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Author Topic: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without  (Read 2996 times)

Kristl Walek

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One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« on: April 28, 2008, 01:38:57 AM »
Yes, you may only name one.
And it must be easy, reliable, and tough in the area where you garden.
Something that a new rock gardener would want to try and likely be successful growing.
I am reminded of Geoffrey Charlesworth's "First 100 Alpine Plants."

I thought of the idea when my Vitaliana primulifolia moved into its glorious, full-bloom stage today- as it has done reliably since first being planted 18 years ago.

It has never failed to amaze me with its tolerance for my hot and humid summers and cold winters (to -45C). And it has taken off in every spot where it has been planted.

There is not a single negative, except perhaps for its lack of producing seed in cultivation. Cuttings frustrated me for a while, until I learned to take them first thing in late winter/early spring, BEFORE the plant comes into bloom.

So, that's my vote.

I am most curious about who the rest of you will choose...



so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek

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fermi de Sousa

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 01:49:17 AM »
Hi Kristl,
takes for your posting; what a coincidence as I just planted out a little seedling of Vitaliana on the weekend! I'll try your suggestion of taking cuttings in winter with an older leggy seedling still in the Shadehouse. Now I just need to think about an indispensible alpine for my own posting!
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Lesley Cox

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 02:50:03 AM »
Yes, I'll have a good think about it too.

I agree with you Kristl that your Vitaliana is a super thing, and every rock gardener should have at least one. But there are inferior forms I think. I still haven't located one that flowers well or consistently, though I have friends with plants as floriferous as yours. I remember reading many years ago that there some forms are not generous with their flowers. The more pity then, that it seems not to set seed, in cultivation at least, which makes me wonder Fermi, where your seedling came from?
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

fermi de Sousa

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 03:38:47 AM »
Hi Lesley,
mine came through one of the Seedexes, I'd have to check my records to be sure which one! I'd gotten seed for a few years (yes, it's on ICON so is allowed into Australia) but this was the only lot to have ever germinated. I got 2 seedlings the first year and this one last year which I pricked out in October before planting it into a crevice on Friday.
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Katherine J

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 08:19:55 AM »
Until now I had no success with Vitaliana primuliflora. I try it again and again every year in different places, in well and very well drained soil, but it dies in the first summer. :'(
Now I want to try like Ian Young told in a thread, to wash away all the garden centre-compost from its root system. Until now I've planted it almost untached, with that compost around the roots ???

I vote on Androsace villosa. I have it in an ugly plastic trough, in limy soil near a Pinus mugo. In the end of every winter it looks quite sad, but it recovers very quickly in March, and now is in full bloom. I think it is absolutely reliable, tolerates very well our hot dry summers. And every year it becomes bigger. And -- as many other Androsaces -- is very nice even without flowers.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 08:21:44 AM by Kathrine J »
Kata Jozsa - Budapest, Hungary
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David Shaw

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 01:21:02 PM »
Draba aizoides seed was one of the packets in my first 'Easy Ten' from the seed exchange many decades ago. Whilst it could almost be considered a desirable weed I am letting it do its own thing on a south facing bank and its mass of yellow flowers just look fantastic in the sun on a late winter day. Later bulbs push up through it easily so it does not spoil the area as the year progresses.
Sorry that I don't have any pictures and it is too late now. Maybe next year.
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

tonyg

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 10:59:07 PM »
As I pondered the idea the first plant to come to mind was Gentiana acaulis but flowering it is not so easy here (I do have one with buds in the garden right now though.)  However the next thought (also about to flower) was Dryas octopetala which I find easier.  So this must be my one easy alpine.  It brings back good memories of holidays in the Alps and the Pyrenees too, an important consideration.

Only after these thoughts did it occur to me that this is the emblem plant fo rthe SRGC .... and Gentiana acaulis is that for the AGS.  Do great minds really think alike? ;)

Maggi Young

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 11:31:38 PM »
Quote
Only after these thoughts did it occur to me that this is the emblem plant fo rthe SRGC .... and Gentiana acaulis is that for the AGS.  Do great minds really think alike?
Well, Tony, the two flowers do make a fine combination, do they not?

We are still pondering this very difficult question posed by Kristl....... :-\
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Lesley Cox

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 04:43:44 AM »
Me too. ???
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Kristl Walek

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Re: One Easy Alpine You Could Not Live Without
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2008, 02:29:40 PM »
and, I forgot to mention long blooming...here we are almost two weeks later, and the little darling is still going strong...

so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek

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