Alpines for the North

(Originally posted to my Greenhouse website blog…Nov. 7th, 2011) What causes me real excitement (and diversion…) is the stamina and beauty of Alpines. They require very little care and smile sooo sweetly, whenever I have a chance to peek at them. I have quite recovered from the utter decimation of my Hens and Chick collection this past spring. How! By hunting my good friend down and ordering some more! How else? I have now about 170 in my collection, all nicely potted up, in fresh soil, with earthworm castings and compost. I have invested in a fair amount of weaponry, to defend this valuable collection. First, the pots have been placed in a new wooden frame bed with little soil...
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What defines a plant as an Alpine?

Imagine that you are climbing a slope of a mountain range, say the Pyrenees, situated in Spain. It is tough going near the bottom as much heavy, thick bush and larger trees encompasses the base. The further up you travel, the forest start thinning out. Gradually the brush (timber line) disappears and you have before you a clearing of rocky meadows, cliffs…dip & dives. You have reached the promised land…the land where the alpine thrives! Elevations in the 8,000 to 16,000 feet (and higher) is not uncommon! Alpines grow in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, in the snow lines of mountains and valleys at elevations people rarely travel (until lately…) Their favorite locations are: desert plains, open...
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