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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stone Troughs - Part One

The main focus at Stonecrop is their alpine collection. While I think spring is their peak season, we certainly had many wonderful things to see now in September.

This collection of stone troughs was set perfectly. I really liked how every now and then a specimen from the trough was also planted at the foot of the trough as if it escaped.

Here you can see how the different textures play against one another. Another thing I noticed is that they had no fear about leaving empty spaces. In my own garden I tend to cram in as much as possible but these troughs were very restful feeling.

This was my favorite of the rectangular troughs. I would really like to do something similar in my own garden.

This one was a very close runner up and I know I have these types of rocks around here. I think that this would be a fun project to do with children.

Be still my heart, when I came upon this type of planter I thought I had died and went to heaven. Kim and I both desperately want to make one of these now.

Here's a close up shot. Not much more than a jumble of rocks, just enough thought put into the placement to keep it from falling apart and yet loose enough to feel totally natural.

For those of you who have a shady corner that you can't get anything to grow in, you have to try one of these. Another pile of rocks but this time planted with shade plants. Ferns, miniature Epimediums, moss, mini Hosta, I can imagine all kinds of goodies to plant in these nooks and crannies.

Finally, another type of man made rock garden, these were on a larger scale. I bet you could even use broken up concrete from construction sites to make these cool beds.

These types of garden are not for the "flower" lover although most of these plants will flower at one time. Yet, I find they tug on my heart in a totally different way. Kind of a call to my wanderlust soul.

I titled this post as "part one" because I also have a wonderful set of photos of trough gardens that I shot in Germany this summer. They'll be popping up here some time this week.

Off to look at the stones in my garden,



garden girl said...

Hi Melanie, wow, I love every one of those planters. Very inspiring post!

our friend Ben said...

Fabulous troughs and great planting ideas! Thanks, Melanie! Now I'm really looking forward to the next installment!

Frances said...

Hi Melanie, those are wonderful and I agree, the rock ones are a delight. Did you examine them to see if the rocks were held together with mortar? I think they would have to be to stay together. It would be easy to to that and keep the mortar on the inside, out of sight. Can't wait to see the next batch of troughs, keep 'em coming!

Northern Shade said...

This is a great collection of troughs for growing alpines. There are no drainage worries. I especially like the one that has the thin vertical slate pieces in it.
When grown like this, each plant is highlighted and can be treasured. Many would get lost in a large garden.

jodi said...

Emerging from the shadows to say, awesome post, Melanie. I want all of those planters, right now. In fact, I think I'll do some things like these, because then I can keep the weeds down to a dull gallop, and tend them even when I don't feel like doing much of anything. Really inspired, for the first time in months!

Dave said...

Very cool troughs! I'd like to have a couple of those for our sedums. They look like a perfect match.

Sherri said...

Melanie what wonderful containers! I really want to visit this place!

Jendi said...

I love the rock gardens too!
I hope to have a shady place to have a rock garden half as nice as those.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh wow... I LOVE those stone trough planters! Amazing--I want to make some of those now, too. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

ryan said...

These are cool. I hadn't seen dry-stacked planters like that before and I work with stone. It makes sense, water could drain out through the joints. Very cool.