This past Thursday was not the first time I've visited the Horticulture gardens at SUNY Farmingdale. I've been there well over a dozen times so it was most surprising to me to find myself in love with an area that didn't excite me too much on previous visits.
The difference wasn't in the garden itself, the difference was me, my taste and desires in gardening right now.
The Rockery (as Dr. Iverson called it) begins at first with a small rock courtyard showcasing a few shade plants that have charmingly worked their way into the cracks and crevices of the stone walls and floor.
A few steps later though you come across the most wonderful, secret, shaded grotto just filled with a treasure trove of shade plants.
The predominant color here is green and yet it was as exciting to me as the long perennial border and the riot of color in the summer garden.
The day was damp and cool (what else has been new this season) and the plants were in prime condition.
I didn't think to take an overview of the whole area but it wasn't much larger than what you see here in this photo.
The contrast of the Hakonachloa (forest grass) against the gravel was magnificent.
There were lots of large rocks that you would swear were put there by Mother Nature and not by the diligent staff and students at the university. More plants were showcased in the cracks and crevices. I just loved seeing the Asarum europeam (European Ginger) in the garden. It's become a big favorite of mine.
Look! I did find a flower, although the garden would have been awesome even without this little beauty.
The perfect garden needs the perfect ending. How's this as the path to take you up and out of the rockery and back to the "real world".