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11 messages
08/03/2014 at 16:29

Last year I thought it a good idea to plant up a Belfast sink with alpines:

It grew well and I felt a proud momma :

Now though it's all a bit mental :


My question is how/what can I do to get the beast in the bottom right hand corner under control? Can I cut it back or should I start again? 

The one in the bottom right is not as it was either. Any suggestions regarding that one?

Thanks in advance 

08/03/2014 at 16:51

Looks great Panda! I'd rehome the beast in the bottom right and plant a nicely behaved alternative.

08/03/2014 at 16:56

Panda, have a look at sempervivums - lots of different ones, some that grow cobwebs, they flower too - perfect for a sink garden 

08/03/2014 at 16:57
08/03/2014 at 17:04

Thanks guys  

Mrs G, you made me laugh out loud! The beast is an apt description indeed 

Dove, some good inspiration and alternatives.

Edd, thanks for the link 

10/03/2014 at 00:13
panda - Im laughing louder - it was YOUR description not mine !!!
10/03/2014 at 01:18

HE,HE,HE, you two. I've got that in my garden. No idea what it is, but it takes over the minute I turn my back. It's in my hot dry front garden, nr the house wall. Well, I think that's where it started, but now it's everywhere. It IS a beast! I've cut it, pulled it, dug it and accidentally (on purpose), poisoned it. Ha, it laughs in the face of my efforts I don't mind it, but not EVERYWHERE! in contrast, in the same bed is a lovely little pink Thrift like your white one in the centre. Oh, what a well behaved little critter gets only very sighlty bigger each yr, flowers loads, never needs trimmed or even dead headed. Unfortunately, she ends up getting a bit swamped later in the yr, but she doesn't seem to mind at all. Looks a little like a tiny wavy chive clump, very delicate.

I def agree with Dove (again!), sempervivens, house leeks, we call them, can be lovely. Really easy. Will increase quickly in the right place, but so easy to keep small. I shoved some in a crack in the front wall and jammed them in with soil, and they get bigger every yr and flower, making an ugly wall look quite pretty. There are loads of much prettier ones than mine, too, I had completely different ones in a wall where I used to live. You could do the whole sink in different ones. But keep the wee thrift!, She'll never let you down!

10/03/2014 at 22:04

Thanks friends  GJ and Mrs G, what am I like! So glad I remember what I've written 

I think I may give up on it! Or buy a new pot and rehome it somewhere it can spill over the side and romp to it's hearts content 

11/03/2014 at 14:06

Word of warning though.  Many semperviviums don't tolerate wet and that's what we seem to be having a lot of lately.  I've two outside my window as I write - one is fine and perky but the other has only two small growing points and all the rest has died.  Some people put them under cover in the winter.


11/03/2014 at 21:40

If I may?

Too late.  I've started.  So I'll finish!

Alpines can be misleading at times.  Most people automatically think.  'Alpine'  Small.  Grows on mountainsides etc.  A tip if you are not sure.  Be patient and grow your subject on for a season in a slightly larger pot, indoors or outside.  Subjects that tend to race away and take over, will probably be creating similar rapid growth below the soil surface.  Hence in a much confind space such as a sink garden.  Removal of a bully-boy can and often does affect the roots of it's neighbours.  With sink gardens.  Good drainage is a must.  When using a glazed sink as the host.  It is well worth considering covering the sink with 'Hypertufa'  This is made from a mixture of equal parts, sand, cement and sifted peat, mixed with water and applied to the sink surface.  many consider it merely as a bit of decoration.  Changing the bland looking sink into what looks more like a weather worn trough.  Actually the tufa will act as a porous surface.  A degree of water will be absorbed into it, thus assisting perhaps that drop too much, to dispell.

12/03/2014 at 00:29

Thanks Mike. You are right, I thought 'Alpine = small' oops!  When I visit the nursery where I bought it I'll have a look for others. Will think about planting elsewhere before the sink, a good idea. I quite like the glazed look of the sink, and my 'soil' is half grit to aid on drainage. It is also surrounded by loads of other different pots, some with colour, some terracotta so it's kinda hidden, whilst providing a contrast 

Thanks for the tip Angela. 

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