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16/04/2014 at 10:54

They're lovely, OL and will be even better when they've grown a bit

16/04/2014 at 17:23

Mike, hope you are feeling ok.

The mix of peat, sand and cement; would it stick to a plastic container or should it be coated with PVA first? And should one coat the inside as well as the outside with your mix?

17/04/2014 at 09:14

They  look very pretty   I've just bought 2. Could have had a 3rd but didn't think it would fit in car. One is going to be a wildllife pond, still trying to decide what to do with other sink.

17/04/2014 at 09:27

I have a granite trough, dug out from the farm donkeys years ago, you have given me the inspiration to dig it out again and plant it.


If i am honest, i do prefer the rougher look than white. But each to his own.

17/04/2014 at 22:48

I am now wondering whether I should do that cement thingy on the alpine one and I need some more stones for it.

I'm also now thinking of putting mint in the one near the back door 

18/04/2014 at 10:13

If you do go for the 'cement thingy', there is a lot of info on youtube if you put in hypertufa.

Its pretty straightforward and you can vary the effect with different types of mix. If you can get hold of some old polystyrene fish boxes you can practise on those before doing your Belfast.

The polystyrene ones are good because they are a lot lighter so easier to move around the garden

18/04/2014 at 18:22

scroggin, thank you for that

18/04/2014 at 19:57

Have just seen a few hyper tufa videos on utube and they seem to have a different recipe; 3 parts peat sieved, 3 parts perlite or vermiculite, 2 parts Portland Cement also sieved. I think I will have to have a go. If I do, will post pics of the whole thing falling apart

21/04/2014 at 12:09

Alpines in a sink - dullsville!  Unimaginative in the extreme!  The point of a sink is that it holds water so make use of that fact and make a bog garden (since you don't want to encourage frogs - neither would I with killer dogs on the loose). 

21/04/2014 at 12:15

Thanks for the input st ephie, very opinionated for your second post??? Anyway, my sinks so I'll do what I want with them 

21/04/2014 at 12:25

Ps please don't smear it with concrete or hypertufa - if you want something drab brown then get something drab brown.  Belfast sinks are lovely and shiny white.

May only be my second post here!   Years of ranting in other places.

21/04/2014 at 12:41

Well happy Easter to you too, bit aggressive. Ignore button pressed on this one too.

Exactly OL, your sinks ..........

21/04/2014 at 12:55

 I think it's filling out quite well already, the Sedum is very pretty and the Geum seems to like it's new home. It's quite pretty with the flowers I think 

Nothing happening with the spinach yet so that one still looks boring 

22/04/2014 at 22:36

Hi, I have one planted witha bonsai Thuja and alpines it looks great

22/04/2014 at 22:55

Bonsai, now that's interesting.  Is it outside?  If so do BonsaI survive ok outside as I thought they were an indoor plant?  That would look lovely.  Have you got a pic Colin?

22/04/2014 at 23:14

Tracey.  That last picture such an improvement. Can Mike suggest something, without offending YOU or anyone else.  The idea of a sink or trough garden. Is to attempt to recreate in minature an aspect of the natural world.  Imagin you have come back from your hols in  an alpine area.  In their natural habitat, one can find so many what we term, rare plants, all growing together.  Now here we are, back home, and you,you lucky lady have obtained three Belfasts.  OK.  Fill with compost.  Select your plants.  Now then.  Cast your mind back to the hols.  Perhaps you ventured up a mountainside or across some steppes. What did you REALLY see? Yes many different plants. How were they growing.  Were they all in  straight lines.  Did you notce  Hidden behind a stone or two, some tiny little plant was growing away happily.  Was the terrain level?  Not just you fair lady, but other members who might be attracted to alpines etc.  Try and create in that sink, a tiny portion of that mounten area.  A few bits of slate, undulating surface.  Believe me.  In now ay do I wish to offend anyone.  Please. Give it a try.

22/04/2014 at 23:18
sounds lovely mike. Just seen a sink on my area sold for ??22, I wasn't prepared to spend that though.
23/04/2014 at 03:48
OL, bonsai means a tree in a pot - if the tree usually grows outside then that is where it will be happiest. I am not saying that they should be neglected as they tend to take a lot of looking after and will need protection from the weather in winter etc. I used to dabble in the art of bonsai a few years ago before I got the allotment but now I don't have the inclination to do both and food is more important. I still have a few specimens including a plum tree planted in a Belfast sink (which needs pruning/training)... As per Mike's post, the idea is to mimic nature but in a pot/shallow tray - this is achieved with root and branch (twig) pruning.
23/04/2014 at 08:22

Thanks Mike and igrow, no offence taken, however I would like to point out that I am not the most artistic or creative person in the world, which makes it a little more difficult for me than those who are naturally creative, and that was my reason for asking for advice in the first place.  So of course, as long as it is helpful and constructive (as yours is) then I won't take offence.

I am planning on getting some stones/slate for it, I just need to get round to that, and also some more typically Alpine plants.  I will get there eventually and show you my progress.  I am only using the last one shown as an alpine garden though.

Thanks again 


23/04/2014 at 15:46

Update number 3  I've taken out the little plant that was at the front and bought a Sempervivium (Arachnoideum), very pretty, looks like it has little cobwebs on.  Also a Corydalis (Blue Dragon), both were on the Alpine section.  I've also added gravel now, which was needed anyway but I ran out.  I'm hoping to get a bit of stone or slate at weekend.

I was very tempted to buy 2 more Sedums but didn't think I would have room, I have actually quite taken to Sedums now, they are so pretty.  Amazing how plants that you once thought were dull and boring are actually quite beautiful when you look closer,  the variety of colours and textures on Sedums is amazing 

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