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Author Topic: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)  (Read 83486 times)

David Nicholson

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #60 on: May 30, 2012, 06:59:19 PM »
Wonderful thread Phillipe, both informative and very enjoyable.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2012, 05:39:18 AM »
Marvellous pictures there Philippe, and a couple are definitely "Images of the Arty Kind," the beech forest and the meconopsis leaf are really superb. It looks as if the snow blew in sideways to have stuck to the trunks like that.

I'm delighted to see flowers on your Myosotis pulvinaris, but the pulsatillas and their friends are all very beautiful.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2012, 09:47:52 PM »
Once again, beautiful images and fascinating comments on cultivation- especially for someone like me, a real neophyte to alpine cultivation!
Especially striking- the blue Corydalis and the Myosotis!

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2012, 11:15:25 AM »
June 2012, first half




Little wink for the scottish readers to begin, Primula scotica ;)
A charming tiny plant which I find demanding a minimum of care and attention if it is not to be lost. I had already struggled to keep it going, but it seems I have eventually found good conditions for it here: simply in a plastic pot in the propagation area. Shadowed when the sun shines too bright, and from time to time watered, when rain won't fall.
It seeds itself around in the pot  now, a good thing.

As I am presently writing at the end of the first June week, we have thunderstorms passed by. The worst was predicated, big hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain, but we were lucky once again, and the garden came
unharmed.
Otherwise lot of garden-useful rain during the last days, exactly since the opening to the public, which of course has a great impact on frequentation, as the weather can become really awful when the general winds turn to west, even in summer: it is getting simply very fresh, if not cold for people coming from the lowland, the clouds are so low that we are within, enjoying the sight of fog being swept away by the winds, which are also carrying more or less penetrating rain during the worst moments...
Well, alpine garden conditions, that plants generally should appreciate though!

There are naturally also short periods of sunshine or dry weather at least, and it is precisely during those periods that the garden is best appreciated: plants have had their watering, and on the first sunray, everything looks so pure and colourful.
Those moments are useful for us for another reason, as we can continue the work outside ;)





The garden is relatively old, built in the late sixties. Not old in the sense of its own age, which makes it a quite young one, but more in the sense of the different beds that compose it, as some of them have never been
renewed since then.
As you might imagine in such a case, always comes a time when plantations just become a big mess.

Profiting from the moments of dry weather we started to attack the old Massif Central plantation beds.
Massif Central is an old volcanic mountainous region of southern/centre France, reaching generaly altitudes between 1200 and 1600 m.asl with a pic at almost 1900m, and making somehow the link between Alps/Jura to the ENE, and Pyrénées to the SW, taking from both some flora-elements, and having also some endemic plants, but generaly beeing far less reach than Alps or Pyrénées.
It also occupates an intermediate climatic position between the moister and cooler atlantic influences of northern France, and the drier and warmer southern France, which allows the presence of both relictual arctic species at higher altitudes and already almost mediteranean species in the south part.

Our Massif Central bed is probably at least 30 years old. Plants have been introduced in it at hte beginning, and then almost never again ( obviously botanical gardens neither organises seed collects there,
and nor has any botanical garden a specialised collection of plants from Massif Central).
So after more than 30 years, the strongest plants have become dominant, and the weakest or smallest ones have disappeared little by little.

The old beds were simply much too big for so few interesting plants, and we decided to sacrifice one of them to the neighbouring Pyrénées, planting out the Massif Central plants that were still worth it to be transfered in the from now on single renewed little Massif Central bed.

On the pics above is the bigger one, which is going now to the Pyrénées.
Lot of work, as said, a real mess here, everything has to be planted out or simply thrown away when too much, too coarse. Soil must be renewed also, stones must be placed later. And the first plantations will probably only follow next year then ( with Lilium pyrenaicum/Gentiana burseri on the top of the list, Aster pyrenaeus, Adonis pyrenaica, Petrocallis pyrenaica, Fritillaria pyrenaica, Ramonda myconi, Saxifraga longifolia, aso. Would like to acclimate also Gentiana pyrenaica, a big challenge however...).
We just hope we will find enough further/new pyrenean plants to complete the collection and this new bed to come, as here again, it isn't always easy to get seeds from there, the only alpine garden in the Pyrénées having very sadely closed in one of those last years.


