Rock gardening, for us, is an attempt to replicate growing conditions and aesthetic moments found in the high mountains and in steep, stony places at lower elevations. In this we do not always succeed, but we are forever hopeful. We try to keep in mind the three principles of rock gardening; drainage, drainage and drainage.
The rock gardens at Cady’s Falls are in varying stages, ranging from youthful exuberance to aging decay. Many of the earliest plantings from the 1980’s have been crowded out by not-so-dwarf, dwarf conifers. In our most recent gardens, having hopefully learned the dwarf conifer lesson, we are limiting ourselves to alpines of compact habit, accompanied by a sparse selection of the most diminutive woody plants we can find. Not all the plants in our rock gardens are true alpines. Our concern is primarily aesthetic, that plants feel right in the setting in which they are planted. It is this simple feeling of rightness and calm that makes a garden serene and enchanting.
 In our gardens, we have many eco-niches which satisfy a wide variety of plants from around the world. The soil conditions vary from simple grit-enhanced native soil, to pure river stone enhanced with rotted leaves. In some places, we have added limestone to satisfy the calcium-lovers and in others we have added peat to accommodate the acid-lovers. We also have a nicely maturing tufa garden where tiny plants thrive in holes drilled in the  soft calcium carbonate rock.
Among the many niches, we have sunny, but sheltered, north-facing slopes, south-facing hot spots and shady nooks, sometimes in close proximity.  We have wet, moss-covered rocks where the sticky-leaved butterworts have seeded in, and a wall garden where a lovely contingent of ferns has appeared spontaneously in the last decades. Indeed, some of the nicest moments in our garden have evolved serendipitously.
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Cady’s Falls Nursery
Don & Lela Avery
637 Duhamel Rd.  Morrisville, Vt. 05661
802-888-5559    [email protected]
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Baptisia leucophea, a dwarf baptisia for the rock garden
Salix vestita from Newfoundland in a gritty calcium-rich  bed,  sporting catkins  in April and glossy netted leaves in June below
Lewisia cotyledon
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April and May
Gentiana verna angulosa
Dwarf Iris  ‘Cherry Garden’
Aquilegia  saximontana
South facing rock garden in Late May
Soldanella carpatica
Phyllodoce caerulea, a circumboreal, arctic/alpine
Erigeron  aureus ‘Canary Bird’
Draba bryoides imbricata
Aubrieta gracilis in late May
Gentiana acaulis ‘Holtzmannii’
Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora
Phlox douglasii ‘Crackerjack
Aquilegia alpina in May
Asarun arifolium and Rhododendron ‘Wildwood Pixie Petticoat’ in
a  shady nook in the rock garden, in late May
Athionema oppositifolia in April
A patch of south-facing rock garden in May. In the foreground, Boulderia lichinensis.
Fritillaria michailovskyi
Daphne cneorum eximia, rock hardy, sweet scented, short lived
Salic herbacea
Salix herbacea, prostrate alpine willow
Phlox subulata
Salix reticulata, dwarf from from Newfoundland
Dwarf Iris  ‘Western Circles’
Gentiana angustifolia ‘Alba’ with Salix herbacea
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