Rock rose and aubrietia. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Xeriscape Choices – Photo Wednesday

My rock garden is blooming and abuzz with hummingbirds and bees. The birds and the bees, it must be spring!

Our side of the island is very dry in summer, and my plant choices reflect that. The little rock roses (Cistacea) I bought several years ago now dwarf the bird bath (note to self: move bird batch into a “clearing” to provide a better landing strip for my winged friends).  Here is the first bloom, so papery and delicate, it just sings of spring… Both of my rock roses are covered with buds, so there will soon be a symphony.

Rock rose (Cistacea), first bloom of the season. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Good thing that I like succulents, because it makes dry gardening much easier. Their textures are very interesting and I have built quite the collection, both of the kind that can make it through our winter, and the kind that must come indoors during the wet and cold months. The latter are arranged in containers (photos in another post soon).

Below, a close-up of hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) and another delicate one whose name I have forgotten (it blooms delicately in white).

Xeriscape with succulents. Photo © Andrée Fredette

And then, the other tough plants that can stand the dry time, and survive our winters: the Spanish lavenders (Lavandula stoechas).

Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas), mature plant in lilac. Photo © Andrée Fredette

These early-blooming lavenders have taken over the job of keeping the bees entertained from the rosemary bushes and are abuzz with activity. When I walk into the garden, the buzzing is very noticeable. Bees and others love, love, love the Spanish lavenders right now.

Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) in lilac. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Above, a lilac version.  I also have a really dark purple one, and somehow, these two have self-hybridized in the garden and produced this new version below, all white wings with little lilac blooms… Some of the junior plants are half-lilac and half-white.

Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) in white hybrid. Photo © Andrée Fredette

I completely approve of plants that reproduce in my garden, and come up with new “jazz” versions.