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Old 18.10.2011, 22:33
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Re: Anyone created an Alpine Garden from scratch?

Big Mara, wow what a show I too love poppies, I planted for the first time blue Tibetan poppies which looked wonderful against jet black tulips. I travel allot for work and instead of buying booze if I go through schiphol airport in Holland I load up on 50 bulbs of tulips and look out for the unusual varieties not found here in CH.

I do love seeing other people's gardens , so good for ideas and inspiration.

Anyone else interested in an informal EF Garden Club/Thread? By the way I do have other "normal hobbies" but do love getting back to earth and nature in my small patch of mud
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Old 19.10.2011, 10:31
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Re: Anyone created an Alpine Garden from scratch?

EF Garden club thread sounds like a great idea!
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Old 09.11.2011, 14:17
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Re: Anyone created an Alpine Garden from scratch?

Hi, I have a patch just under my kitchen window, that does not receive any direct sunlight, but it does get enough light to allow the Chrysanthemums to bloom.
There are already large boulders there, but they are old and look terrible. I wanted to remove these stones, and replace them with smaller stones. And place 3 large pots plants inwhich I can change the flowers according to season.
The first owner grew beautiful Fuchsias on her window sill

I have a few questions, do I have to lay down a layer of gravel first?

What size stones are ideal? The chaps at Hornbach said that the white stones tend to get moss, and turn green. And a friend told me that the cats love to litter into the small stones!

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Old 09.11.2011, 16:22
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Re: Anyone created an Alpine Garden from scratch?

Pather, is the area sloped or flat?

One of my experiments gone wrong was trying to use a gravel mulch in an area that was too steeply sloped. First rain, and all the decorative gravel and small stones disappeared down the slope. In that particular area, I needed to put anchoring shrubs and ground covers, with a few large stones dug in here and there for texture.

On a flat area you have more options. Often one puts down a gravel layer under the larger stones for drainage. Is water an issue in that area? The size of the stone you use is really a question of esthetics - what do you like? I like a random mixture of stone sizes - but that's just my personal preference.

The best thing to do is to wander the neighborhood, peeking at other people's gardens - when you see something you like, ask the homeowner how he/she created it. (And doing so will likely make you a friend for life, too.)

As for the moss issue - are you going for naturalization, where moss could be an asset, or will you want to keep things more pristine? If keeping an area moss free is important, and if you anticipate doing so with a power washer - be aware that small stones will fly away under the water pressure. Stones that are not uniformly colored are often better at disguising moss/algea/dirt.

Good luck!


And now I have a question for all you gardeners:

It has recently come to my attention that I'm not getting any younger. I'm re-doing a bouldered wall garden and I need to plan ahead to the inevitable day when I am no longer so steady on my feet.

The wall is about 3 meters tall and almost vertical, forming the boundary of my property. I can't change the structure, but I can change the plantings. The boulders are huge - ranging from basket-ball sized to more than a meter. In between I have put in a variety of plants - some bulbs, lots of strawberries, some creeping phlox, Polsterpflanzen, some day lilies - whatever caught my fancy, really - and (this was probably a mistake) I've used ferns for contrast.

My problem is weeding the area and cutting back the overgrown ferns in the fall - it's an exercise in rock climbing. I can manage now, but a few more good tumbles off the edge and I won't be able to anymore. The weeds can be quite noticeable because of the contrast to the boulders - can't get away with them as I can in other, more natural, sloped areas. (And it's what you see from the street and Quartier common area - so I feel the censure of the Frauenverein quite acutely whenever the Bindenweed starts to get the upper hand.)

So - any ideas what I could do to make weeding/cleaning easier as I approach my dotage? Any suggestions for easy care vertical wall gardening?
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