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Alpine Trough

30 comments


After months of procrastination, seeing Scotsgran’s beautiful new alpine bed finally spurred me into doing something about my thoroughly neglected alpine trough!

It was a treat to go off to the garden centre with a definite quest in mind. I bought John Innes 2 (after some thought), grit sand and a topping. I was spoilt for choice there – I knew that whatever I chose, I would wish I had made a different choice. Enough said about that. Then I went and chose a few plants – only five. They were six for £10. I saw a Cyclamen Coum which I couldn’t resist for my wild area, so five was the number.

I was lucky, because after a dark and damp (occasionally very wet!) morning, the sun came out so I had a lovely couple of hours.

Here is the “before” picture (“Remorse, remorse!”)

Right! First off, crocks over the drainage holes (four nice large ones!) and then a layer of really gritty stuff!

Next the compost, with a good dollop of grit sand (not very scientific, sorry, but mixed till it looked right)

Then the best part – add the plants. This is what I’ve got:

Pachyphytum

Sedum Cappa Blanca

Sedum Purpurea

Sedum Sea Star

Lewisia

I also rescued the thrift, which was threaded through with wild violet, split it and replanted it

Here they are in position

Next – make sure they are all well tucked up nice and snug with dry collars!

This is the finished article – a lot of grey, I know…
It goes well with the tiles on the path, though!

I have to credit one of Youngdaisydee’s blogs with the inspiration for the “water” dripping from the tap (which apparently used to be connected to a now defunct rainwater tank under the kitchen floor). It’s a Christmas tree decoration. Thanks for that!

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Comments

 

Wow you have been busy, that looks lovely now. Inspiration that is what we have from all our gardening friends. Great ideas - well done on the revamp. Love how you have topped it off with the slate chippings it is a really attractive look about it when it is wet - think I might have to revamp my kitchen sink gardens after seeing this. :O)

6 Aug, 2012

 

FAB Susanne love it .

6 Aug, 2012

 

What a terrific improvement Susanne! I love the way you've designed the contrasting pebbles, and added an ammonite. :))

6 Aug, 2012

 

It looks great ... it will be nice after the plants spread a bit too.
Thanks for explaining about the tap. I was thinking you'd never get a watering can under that lol

6 Aug, 2012

 

Thats a job well done, looks good already, I love the tap.

6 Aug, 2012

 

It looks amazing, love your choice of plants and pebbles and i really thought the tap was running lol, im so happy you used one of the wacky ideas, Brill :)

6 Aug, 2012

 

That's very attractive, Susanne. What a clever idea from YoungDD - really like that. Funnily enough, I was looking at sedums,sempervivums etc. today with a view to creating something like this as the one I created originally gave up the ghost long ago. I'm inspired now; so thank you.

6 Aug, 2012

 

Thank you Oliveoil! I had a lot of fun doing this - I love a project, especially one that can be completed in a short time! I get a lot of inspiration from GoYers!

Thanks Kath - glad you like it. I bought a hardy fuchsia "Hawkshead" as well from the GC after I saw it last week while on a garden visit. (Someone on here identified it for me. Can't remember who, and can't trace the comment, but "thank you" whoever you are!) I have planted it in semi-shade, and will remember to mulch it well before winter!

Thank you Sheilabub! I rather like the ammonite, even though it's not a real one!

Thanks Hywel - I'm looking forward to seeing it mature a bit. Yes - if the tap worked, I would certainly have to move the trough!

I like the tap, too, Drc. It was a few years before I asked the plumber if he could re-connect it, and learned about the rainwater tank We had discovered it, but didn't grasp its significance - it is under the kitchen floor, but was completely dry, of course. It now has pipes and electrics running across it. I can't discover where the water entered from, and none of the neighbours know if they have one or not. It's concrete, so doesn't look like a water tank at all.

Thanks, YoungDD! Your wacky ideas blog was the first one I read when I found GoY. I chanced upon it again yesterday - serendipity!

Glad the inspiration is being passed on, Tuesdaybear!

6 Aug, 2012

 

It looks really nice, it has given me an Idea for planting round my new pond :^)

6 Aug, 2012

 

Thanks, Ladyessex - as several people have said, it's always good to get inspiration from each other!

7 Aug, 2012

 

Life since joining Goy has taken on a completely new meaning. I love the way we spark ideas off one another to produce truly unique and individual results. This is lovely. I do like the way you have suggested a stream running through the slate and using the green glass beads to highlight the water is great. YDD's tap idea is inspired. We had three taps in the kitchen sink when we arrived here 40 years ago. There was mains water, hot water and soft water. The soft water was collected from the roof and stored in a large tank on the mezzanine floor above the kitchen. It was used for washing up and washing clothes. We were ordered to remove it by Environmental Health (Sanitary Inspector as he was then titled) because there was no check on what went in to it and no modern day filters. It was not even covered. I wonder if that was the purpose of your tank. Our house would have been built before mains water was laid on and the main source of water was a well.
I also like your choice of plants. t looks great now and it will stay fresh looking all year with the added bonus of flowers next summer.

