Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Sedum spathulifolium

Hello plant people

It’s been a tad longer than I had expected, time flies when you’ve got your hands elbow deep in soil. I’ve been planting like crazy trying to take advantage of all this incredible spring energy. The season is starting a little earlier this year and the plants are just loving it. As to tempt the fates let me brag a little more about how frost free my back garden has been this season, it’s almost subtropical. Aeoniums growing outdoors, an echium stands proud at nearly 12 feet; perhaps climate change isn’t so bad after-all.

From the still moments of winter emerges a fury of activity. It’s finally March and it’s time to get out there and get your hands dirty. I decree it’s a prime season to do some gardening! Although heavy with rain, a pineapple express has been gusting through our island bringing in the most amazing warm temperatures. The other morning I was opening up my greenhouse to the the sounds of birds singing, a crisp freshness in the air, it’s serenity was absolute. I love my job.

Today I took some time away from the greenhouse and garden and hiked out in East Sooke Park. Would you believe it’s the first time I’ve been out there? I’ve lived in Victoria for almost 7 years now and still haven’t explored¬†Aylard’s farm, for shame. Through raindrop and mud puddle my girlfriend and I spent an wet afternoon exploring beaches and salal meadows. ¬†The lush temperate rain-forests prevalent on the coast of BC resemble a jungle-like setting a lot more than I often give credit. The place was absolutely bursting with life. With all the Skunk cabbage, sedums, orchids and lichen, you couldn’t imagine a place with more wild lushness. Sometimes I’m blind and nearly daft to how much diversity we have in our forests, but take a closer look, it’s picture perfect.

Oceanfront trees are naturally shaped and bonsai

Oceanfront trees are naturally shaped and bonsai

Anyhow onto the topic at hand, Sedum spathulifolium. Just because I can’t make it to the deserts of the Baja or jungles of South America, doesn’t mean I can’t do a little plant exploring here at home. It’s no surprise to anyone on the coast that Sedum spathulifolium can be found pretty much anywhere moss grows comfortably. Often growing on exposed rock amongst the moss and lichens, this horticultural favorite grows effortlessly in some pretty obscure locations. It’s drought tolerant and changes colors depending on it’s growing conditions. The flowers in the spring are a electric yellow and suddenly succulent hillsides glow gold for a months on end. From the very first moment I encountered sedums I was in love. While some plant’s loose their luster over the years I still can’t help but stand and admire whenever I come across them.

Now for sedums in the wild.

Fields of SedumIMG_7165IMG_7155IMG_7152IMG_7148IMG_7145IMG_7141IMG_7247IMG_7231IMG_7228IMG_7212IMG_7209IMG_7208Wall of SedumIMG_7201IMG_7194IMG_7191aIMG_7191Lichen growing on rocksLichen

Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)

Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)

Beautiful British Columbia. Mother Nature has got me beat again. . .

Until next time.

Things remain busy at work but definitely calmer then before. The garden is looking incredible and I see something new almost everyday. With all this great June weather also comes a busy watering schedule. My entire garden is hand watered which can be a bit of a task day to day, still I take it as a meditation to absorb whats going on. Today while puttering about I noticed the compact buds of a sedum spathulifolium (Pacific Broadleaf Stonecrop). I found this specimen on Reid Island 3 years ago and it’s been doing great in my garden ever since. Needless to say, I took some great macro photos of the buds prior to them opening.

The buds are no bigger then a loonie, but pack in a world of detail any artist would be intimated by.

Close up Shot. Nature is truly the most magnificent artist in existence. What amazing detail on such a small scale.

Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.