--------------------------------------------

Bad news, but also good ones sometimes: several alpine gardens in Europe are beginning a long-term program of phenological observations in relation with climatic changes.
The plants studied are mountain or alpine plants.
The aim is to dispatch in each garden absolutely the same plants with the same genetic material, simply by cuttings, in order to get comparable observations everywhere in those participating gardens.
Main points of the vegetative growth are monitored during the season ( blossom, new leaves, fruiting process, aso)



The 12 different plants will be grouped in the same area, with a weather station in the vicinity.
This is a good mean to raise awareness of the climatic changes problem, as the plantations are made in the public area.


------------------------------



The sowing frame in the propagation area.
Most of the sowings is now made, but there are a few secundary species-seeds waiting in the fridge.
It is always frustrating having to wait May to begin with seed sowing, missing out the whole winter, and sometimes loosing a year untill germination ( and also seed viability for some species, though approximatively stored cooled and dry meanwhile).

I hope things can be done differently one day and seeds get sown as soon as received for those arriving in winter, but for the moment, let's say it is just not possible.

As said above, germination delay must sometimes be expected, and probably reduced germination rates in the end too. It means the pots must be kept perhaps one year more than they would have been if sown
immediately during the first winter, and I never throw away a pot with no germination under 2 years, whatever species, whatever genera, whatever family, just to be sure not to throw something too soon.
This is even more true of course for many liliaceous species, which are known for beeing sometimes long to germinate in normal conditions.
I would say the sowings of liliaceous species are kept at least 3 years here if no germination was observed during that time.

The "risk" of all that is to have within the same pot a first batch of few seedlings germinating right in the summer after spring-sowing, and then seeing more coming the next spring, making development and pricking out of the youngest sometimes a bit difficult if the 1 year old seedlings get stronger too rapidly.
 
Again, pricking out immediately the few ones germinated in the first season means destroying the chances for the seeds still in dormancy in the pot, waiting probably the next year to come.
This is just a hard choice when confrontated to a delicate or rare species, when a further thing has to be taken in consideration: indeed the risk of letting the first season seedlings linger in the sowing pot outside and unprotected the next winter, whereas they would sometimes already need better adapted medium/conditions.

I dream of sowing everything in winter, allowing a good period of cold to prepare the dormancy break to come, and getting then nearly full or sufficient germination in the spring, pricking out all at once, and giving all better conditions from the start on...

Every gardener adapts to his conditions and possibilities though, and on the whole I can't say the results are really disappointing. There are always some frustrations of course, but I guess every one of us has surely his own frustations too.




Plants newly pricked out ( in part), and having their 6/7 days stage in the relatively "safeness" of the house proximity on a bank: I don't dare to put them directly in the propagation bed, even if they can be protected from bad weather there.
Though contended, it is just the many slugs and mouses marauding that I don't trust, and slugs are happier than ever lastly with almost round the clock wetness or at least moisture on the soil.
The propagation area is some 50 meters away from the house, surrounded by a semi-natural environment full of dangers ( grass surface, forest).
It may be only a "psychological appeasement" for me to have the plantlets safe here, even if only for 7 days, but well, after that time, they must somehow go away and live their first harder life in the open propagation area, and make place to new ones in the relative shelter of this elevated bank...

As said just before, we are having this year more slugs than average, and it is probably even worse for the mouses. These last ones cause the most damages and have greatly appreciated Primula denticulata and P.rosea unripe seedheads.
It is just surprising how they can get to the seeds upthere, on sometimes 40 to 50 cms high elongating stems in case of the denticulata, but they make it, beginning to climb over the lower part of the stem, making it cant to the soil through own weight when arrived around the middle, and then probably walking on it when laid on the soil to finally get to the beloved seedhead!

This wouldn't be a problem as long as their taste leads them to such plants. It is even quite a help, as I wanted anyway to cut the seedheads of the denticulata, to avoid too generous self sowing later. But most obviously, the mouses won't stop here, and will probably hassel other more interesting plants later when they will be fisnished with eating denticulata...Unfortunately, I have to say that some of them won't have the opportunity to go on, as we really have to do something against them now; we can slowly begin to speak of an invasion, with underground holes everywhere you look.


-----------------------------

I didn't have many opportunities to make pics in the garden , as the evenings were often rainy, foggy and sometimes very soon dusk. Yes, we would be approaching the longest days of year...
The few presented below are from 2 or 3 occasions on the last 15 days, which makes the choice quite reduced.



