Rock Gardening in Missouri – Bagicha Bazaar

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Today we’re catching up with Meryl Trebley. Meryl does most of her gardening at her job. Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, where she is in charge of the Rock Garden. She is also a board member. North American Rock Garden Society, and she grows lots of cool rock garden plants. Sometimes these plants have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but mostly they just need good drainage and a good choice of plants. The St. Louis area has hot, humid summers and fairly cool winters (zone 6), but Merrill grows many great plants that love these conditions.

Note: Many of these plants are so uncommonly grown that not much is known about winter hardiness, so the zone classifications below are more educated guesses.

Campanula formiciana is in full bloom in a rock garden.This CAmpanula formanekiana (Zones 6-8) is just loaded with flowers! The species usually grows as a biennial, so this burst of flowers may be its swan song before it leaves the garden, but wow, what a beautiful display!

Perched flight on Aristolochia tomentosaA bee visitor is pollinating it. Aristolochia tomentosa (Zones 5-8). Aristolochia’s strange flowers lure bees with colors — and sometimes smells — that trick them into thinking the flowers are dead on which they can lay their eggs. Once the bee crawls into the flower, the backward-pointing hairs trap it. As it buzzes, it becomes covered with pollen. It is only released when another bee enters that is already pollinated by another flower. It pollinates the flower and causes the hairs to fall off, allowing the pollen-covered bee to leave and pollinate the next flower.

Closure of Globularia punctataGlobularia punctata (Zones 3-8) Looks beautiful in morning light. This plant forms low cushions or carpets with these blue flowers in spring.

Purple Penstemon flowersPenstemon cobaea (Zones 5-8) are in full bloom. There are about 300 different varieties of penstemon, mostly native to western North America, and many of them make beautiful additions to the garden. Most, but not all, need well-drained soil to thrive.

Close-up of Dracocephalum ruyschiana flowersMeryl says she is a huge fan of his. Dracocephalum rueschiana (Zones 3-7), because despite being in the mint family, it is easy to grow and not too vigorous or aggressive.

Close up of bright purple iris with yellow flowers behindSmall rock garden is a whole world of irises. This is the place Iris timofejewii (Zones 4-8) with a bright yellow color Aurenia sextellus (Zones 3-7) behind it. What an amazing color combination!

Obscure pulsatella flowers closedPulsitella (Zones 4-8) emerge in early spring with their incredibly showy new leaves and flowers. These appeared so early that they caught a dusting of late snow on their flowers.

Close up of pink and purple flowersCampanula baumgartenii (Zones 4-8) and Cylene schafta (Zones 3-9) grow together in a tapestry of delightful flowers.

If you want to see more from Meryl, check out her Instagram: @rockeryplantess

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