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Renfrewshire, Scotland Sco

I am thinking of putting a few alpines into a large, bulb bowl. The bowl is quite shallow and wide - around 600mm. So I reckon that can get 3 alpines in this.

I think that the best things to put in it will be low growing, spreading plants. Saxifraga is likely to be one of them, but can I have suggestions for the others. Preferably not higher than 10cm, but spreading enough to eventually cover the bowl between the 3 plants.




Firstly, I trust that the bowl has drainage? I would tend to plant the bowl up with just the one genus and saxifrages would be a great idea. Otherwise Sempervivums and Sedums would make an interesting display. Completely different could be some of the small Campanulas.

8 Apr, 2018


Yes it does, Bulbaholic. Thanks for the advice. I was thinking that campanulas could get quite tall.

8 Apr, 2018


Hi Somharlie. Its tough to decide when you can only have three isn’t it? I have a Sedum pachyclados which is evergreen with very pretty neat rosettes and flowers early autumn, which I love. And how about a miniature Hosta..Frosted Mouse Ears is gorgeous. Then you’ll have interest for most of the year.

8 Apr, 2018


You might even squeeze a little Hepatica in for early spring!

8 Apr, 2018


Thanks, Cottagekarer. It is difficult. I actually had a lovely sedum in my back garden but am sure that it died off last year. I cannot remember seeing it recently. It was in a patch that was probably too wet for it. It produces lovely flowers of lilac and yellow, I think. But those may be an idea for the pot.

I had not heard of Hepatica but had a wee look online and those are gorgeous little plants. Thank you for that.

8 Apr, 2018


You’re welcome! ? for more ideas, have a look at Bjs pages, or goypedia ‘Alpines’. Just click on A at the bottom of any page. But Brian (Bjs) is a specialist in Alpines. You’ll see some beauties on his photos.

8 Apr, 2018


Some campanulas can be tall thugs, S, but others, much nicer, are very low growing.

8 Apr, 2018


Very true, I have a Campanula called G.F. Wilson that is very dainty. :)

9 Apr, 2018


I popped into the local garden centre yesterday and they have a decent selection of the most common alpines. Many saxifragas but no hepatica. I am wondering if it does not do well up here?

I'll see if I can find Bj's page. Oh, I found it. Thanks for that.

I thought I had enough gravel but have just discovered that I will need some of that too. Pest!

10 Apr, 2018


Hepaticas are woodland 'buttercups', sort of. They are lovely little plants and do very well indeed in Scotland, particularly in the west. They are still in flower now, for me, but are not a typical garden centre plant.

10 Apr, 2018


I did have a look for them but could not find them. It is a pity. Online I found them for around £10 plus £6 delivery. So, it didn't seem to make sense to buy a single plant.

However, I got a saxifraga, a Hutchinsia alpina, a sempervivum and an aubretia. I wasn't too keen on the aubretia but other forces were at work and made me buy it!

I'll see if I can stick a photo of the completed bowl in the top post.

10 Apr, 2018


The bowl looks nice, Somhairie. If you take a fancy to hepaticas you could look at the Japanese varieties, however, you would need to add a zero plus some more to the price you have!

10 Apr, 2018


Gasp! Really? I think I may stick with my cheapos! :)

10 Apr, 2018 Hepaticas then! It looks good Somhairlie. Alpines are easy to find in the big GC’s and I often buy them there too because they are so inexpensive. Some of them are very vigorous. Enjoy! Btw, I got my lovely little campanula in a GC, so its always worth a good root around those Alpine tables!

10 Apr, 2018

How do I say thanks?

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