Papaver alboroseum

A tiny papaver from both extreme east of Siberia and pacific coast of NW America.
A lovely colour shade, with this soft salmon pink turning to white to end in a yellowish green near the flower stem. It must not be expected to flower very long. As with many of its relatives, the single flower very often only lasts one day, and within 4/5 days, only forming seedpods remain on the plants, and it turns again to a rather unsignificant inhabitant of the bed. Seed has to be harvested: it doesn't seem to be really long living.




Gentiana verna ssp.balcanica

A beautiful and comparatively easily grown subspecies of G.verna. ( which should be identified, as there seem to be some incertitudes as to its name, G.verna ssp.angulosa, syn G.pontica, beeing quite similar in
appearance, and beeing also an easier one).
Self seedlings around the mother plant in the pot, making hope of generous flowers in 3/4 years perhaps.




Crepis aurea

A simple favourite.
Only an orange flowered Taraxacum, but what a colour! Easy living, tolerating almost all conditions ( dry or soaked soils, rich or poor, full sun or light shadow). Self sowing, no special care, an excellent plant which makes quite a beautiful effect in the Alps bed in the first part of June.




Androsace vandelli trough

Special treatment for this trough planted with androsace vandelli seedlings.
A regular trough simply put vertically on the side, not on the bottom, with drainage holes therefore on what would have been the small side of a trough used "normaly" horizontally.
Slate sheets inserted on a approximatively 45° angle to help holding the medium  ( a lean and free draining mixture) and not beeing washed by the rain too quickly, and the seedlings planted here and there. They are small, and some of them flourish for the first time ( beeing 3 years old now).

Why such an installation you might say? I have also Androsace vandelli in a deep pot plunged in sand in the propagation area, and it does well there, but I always fear the winter moisture remains too long on it.
With this vertical trough, excess water is simply drained away more quickly.
Another reason, less important, is that A.vandelli is also partly a cliff plant, it means it gets almost no snow cover during winter, beeing exposed, and therefore adapted, to sometimes very cold but generaly fairly dry
atmosphere. Under a deep snowcover for several months is not the usual way it overwinters in its natural environment. I wanted to mimic this by putting my trough verticaly, although it will never ever be high enough to look out of the snow in winter.
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2012, 11:25:34 AM »


Gentiana clusii 'alba'




Fritillaria pyrenaica




Cotula albida

A new zealand plant that I have had last year from the alpine house of the superb botanical garden Nymphenburg, München, Germany. I wasn't completely sure it could overwinter outdoor at the Haut-Chitelet, but it did, and is now growing well.
It's far less invasive than other Cotula species which already thrive in the NewZealand bed.




A view from the bed dedicated to plants of the southern hemisphere.
An unidientified species in the foreground, thought to be a raoulia, but most probably a undetermined cross with some other creeping "similar" asteraceae of NewZealand.
Untill now, it has never flowered, but the mat is increasing year after year, beginning to swell beautifully over the rocks, as do further raoulias at other places in the bed. It's hard to think that if comes a very cold spell during winter without previous snowcover all this would probably mostly disappear.
Aster vahlii in the middleground, preparing some flowers this year, and further back, Helichrysum coralloides between the rocks.




Meconopsis betonicifolia/baileyi

First flower on June 8th. After having had a huge boost during the last ten days of May ( quite warm and often sunny weather), the plants are now on a stop-stage since the beginning of June, because of mostly very fresh
weather ( except on one occasion the temperatures don't go anymore higher than 12/13°C by day with nights between 2/3 and 6/7°C). Add to this an important lack of sun, and current fog with pouring rain almost once a
day. Himalayan plants are really happy, and must feel at home!
Pics of M.punicea and perhaps some other ones will follow in the next update.




Meconopsis horridula




Rheum alexandrae


----------------------------

Some general views of the garden.








NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

ranunculus

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #65 on: June 15, 2012, 11:42:37 AM »
Really appreciating and enjoying your reports, Philippe ... many thanks for taking the tome and effort to compile and post them.
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #66 on: June 15, 2012, 03:20:30 PM »
Love the photos, Phillippe, especially your vertical trough.  I might try that one but I have one question.  It looks completely vertical - what keeps it from toppling (heavy winds, snow, freeze and thaw)?  Is it resting against something?
Steep, rocky and cold in the
Hudson River Valley in New York State

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #67 on: June 15, 2012, 07:33:19 PM »
Love the photos, Phillippe, especially your vertical trough.  I might try that one but I have one question.  It looks completely vertical - what keeps it from toppling (heavy winds, snow, freeze and thaw)?  Is it resting against something?

