Repotting Alpine Plants into Individual Containers
This weekend, I spent a large chunk of time repotting plants that had really outgrown their containers. I was amazed by how much growth there was with the mixed Alpine container particularly and thought it was time to give each one an individual plant pot where they can grow without being overshadowed by anything else.
I'm showcasing a number of these Alpines in this post with some detailed close up photos of the flowers on them. So if you love this particular group of plants, you will probably want to take a look for inspiration on your own collection. I got a little bit hooked on these once I saw them at our local garden centre. I love the fact that, since these tend to be pretty small, you can enjoy collecting a lot of them, even if you have just a small space to work with. Come see the photos.
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You may wonder why I have my alpines in a plastic container instead of a rockery area or one of those heavy stone troughs. Firstly, our soil is terrible. It's clay and it's also full of stones. It's a huge amount of work to get rid of all the stones and, even in areas where we have done this and worked new compost into the soil, we've had very hit and miss results with growing anything. In fact, more miss than hit. So, apart from planting large shrubs, most of our new plants get grown in containers instead.
Secondly, these are a group of plants that don't tend to like a lot of water. We live in an area that gets a large amount of rainfall, particularly in the autumn. Our garden has also flooded a number of times over the years as well. So I want these beautiful plants in containers that can easily be moved around and under the safety of a waterproof cover in my new polytunnel if it happens to rain a lot.
The plants as I first placed them into a mixed container had some small gravel pieces on top used as a mulch to help keep weeds from growing. Now, you can no longer see any of the mulch and the plants are all competing for space. Time to get them out I think.
Since these plants don't like sitting in water, you really need to ensure that there are holes at the bottom of whatever container you use so there is adequate drainage for water to seep away. With plastic, it's easy enough to use a hand drill to make holes if there are not some already there. I sometimes use a few pieces of polystyrene in the bottom of containers to further aid with drainage. You can use a little broken crockery or gravel at the bottom before adding compost on top. An inch or so should do it. Now onto the close ups of the flowers on some of these.
Dianthus Rebekah: Evergreen perennial with gorgeous bright red flowers like mini carnations.
This is one of my favourites and I bought one as a reminder of a friend who passed away too soon. It has grey green long tapered leaves and then an abundance of these beautiful little red flowers that look very much like simplified mini carnations. The crimson red over the backdrop of the cool shade of green is something hard to take your eyes off.
Armeria Nifty Thrifty: Evergreen perennial with striking 2 tone leaves and very pink flowers.
This has really striking long and tapered leaves that have a lighter green on the edges and a darker green stripe down the middle creating a really eye catching background for these pretty pink flowers which grow up on long stems above the foliage.
Ajuga Burgundy Glow: Wonderful mottled mix of red and green evergreen foliage with stunning blue purple flower spires that tower above.
I choose this plant for the very attractive foliage with a really interesting mix of mottled leaves in varying greens and wine or burgundy red. It had no flower when I bought it and no image of the flower on the plant description so I was thrilled when up grew this really stunning flower spire of vivid purple blue. Here is is shown from the top but from the side view it grows like a tower high above the dense mat of leaves below. This one likes to spread.
Lewisia Elise: I love the orange tinted flowers on this evergreen perennial.
This succulent has a long flowering period from May through to September so can add a splash of colour for quite some time. It comes in a range of different shades but I had to grab this one with a warm orange glow when I saw it. The stripes down each petal vary from pink to more vibrant orange red shades. The flowers are stunning to look at against a backdrop of dark green leaves. The foliage has long and thick dark green leaves that radiate out from a central point so that looks pretty good even without the flowers.
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