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.

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.