Sempervivum

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

A very nice end product.  I hope you were wearing eye protection when making those chips!

And there is your labeled map here on the forum too...

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Looking good, Mark!  Perhaps that's what I should do with a couple of my less successful troughs?

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Interesting planting, Mark.
I once saw semps planted on old roof tiles hung on the wall! (The Norwegian name is "takløk" litterally "roof-onion"!)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Here is the object of my next semp planting, a rusty yet still functional old wheelbarrow.  While it has some cracks to provide a bit of drainage, I shall be drilling additional drainage holes. Still not sure of the landscape scenario and placement of this object d'art, but I'm working on it, and hope to find a location and get it planted in a week or so.  Will upload pics once planted.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

... And so easy to move if you ever decide to relocate ,,, to north central Alaska!  :D

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Sempervivum plantings can of course go hand in hand with other hardy Crassulaceae such as Orostachys.  Check out the following link for 10 photos of Orostachys species blooming in Peter George's garden in the fall.
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=373.msg4641#msg4641

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

My recently re-planted Sempervivum pittonii plants are hunkering down for winter, but suddenly changed color, now a blue-green color with red tips, rather nice.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

The rocks you have used are very similar to the rocks I just dug out here. I am going to make a new step and have to remove the old one made of all kind of stones and rocks. But that kind of "rubbish" is always useful.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

The small rocks or "gravel" is the same rock as the larger rocks, just smashed with a hammer to get the finer gravel as a top dressing (yes Rick, with eye protection).  I still haven't planted my "wheelbarrow planter" yet, but as I work to lift some sod and expand my gardens slightly, there's always lots more of this rock in the so-called soil here, and I save that rock for planters.  This semp is in the same large planter shown in my photos above.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Today I worked on a wheelbarrow sempervivum planter.  It will "live" in a hollowed out part of a hillside, the whole area to have sod removed (too difficult to mow the steep hillside) and the ground "sculpted" with paths and bermed planting beds.  The first step was to remove sod and excavate soil at the base of the hillside up to 1' (30 cm) deep or more, to lessen the incline somewhat.  The unexcavated edges around it will be broadened, and further rock features and plantings will soften the excavation.  A layer of gravel will eventually be laid around the wheelbarrow setting.

1-2  Sod removed, area excavated, excavated rocks temporarily tossed into wheelbarrow.  Wheelbarrow positioned.
      (note: additional drainage holes were drilled in the metal well of the wheelbarrow)

3-4  Wheelbarrow heaped with sand/loam mix.  The fun part, arrange native stone in pleasing formations and plant pockets.
      (note:  the planter is heavy, but still can be moved.  However, the intent is to leave it in place.)

5-10 Wheelbarrow is planted, and top-dressed with the same rock that was hand-crushed; our native rock crushes easily with a hammer, with eye-protection of course.  I like the fact when crushing the rock, one can purposely make various grades of chippings, large to small, and even some fine particles.  When planting this late in the season, the semps are mostly already hunkered down and ready for winter, and only showing green, so not overly showy at the moment.  Also, there are more pockets that need planting; I was running out of daylight.

When I place the rock, I like mixing rock sizes, and I try to create some noticeable height to the planter (see side view).  I also like to have some rocks extend out and over the planter edge.

There will be no labels in this planter, I created a map instead.  But I will also use a digital photo marked up with plant names as my guide.  Some of the semp plants are ones for which the labels either disappeared or wore off.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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