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Author Topic: Alpine Meadows  (Read 12390 times)

Lesley Cox

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 03:27:04 AM »
Plenty there for you to think about Cohan! :D I see there are a few primula seedlings as well as all the bulbs :)
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Lori S.

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 03:45:22 AM »
In case you have any doubts, that sort of thing is do-able here too, Cohan (not to imply this is anything like the spectacular example shown, but it's a start)... (I must admit, though, as I mentioned, the point of the "lawn" part rather escapes me.  Lawn-worship is what prevents many people from gardening around here.   ;D)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 03:48:50 AM by Lori Skulski »
Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Susan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2010, 05:02:52 AM »
Could someone tell me whether they think that camomile would do instead of achillea.  Here achillea grows to almost a metre and smothers everything.  That achillea in the photos  looks very tame and well behaved. 

Or, does anyone know which achillea it is please? I have quite a large area that I don't want to put into lawn, (green grass lawn that is) and the Alpine meadow looks just the answer. 

Thank you,

Susan
Dunedin, New Zealand

Lori S.

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 05:29:06 AM »
Actually, there is chamomile visible in the Hadacek photos, as well as some yarrow.  A chamomile lawn seems to be a classic substitute for turf. 
Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2010, 06:13:10 AM »
thanks, maggi for all the collation efforts--you really went all out!
i was particularly interested in the summer photos, this is the part that i really want to get a handle on--i think even the potentially rampant growth here isn't taller than a crocus in spring, its the rest of the growing season i am trying to grasp..i guess the summer photos we saw would be before the achillea flowers?
i did notice what i presume lori is mentioning is chamomile, i think those are problem weeds here (i.e. introduced), but i'm sure there are lots of other possibilities..achillea millefolium is already strongly present here, not as tall or aggressive as susan's sounds, probably something like 40-60cm; it is one of the local species you'd have to work hard to keep out, along with mertensia paniculata, and campanula rotundifolia, and asters..

i was also wondering about some native Caryophyllaceae-such as various stellaria (there is a really nice one occasionally seen here, including at least one patch in my yard, with slender stems, glaucous leaves) and similar;
also, it just occurs to me, some near gentians, which are upright fairly gracile things, and i think annual/biennial, so while they can grow in clumps, not too aggressive for the bulbs---Gentianella amarella and Halenia deflexa are scattered naturally around the yard, and elsewhere locally..
similarly the native Corydalis aurea, another biennial, is loose enough to allow things to grow through..

lori, i had not doubt it could be done here  ;D i know a lot of bulbs grow just fine in this crazy climate...lol, and great to see some of your lovely plantings;i especially like the crocus with juniper... do you find many things can grow through the juniper? or do they get too dense? i'm trying to remember how often i saw plants growing through the juniper in the kootenay plains, it seems often there was nothing, but thats a very dry place;
 i can certainly relate to having no grass in a city property, even though yours seems a good size for the city; eliminating all the grass here is completely out of the question, though for me, its not a matter of wanting to create a 'lawn':
--partly, thinking about ways to have a full season bulb  bed, though frankly, i'm not sure i want to do the kind of successional planting that goes from tiny to tall-that can be quite astonishing-i lived near experimental beds of that type in toronto, and it was hard to believe the change from spring through to fall--i think i'd like things like crocus and other low plants to grow in beds that have low plants all year--plenty of other spaces for tall plants
--and secondarily, thinking about the possibility of plantings where i don't need to remove all of the grass--since naturalised plantings, for species tough enough, could be a lot less work upfront than fully prepared beds..grasses are, if not the toughest weeds here, they are right up there...

i'm hoping simon and chris will chime in, since i think they have seasonally scythed meadows, and that is of great interest to me... do the crocus and similar leaves die back early enough to be able to trim grass when its getting tall?
does, franz mow his meadow in fall?

Lori S.

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2010, 06:33:52 AM »
The foliage from the earliest bulbs stays green into the beginning of July here (and that of later bulbs can sometimes stay green most of the summer, amazingly), and I think that's one of the main impracticalities of naturalizing small bulbs in lawns in this area.  So, depending how "kempt" the lawn/meadow is meant to be, and how tall the grasses are, that is a definite factor.
Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2010, 06:54:14 AM »
The foliage from the earliest bulbs stays green into the beginning of July here (and that of later bulbs can sometimes stay green most of the summer, amazingly), and I think that's one of the main impracticalities of naturalizing small bulbs in lawns in this area.  So, depending how "kempt" the lawn/meadow is meant to be, and how tall the grasses are, that is a definite factor.

that's good to know...
i wouldnt really think of them in any area for regular mowing, but if the grass is being allowed to grow, in anything other than small areas, it might be nice to either mow once in fall or maybe just scythe or clip--even above bulb leaf height--not good to have a build-up of dry grass of any size..probably mostly though,for the small ones, i'd rather plant them with other things that stay small..i will have to experiment with some of the local small Carex species--though they naturally grow (here) in damp to wet and/or wooded areas, they might do well enough in a regular bed, and are quite charming on their own, with their weird little flowers and interesting fruits......

interestingly, last year was so dry at times that one whole side of the property (there is an almost imperceptible slope, but its apparent enough in the vegetation) scarcely needed mowing--except for aspen suckers and red clover clumps! but that's not every year (the other end was lush with white clover and grasses--that is, of non-treed areas, probably more than half -2/3, more? of the roughly 6 acres is natural forest, planted trees and scattered self sown trees)

Ragged Robin

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2010, 10:35:50 AM »
Last year we cut our alpine meadow slope in August which meant that some late flowerings had time to set seed and I hope will multiply this year.  The joy of letting the meadow grow is not only in the wonderful tapestry of flowers for free but also the birds and butterflies that it attracts - I look forward to this each year.

