May 3, 2011

A visit with NARGS member Peter George and his amazing rock garden

Adonis vernalis in bloom in a tufa bed in the rock garden of Peter George, a collector of rare alpine plants who gardens in the quaint New England village of Petersham. ( I know, I usually show my Adonis vernalis, since Peter and I bought out plants together, but mine disappeared this year).

Members of the New England Primula Society tour the Petersham, MA garden of Peter George, an esteemed member of the North American Rock Garden Society. It was a perfect spring day here in New England, with a brilliant blue sky, and warm temperatures. Oriole's, tweeting migrating Warbler's, chirping Robins and Wrens sang while clouds of black flies swarmed around us.

Saxifrages come in many sizes and forms, and I knew that Peter George had many, after all, we fought over many plants at the Oregon NARGS meeting two years ago. I would venture to say that Peter has ten times as many Saxifrages as I do.

A birds eye Primrose, or a farinose primula sits in a sunbeam safe between giant rocks.
Anemonella thalictroides 'Schoaf's Double', a precious woodland Anemone that lasts only a few days in a New England spring garden making it one of our most lovely spring ephemerals.

A lone Saxifrage nestled safely between boulders.
A pine? Nope. This is a peony. Paeonia tenuifolia, a highly treasured rock garden peony that makes a stunning specimen plant once established.

This yellow dwarf Iris is no taller than 8 inches, it blooms in front of Peters Barn which was built in the 1800's.

One of Peter's passions is Eriogonum, or the flowering Buckwheats. I have yet to try them, but after seeing his collection of the alpine plants, I now think that I might try some. Perfect for a dry location in full sun.

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