I was looking forward to working in the garden and on planting my troughs on Saturday. I had a bunch of new plants from Wrightman's Alpines that I was dying to get planted. The weather did not cooperate. It rained all day and was in the low 50s...not a gardening day by any normal definition. Being of the stubborn sort, I moved into the garage with my trough planting. Above is one my hypertufa troughs (30 x 16 x 12"H) on a dolly, partially filled with a mix of Turface MVP, fine granite, and some topsoil. The mix is richer on the bottom of the trough and leaner (very little topsoil) nearer the plants.
Once I had the rocks arranged (and split thanks to my new carbide stone chisel), I started placing plants.
Yes, I know it looks like too many rocks. It's not. These tiny plants like the cool root run of crevices.
I removed most of the bark or whatever it is that these plants were grown in at the nursery. This material is too rich for long-term cultivation of these plants. Working their nearly-bare roots down into the crevices between the rocks, I added more grit, tamping it with a chopstick.
A top dressing of pea gravel and the trough was ready to roll out into the rain.
I promise I'll post a photo of the trough that doesn't look like it was taken in a cave.