|My Kabschia (Porophyllum) trough|
Trough gardening has a history now stretching back a century or more, since Edwardian gardeners "discovered" the discarded stone troughs at farms in Britain (and Europe) which had been replaced by shiny, more modern metal sinks and basins. They would fill the rustic stone containers with annuals, usually, but rock gardeners soon realized that they were ideal for growing miniature alpines--as I did above when I planted a trough to various saxifrage species and hybrids in the Prophyllum section: you can control soil and moisture so much more easily in a container, and move it around if need be to better sites...
|Another alpine trough|
Another of my troughs with more saxifrages (including Saxifraga sempervivum in back and S. ferdinandi-coburgii--which love trough culture). The Draba is D. polytricha from Turkey, and Androsace x 'Millstream' which seem longer lived in troughs than in most non-crevice rock gardens.
|Troughs at Laporte Avenue Nursery|
One of the grandest displays at troughs is at Laporte Avenue Nursery in Fort Collins, where they have used them to maintain stock plants for their alpine propagation.
|closeup of Laporte Avenue Nursery primula trough|
Here the trough showcases Primula auricula (yellow) and another European alpine primrose in that same section.
|Laporte Avenue Nursery|
More troughs filled with happy primroses and saxifrages.
|Androsace (Douglasia) montana|
I will never forget seeing this enormous Rocky Mountain native--MUCH bigger than anything I've seen in nature. Alpines love troughs.
|Sempervivum trough by Gwen Moore|
But even if you don't grow high alpines, everyone grows succulents. This is one of Gwen's many troughs featuring Sempervivum spp. and hybrids. These are dead easy to grow in troughs and need little fuss or attention once completed.
|Bronze trough for Denver philanthropists|
No reason to use hypertufa: look at this grand Bronze urn I planted to various succulents. Not for my garden, alas!
|Succulent trough: gift for a friend |
These are two succulent troughs I made for a friend as a thank you for her getting me an award (and a trip to Hawaii to accept it!): somehow a mere thank you card didn't seem adequate...
|Succulent trough: gift for a friend|
She grew these for decades on her back patio: She passed away two years ago, and are not at her daughter's home in Durango.
|Actual stone trough in Czechia with Saxifraga longifolia and Primula auricula|| |
|Stone trough with Lewisia cotyledon|
Here's a rather simple trough--but containing some super elegant plants and their gorgeous bloom: this is a mere TASTE of what you can see and learn if you sign up for the first ever symposium that will describe uses and techniques that few have imagined! More info below:
Click on the image above to learn more about the first ever Study Day dedicated to the art of gardening with troughs: I am honored to be one of the presenters: I will illustrate and tell the story of the ambitious trough extravaganzas developed at Denver Botanic Gardens featuring monumental hypertufa containers. These were a laboratory of experimentation with a host of native wildflowers--many of which performed spectacularly and have persisted for nearly 2 decades. One example shown below...
|Pikes Peak trough, with endemic alpines|
I will show each of the monumental troughs in this display, filled with rare and unique native wildflowers--many of which we have never succeeded in growing before! You shan't regret signing up!