Introductions forum: Introductions

 
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ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 17, 2010 4:15 PM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
Hi everyone! My name is Todd Boland and this is my cubit devoted to alpine plants and really, esoteric plants in general. I garden in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Our soil is naturally rocky and with the wind and exposure in my garden, alpine gardening is ideal. My soil is actually acidic so I have to add lime to keep many of my alpines happy. I have two small general rockgardens, a rock wall, a crevice garden and many alpines in both pots and troughs. My hardiness zone is 5b to 6. Rain is my biggest problem..we have about 60" per year so it is rather wet for most alpines so excellent drainage is critical. Generally lots of snow too. I grow a mixed bag of alpines, especially penstemon, campanula, primula and lewisia.

Here is my new crevice garden put into place last June.

Thumbnail by Todd_Boland

Imageboojum
Feb 17, 2010 4:22 PM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
Oh Todd. That is wonderful. I don't think I have any alpines but I may be wrong. I'd love to create something like that here on my 3 acres.
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 17, 2010 11:07 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Your crevice garden is wonderful. I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Our weather is pretty moderate, but Lewisia and some other alpine plants do well here if I make sure the drainage is good. I have installed a large feather rock (300 lbs) in the front yard. I hope to start an alpine garden around it. Will watch this Cubit to learn more on how to set the area up and and what plants should do well. I am a fan of your wonderful articles. Thank you for starting this Cubit.

Thumbnail by valleylynn

Imageboojum
Feb 17, 2010 11:13 PM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
Todd, will you post some of your articles here? Hope so, and your travel pics. I also have a Lewisia.

Thumbnail by boojum

Imagevalleylynn
Feb 17, 2010 11:21 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Kathy that is a beautiful color. Where did you get that one?
I hope he is going to do articles here, I have really learned a lot from them and find them very interesting.
Imageboojum
Feb 17, 2010 11:32 PM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
I got it locally. We have a few really great nurseries nearby. There used to be one where they grew all their plants from seed but they sold all their plants in a big sale and got out of the business. Everyone was so spoiled and we still miss him around here. Todd, Can you post a list or a link to what plants are considered alpines so I can see if I have some to post?

I guess we are getting off track. Back to introductions. I live on an old former dairy farm. I have about 13 gardens areas here in z4-5. They call it z5 but some winters are z4 winters so I buy z4 plants so my heart doesn't break when I lose plants. I've had to learn to think distance gardening here. I think it's easier to grow alpines in small areas. I had more when I had a "close-up" garden. Are there large alpines?
ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 18, 2010 4:59 AM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
Great Lewisias! I'll start a photo image sharing forum shortly...still trying to get organized.

Some people consider Veratrum an alpine and they reach 6 feet! Similar story with Gentiana lutea. But generally, most are under a couple of feet; many are completely prostrate.

Kathy, you need to make a small rockery...your iris could be a nice backdrop and several iris are ideal for rock garden settings!
ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 18, 2010 5:00 AM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
BTW, will I get in trouble if I add links to DG article I wrote pertaining to alpines?
Imageboojum
Feb 18, 2010 7:12 AM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
Better ask the guru!
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 18, 2010 9:20 AM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
I already asked Dave that question. His answer was, it's your Cubit and you can do anything you want to. Yes you can put links. : )
Imageboojum
Feb 18, 2010 9:23 AM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
Go Todd!
Imagevalleylynn
Feb 18, 2010 9:32 AM CST
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR zone 8
Great idea Todd. That way more people can read those wonderful articles. Or you can creat another forum in your Cubit called 'Articles by Todd', or something like that. Copy and paste into a post in the new Forum? I know I would be reading that Forum all the time. : )
ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 18, 2010 2:43 PM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
I'll play around with this over the weekend.....I wonder if I copy and paste, will the pictures come too? Guess I'll find out! And yes, I contacted Dave and said go for it too!
CarolineScott
Feb 18, 2010 6:03 PM CST
I garden on a large city lot. The east part is hit by north winds.
I am getting rid of lawn and replacing it with wildflowers. Later I want to convert part of that slope to alpines.
What about Himalayan poppies and other Himalayan plants?
Is this the place to discuss such attempts?
ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 18, 2010 7:42 PM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
Caroline, I just started a forum on alpine questions. Copy and paste your question there Smiling
Imagerannveig
Feb 27, 2010 4:27 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Hi! To those of you I haven't met before, my name is Rannveig and I live in Iceland. My town is on the SW corner of this island in the North Atlantic about 10 min. from the capital Reykjavík. This area has the mildest winters but the summers are typically cooler than the north- and eastern regions although that can vary greatly between years. Our winters are typically 20's - 40's, temps below 10°F are very rare here. The freeze/thaw cycles vary in length, sometimes we get lots of snow, other years more rain. Our summers on the other hand are very short and cool, typically in the 50's - mid 60's ...... 70°F is considered a heatwave and not something that happens every year .... although such treats have become more frequent, courtesy of global warming.

My garden is largely shaded by trees so my alpine gardening area is confided to a raised be along my driveway and a rock wall lining the sidewalk. I wish I had space for a proper rock garden, but these narrow strips have provided good growing conditions for my alpines and the good thing about alpines is that they don't take up very much space ;-) Many himalayan plants do extremely well here, the cool summers are ideal for many primulas and the himalayan poppies.

I'm glad to see some familiar names over here as well - a big Hi to all of you Hurray!

A view of my rock wall ...... Lewisia cotyledon thrives here to my delight!

Thumbnail by rannveig

[Last edited Feb 27, 2010 4:30 PM CST]
Quote | Post #83362 (16)
Imagerannveig
Feb 27, 2010 4:46 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
A view of my raised bed along the driveway

Thumbnail by rannveig

Imagerannveig
Feb 27, 2010 4:50 PM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
My favorite alpine genera are Dianthus, Campanula, Gentiana, Lewisia and Geranium.

Here's a photo of my himalayan poppies

Thumbnail by rannveig

Imageboojum
Feb 27, 2010 5:35 PM CST
Name: Kathy
Western MA zone 4-5a
Love those. But they disappear here.
ImageTodd_Boland
Feb 28, 2010 4:38 AM CST
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
Great rockery Rannveig! Thankfully alpines don't need that summer heat so yours are probbaly happier than many of us...although in my case, 80 F would be uncommon, but 70-75 is average in summer here. Mind you we do have days in July that struggle to reach 50 F !

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Alpine/Rock Gardening

A cubit for gardeners who grow alpine plants, whether in rock gardens, alpine troughs or pots

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Useful Links:

North American Rock Garden Society - a wealth of information on alpines, image galleries, plant of the month

Alpine Garden Society - this site will keep you up to date on goings-on in the European alpine world

Scottish Rock Garden Club - another great site for alpine information