Monday, May 18, 2015

Blooming This Week in the Troughs

dwarf iris

erigeron leiomerus

gentiana verna

gypsophilia cerastioides and arabis blepharophylla

gypsophilia cerastoides again

Lewisia and semps

potentilla porphyranta

a closer look at the potentilla flowers

primula frondosa blooming for at least six weeks now.

Saxifrage 

Silene caroliniana

Haberlea sp. Case, a gesneriad, and a plant that's new to me this spring.  I'm trying it raised in a trough, north-facing but with morning light.  I was warned that it would take a few years to get big enough to bloom.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Red Rock Trough

After planting three troughs for others on Saturday, I was finally able to plant one for myself on Sunday.  This trough will have almost no shade during the day, so we chose a group of sun-loving plants and used a very lean scree mix, with little organic material.  Here's the lineup:

antennaria sp. (Beartooth collection)
erysimum asperum
penstemon rupicola 'Pink Holly'
erigeron x 'St. Mary's Peak'
penstemon arenicola
acanthalimon bracteatum v. capitatum
eriogonum douglasii
erigeron (glacialis?) v. hirsutus
penstemon davidsonii var. menziesii 'Microphyllus'


I used our local NJ red sandstone, most of which I picked up around where I work.  For mulch, I smashed some of the small pieces into even smaller pieces.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trough Planting Day

I planted a couple of my troughs for the lovely folks at the Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne, NJ today, during their plant sale.  The first one, above, was done in front of about 20 people.  I demonstrated how to make a lean scree mix, place rocks, bare-root the plants, and make a mini painting in a trough.

I did the second one later on, as the plant sale was winding down.

Once I got home, and refueled with espresso, it was off to my friends' house to plant this lovely trough for full sun.  After risotto, short ribs, and ramps with them (thanks, Collin), I'm ready for bed.

I've got a fourth trough to plant tomorrow for myself.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bonbons in Troughs

Draba siberica, picked up on a rainy fall Saturday from Terrain at the end of last season.  It shrugged off our nasty winter and is blooming like crazy.  Let's hope it doesn't mind muggy NJ summers, but with 'siberica' in its name, I suspect it will.


Primula frondosa, a plant I knew nothing about until recently (thanks, Ray).  I love the dusty, gray foliage with the lavender/pink flowers.

Pulsatilla vulgaris, a purple one.


Anemonella thalictroides 'Cameo', whose leaves are a beautiful bronze after they emerge.  Oh, and it's a double.

I've been casting troughs like crazy.  More soon.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Two Sure Signs of Spring

We can count on two things this time of year: the Loebner Magnolia, doing its spring thing...

and making troughs in the garage.

It's been a busy spring so far.  More pictures to come in the next post.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Day of Spring?

We woke up to this yesterday morning, the first day of spring.  

Doesn't Mother Nature know that we've got work to do in the garden?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Even in Winter...

I'm always sketching ideas for troughs, although I might cast only one out of 50 or more that I draw.
I might give this one above a go this spring.  I keep coming back to this drawing in my sketchbook from a couple years ago.

I'd like to do some stools or pedestals this year too. 

Alvar Aalto's glass vases are a constant inspiration.