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Old 11-20-2010, 05:29 PM   #11
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Ohhh.... you've got a couple spots to play with!!! I saw a rock garden out east that was way cool that showcased Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, PLANTS Profile for Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) | USDA PLANTS. I like bearberry because its fruits last waaaaaaaay into winter… birds love the fruits and…. bears can sustain themselves on the fruits when they emerge from hibernation in spring when there’s slim pickins. You could toss in other natives from a natural plant community if you like the looks of Bearberry. Maybe try a few native ferns and Gaultheria procumbens and Morella pensylvanica??? This is an awesome project.
Lib,

You are definitely on the right track. It is like you can read my mind.

I've seen some wonderful pictures of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi --and like the name kinnikinnick. It is one that I've been wanting to get for years. I have some low bush blueberry started in that area...and already have Gaultheria procumbens in the front landscape where it is more shaded...I thought that it required more shade. Can it handle full sun too?

Today, while walking through the yard, I realized maybe "rock *garden*" was the wrong phrasing. I definitely want it to be more of a plant community that would do well in and around a rock outcropping.

My parents put three bayberry in our landscaping--I'm thinking it was my mother's idea, but I'm not sure. I'm not opposed to using it, but if memory serves, it seemed to me it would occur naturally further east of me, but I'll double check. I am considering sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), would that be appropriate?
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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I planted a bearberry in the spring...It is not any larger than when I planted it. Maybe it will grow over the winter and spring...
I hope it will grow for you, turttle. Often things seem to really take off the third year, so cross your fingers and be patient.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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For some reason when I read the title to this topic I thought you wanted rocks that are native to North America. In thinking about it I can't imagen anyone importing rocks but then again the horticultural and landscaping industry has done stupider things. This makes me wonder the origin of certain stones we commonly see in nurseries. Not that it's that important though, it was just an odd thought I had.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who misunderstands things here--I've done it a couple of times again just recently.

Good point. I've often said that when building a housing development, it seems that they remove everything including rocks/boulders and, of course the topsoil. Then people buy everything to put back: bring in top soil, trees, shrubs, flowers...and sometimes buy rocks/boulders for their landscaping. All too often, as we know, people buy exotic, non-natives...and I'm sure that goes for the rocks too.

Using local stone not only preserves the character of a region, but also requires a lot less fuel for transportation. We were very lucky to have bought property that has a lot of rocks for me to add to the landscaping and future streambed-pond. We also have some large boulders and slabs which THRILLS me. Unfortunately, they are not all exactly where I'd like them to be, but they will be staying put and I'll figure out how to incorporate them and make the best of them. Believe it or not, I'd say they were part of our decision to buy the place--or at least it tipped the scale more...I was ALWAYS looking for rock on every property we looked at!
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:47 PM   #14
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I have to post some pictures so you all get an idea of what I'm working with. Unfortunately, I am told it is time to go (we're going out tonight), so you'll all have to wait for the pictures.

Thanks for all of the feedback and suggestions. Keep them coming.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:55 PM   #15
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I went through some of my pictures from a while back. Here are pictures of the what I'll call "site 1". The original rock slab/boulder must be about 11ft X 6 ft or so. Last year, I added some smaller rocks to try to extend the area--hopefully it will look like one big outcropping. Then this year, I dug out and exposed a little more of the rock. There are a few more smaller rocks breaking the surface in a few more areas, and I plan to haul another rather large rock or two in to create a more interesting look with more rocky areas. There are also three more rocks that a previous owner appears to have added to that area.

So far, I've only added sweet fern, a couple lowbush blueberry bushes (that have yet to take off), a dew berry, two pearly everlasting, some Potentilla simplex (I think), and some sundrops (Oenothera fructiocosa) that I found growing in an existing flower bed. There was a Penstemon hirsutus that I put in, but I think I lost it this summer during a very dry period. (I'm hoping it is still alive, or the one I divided it from is still alive. Also, I think I planted seed, so there is hope.) Anyway, here are the pictures:
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:32 PM   #16
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Porterbrook,

I finally got chance to read your Rock Gardening with Native Plants article. Thanks for suggesting it (and writing it). I'm so glad you included grasses. I think I have one Danthonia spicata planted there as well, and I found a source for more at a nursery about an hour and half from me. I've always loved that grass (but I had to look it up and do image search because that is not one I have committed to memory).

Now I'll tackle searching all of your suggestions listed above. ~smile~

Thanks again.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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Porterbrook,

I also read your article on shale barrens--another favorite of mine.

Although there is no scree around my rocks, I'd love to create something similar to a shale barren but appropriate to NE PA. I'm not sure what to call it, rocky pasture, rocky outcropping, ...?
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:24 PM   #18
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You might want to take a look at my Rock Gardening with Native Plants article in the Feature Articles forum: . Let me know if you have any questions.
A direct link to Porterbrooks Rock Gardening with Native Plants Rock Gardening With Native Plants.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:29 PM   #19
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Couldn't you dump a truckload of native rocks, smooth its edges a bit and then top it of with a few cat scoops of soil?
The rain would create natural looking crevices between things as it settles...THEN plant the native plantings.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:03 PM   #20
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I was outside quite a bit on this 54 degree *January* day. I took a few pictures of some of the areas I'd like to enhance.

Around the one in the woodland, I plan to add wildflowers and ferns.

I'd like to plant something that will look great against the huge, hulking boulder, but something that will not hide it.

Lowbush blueberry around the "rocky outcropping" area...I'm still looking for more suggestions for that area. Perhaps it will be the most "rock garden like"...although "garden" may be a misnomer--I'd like to plant it with appropriate low growing companion plants.
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