Tuesday, May 14, 2013

THE ALPINE GARDEN IS IN - cast your vote

Despite the fact that the Farmer's Almanac states that our last risk of frost date is May 25th, and despite a Winnipeg tradition of not putting in plants until the May long weekend (i.e. this coming weekend), but with a forecast low of only 9 degrees over the next week I have rolled the dice and begun to plant.

It has been a long winter and I am impatient. I cross my fingers that is not a 'lethal combination'.

 These "Hens 'n Chicks" were overwintered in my parent's garden. You can see they are still in their pots so the roots would not be disturbed in their temporary home.  It amazes me that succulents can survive -35 degree temperatures.

 Under the large Spruce in the front of the house is where I am putting the Alpine garden. Despite being under a large tree it appears it will get a fair amount of light in the afternoon.  Granted I have not been here yet for a summer, but as I said earlier, I am willing to roll the dice.

After reading up a bit for my post on my parent's amazing front porch planter and discovering some of the trends in trough gardening I decided to mound some soil between a few of the bigger rocks to create small hills for added interest.  in the pic above I have mounded the one on the right and am about to make another on the left.
 I have mixed Goldmoss Stonecrop and Sempervivum on each mound and behind the one on the right I planted 5 pots of mixed succulents from last year's "Friends of Gardens Manitoba" Fall Perennial Sale.

I written before about the importance of "dressing" your garden after planting. Can you see how there are pine needles, pine cones and such sprinkled between the plants?  I do not like the look of a newly planted garden. I want my neighbours to wonder if I did not in fact plant these in the fall.

To be honest I am not sure that I should have planted them mixed like this or reserved one mound each for each type of plant. I am tempted to move them, after all I am a perennial gardener and that is part of what we do, is it not?

Before I do anything hasty I would love some crowd-sourced feedback - what would you do?
 Leave it or change it? 
Cast your votes.

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  1. Leave it! Once they get going, they will disperse and pop up all over the place.

    I'd also look at throwing some thrifts/sea pinks into there. They look adorable mixed in with rocks, with their cheerful flowers bobbing along.

    Also some varieties of mosses or thyme might also work.

    1. Janice, I think I will leave it for now as well. While I am not a big fan of pinks (especially pink pinks) I do have one in an existing bed that I could move here, and I think I recall some sedum ground cover near it as well. Thyme is a strong contender and heck, I think you might be onto something with moss, one of my great plant loves. I will definitely look into them.

  2. I like how you mounded the soil between the rocks in some places. I think it's too early to tell....I'd let them mature a bit and then decide.

    1. Good advice Christy. I have SO MUCH MORE to get into the ground that I should probably just leave it for now and let it grow on me. Sempervivum are certainly easy to move later with their shallow roots.

  3. I am the newbie gardener but I like the looks of what you are doing.... Ps... We had the frost plant covers out last night here near Buffalo ny... Sigh.... Michelle

    1. ooh I really hope we don't get frost, I just spent all evening planting!


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