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Display Gardens: Design of planting in Davies alpine house Kew Gardens

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Started by: Norman Wood

Dissappointed with planting in Davies alpine house

Go to latest contribution by Norman Wood, 04 July 2011, 18:06. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Richard Wilford 11 February 2008, 12:54top / bottom of page
Some photos of the Davies Alpine House in 2007

I don't know who set up this thread but as no one has contributed yet I thought I'd put up some photos of the Davies Alpine House at Kew all taken in 2007. The first is a general view taken in mid February.

This is one of the plunge beds, also in mid February.

At each end of the house are display benches, where plants are displayed in pots. This is one in early March.

One of the plunge beds in mid March, with Erythronium, tulips, Cyclamen pseudibericum and Tecophilaea cyanocrocus amongst others.

This is the same day but showing the other side of the house, with a smaller plunge bed in the middle of the picture and one of the display benches at the far end.

By April there is plenty in flower, with Paeonia clusii in the middle next to yellow Linum doerfleri and Tropaeolum tricolor in the distance.

A similar view to the one above but taken in May. Tropaeolum tricolor is still going! Red Salvia roemeriana in the foreground.

Contribution from Richard Wilford 11 February 2008, 15:16top / bottom of page

June 2007. Spilling over the edges are yellow Thymophylla bellenidium, the blue-grey leaves of Sedum dasyphyllum and the pale pink Thymus richardii. At the top is Monardella villosa subsp. negelcta.

In this narrow corner of the Alpine House are a few Turkish species, including pink and magenta forms of Pelargonium endlicherianum and the cushions of Dianthus erinaceus var. alpinus. Photo taken at the end of June.

I hope these photos have given you an idea of what you will see if you visit the Alpine House at Kew. I may add some more photos as the year goes on.

Contribution from Frank Tindall 14 February 2008, 10:12top / bottom of page
display alpine hse kew

richard Perhaps we could have more news from Kew as the season progress Frank Tindall

Contribution from Richard Wilford 15 February 2008, 16:30top / bottom of page
Corydalis tauricola PC

Thanks for your comment Frank - here's some news!: We sent Corydalis tauricola to the London RHS show on Tuesday and it was awarded a Preliminary Commendation by the Joint Rock Committee - here are some photos. Timing is important as they soon become etiolated but this was just right on the day.

Corydalis tauricola PC

...and here's a close up.

Contribution from Frank Tindall 18 February 2008, 13:41top / bottom of page
Kew News

Thans for the news item, just what we need

Contribution from Richard Wilford 29 February 2008, 16:15top / bottom of page
Bulbs in Kew's Alpine House this week

This is an early season so there are plenty of bulbs out. This photo was taken in Kew's Alpine House this week and as you can see it looks more like late March than late February! Erythronium hendersonii in the foreground and blue Ipheion 'Rolf Fiedler'. Just behind the Erythronium is Tulipa sylvestris 'Mount Zaghouan', a nice compact and early flowering form (at least under glass) of this species - it was collected in Tunisia in 1989.

Bulbs in Kew's Alpine House this week

Contribution from John Humphries 10 March 2008, 23:45top / bottom of page
Tufa in the Davies house

If you look closely at the picture 8 above, you will see a fairly blank piece of wall existed on the SW corner of the Davies house.

That's the one looking down the slope with the cabinet to the left of frame.

Look again now and since December there is a new addition in this corner, filling that previously blank wall.

As you can see....or perhaps cannot see, a great deal of effort has been gone into to get the planting right. The trick being to plant small.

Androsace hirtella above
Androsace hirtella above
Androsace pubescens above.

Androsace pyrenaica below.

Androsace pubescens above.

Convolvulus boissieri ssp boissieri below

Finally Saxifraga 'Tumbling Waters' below

I'll come back to these over the months and we'll see how they are progressing.

Contribution from Richard Wilford 14 March 2008, 12:39top / bottom of page
Alpine House path

There have been a few comments about the width of the path in the Davies Alpine House and I can understand why people might think it is too wide, as a narrow path would allow more rockwork. However, a wheelchair or buggy will block a narrow path, as often happened in the previous house. We also have to remember that Kew has over 1 million visitors. The photo below was taken on a sunny week day in February so you can imagine what it is like on a summer weekend!

Alpine House path

Contribution from Richard Wilford 14 March 2008, 13:21top / bottom of page
Light levels and cushions

One great improvement on the previous Alpine House at Kew is the high light levels inside the Davies Alpine House. This means we can grow cushion plants, for example, that stay in character. One notable grower told us these cushions would never do well planted out permanently but I am pleased to say that so far they are looking good. First example below is Dionysia tapetodes - not many flowers this year but a nice tight cushion.

Light levels and cushions

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