Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Photo essay: Alpine Plant Centre

Living in Sheffield means living close to the Alpine Plant Centre in the Peak District, which has an amazing selection of alpines, often rare, and at really good prices. I've been before and have used quite a few alpines from there to plant up my alpine wall. Alongside the nursery is the alpine garden, 30 years in the making, and I finally managed to rock up (rock, geddit...) on a rare day that the garden was open. 

Due to the cold Spring the alpines were only just starting to flower. Here is a selection of some that caught my eye. Because this is an actual gardeners garden most of the year there are no labels, hence the lack of specific names on this occasion. 

But I will start with one family that I know, and love, Daphnes.
 Large alpine Daphne shrub
 
 A really large alpine Daphne shrub! The fragrance was gorgeous.


Daphne yes, but it's the lichen that caught my eye here

 I'd love to know what this is, such a pretty pink and a lush green

Alpine Erysimum

I love how this almost looks like a valley. Valley of the alpines.

The owner and grower Steve caught Kevin and I in mid-amazement looking at this Tufa. He informed us that it's taken 35 years to get to this stage. 35 years! Dedication and beauty.




 
Did I mention Daphne? 

The alpine garden nestles comfortable within the Peak District

Ok, is this a Wookiee or a fern? Kevin & I voted Wookiee :)

 View looking up towards the house. Hell of a front garden, huh.

 Erodium


I'm still quite the beginner with growing alpines. When I saw that there was Tufa (naturally reconstituted limestone Steve told us) available, I wondered if I would be up to the challenge of growing some alpines in Tufa? Well, why not. I picked up a small piece, only £3, and a couple of Sempervivums which are good beginner-tufa plants. I'll have a go at adding these to the Tufa sometime soon.

Sempervivum Black Mountain (dark red one) and Virginius with my piece of tufa.

I also picked up a couple of Daphnes, D. Hybrid Meon & Cheriton, plus Penstemon newberryi, Sisyrinchium macounii and Lavendula angustifolia Nana.


The garden will be open for two more days this year, 31st May and 14th June, 2pm to 5pm. I'm hoping to go back as I'm sure I'll see different plants in flower as the weather (finally?) warms up. See you there.

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