HAPPY SPRING EQUINOX!
The Manhattan Chapter of NARGS met last night - my first meeting! There was a very exciting slide lecture given by Mike Slater about Dry Sand Plunge Beds.
(not all of the slides were upside down!)
As a city dweller with no terra firma, I will be casting my own hypertufa planters. Trough gardens were originally made out of old feeding troughs for farm animals, before steel. These mini landscapes were micro-climates for alpine, succulent, drought tolerant plants where you can grow almost anything even more difficult plants... The constant theme is dwarf or smaller plants. Dare I say "cute" (a word I have been banned from saying in my household due to overuse and abuse) plants...
These are hypertufa planters. You mix up:
2 parts Portland cement
3 parts of coconut fiber or peat moss
3 parts of perlite
This cottage cheesey mess is smushed between 2 boxes, sometimes reinforced with chicken wire, and dries into a super great lightweight trough!
So, in about a month, when it's actually warm out, I'll be spending my Saturdays cranking out a bunch of these babies! And where, are you wondering, in my urban oasis will they reside??? The fire escape of course! It gets beautiful bright western light!
I will also keep a shady one in the front, purely because I must have hosta "mouse ears" which could easily become lost in the "big" garden. At work I spend all day designing, installing, and maintaining meticulously stunning gardens in very restricted spaces. So when I come home... It's good to know yourself as a gardener, your habits, etc. My compulsion is to over-plant my personal gardens. This is partly because I obsess over and fall in love with new plants daily and must have them. Then I irrationalize any spacing advice given on tags, in books or by my own common sense and cram them together. This is "cottage garden style", no?