Saturday, 12 November 2016

Sink Gardens - a salutary tale

Back in 2015 I created a sink garden in which to grow my favourite type of plant, alpines. I was pleased with the outcome and wrote a blog about it (27.3.2015); I delighted in the plants and how they performed but, I thought, there is room for a couple of extras.

For example there was no Campanula there, and one or two other species came to mind. Neat little specimens were for sale on Daventry market so I treated myself (tret myself, as Northamptonshire dialect has it) and popped them in.


The newcomers quickly settled in and began to produce new growth, and more new growth, and more...  Soon all my delicate alpines were overwhelmed and action was needed, so today I completely emptied the sink. Fortunately I was able to rescue three plants. I put them to one side and got to work, refilling the sink with a suitably gritty, free-draining compost. A few days earlier I had ordered some new plants and they went in.

In truth, a sink garden will require replanting from time to time but mine lasted only eighteen months.

What have I learned from this experience?

The refurbished sink garden. 11 November 2016

1. Stick to Plan A and not be tempted to tamper with an otherwise satisfactory set up.

2. Choose from plants known to perform well in a sink garden, preferably no more than about 80 mm high
3. Purchase from a reliable, ideally specialist, supplier.

Anyway, the damage has been rectified and I can look forward to spring. For the record the plants I have used are:

Draba rigida, var. imbricate
Calceolaria biflora
Androsace sempervivoides
Geranium cinerium 'Laurence Flatman'
Aquilegia canadensis
Saxifraga oppositifolia
Dianthus alpinus 'Joan's Blood'

My only misgiving is the Aquilegia. It is a beautiful plant - but will it become too large?

Time will tell.

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