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Discovering Alpine and Sub-Alpine Plants

By valleylynn
May 8, 2012

I was a long time coming to the realization of the vast scope and variety of alpine plants. There are many of them that are easy to grow, if given the right conditions.

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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
May 7, 2012 7:54 PM CST
so many pretties I have not heard of... thanks for the great photos & info!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 7, 2012 8:43 PM CST
Hi Allison. I am having so much fun learning about these new (for me) plants. I am so hooked on them that I hauled some across several states while on our road trip. I brought home two flats of new things to try. I hope to get them all in the beds within the next week. Hurray!

Penstemon mexicali 'Pikes Peak Purple'
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A miniature Columbine called Aquilegia scopulorum. It only get about 3 or 4 inches tall.
Thumb of 2012-05-08/valleylynn/46ec16

I need to finish cropping the rest of the photos. I got some really great photos of alping/rock garden plants at the Denver Botanical Gardens.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
May 7, 2012 11:34 PM CST
Thanks for sharing your impressive knowledge about alpines, Lynn. I'd never heard of Polygala chamaebuxus and am fascinated by it. Although I garden in Zone 5, we've had Zone 6-7 winters for the past several years, so I'm tempted to try it. I'll have to see if I can find a place for it where I can create the proper growing conditions.
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
May 8, 2012 4:05 AM CST
love that Penstemon!!!.. they will live here but won't thrive with my lack of full sun.. but I love them anyway
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
May 8, 2012 7:01 AM CST
Your article was of great interest to me as I have just started getting into alpines.
I had taken out the grass on a sunny corner and am in the process of creating an alpine garden there.
I had not come across some of the plants in your article.
Thanks.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 8, 2012 9:56 AM CST
Larry, I was so excited when I found that tiny little sub shrub. It was a beacon in the bed all winter. It held the little flower buds through winter and they started opening when spring arrived. Very long bloom time. It will be interesting to see how it does in the next year.

Allison here is another penstemon for you. : )
Pentstemon nitidus, isn't it the sweetest little thing?


Caroline, we just got back from a road trip. One of the highlights was a visit to the Denver Botanical Gardens. There alpine plants are amazing. I was able to take photos of two new beds they are in the process of creating. One is in the planting stage, the other is still in the building stage. It was very interesting to see how they did then. I wish I had the time and money to do something like this.

Bed in progress
Thumb of 2012-05-08/valleylynn/f6b979

Alpine bed, newly planted

Thumb of 2012-05-08/valleylynn/1c5499
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
May 8, 2012 8:51 PM CST
I loved reading your article. I am not going to get into any more plants, but I have enjoyed seeing them through your eyes. They are beautiful.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 8, 2012 8:54 PM CST
Thank you so much Sandi. Maybe you'll change your mind down the road. : )
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
May 8, 2012 9:04 PM CST
Oh I hope not, I have too many plants to take care of now!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 8, 2012 9:14 PM CST
I understand. I would love to downsize the size of our property to just raised beds. : )
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
May 8, 2012 9:31 PM CST
I'll just enjoy yours for now! Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 8, 2012 9:41 PM CST
Thank you Sandi. I'll try to add some more photos here in the threads. : )

Tulipa chrysantha is a tiny species tulip that works very well in the raised beds. I have to research this name further, not sure it is a correct name. Just checked, correct name is:
Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha

[Last edited by valleylynn - May 8, 2012 9:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
May 9, 2012 5:04 AM CST
love the color on that little cutie!! Lovey dubby
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 9, 2012 9:28 AM CST
It's so small that it doesn't take space away from the sempervivum. Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
May 22, 2012 2:04 PM CST
Look what I found in the Alpine bed yesterday. This brilliant little bloom just appeared. I can see down in the grassy leaves many more tiny bright pink buds, just waiting to come into view.

Rhodohypoxis 'Red Star'

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