7 Aug, 2012

 

That's interesting about the tank, Sheila. The kitchen is up steps, so the water was just higher than the tap. There is an old sink and a tap connected to the mains right behind where the tank tap is, so I thought it was connected to that. We are the only house of six similar to have kept the old "outside" room (you have to go out and re-enter) It is our "shed" and has the freezer in it as well as all the usual shed things. Really useful! We are only the third owners in over 100 years , so it hasn't been altered much (we have a tiny kitchen - I'm sure it's the first thing a new owner would correct!) I find that sort of thing fascinating, and sometimes wonder about the tank. It was probably disconnected for the same reason as yours. When we were viewing houses (1972) there was one that still had a pump and stone floor in the kitchen!

I shall be looking forward to seeing the flowers next year. I do love sedums.

7 Aug, 2012

 

Your trough is lovely Mel....I adore Sedums...nice chip topping too....Just be careful the Lewisia doesn't get too much wet during the Winter...they tend to rot...Perhaps a cloche over it would help....they're not fond of Winter wet.....:>)

7 Aug, 2012

 

Glad you like the trough, Moti. Thanks for the advice about the Lewisia - a cloche is probably a good idea.

7 Aug, 2012

 

I do like the improvements you have made. Great choice of plants too. You must be very pleased with the results!

9 Aug, 2012

 

I am, thank you Scottish!

9 Aug, 2012

 

I like your trough idea Mel. Nice choice of plants and the slate mulch really set the plants off. I have an old tin bath I have been thinking of planting up but am a bit reluctant to drill holes in it, so it's still a work in progress, in my head..The tap idea is brilliant. How interesting to hear about the soft water storage, I have never heard of that before.

10 Aug, 2012

 

How about a water garden in a pot Homebird. Your bath could look spectacular with water lilies, flag iris etc. The rain collection which gave the soft water would have been the original running water in the house because mains water did not come till much later. The alternative would have been to take water from the well in the garden.

10 Aug, 2012

 

Thanks Homebird. You have lots to think about with your tin bath. I always like to mull over these things for months (that's my excuse, anyway!)

I think soft water collection will be something we have to consider very seriously in the future, Scotsgran. Even after such a very wet year, it isn't too many days before the water butts start to empty - it only takes a few dry days, if you have plenty of pots like I do!

10 Aug, 2012

 

The news is always about progress but some of the old ideas are a lot greener than modern day ways. I'm glad to see the street lighting in many places is being turned off from midnight until 5am.

13 Aug, 2012

 

Yes. Have you read any of Bill Bryson's books about America? I think it's in Notes From a Big Country that he tells quite shocking stories about waste of resources (there are cities where to get from one shop to another - on the other side of the street - you have to drive! And how people leave the car running while they go into a shop!) After living here for years, I think he found it a shock to see how people take things for granted if they come cheap, eg petrol. Sadly, humans do not value things they don't have to pay too much for (witness education in our country!)

13 Aug, 2012

 

No I have not read that but its good that people are becoming more concious of their part in the scheme of things and starting to become more realistic in their expectations. The growth in people growing their own food is a welcome return to a slower pace of living. Farmers and garden centres are turning over fields for allotments and are not yet keeping up with demand.

15 Aug, 2012

 

No - most places have a long waiting list. It is a good thing. And "local" is becoming more of a selling point for veg, as well.

15 Aug, 2012

 

I am so far behind Mel that I will never catch up but I love your trough, the tap idea is brilliant and please where did you get your fossil?

28 Sep, 2012

 

Thank you Annella! Once you get behind on GOY, it's impossible to catch up entirely!

I am trying to remember where the "fossil" (it's concrete) came from. I think it just came from one of the big GCs, like Homebase. I've had it for years.

28 Sep, 2012

 

Mel can you tell me if the pachyphytum is hardy. I've just stuck mine back in the cold frame.

28 Sep, 2012

 

I'm pretty sure it's not, Scotsgran. I shall be potting it up and putting it in a cold greenhouse in the next couple of weeks. I've no experience with these plants, but I hope that will be sufficient to overwinter it.

28 Sep, 2012

 

Mel I only bought mine last year about Christmas time so it was kept in the house on a cool windowsill. I repotted it and have had it outside since June before that I had it in the cold frame for about three weeks. There was a nursery up at Fir Tree on the A68 and the owner kept hers in a polytunnel so the cold greenhouse will probably be fine.

28 Sep, 2012

 

Thanks for that, Scotsgran. I'm pretty sure it'll be ok, especially if we have a normal winter. (Well - we might!)

29 Sep, 2012

 

lol

29 Sep, 2012

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