The wind has no influence on it, as it isn't that high ( 50 cms), and the face on the soil is wide enough ( 30cm X 30cm).
The weight of the trough, inclusive soil within, makes it unmovable.
A fairly horizontal/stable place is in my opinion all that you need to make it stand alone.
The problem you could encounter in winter is that the alternance of freeze and thaw could throw the soil, stones and perhaps plantlets out of the trough ( this doesn't happen here as the snowcover is generaly sufficiently deep to prevent it)

I have another "trough" ( not hand made, 1 meter high, and very thin, of which I might post some photos next time). This one wouldn't stand alone in winter even if the soil is horizontal. It has to be placed against something stable.
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2012, 09:14:35 PM »
JUNE 2012, SECOND HALF

We are now in the middle of the best 3 weeks of the garden with lots of flowers everywhere in the beds.

Mouse ( and secondary slug)  invasions go on as never, and it's now almost a daily fight to prevent vulnerable plants to disappear from one day to another or precious seeds to be eaten before fully ripening. Still waiting for some natural predators to come and begin to regulate a little the wildly expanding populations, and eventually a weasel was seen nesting in a bed full of holes a few days ago. There might also be a fox marauding in the garden by night, but more of both would be needed to really improve the things!

As this wasn't already sufficient, a kind of water vole or whatever it is was seen on several occasions in the ponds, so that we can also fear for waterside plants now, especially in the asiatic part of the garden...
Aphids begin to appear in great colonies, and it just looks like it won't be a good gardening year at all.

I don't know if climatic change is to blame for those plagues, but it's probably one of the worst years we had for a long time.

Another plague well known in the scotish Highlands:



It's midge time in Haut-Chitelet!
They have come as every year around mid-June, and will stay with us untill early August. I suspect the Vosges above 1000 meters are the only place in France where those midges feel at home, as they enjoy cool/wet summer.
Even if not as worse as in NW Scotland, weeding the beds early in the morning is quite difficult those last days and sometimes turns to nerve-proof.
Only warmth or winds would take them away successfully, we have alternatively a little of both since a week, phew!

------------------

Plenty of flower pics this time, as I was too lazy all those last 15 days to make a regular preparation of text for the last June update, being obliged now to write everything at once on this evening, running out of time of course...

Let's go to the southern hemisphere now



A big problem for rock gardeners is that place often becomes too short. Our southern hemisphere bed is a bit small now, but fortunately, we have most of the time grass/lawn zones near the beds in the garden, which can be used to enlarge cultivation beds.



An idea of the result once the larger rocks and some scree have been placed ( seen from below this time). The pic doesn't show very well, but this new bed was designed to make the plantation of privileged guests
possible: there are places at the base of the bigger rocks with less sun during afternoon and moister soil because of lower position.
Calceolaria uniflora, only in propagation bed for the moment will surely find a place in this new bed later, as C.polyrhiza, also only in the propagation area presently. Both are assiduously hand pollinated, as it seems no insect here is able to do it ( observation from last year)



Calceolaria polyrhiza



Calceolaria tenella
Already planted in the old bed, and having found its place, as it runs freely along the north facing rocks, giving a delightful sight at flowering time.



Epilobium crassum feels at home too, seeding itself around in the bed.without becoming a nuisance. Obviously not very long living though, but it's always a pleasant surprise to see it appearing where the seeds have decided to germinate.



Felicia rosulata, from South Africa.



Myosotis decora from New Zealand
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2012, 09:15:58 PM »
Direction Himalaya and Asia.

Meconopsis are still making the show in the himalayan bed, now mostly M.betonicifolia/baileyi, and partly grandis.
The suprising little M.aculeata just below is finished with flowers. Flower colour is not the best, but the very prostrate habit makes it an interesting plant. Monocarpic of course, so maybe the seeds will give similar looking plants in the next generation.



