Clumping over a mound in the rock garden is a sturdy plant, Arctostaphylos pumila, an evergreen shrub of the Ericaceous family.
It is endemic to a small area near Monterey on the Californian coastline, in North America, where it can be found beneath Pine trees and on the coastal strand. The leaves are shrouded in fine downy hairs giving a degree of protection from desiccation by coastal breezes. This is especially noticeable on the newly emerging growth and gives a surprisingly soft feel to a ‘lino’ like leaf. Beneath the foliage is attractive reddish brown bark, which flaks with age.
This plant is on the verge of flowering, the cluster of immature ivory bells hang down from terminal growth.