Plant A Crevice Garden
© Photo courtesy of E. Drcar
Crevices are those intriguing gaps between rocks where plants can grow while seeming to defy all odds. They can be found in horizontal and vertical spaces such as the rock wall in the photo above or in the gaps between pavers on a pathway. In rock gardens, we often intentionally create small spaces between rocks in which to tuck our plant treasures. Alpines and other rock garden plants are ideally suited to grow in these spaces as they often do in nature.
Creeping thyme and other mat forming perennials were tucked in the crevices between the rocks of this water feature where they could spill over the rocks and enhance the naturalistic feel of the garden.
This small crevice garden was built with mounded well-drained soil in which we placed rows of thin, flat rocks pitched almost vertically to create planting crevices and niches. It is planted with alpines and other small plants including Sempervivum 'Spumanti', Draba sp., Linaria alpina, Greek Yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia), Lewisia x pygmaea, Sedum hispanicum and Jovibarba hirta.
The red succulent rosettes of these Jovibarba heuffelli have grown to fill the narrow space between two rocks.
The small Androsace darvasica which might be easily overrun by larger plants and is instead featured when planted in this narrow crevice.
Mat forming plants such as Azorella trifurcata 'Nana' creep down vertical spaces between rocks, stabilizing the soil on the steep slopes.
The green cushion forming Scleranthus uniflorus was intentionally planted in the crevice while the white flowering Androsace septentrionalis is a volunteer, creating an attractive combination. Seeds naturally lodge in crevices and young plants are nurtured where rocks and soil meet.
This Sandia Mountain Heuchera (Heuchera pulchella) is striking in the crevice between two rocks. When creating a rock garden, rocks are sometimes intentionally split to create a planting crevice.
Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum sp) adapt well to crevice plantings and are sometimes planted alongside more delicate plants to provide shelter and help prevent soil erosion until the smaller plant is fully established.
Greek native Pterocephalus perennis grows happily among the rocks, creeping into the narrow crevice at front.
Pyrenean Saxifrage (Saxifraga longifolia) grows in a narrow fissure between rocks. The name Saxifraga means "rock breaker" in Latin and Saxifrages often grow in crevices in their native alpine habitats.
Photo courtesy of E. Drcar
Fairy Foxglove (Erinus alpinus) has naturalized throughout this Scottish ruin, creating a charming and informal garden.