Photo of Draba rigida: Lovely Clump!

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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Jan 3, 2014 1:46 PM CST
What a nice beautiful clump of Draba rigida. Thumbs up Do you mix your own planting medium?
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Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Jan 3, 2014 2:16 PM CST
Thank you, Chris! Yes, that plant is in a hypertufa trough that was planted up about 15(?) years ago with a mix of roughly equal parts of sand, grit and peat, and it's been happy in there ever since, spreading slowly. Its companions in the trough are an equally old Primula marginata and Saponaria suendermanii, and Phlox hendersonii. I should start using all those plants for propagation, as they are actually starting to crowd one another after so many years.
The photo shown is the plant greening up in early spring; it's completely green again by blooming time in late April through May.
Draba species are easy, undemanding subjects for the rock garden, perhaps just slightly more demanding to grow than sempervivum.
Lori
[Last edited by growitall - Jan 3, 2014 6:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Jan 4, 2014 3:41 AM CST
Thanks Lori. I assume it's growing in full sun? And does it get any type of protection in winter, especially from winter wind?
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Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Jan 4, 2014 11:21 AM CST
That trough gets full sun in the morning and a bit of shade later in the day due to the tree and plantings along the driveway, but full sun would be preferable! Draba and other alpine plants are typically adapted to full sun, given that they occur naturally above tree line. (In hotter conditions at lower elevations, some alpines appreciate some shade but Draba are not among those more delicate ones.) Perhaps I shouldn't repeat it here but you can read about our troughs in the Rock Gardening thread about other ways to grow alpines. (To summarize, they don't get or particularly need winter protection.)
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Jan 4, 2014 12:48 PM CST
I did read everything in the Rock Garden forum this morning. Very interesting information and I'm looking forward to seeing what some other people come up with. In the meantime, I have to put on my thinking cap too. Thanks for all the info!
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Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Jan 8, 2014 2:12 AM CST
Nice one Lori
I'd love to see the whole pot.
So it's been in the same pot forever?
Meaning, hypertufa pots endure time?
I made some last summer and I'd like to know I can rely on them for many years... I'm also switching from lilies, irises and the like towards alpines, evergreen succulents and so on.
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Jan 8, 2014 1:56 PM CST
Hi, Calin,
I'll find a photo of the whole trough and post it in the Rock Gardening forum. Yes, it and the other plants in that trough have been in the same trough for about 15 years or so, since I bought them.
Yes, hypertufa toughs can be extremely durable. Note: That's here in what I refer to as "real" winters, that is, snow and cold for almost half the year, with melting and freezing. (None of that "zone 8, flowers in January" business here! Green Grin! ) Durability depends entirely on the quality of the hypertufa recipe and the handling of it while making the trough.

Edit: I added some photos in the Rock Gardening forum here: http://garden.org/thread/view_post/535980/
[Last edited by growitall - Jan 8, 2014 8:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Jan 9, 2014 12:43 AM CST
Oh yes. Saw it. Thanks Lori.
I also have to stay away from Zone8 plants... :)
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Jan 9, 2014 9:03 AM CST
It's a good thing that alpines aren't generally zone 8 plants! High mountain areas are cold, windy, harsh places, which means these plants are often extremely hardy.
Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Jan 10, 2014 3:52 AM CST
BUT... I am thinking (now that I find more and more alpines I fancy and therefore buy seeds of) will my summers be OK?
We seem to get really hot and dry summers...
I remember I had some edelweiss, some dianthus, and some other alpine-like plants and they DIED a couple years back. I think the summer heat/drought was the problem.
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Jan 10, 2014 7:57 AM CST
We get 16" of annual precipitation here (including snow) - dryness is not a problem for a vast number of species of very desirable alpines. (And edelweiss grows easily here - I have it out in regular soil out along the sidewalk - as do various dianthus species.) Heat can be a problem for some species, but I strongly suspect your problem was more likely insufficient drainage...
Are you familiar with the Scottish Rock Garden Society? There is a large number of European rock gardeners participating in it, and you can see what they grow (and how they grow it) by looking at the forum (or better yet, by participating as a member):
http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?action=forum

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