Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: The alpine house at Rosemoor
Started by: Ben ProbertGo to latest contribution by Ben Probert, 06 December 2006, 21:33. Go to bottom of this page.
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It may be the furthest flung RHS Garden from civilisation, but even Rosemoor has an alpine house! Granted it is not as big as Wisley or Kew (at around only 6ft by 10ft) but is always packed full of lovely things! Here are some from my trip on Saturday, 18th of November.
This (if it works) is Galanthus reginae-olgae. Very ordinary really, but does flower naturally in the autumn!
This is Cyclamen intaminatum, a delightfully dainty species which could not have been more than 3" tall! Aaaaah!
I'm not a big Narcissus fan (sorry to some AGS members :( !), but this autumn flowering species did catch my eye. This is N. cantabrigiense subsp. cantabrigiense var. foliosus.
Daubenya stylosa- I'm getting into SA bulbs etc at the moment, but have yet to grow this myself... maybe one day?!
Orostachys spinosa- I know nothing about this, except that it has to be the most architecturally pleasing alpine! Looks like the kind of thing for a dry winter...? If anyone knows this plant please share the knowledge!
Cheilanthes lanosa- there are many ferns which are ideal for the alpine plunge bed; some need protection from cold, others are so fine that they get spoilt by winter weather. This, I suspect, falls into the latter catagory as it is VERY fine and slightly woolly.
Anthyllis montana ssp. jaquinii- another one I've not personally come accross before, so AGS members please pass on any info! Beautiful pink flowers on an untidy but nice enough plant.
Ozothamnus coralloides- a very distinctive shrub for a free draining soil, ideally away from the worst of the weather. This one lives quite happily outside the Alpine House, in one of the dry stone alpine beds around the outdoor area of the Rosemoor Cafe.
I thought I should finish this section with a dwarf conifer, and Cedrus deodara 'Pygmy' has to be one of the most distinctive, if only because it's different from the usual dwarf Chamaecyparis, Abies and Picea. Making a tight glaucous mound, I'll bet this one took some time to get to this size!
So now you've seen some of the small but excellent alpine display at RHS Rosemoor, and I hope to bring you more in the future. I suppose the real test would be to visit during the Christmas period and see if they manage to keep up the high standards. I suspect they will.
Thanks Ben, Rosemoor is the sort of place I visit every 3 years so it's good to know they now have an Alpine House.
Ben, I've not been tempted to try this plant outdoors because, as you say, it doesn't look like it would cope with a soggy top (or bottom). I keep mine in the alpine house from September until it wakes up in spring with only a hint of moisture in the soil. September sounds early but the rosettes start to close up and go to sleep early despite sufficient moisture and full sun. Whether this is driven by day length or minimum temperatures I've not yet figured out. I've included an image taken of a plant on the show bench earlier this year which shows the architectural effect well.