Meconopsis aculeata



Meconopsis betonicifolia together with Primula sikkimensis and Euphorbia griffithii



Meconopsis grandis, with more cup shaped flowers, this one having them almost all single on a stem



Meconopsis punicea.
Lot of cultivation improvements to make: it had only one flower, very few leaves, which are turning yellow already now. A second flower bud might come, still nesting among the leaves near ground level, but it looks like it is going to abort, as it doesn't seem to develop further anymore. Hand pollination was made, hoping some precious seeds would result of it.
2 other better looking plants have been placed at other places in the bed, which will very probably not flower untill next year.



Primula alpicola var.alba



Primula waltoni.
Both primulas needing hand pollination and isolation too, to prevent too much unwished breeding and keep the species as pure as possible.



Incarvillea compacta



Primula japonica

NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2012, 09:16:56 PM »
A little jump to Europe, with Campanula cenisia which has managed to flower this year. It is grown in a plastic pot in the propagation area, beeing much too small and fragile to get in the Alps bed now. With just a few flowers, there was no great possibility to pollinate it, as it seems that stamens and stigma don't ripen at the same time.





Dianthus alpinus



One of the Papaver alpinum group



Paradisia liliastrum



Saponaria lutea

NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2012, 09:18:07 PM »
Some plants from North America



Cypripedium reginae, tried for the first year here, given to us as an adult flowering plant by a rock gardener.



Erigeron aureus, probably the better known hybrid 'Canary bird'



Eriogonum ovalifolium ( var depressum or nivale).
It stayed too long in the propagation bed, and is now occupying quite a beautiful place. Probably to late to get it out from here for a plantation in the north american bed. I don't know if such a large grown plant would tolerate to be transplanted...I took some cuttings recently, waiting them to root.



Lewisia pygmaea ssp.longipetala


------------------------------

Unsorted now



Carduncellus rhapontica from the marocan Atlas.



Iris lutescens from southern Europe



Lilium monadelphum



Pollination tent over Saxifraga longifolia, the last true plant in the garden, which has eventually gotten to flowering stage after numerous years. As it is notorious known for crossing (sadly too) freely with any other flowering Saxifraga from the section, such an installation is unavoidable.
The hybrids are often quite disappointing in my opinion. For me there is nothing better and more beautiful than a true Saxifraga longifolia producing year after year its single superb leaf rosette.
Even if dying after having flowered, I find it totally part of the pact somehow, and doubtlessly it is a really rewarding and irreplaceable plant.


-----------------

Just a quick meteorologic outlook for June 2012

Minima monthly mean temperature: 8.3°
Maxima monthly mean temperature: 15.5°C
Monthly mean temperature: 11.9°C
Total precipitation: 203 mm.
Lowest temperature: 0.5°C
Highest temperature: 23°C
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Maggi Young

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2012, 10:21:15 AM »
As always, Philippe, your report educates and enthuses us.
Your sory of the battles against pests is something all gardeners will sympathise with - but now we hear you have water voles to add to your problems - is there no end to these pests?
In spite of all this, you show us a great range of plants from around the world, well grown and making the garden of Haut-Chitelet a wonderful place.
Thank you!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2012, 12:19:10 PM »
The different pests are encouraged I think through the multiplication of warm and dry springs or autumns even here on 1200 meters.
Every year now, unvariably, we have at least one of the two seasons exceptionally dry or too warm. Sometimes both in the same year. I guess this gives thoses pests ideas of exploring new territories higher up, as it becomes easier for them to establish here, or to at least to try it occasionaly.

Last year, after an exceptional warm and dry early spring, we had wasp nests outside in some beds!!! In normal conditions, they would never have enough time to make that on such an altitude. And weather wouldn't allow it anyway.
They often try to nest, but always inside the shelter of the house during June, which leaves them normaly few time to build colonies before fall when weather would become - normaly - too cool for them ( mid/late august here).
It must probably go the same way with other insects/animals.

Although not a pest so far, we have blackbirds here since 5/6 years. Never heard any of them here before, they are however now numerous in the garden.

The best way is to wait for natural predators to come. Only the little time delay before their effective arrival makes the thing a bit anxious...And also the intervention of a bigger carnivore looking for his meal: I had to chafe badly this morning as I took my regular look to the propagation bed: series of fresh pricked out plants topsy turvy, making it hard now to recognize which plant belongs to which serie....A cat, recently seen, or the fox may have run after a mouse last night.
Well, from now on, the propagation bed will stay closed night and day :P
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

Philippe

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Re: Haut Chitelet Alpine Garden (France)
« Reply #74 on: July 17, 2012, 07:49:19 PM »
July 2012, first half

Looks like the summer is going to fail this year? We still didn't have more than 2/3 days of stable weather since summer beginning, and I even wonder if there was just one really cloudless day since early june.

