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Author Topic: Alpine Meadows  (Read 12374 times)

cohan

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Alpine Meadows
« on: March 01, 2010, 04:55:08 AM »
i was especially interested in the bit about meadows, in particular the idea of replacing grass with achillea..i'd really like to know more about this and the topic in general..has there been a thread about this? a quick search didn't yield anything, but there might have been wording i didn't think of...
perhaps we could start a discussion, i'd really like to know who has tried things in this direction, as i have similarly thought that grass here is just far too aggressive..i do have many many local carex and relatives, including a few small ones, and thought there might be possibilities in that direction, though most of them in my area are in rather moist spots, i haven't yet tried them in the garden...

i also have achillea all over, though curious if its left to flower, which is quite tall? or kept mowed?....

Lori S.

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 06:28:03 AM »
Our yard (one-third acre, minus house, garage/driveway, greenhouse) is entirely perennial beds, with no turf at all... rather than a single "grass substitute", there are hundreds of species.  It is doable; one just has to cause it to happen!  :)

I suspect, though, that you are thinking more of creating a naturalistic meadow?  What are you starting with... lawn grass or...?
Lori
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-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lesley Cox

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 07:31:41 PM »
Probably an "alpine lawn" thread would be useful. A meadow is, in effect, just a large, rather unkempt lawn. We've seen many pictures over the years of Franz's yarrow meadow and for him it is obviously the right answer as a setting for crocuses, colchicums and other little bulby things. I think it could be too vigorous here as it grows into such tight mats and in flower is maybe 70cms high. But there are certainly alternatives. I'm planning (have been for years, but some day...) the prostrate Asiatic gentians of the sino-ornata types as flowering lawn in autumn but died back to smaller patches as spring bulbs are flowering. Well that's the intention anyway.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 07:53:10 PM »
i thought i'd jump these over from another area, without bothering maggi ;)

in the newest issue of the international rock gardener, i was especially interested in the bit about meadows, in particular the idea of replacing grass with achillea..i'd really like to know more about this and the topic in general..has there been a thread about this? a quick search didn't yield anything, but there might have been wording i didn't think of...
so i thought perhaps we could start a discussion, i'd really like to know who has tried things in this direction, as i have similarly thought that grass here is just far too aggressive..i do have many many local carex and relatives, including a few small ones, and thought there might be possibilities in that direction, though most of them in my area are in rather moist spots, i haven't yet tried them in the garden...

i also have achillea all over, though curious if its left to flower, which is quite tall? or kept mowed?....

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 08:03:41 PM »
Our yard (one-third acre, minus house, garage/driveway, greenhouse) is entirely perennial beds, with no turf at all... rather than a single "grass substitute", there are hundreds of species.  It is doable; one just has to cause it to happen!  :)

I suspect, though, that you are thinking more of creating a naturalistic meadow?  What are you starting with... lawn grass or...?



we don't have a real lawn-- when the original buildings were put in on these acres in the '70's, they fenced off a wooded area that had been part of the main farm and was grazed, but not intensively, and cut down enough trees to build a house and some semi open areas through the middle;
i think back in those days my mom probably seeded some grass, and there has been more or less regular mowing between the trees (more of which have grown since the original days)--as much to keep the trees from completely closing in (which they would in no time given a chance) and prevent dangerous buildup of dried grass, as for any 'lawn' effect; of course, at times there have been children living here, so a bit of low grassy area is nice, but overall there is a mix (presumably) of native and exotic grasses, common agricultural escapes which are unavoidable here--clover and dandelions are in places as abundant as the grasses, and many native flowers of the natural woodland which is all around the yard and meadow/verge species and various sedges etc..
 there are no areas of pure grass, but the grasses overall are too tall/aggressive to be used much with small bulbs etc, though to have flower meadows with native and taller species is easy enough--thin the grasses and pull unwanted species, allow native forbs to grow (geraniums and mertensia among others are present already) and plant any non-local meadow species..this i am already doing..
but i am thinking more of small bulbs such as crocus and others that seem to naturally grow amongst grasses, as well as native north american dryland species commonly found in short  grassland (that's likely two different kinds of plantings)--so i am thinking of something not too overwhelming in size or habit, enough of a covering to keep out some weeds, not too dense to allow the flowering species to grow through..of course it could be more flowering species--just something with open spreading habits?

interested to see what others are trying...

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 08:06:22 PM »
Probably an "alpine lawn" thread would be useful. A meadow is, in effect, just a large, rather unkempt lawn. We've seen many pictures over the years of Franz's yarrow meadow and for him it is obviously the right answer as a setting for crocuses, colchicums and other little bulby things. I think it could be too vigorous here as it grows into such tight mats and in flower is maybe 70cms high. But there are certainly alternatives. I'm planning (have been for years, but some day...) the prostrate Asiatic gentians of the sino-ornata types as flowering lawn in autumn but died back to smaller patches as spring bulbs are flowering. Well that's the intention anyway.

sounds like a good idea, let us know if you try it...
i haven't seen franz's meadow, any pictures on the forum here that you know of?

