Friday, February 16, 2018

Hypertufa Containers: Creating and Planting an Alpine Trough Garden

I'm a fanatical gardener and spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to improve our outdoor living space. Unfortunately I have to do so on a budget.  Any techniques which look great and save cash on the ridiculously expensive heavy containers in the garden centres are perfect for me.

Hypertufa fits the bill.  Author Lori Chips has written a clear, concise, and beautifully photographed book on sourcing and creating weatherproof hardscaping for the garden.  The book contains instructions for choosing supplies, construction techniques, weathering containers and troubleshooting.

Roughly the first 25% of the content is given over to straight introduction to the material, tutorial for building and creating molds and working with hypertufa to create trough containers.

The next 25% covers soil mixes, garden siting, and other materials (real tufa stone, for example) for the alpine rock garden. This is a complete and well written guide to the special needs and cultivation requirements of alpine plants.

Another 20% is given over to plant selection and planting styles.  There are so many lovely pictures of different cultivars and a lot of surprising juxtaposition which I wouldn't have otherwise expected (scabiosa sitting happily with lewisia and sempervivums all jostling one another side by side).  One thing which struck me about most of the pictures in the book is how exuberantly healthy everything looks.  The plants don't just seem to be existing, they're clearly thriving.

There's a fair amount of general garden wisdom and experience as well as style and cultivation advice which can be applied to a lot of other situations than just the selection and building of an alpine or other rock garden. The author is clearly experienced and writes clearly and with humor and insight. 

The book also includes a good glossary, bibliography and links for further reading.  I love books which turn me on to other books.

This is an unusual book.  It's  DIY manual, a really solid book on choosing and growing alpines, a pretty darned good look at planting styles and a picture book inviting a closer look at some often misunderstood and maligned plants.

Beautifully written and high quality useful instruction.

Four and a half stars.
Available in ebook and paperback format, anticipated release date: 1st Aug, 2018.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

No comments:

Post a Comment