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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: The Alpine House at Kew in March 2007

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Started by: John Humphries

Go to latest contribution by John Humphries, 26 March 2007, 09:45. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from John Humphries 16 March 2007, 17:43top / bottom of page
A view of the Davies house across the new NZ rock section
A view of the Davies house across the new NZ rock

Joanne Everson is now in the process of planting up this newly constructed section of the Rock Garden at Kew. I'll try and do a feature on this at a later date.

In the meantime, I promised in January that I would revisit the cliff face in the Alpine house. Here then are a few images and comments.

Firstly P. allionii 'Claude Flight'
Firstly P. allionii 'Claude Flight'

This is actually one of last years plantings and you can see that it is thriving in these ideal conditions.

Above is P. allionii 'William Earle'. planted earlier this year as a tiny seedling and already showing the benefit of planting small and growing into its niche.

Notice the almost overhanging rock above, and the planting pocket below with plenty of opportunity for drainage.

Here again, Draba rigida, another of last years plantings, getting away well.

With a little Androsace pubescens, planted recently, again in a pocket with plenty of drainage.

Watering Regime

The rock faces are watered every day during the growing period.

Watering Regime

Water is just trickled down the rock face, allowing a little of the moisture to run back under the overhangs.

This regime is followed to allow the new plants to become established. A lot of coddling in the early days will pay dividends in the long run.

Contribution from Fermi de Sousa 20 March 2007, 05:53top / bottom of page
Much appreciated.

John, it's good to see your regular reports on the Alpines at Kew. I'm planning a visit in May so keep me updated! cheers fermi de sousa Redesdale Australia

Contribution from John Humphries 26 March 2007, 09:45top / bottom of page
Some additional plants in Early March

These were all photographed at the same time as the above. Here are some from the main plunge bed pictured below.

Some additional plants in Early March

As you can see this is adjacent to the rock face and is afforded some shade.

Trillium nivale, above and below
Trillium nivale, above and below

One of the best, Eranthis x tubergenii, a sterile hybrid between E. cilicicus E. hyemalis. 'Guinea Gold' and other good cultivars come from this group but they can only be propagated by division.

Usually considered a little on the large side, Bergenia is best suited to partially shaded sites, with humus rich, well drained but not dry soil.

As the name implies, B. emeiensis, from the sacred mountain in the heart of the Himal.

Notice one or two house guests there, however there were ladybirds in proximity, clear evidence of the absence of chemical control, I must ask if the consciously follow a natural predator control.

Another saxifrage but this one from Western North America. Lithophragma affinis var rosea.

Similar in needs to Heuchera and Tellima, light shade, tolerant of more sun provided there is moisture, easy by seed or division.

The flowers are held on slender long stalks 20" 50cm tall and are quite showy.

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