A Multitude of Alpine homes….part 3

Franz Hadacek"s Horse Trough Alpine Garden

Franz Hadacek”s Horse Trough Alpine Garden

7. Trough Gardens: Here is a structure that does not water horses! In the early 20th century English gardeners scrambled to salvage old stone watering troughs. These became specialized site for plants requiring extra drainage or protection from rain at certain times of the year. In recent years, gardeners have developed excellent troughs with materials that are lighter in weight than conventional water troughs. Many are finished attractively, adding a touch of class to the entrances of homes. There are 2 ways to complete a trough garden:1) Creating a miniature landscape within the confines of the chosen “portable” container OR 2) Allowing the contents of the planted (permanent) trough to complement the rest of the yard. The larger the trough, the cooler the root system will be, buffering against rapid temperature changes. The smaller, the more you may have to monitor or guard against potential dry-out. OR select appropriate plants OR add more rock chip mulch! Better still…plant cacti!

Woodland Garden

Woodland Garden

8. Woodland & Bog Gardens: Some of the keenest rock gardens happen to live under the shade of trees! Usually the shade garden is more about leaf than flower, more subdued for its tones of greenness. Forest gardens are a symphony of varied hues, textures, leaf shapes and sizes. The flowers when they arrive, are the icing on the cake! An actual bog garden can be created from a simple child’s plastic old pool. Puncture small holes in the wall, one third of the way down from the top, all around. Drop the pool into the ground, leaving its rim just 2” above ground level…just enough for a border of flat rock to congregate underneath its rim. Fill with clean beach sand half way up inside the pool and just a few inches below the first row of holes. Then fill with water. Allow the water and rainfall to “marry”, allowing the ph to neutralize. Once this is done, plant with plants that love bog like conditions. Try to have the finished garden in an area of maximum shade like conditions. Some sun should be ok. A few leaves dropping inside the area should not to a problem, but limit the amount. Too many could rob the oxygen necessary for proper plant growth. Also keep in mind the regular addition of pine needles could change the ph factor and allow you to plant more acid loving plants within.

Mario's Bridge

Mario’s Bridge

Panayoti Kelaids said it best when he said: “Rock Gardening is so many things to different people. Some collect gardening styles like woman collect shoes or men collect cars. Only we collect Snowdrops, Aquilegias, Veronicas and Primulas…rocks and more rocks…books and more books. There is never an end to the madness, to the fever of trying to find yet another elusive Alpine, that you heard about but never saw!

To create a garden is to tap into the creativity that is trapped within you. Every garden is the refection of one’s inner self turned inside out for everyone to see the real beauty within you!”

Happy Growing!

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