Alpine Seating Area

I can categorically promise you that there is no greater feeling than finishing an upcycled project! Today we are going to let you in on some top secrets in how to customize an already upcycled garden feature. But just before we get started, in case you are reading this thinking “I don’t have any upcycled features? What are they?” Well… upcycling can be pretty much anything you have refurbished or brought to your garden that was once something else! Read on and we’ll explain a little more about that…

 

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Have you designed a decking area using old pieces of wood? Maybe you had an old barrel or a beautiful container that needed a lick of paint? A shed made from recycled pieces of wood? Or a seating area created from recycled pallets? BINGO! That’s what we did! Take a look at this amazing project, created by one of our team member’s talented mother! And if that impressed you – we have more surprises up our sleeve!

This incredible project involves planning, designing and creating a colourful, lively seating area made from alpines. It features a stunning selection of micro gravels, river stones and contrasting tones of hardy foliage for all year round! The seating project made from alpines is a perfect project for creative gardeners and miniature landscaping enthusiasts as it combines an artistic flare with small-scaled gardening. It also makes for a wonderful parent and child project for the weekends. Personal preference, the size of area and the materials available to you – all result in a one-off unique design (so you still get that great sense of achievement when it all comes together at the end!)

 

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We’re going to run through the basics of designing this upcycled project using alpines, together with a couple of handy tips to achieving successful growth and maintenance of your design. Read on and we’ll show you exactly how to replicate such an amazing look…

So here goes. We’re not gonna lie. Gardening, as you know, is nothing like baking. You can’t get away with bunging all the ingredients together and expecting it to come out satisfying! Designing this seating area from used pallets and colourful alpines takes a little bit of brain work – but we know you’re more than capable of it! So after measuring up we sourced some pressure treated decking pieces and coated them with Cupronol garden shades (Holly Colour) paint. We then drilled plenty of pilot holes before screwing in the three inch screws to secure the wood together for a firm base, cutting the caps for the end also.

 

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Now listen up… here’s what you need to know! Rule number one – alpines need maximum drainage! Drill holes at the bottom of your containers (one every 12” along) using a drill spade piece. You like that little tip? Good – cos we have another one for you! When filling your container with 50% John Innes number two and 50% horticultural grit and mixing well, you can enhance your drainage system further! Use broken terracotta pieces at the bottom of your container in a concave shape above your manmade holes. (This protects your drainage holes from getting blocked. Clever hey?!)

You can then mix, match and design to your heart’s content! Use a selection of semps which you can order directly here. We also chose Thymus Elfin, Sedum Coral Carpet, Sedum Cape Blanco and Sedum Purpureum for some real eye catching beauty. Try to obtain balance within your design. Plant symmetrical and with care to ensure you are combining a selection of colours that complement each other.

 

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Oh go one then… we’ll share another tip with you cos we’re good like that. Ensure all the soil mix is surrounding the roots and firm down the soil a little, leaving 1.5cm space at the top for your gravel and pebbles. Now give a good watering and allow to settle down, washing soil off all of the leaves. Here’s one last tip (you really owe us you know?!). Use your finishing elements – that’s those such as the river stones and gravel, to create ultimate contrast across your alpine beds. Eclipse Black, Mercury white and Lunar Silver gravel worked a superb treat for us! We mirrored the design to create a clean, crisp look with black polished river stones and grey river stones to add a little texture. Ever thought about adding some seashells to your design? Go for it!

 

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We hope you love the design as much as us! Remember to water the alpines about once a week  throughout the summer, but not so much in the winter. We all know how our alpines don’t like a soggy situation.

Oh…. And keep growing your ideas!

Ryan Forshaw

Ryan Forshaw

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