Sunday, June 28, 2015

Random June Moments

One of the planted Copenhagen troughs leftover from the early June sale.  

View of our deck with fig tree.

An order of four troughs ready for delivery.

Tons of texture and color in the small garden by the garage.  Catmints are due for a haircut.

Detail of hesperaloe flower spike.  I brought a piece from the Brooklyn garden nine years ago.  This is the first year that it's bloomed.

Southern magnolia randomly throws beauty throughout June.

The deutzia and the hakonechloa grass are making entreaties across the path to the back garden.

The yellowwood tree (I can't call it a sapling anymore) must be 12' tall now.  I think it's been in three years now.  Maybe it will bloom in 7-8 years.

Annabelle is having her best year yet, probably because of all of the rain.  They aren't called 'HYDRA'ngeas for nothing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wall of Troughs

This photo shows about a fourth of the troughs that I have in the yard.  These are in the driveway, along the north side of the fence, so they get a little afternoon shade.  The yew, kolkwitzia and hollies are planted in larger hypertufa planters.  Most of the smaller troughs have alpines in them, but there are a few tender succulents and annuals in the photo too.

My brother is visiting for the first time in 9 years and his first comment upon walking into the garden was 'How the hell are you going to get out of here when you move?'

We don't have any plans to move within the next year or two, although we don't plan on staying here much longer. I must admit that moving is always in the back of my mind when I plant a new trough for myself.  When the time comes, I hope it's an orderly evacuation.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Troughs for Sale June 7th

I'll be selling some medium-sized planted and unplanted troughs next Sunday, June 7th, at the Wyckoff Area Garden Club's garden tour.  

I'm looking forward to meeting the good gardening folk of Bergen County.  Please stop by the Barn Boutique and say hi if you're doing the tour.

Yes, you can lift these.   I'll help with the planted ones.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

From Drawing to Finished Trough

The drawing from the sketchbook.

The pattern.

The pattern transferred to three layers of 2" rigid blue foam glued together with spray adhesive.

An inch of pink foam added with extra clearance for the lip.

The mold split into quarters.

Wooden outer mold around foam inner mold.

Casting the mold, no core.

Mold removed two days later.

Scraped and scrubbed with wire brush.

Fully cured and ready for sale.  Dims 14 x 14 x 8"H.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Two Androsaces

Androsace sarmentosa, sprawling happily in a trough.  It's about 8" tall when it blooms.

Detail of flowers.

Androsace muscoidea growing on tufa, about 1.5" tall.  It reminds of a drawing from one of the kids'  books of a sheep with bows tied to its wool.  Such a cutie.

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.


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.