Planting an Alpine Trough in May

Gardening in miniature introduces the rock plant family, a delightful group that includes diminutive bulbs, perennials, shrubs, conifers and alpines. Many flower profusely between spring and early summer, bearing the prettiest of petite flowers, often allied with handsome foliage. Rock plants have many attractions, but one in particular is their pintsized form which enables gardeners — especially those with plantaholic tendencies — to grow a large number of different species in a relatively confined space such as a small scree bed or stone trough. Rock plants vary in their requirements, ranging from undemanding, robust perennials such as aubretia, saxifrage and aurinia, to alpines that have specific dietary needs. With a little care, troughs offer an immensely satisfying way of growing plants whilst also creating landscapes in miniature.

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