Crevice Planting
Encrusted Saxifrage with Purple-stemmed Cliffbrake


Prior to the tornado of 2006 this was a low rock outcropping under mature white cedars with virtually no herbaceous layer. Once the toppled trees were removed, a backhoe quickly lowered the soil profile at the base of the rock and a garden hose washed and stripped away the remainder. What was left was an interesting array of crevices and hollows in the sedimentary calcitic bedrock.

Towards the southern end of this outcrop we have moved slabs of granite to accommodate more acid loving species. Some of the plant combinations which we think work particularly well here are wild ginger with maidenhair fern and large flowered bellwort with white trillium.

Growing out of the crevices in the rock are such shrubs as downy arrow-wood, jersey tea and common juniper. Both striped and mountain maple can be viewed here. Many varieties of native species adapted to growing on or between rocks are gaining footholds. These include the rare encrusted saxifrage and walking, purple stemmed cliffbrake, slender rock brake, ebony and maidenhair spleenwort ferns. Between the base of the rocks and the path are various evergreen groundcovers. Featured are bearberry, bunchberry, wintergreen and partridgeberry.

Here is also a good place to see a display of yellow ladyslipper, one of the easiest native orchids to cultivate