Growing in cracks between boulders

M. Gastil-Buhl
Sun, 13 Oct 2013 08:41:32 PDT
Jane McGary wrote:
"Growing in rock crevices benefits plants in many ways: a lack of  
temperature fluctuation (especially heating) in the root run;  
trickling water from night-time condensation on the rock surface,  
especially in foggy areas; and, of course, protection from predators."

I wish I had read that a couple weeks ago before I began digging up  
some bulb beds that have a lot of rocks added. It is not a "rock  
garden" so much as a garden made with rocks. I did not notice the bulb  
roots shaping to rocks other than when they were so very crowded that  
their physical size was limited to squeeze between the rocks. But this  
late in the season the roots are so far withered that I may easily  
have overlooked rock-seeking roots. I have often marveled at how very  
little water these bulbs seem to need, not just the bulbs but also  
volunteer "weeds" I allow to grow that have sown themselves and  
continue to thrive all summer long despite no rain since May (and  
little then). I have seen dew condense on the rocks, especially on the  
vertically-set slate. Dew forms most mornings so this is likely the  
source of moisture. There are a few more pockets of bulbs left to  
excavate from between the slate pockets. I will watch for any growth  
patters that might be taking advantage of this dew-trickling.

Here is a photo of the slate dividers:…

and the "boulders" bordering one of the raised bulb beds, which I am  
completely renovating this season:…

- Gastil

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