16 July 2009

Rock-Garden Eye-Candy

Over the past couple of months I've had several opportunities to drop in to the Rock Garden at my alma mater, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro. While the weather hasn't always been ideal in this soggy spring/summer, I can't resist taking photos and sharing them with readers. If you're ever in Truro: GO to the AC and visit the Rock Garden. I'm serious. It's fabulous. These gentians bloomed in May.

There are other plants besides alpines in the Rock Garden. Some areas are more woodland like, a transition between one part of the garden and another. There are several fine plantings of one of my favourite of perennials, masterwort or Astrantia.

The Star of Persia Alliums were blooming in Truro several weeks back. Mine are just NOW reaching their peak. Even Truro is ahead of Scotts Bay!

I happen to love conifers, and there are some beautiful examples at the Rock Garden, with more to come. I know there are plans to put in more dwarf conifers, which I think is a fabulous idea. More people need to embrace conifers.

One of the cool features of the Rock Garden is the dry stream bed, and the marvelous collection of cacti (opuntia, or prickly pear) that are planted above it. I caught them in bloom last time I was there, to my huge delight.

I spent quite a bit of time enjoying the silken beauty of the prickly pear blooms, and still can't decide if I liked the yellow ones best...

...Or these fabulous hot pink ones. I think these carried the day, the more I look at them. They're sort of like portulaca blooms with their lush, jewellike colours.

The rock is called Salmon River pink granite, and comes from a local quarry. The Friends of the Garden and the NSAC grounds maintenance people used over 700 tons of rock to create the rock garden. Less than a decade ago, this was nothing but a grassy slope with some mature trees around the edges.

There's always something new being added/enhanced. Two summers ago, when I visited, this bed was being built. Now it's planted and getting well established.

Some purist-types prefer limestone as their ONLY rock of choice for alpine plantings. The limestone chunks in the terrace area were donated to NSAC by Landscape Nova Scotia.

I love the terrace area, with its limestone plantings and sandstone troughs. The troughs were made from stone from a building that was demolished in Truro a few years ago.

It's fun to visit the garden over a period of weeks or even months and see how things are changing, as some plants flower and go to seed, and others grow up and put on a new show. I probably won't get back there for a few more weeks, but time and weather permitting, I'll be happily wandering around the Rock Garden at AC. And I'm serious, folks: it's well worth a trip to Truro just to see this garden. It's becoming world-class, a beautiful star on the grounds of what is a beautiful campus.


  1. I adore rock gardens, jodi, and you have shared a beauty featuring many wonderful ideas. Thank you and do hope your summer weather behaves!

  2. I love rock gardens, what great photos of all the different styles. I should think about creating one, it would definitely bring some interest to any garden.


  3. Wow that is a nice rock garden! I'm with you on the conifers, more people should embrace them. They should be careful though since the needles can be quite sharp! ;) Seeing those pictures really makes me wish I had more natural rock in my yard to use. I have to import all of ours from other sources.

  4. The rock gardens are amazing-looking. I like to make an annual pilgrammage to Michigan State University to their perennial and childrens' gardens.

  5. Hi Jodi~~ Wow. I like that terrace too. It's interesting and educational to see the naturalistic placement of the rocks sans plants. The hot pink cactus blossoms remind me of semi-double peonies. What a fantastic setting.

  6. Thank you for sharing the photos of rock gardens. Rock gardens are so beautiful.BTW, I like the photo in your header very very much.

  7. The rock garden is really stunning.

  8. very nice rock garden, low maintenance and don't have to worry about the grass :)

  9. Oh yummy, just what I wanted for breakfast, some rock garden eye candy. Hmmmmm I must be hungry. I don't hink I have ever seen a pink prickly pear blossom. They are pretty. I love rock gardens especially ones with those big boulders in them with conifers. Beautiful place, I can see why you like it.

  10. How beautiful! Rock gardens are lovely; I don't know why we don't have one. Other than the fact we are running out of space. LOL--Randy

  11. To me, a good rock garden "flows" and this one certainly does. I remember you blogging about it before and liking it then. It's so beautiful and I'd love to have those slopes to fashion one here!

  12. That is a very nice rock garden, beautifully designed.

  13. Love the rock gardens....so beautiful!
    Also, I liked your answer on Pamona's post about aphids. I'm going to try the seaweed spay. Now, just have to find it.


  14. I am fun of rock gardens, they have so much character, I would incorporate one in my garden if I had more land. Great pictures

  15. Lovely gardens...thanks for sharing.

  16. This is beautiful, jodi. I have fond memories of AC (and The Engine Room) during the time I spent at NSTC -- the two schools were friendly rivals way back then. Gardens like this, of course, didn't exist back then, and I probably wouldn't have noticed them if they had. This is surely worth a drive to Truro -- thanks!

  17. Beautiful! I love those alliums!
    One place I want to visit yet is Nova Scotia--I think the Rock Garden in Truro went to the top of my list of places to see there!
    (Your catchildren are soooo cute!)

  18. Lovely stone. I particularly like their use of conifers.

    Very nice to see a well-thought out and tended rock garden - thanks!

  19. Certainly a place to fall in love with, Jody! It's gorgeous!
    Amazing to see those prickly pear blooms all the way up there. The hot pink ones get my vote too, but they're all so beautiful.
    The conifers add so much beauty to the whole space. They've done a really good job here. Thanks for sharing the beauty.
    Our weather is much like yours...soggy spring continuing into summer. More sunshine and warmth would be much appreciated :) At least I haven't had to water the gardens much!Happy gardening!

  20. I always enjoy seeing rock gardens, and these are beautiful, Jodi! I wish I could create one here, but I think it takes a special eye to design one, not to mention the thought of moving in all these big rocks seems a bit daunting:)

  21. Beautiful shots of the rock garden. I recently saw the rock garden at Wisley in England....unbelievable. Thanks for taking me to this one.

  22. If I ever get out there again, I would certainly go see this garden. It's hard to find good rock and alpine gardens in this country.


Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment! It might take me a bit, but I will return the compliment whenever possible.
Spammers--need not apply. Because I delete your comments and they will never make it here. Kthxbai!

Great Gardens and More


Search Bloomingwriter

Custom Search