Thursday 8 July 2010

The Calcareous Slope

We used 40 tons of limestone, both boulders and gravel, when we in 2005 created a calcareous slope in acidic Sävsjö in the middle of the county of Småland in southern Sweden. Until yesterday I had never visited this landscaping project during the peak flowering period in June and July. Six years have passed and nowadays most of the bare stones and gravel are covered by vegetation. Some planted species have gone completely extinct, while others have increased enormously in number. Most abandoned is the soft Hairy Melic (Melica ciliata).

All plants chosen for this limestone planting are true lime lovers and they all tolerate very high pH.This time of the year the slope is filled up mainly by the lovely Carthusian Pink (Dianthus carthusianorum), the free flowering Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa columbaria) and the colorful Broad leaved Thyme (Thymus pulegioides).  Other species that can be found in bloom in July are a rose form of Bloody Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum), St Bernhard's Lily (Anthericum liliago) and Viper's Bugloss (Echium russicum).

Broad leaved Thyme (Thymus pulegioides)

Melica ciliata, commonly called Hairy Melic or Silky Spike Melic  
together with Carthusian Pink (Dianthus carthusianorum)

Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa columbaria) and the Viper's Bugloss (Echium russicum)

Carthusian Pink and Pincushion Flower

The single flower of  Carthusian Pink, Dianthus carthusianorum


  1. Absolutly beautiful, thank you so much for sharing these photos. I really love the combination of plantings.

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you appriciate the photos. In fact I'am very found of this planting myself and delighted with the free flowering result.

  3. Love the Melic:
    From Öland

  4. Yes, what a lovely picture! Thanks for that link!

    Most grasses - and most plants, well, most scenes - are as best when backlit. The Hairy Melic is a wonderful little grass we could use much more in parks and gardens. It's rather short lived however, but self seed frequently when the conditions are right as it does at its natural sites at Öland or the Dolomites.

    Chalk, sun and drought are the key secrets to success in the garden.

  5. this is just perfect, love every color and plant combination!