Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lewisias in my sister's garden

Lewisia, probably a cotyledon hybrid, in my sister's garden

Another colored Lewisia in my sister's garden

Lewisia with Yucca linearifolia

View of entire bed in my sister's garden

Scilla peruviana about to bloom
     My sister, who lives in Salem, Oregon has a bed in her garden that is between her driveway and an alley.  When she first moved in there were two large pines in this bed.  She had them taken out and has created a very interesting rock garden in this area.  She did nothing to amend the soil here except to add some gravel on the surface.  She does not water this bed in the summer, either.
     She has planted this little rock garden with some of my favorite plants--alliums,  eremurus, and recently, Scilla peruviana.  The stars, however, at least at this time of the year, are the lewisias.  Lewisias, for those who don't know, are small plants native to the Pacific Northwest at usually high elevations. These plants, however, are not that difficult to grow provided they have sufficiently well drained soil and a fairly open situation.  They are well suited to rock gardens. The ones most commonly found in nurseries are forms of Lewisia cotyledon which is native to the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon and Northern California.  That is probably what the ones in my sister's garden are.
     As you can see from the pictures, the colors on these lewisias are clear bright jewel tones.  The flowers last a very long time.  They have been blooming as pictured for at least a month so far.
     I have grown lewisias from time to time in my garden, but I never found a good spot for them.  They always seemed to get swamped by other plants.  I recently, however, ordered several kinds from Beaver Creek Greenhouses which has an exceptionally long list of Lewisias.  They have arrived and are great looking plants.

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