If you have ever wondered what any of these plants are, I'm here to help. In the next two posts, I'm going to take you on a little virtual tour of Seattle rockeries to help you identify some of the many plants you see blooming there this time of year.
This is a classic rockery plant combination: yellow Alyssum 'Basket of Gold,' paired with purple Aubrietia deltoidea. Aubrietia comes in both dark and lighter shades of purple; less common is a variety with deep rose colored flowers.
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) is a tough perennial with a long bloom time. It's one of the true bright whites (along with shotweed flowers) that you see early in the season. If you have this plant in your rockery, be sure to shear it after blooming to keep it from getting leggy.
The red and green succulent plant spilling out onto the stairs is one of the many varieties of Sedum available in our area. Sedums are particularly well suited to life in a rockery because they require very little in terms of water, nutrients and care.
The pink flowers on the left are heather (Erica sp.), the medium blue flowers in the middle are Lithodora, and the light blue flowers at right are periwinkle (Vinca sp). As with candytuft, all three of these should be sheared or cut back after blooming to keep them compact. In the lower left corner, new fronds, called fiddleheads, are emerging from a fern. To keep ferns looking tidy, cut away old, dried out fronds in late winter/early spring.
Wait! There's more: