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Rock garden art in Wyoming.

* Jeanie and Roger Schlump live in a brick cottage in Laramie, Wyoming, next door to a large warehouse that used to be an eyesore. The couple purchased the warehouse in 1994, and Jeanie, who is a professional artist and amateur gardener, set about transforming the east-facing side of the structure into one of Laramie's most distinctive landscapes. She covered the half-block-long wall with a trompe l'oeil mural and installed a rock garden in front of it.

For the mural, Jeanie painted a scene inspired by the Vedauwoo Rocks in Medicine Bow--Routt National Forest, near Laramie. Next she hauled in new soil and prepared a 10-foot planting strip. Collecting rocks from the surrounding countryside, she arranged them so that the garden would appear to be a three-dimensional extension of the mural.

With Laramie's hot, dry summers and bitterly cold winters in mind, Jeanie chose hardy plants for the rock garden. Tough perennials, including blue flax, delphinium, dianthus, fleabane, gaillardia, golden marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria), hens and chickens, rudbeckia, sage, sedum, Shasta daisy, snow-in-summer, and tall bearded iris, provide reliable color. Annuals such as bachelor's button, begonia, coleus, and ornamental kale fill in the gaps. Rugged shrubs like barberry and potentilla give the garden permanent structure, while the rocks help protect the plants from searing winds and keep the soil from drying out. The mural garden is in the 1100 block of South Fifth Street, Laramie.
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Author:Tatroe, Marcia
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2000
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