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 08:07:17 PM »
Probably an "alpine lawn" thread would be useful. A meadow is, in effect, just a large, rather unkempt lawn. We've seen many pictures over the years of Franz's yarrow meadow and for him it is obviously the right answer as a setting for crocuses, colchicums and other little bulby things. I think it could be too vigorous here as it grows into such tight mats and in flower is maybe 70cms high. But there are certainly alternatives. I'm planning (have been for years, but some day...) the prostrate Asiatic gentians of the sino-ornata types as flowering lawn in autumn but died back to smaller patches as spring bulbs are flowering. Well that's the intention anyway.

lesley and lori--i started an alpine meadows thread, and quoted you both over there..perhaps maggi would like to remove these posts from this thread?

Lesley Cox

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 08:46:33 PM »
Yes there are heaps, both old and new Forums but I can't do the link thing. I go to copy for what I want to copy then when I go to where I want to paste it, the copy part has vanished into the ether. Can't seem to keep track of the two things at once.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2010, 09:00:23 PM »
Folks, I've gathered together your posts here.... I suggest a Forum search in old and new forums for posts from Franz... under  hadacekf   for mention of his meadow.... there are lots of photos... all suberb.... I have not got time right now to help with a search.... maybe later, or drop Franz a pm and ask him to contribute.....?

Well, of course we will ask Franz to tell us more about his meadow garden but to show just what can be achieved, what follows here are some photos brought , along with some introductory words from Franz from elsewhere in the Forum .....
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 11:01:04 AM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2010, 11:16:12 PM »
Quote
My name is Franz Hadacek. I live in Vienna the capital town of Austria and I am rock gardening for 45 years. I grow a wide range of different alpine plants. Sometimes without large success! One of my interest are the bulbs,
because I saw many of them at my journeys in the Mediterranean regions. I have no alpine house, I cultivate all plants in frames or my rock garden. Many bulbs grows very good in my meadow, because our summers are dry, hot and sunny.
If you are interested, have a look at my website
http://www.franz-alpines.org

More than 50% of plants in the meadow are self sown.  My meadow is 40 years old and I never did it fertilize. My meadow consists of 20% grass, 30% different weeds and 50% Yarrow (Achillea millefollium).  

I think Franz has been seeding the bulbs into the meadow for around 20 years.....he says the meadow only grows the plants that like meadows, and not necessarily the plants he wants!
 A selection of bulbs to start with:


Galanthus-elwesii-07-first flr that year
08-Anemone-blanda-1
08-Anemone-blanda-0
08-Anemone-blanda-2
08-Crocus-0
08-Crocus-2
08-Crocus-3
08-Galanthus-hololeucus
08-Scilla-sibirica-nice little weed.
08-Tulipa-humilis--2
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 11:41:39 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2010, 11:40:26 PM »
I'll continue with these photos.... I think they will prove an inspiration to any of you thinking of making your own meadow.
Thomas Huber has his lovely crocus lawn, which does have other species too, but Franz is the Master of theBulb  Meadow, in my eyes!

08-Colchicum-hungaricum1
08-Colchicum-speciosum
08-Crocus-Wiese
08-Cyclamen-hederifolium
08-Iris-K.Hodgkin meadow
08-Leucojum-valentinum
C.-biv.-spec..
C.-bivonae-groups.
C.-bivonae-6.
Colch.-petal comparison shows achillea


Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2010, 11:44:42 PM »
and so the story continues....
you will see that I have not got the photos in seasonal order, but you get the general idea, I hope?

Sternbergia-sicula-6
Sternbergia-sicula-5
Sternbergia-sept09
Sternbergia-lutea-sicula leaf comparison
Ornithogalum-nanum-2
Ornithogalum-nanum
Iris-reticulata-1
Iris-danfordiae 2nd year of  flowering
Hyacinthus-orientalis
Galanthus-reginae-olgae-4
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2010, 11:49:57 PM »
Click on the photos to enlarge them, of course.....

Here is the meadow in Spring...
Garden-in-Spring-0
Garden-in-Spring-1
Garden-in-Spring-2
Garden-in-Spring-4
Garden-in-Spring-5
Cyclamen-coum-1
Crocus-tommasinianus-0
Crocus-tommasinianus-1
Crocus-tommasinianus-3
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2010, 11:54:25 PM »
and on  into  summer......

08-F.-hermonis-ssp.amana-0.jpg
08-F.-hermonis-ssp.amana-1.jpg
08-Meadow-0summer.jpg


08-Meadow-4summer.jpg
08-Meadow-5summer.jpg
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 11:56:55 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 12:00:38 AM »
...showing the flowers of spring crocus.... but later there are other flowers and these pix show some of them, and their leaves in the winter, if there is no snow cover....and later the leaves.....
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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