At the base of the south facing slope I have experimented in planting a few Crocus Vernus (Balkan Dark tip petals), kindly given to me by a Forumist, to see if they like it there and in the hope that the melt water will find them....no sign of growth yet.  Higher up they grow prolifically on the base of a steep sided valley facing South/East...I live in hope  ::)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 10:49:46 AM by Ragged Robin »
Valais, Switzerland - 1,200 metres - Continental climate - rocks and moraine

hadacekf

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2010, 06:01:34 PM »
I have already mention my meadow is 40 years old with a limy soil. The Yarrow  cultivated itself like many other weeds. My meadow is not an alpine meadow, but a Mediterranean alpine meadow with a large number of bulbs that well grow.
If the leaves of the bulbs become drying, I mow the lawn. If in the autumn the first flower appear  I stop to mow. I see never a flower of the Yarrow ,
the flowers are always cut off. By cut in summers, the Yarrow  a carpet-like appearance gets. I think in the meadow is a good  relationship between grass, weeds and Yarrow . And that developed in the course of the years automatically.  By the way, in summer looks my meadow not very nice.
Franz Hadacek  Vienna  Austria

Franz Hadacek's Alpines And Bulbs
http://www.franz-alpines.org

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2010, 06:23:41 PM »
Last year we cut our alpine meadow slope in August which meant that some late flowerings had time to set seed and I hope will multiply this year.  The joy of letting the meadow grow is not only in the wonderful tapestry of flowers for free but also the birds and butterflies that it attracts - I look forward to this each year.

At the base of the south facing slope I have experimented in planting a few Crocus Vernus (Balkan Dark tip petals), kindly given to me by a Forumist, to see if they like it there and in the hope that the melt water will find them....no sign of growth yet.  Higher up they grow prolifically on the base of a steep sided valley facing South/East...I live in hope  ::)

robin, had any bulbs in their dried up their foliage? or are you just starting to add bulbs? how tall are your grasses? any photos? i remember you talking about the meadow last year, but don't remember if we saw it...

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2010, 06:31:21 PM »
I have already mention my meadow is 40 years old with a limy soil. The Yarrow  cultivated itself like many other weeds. My meadow is not an alpine meadow, but a Mediterranean alpine meadow with a large number of bulbs that well grow.
If the leaves of the bulbs become drying, I mow the lawn. If in the autumn the first flower appear  I stop to mow. I see never a flower of the Yarrow ,
the flowers are always cut off. By cut in summers, the Yarrow  a carpet-like appearance gets. I think in the meadow is a good  relationship between grass, weeds and Yarrow . And that developed in the course of the years automatically.  By the way, in summer looks my meadow not very nice.

thanks for the details, franz! nice to have a planting that has worked out its own rhythms over that long period of time..

Ed Alverson

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2010, 07:09:40 PM »
It is worth noting that not all Achillea millefolium is created equally, and if you are interested in using it as a matrix plant in a meadow garden, it is worth selecting the appropriate ecotype for this application.  In fact, what we call Achillea millefolium is a widely distributed (old and new world) species complex with many different cryptic taxa and ecotypes.  There was a classic study by Clausen, Keck, and Heisey in California, where they performed reciprocal transplant experiments with Achillea across an elevation and climate gradient from the Pacific Coast to high elevations in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Among other results, they found that plants grown from seed collected at an elevation of 11,000 feet were much shorter (15 to 25 cm tall) when grown at low elevations, than were plants grown in the same garden from seed collected at low elevations, which were 50 to 80 cm tall.

Ed
Ed Alverson, Eugene, Oregon

Susan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2010, 07:36:07 PM »
Thank you to all who are contributing.  It is giving much food for thought.  I have a lot of white clover, which I have been trying to eradicate, maybe I should leave it as a suitable groundcover and just eliminate grass and weeds.  It does not grow too high and would only ever need a mow on a highish cut. 

Susan
Dunedin, New Zealand

hadacekf

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2010, 07:37:23 PM »
My meadow today. My Achillea becomes at the most 30 cm.
Sorry, no sun
Franz Hadacek  Vienna  Austria

Franz Hadacek's Alpines And Bulbs
http://www.franz-alpines.org

cohan

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Re: Alpine Meadows
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2010, 08:09:01 PM »
Thank you to all who are contributing.  It is giving much food for thought.  I have a lot of white clover, which I have been trying to eradicate, maybe I should leave it as a suitable groundcover and just eliminate grass and weeds.  It does not grow too high and would only ever need a mow on a highish cut. 
Susan

your climate is very different than mine, so perhaps your clover behaves differently--here it is among the most rampant plants in our existing  grassy areas, and one of the most difficult weeds to keep out of any planting,though it is far too abundant to eliminate it; here, i think, it would be much too vigorous to leave in a planting of small bulbs, though perhaps with very tall plants it could  be managed, though i'm not at all sure of that..

ed--good thoughts on achillea; i assumed it would vary over its large range, but i had assumed those plants i have seen in the mountains here (not at the altitudes you mention, though) would grow normal height down here--they may not be sufficiently high clones to be shorter, but i may give them a test run..
i may have ordered another achillea species from the alps, too, would have to check....

 


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