The temperature didn't make it over 20°C in this first half of july, and rain falls at least every 2 days and the need for watering during late may is a very distant memory now.
All this is of course greatly appreciated by the plants, and the fresh temperatures help keeping the flowerings a bit longer.
We had quite a strong night-storm a few days ago, rather unusual with such a power in summer. A tree was thrown to the soil by the gales.

The rainy days are useful to continue the pricking out work, always more species filling the propagation bed under the garden. However I would say that the biggest part is already made. Some species are still germinating, and sooner germinated seedlings slowly grow on, not having reached a reasonnable size yet, but with August approaching, pricking out will anyway soon be over.

There should be now about 300 species in the bed, and probably 2/3 of them will be planted in the garden and actually thrive there successfully within the next 3/4 years.

Having supplementar working help during July and early August, big works are more than ever undertaken: a half bed in the W european Alps, a part of the Carpatians bed, new place should be made in the Himalaya for
the installation of Cremanthodium species, recquiring more particular growing conditions, total renewal of one of the old North american bed is on the list too, and I also really would like to be able to renew at least partly
the Mediterranean mountains'bed, which is quite big, but unfortunately totally unsuited now to new plantations ( too much old and bold plants, and badly impoverished/wrong soil for the new plantations waiting in the
propagation area).

Plenty of further ideas are as always in mind, but time and weather will tell if all that is possible.


Androsace lanuginosa


Asperula gussonii


Asperula sintenesii


Calceolaria arachnoidea


Calceolaria uniflora

The true one this time, as I had already listed a plant under this name in a former upload ( which was in reality most probably the hybrid 'Walter Shrimpton'). Although regularly hand pollinated in the last 15 days, it doesn't
look like seed is forming for the moment, as is the case for C.polyrhiza. Let's see what it will be.


Stone with portrait of Camille Brunotte, who contributed to create the first alpine garden near Col de la Schlucht in the early 20th.century, soon completely destroyed by the first world war.
Haut-Chitelet alpine garden was then built some 2/3 kms away from this first very ephemeral garden, more than fitfty years later, in collaboration with young french and german garden students, as a symbol to their
"grandfathers" for having destroyed the first garden 50 years earlier.


Campanula carpatica var.turbinata

A lovely campanula wild collected from the Carpatians, with disproportionaly huge flowers above short stems and small foliage


Codonopsis bhutanica.

As often with codonopsis, the plant itself doesn't look particularly good. This one creeps on the soils without any defined general form. In my opinion, it is even an untidy plant, as the flowers are quite small and insignificant.
Insignificant as long as one doesn't look closer, really closer. Only then their real beauty is to discover.


Drosera rotundifolia

Although native, this insectivorous plant doesnt' grow anymore in the peat bog in the garden. It was once drained during the first world war, to facilitate the installation of military camps, and is  now therrfore not wet
enough anymore to provide place and ideal growing conditions for this drosera. Blueberry and heaths tend to slowly close the environment, as do also spruces, and drosera wouldn't tolerate any kind of such
competition.
So for the moment we grow the drosera in a trough in the garden, and we take out the spruce young trees every 4/5 years in the peat bog to keep it the most open possible.
A project is running presently, consisting in blocking the numerous drains with cut spruce trunks to limit the continual water loss. With the hope that with more water, the growth of heath, blueberry, spruces will be little by little slowed down, or stopped, allowing one day perhaps the return of better conditions for insectivorous plants.
It will be a very long term project though and obvious results wouldn't be expected before many many years of course.


Gentiana purpurea

One of the tall european gentians, this one to find in the Alps and again in Norway. As G.burseri, lutea, punctata and pannonica are also cultivated in the garden, we get from time to tim various hybrids of all them, which turn to be interesting plant sometimes.
NE-France,Haut-Chitelet alpine garden,1200 m.asl
Rather cool/wet summer,reliable 4/5 months winter snow cover
Annual precip:200/250cm,3.5°C mean annual temp.

 


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