last a year—like I have in the past—but I came close!
This is the view of the garden that greeted us as we got off the bus...
Conifers and flowering perennials.
Peonies blooming in June!
The black iris were so, so, good.
There were even a few verbascum.
If I were to tell you this was the garden our Fling itinerary that I was most excited to see would you be surprised? Your shock would be understood if this was all there was...
But it was not. There were crevice gardens! I first learned of the Shinn's garden back in 2015, when I wrote a story on crevice gardens for the Oregon Assoc of Nurseries magazine, Digger (here). While researching for that story I had the chance to talk with Kenton J Seth about some of the crevice gardens he's built and this was one we discussed.
He even sent me photos of it's construction back in 2014. Look closely at the rocks here and you can match them with the photo above and those that follow.
Rock placement in process...yes that's Kenton.
And the finished construction.
It looks a bit different now, doesn't it?
Yep, that's our bus.
I knew I wanted to write about the practice of crevice gardening in my upcoming book—Fearless Gardening—which I was writing during the time of the Fling. I asked Carol Shinn if I could use a few of the photos I took that day, in the book, and maybe chat with her, post-Fling, about the garden. She was very encouraging and we went on to have several wonderful email conversations in the weeks that followed.
Having moved from Tucson, AZ, Carol claimed to be done with spiky plants but I noticed a few snuck into the garden.
That cool succulent rosette in the center of this image is an orostachys of some sort.
Likely Saxifraga paniculata cartilaginea ‘Foster’s Red’
Echinocereus triglochidiatus, I believe.
The newest crevice garden which looks like it's still being filled with plants.
Looking back at the front garden before heading to the back garden.
And maybe now is a good time to share little more background on the garden, from our Fling materials: "I bought my first plant, a hellebore, at the farmer's market while we were staying in an apartment waiting for the move-in date for our new Colorado home [they moved here in 2006}. The front was an outdated lawn with an interesting flower border and junipers. There were also junipers in front of the house blocking the windows. The back was overgrown with cottonwood/poplar hybrids.
I soon learned about rock gardening and that has become one the focuses here. We started with granite and sandstone boulders in several areas. Later we experimented with a bed of horizontal layers of sandstone, and then a bed of vertical basalt."
Here is the bed of horizontal layers of sandstone mentioned above.
Arenaria ‘Wallowa Mountain’
After studying this section of the Shinn's garden I think I'm even more tempted to make a horizontal crevice garden than the standard verticle.
It's just so good! And takes up even less space.
Also, Carole shared that the rain tends to run off the horizontal layers rather than soaking in like it does with the vertical layers. As someone who lives in a winter wet climate that sounds intriguing to me.
Squished but happy.
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed this last garden of the 2019 Garden Bloggers Fling.
I know some of my fellow "Flingers" got a little tired of rocks and crevice gardens but I did not, not by a long shot. I treasured every one of them, but especially this one. I was so excited to see it in person, and even more so after meeting the owners, Carol and Randy. The Shinns were so welcoming, here's hoping we can get back to visiting gardens in person soon, there's nothing quite like it for inspiration (well, except maybe blogs, and books...).
Weather Diary, Apr 27: Hi 69, Low 49/ Precip .05
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