I imagine a number of us have alpine troughs or at least pots with alpines that can be classed as pseudotroughs. I thought I'd share some of mine. Not much colour yet as it is still early in my part of the woods. I have a mix of homemade, preformed and terracotta 'troughs'. here is one of the preformed pots that I just planted this morning. I will place a gravel mulch over them once I get some.
Show us your troughs!
Now I never said my trough forays are all good. But they can be a learning experience:
This is an October pic of a trough planted the same season. I thought the soil was lean, but obviously not lean enough, as evidenced by the Delosperma nubigeum growth. Beautiful color brought on by the cold, though.
That fall, I had Ian Young from the Scottish Rock Garden Club stay with me for a few days. He looked at the trough, and knew right away it was newly planted that season. He said next year things will settle down, and so they did.
I can imagine that first trough, Todd, as the Cryptomeria (I think) grows into a little tree and "shades" the plants below. A pretty cool mini landscape, I'd say.
Thanks for the pics.
That is quite a collection of troughs! WOW! Ian Young spoke to our group but I was away on business at the time...RATS! I heard he was quite good. I check his bulb log on aregular basis. Lots of info on bulbs!
well I think your troughs are a delight to see .
mine are absolute abomination . ( better get on to them for next spring )
I was so anxious to ask my question that I didn't even say how wonderful they all are (both of you)! I am fascinated. I have been looking at them for several years, and at the instructions for making the hypertufa, and I have books. just too busy going in all directions with my gardening to concentrate on this. I am retiring this month, so will have more time for gardening and may actually get to trough gardening sometime in the not too distant future.
This one I made last year. Too high & too square but interesting nonethe less. I put stones in the top of the cement and sprinkled crushed brick over it for the red color. I used two cardboard boxes for the forms, so it didn't matter if the form was destroyed. Actually, it was a Priority mail box, so I guess I did deface US Govt property. Arrgh.
This message was edited Jul 4, 2007 8:56 AM
Awesome troughs! Mine are not looking so hot this spring. I'm planning to
redo a few of them after the chapter plant sale.
Here's a view of a couple of troughs I planted up last year. I didn't get a picture
of the gentiana verna blooming earlier but these have performed well. I got
them from Debbie Knapp (upstate NY). She donated them for use at our display at the
Phila Flower Show and then sold them to members afterwards.
Buttoneer, the plant you are asking about is a Kabschia Saxifrage called Mona Lisa. I got it from Wrightman's Alpines in Ontario. They offer many saxifrages and do ship to the US. They are expensive however!
Greats trough everyone...many different designs being used. I guess anything goes!
Jan, I leave my home-made and pre-formed troughs outside all winter but the terracotta ones I keep in the cold frame.
I might add that my first pic is a styrofoam trough, made from a fish carton from the grocery store (and fashioned by a very adept member of our Rock Garden Society). The others are hypertufa.
Leftwood, do you have directions for making a trough out of a fish carton? Is it styrofoam? Wouldn't that be interesting floating in a pond?
Great pictures everyone! Mine are stone sinks covered in a hypertufa mix. Must take some pictures today!
Buttoneer, I have some generic directions for styro troughs that was originally an adaptation from Ian Young's first writing on the subject. (It is Ian's invention.) I have the sheet scanned that I will send you D-mail. But that was so long ago now, and there have been such good improvements now, and still evolving. I think you can find better info just by searching on the web. I have been wanting to gather up all those hints, short cuts, and improvements that are evolving, and make a new fact sheet for our local Chapter . . . . sometime.
We just had our Chapter plant sale yesterday that I am in charge of. Maybe now I will have time. We made $2750. I donated about $550 of home grown plants.
Wait. Now I have a backlog of planting to do first . . . .
Buttoneer, nice touch with the stones
Leftwood, congrats on your sale.
Tammy, get that Incarvillea out of there! It will get huge (for a trough) and sends down deep roots....it will be much happier in the open garden. You have some choice selections from Beaver Creek. I have a few new ones from Mont Echo awaiting my return home....I hope we get some rain while I'm gone or my troughs will be quite stressed.
I got some great pics of early-flowering alpine (ish) plants from around here in Calgary and nearby BC. I'll start a new thread once I get home and get them downloaded. I head to Waterton Lakes for more flower pics next week.
Thanks Todd! I've got a couple in my open garden. I had no idea.
(I should have researched it more carefully.) I planted it in the
trough last summer/fall. Hopefully I can still get it out successfully now.
I still don't have any troughs and I doubt I'll have time to make any this year. I do have a few glazed pots that I have planted a few things in that I sit on the porch. This one has a dwarf picea, gysophilia repens 'rosea' and a common saxifrage.... the only one that I haven't killed.
Tammy that Aquilegia is beautiful. Buttoneer you've got some great troughs there. Leftwood when will we see some pics of all those great troughs with plants in them? I can only imagine the great plants that you've potted them up with. Todd, just gorgeous plants in your troughs. I love that one with the chunk of tufa in it.
Maybe it's a good idea to give the dimensions of our troughs and what you used for a form, for people interested in making them that view this site.
Rectangular trough (9"X13") outside, 8" X 10" inside.
Square trough: (9" X 9") outside, 6" X 6" (inside dimensions)
That way, we can tell what size plants to put in. I have a tiny campanula that I want to add to one of the troughs but I must do some "moving around" before I can fit it in.
I just love all the troughs. I found the very last pix of the one in UK very interesting with all the diagonally-placed rocks in it, much like Todd Boland's last one. Really neat idea.
I even saw somewhere where somebody used square cement blocks to create a trough. Just put a bottom on it and filled with potting medium & plants. Too easy. Wonder why somebody couldn't take a pre-formed pond liner (something small you would pick up at a yard sale) and make a free-formed trough out of that. It gets better & better.
This message was edited May 25, 2007 6:49 AM
This message was edited Jul 4, 2007 8:57 AM
Love the crevice trough...I have an attempt (poor one) at trying that approach. I must admit saxs are the BEST alpines for troughs...mine do so much better in troughs than the open ground. Galanth, you have some great troughs there! I should have lots open in mine when I get home in 10 days..I just hope my saxs are not out and faded!