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Rock and Alpine Gardening

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The trough book, Creating and Planting Garden Troughs, by Joyce Fingerut and Rex Murfitt, is a rock gardening classic. It came out in 1999 and won a "Book of the Year 2000" award from the American Horticultural Society.  We have a new book by Rex Murfitt, just published in 2005, which will take guide you through creating an alpine garden and selecting plants. Take a look at the picture and information at the bottom of this page.

$23.00. CREATING AND PLANTING GARDEN TROUGHS, by Joyce Fingerut and Rex Murfitt. Photos by Jane Grushow. Paperback edition, 2011, 7 x 10 inches. 168 pages, index, resource list, bibliography. The complete guide to making lighter-weight, weatherproof garden troughs of hypertufa, and planting them. Winner, American Horticultural Society Book Award 2000.

Troughs, those elegant antique stone containers treasured by alpine gardeners, can be made at home with lightweight concrete-based hypertufa, formed with simple molds. Like stone, hypertufa troughs are weatherproof, combine well with landscape materials, and make the perfect environment for evocative miniature gardens. Each trough can have its own microenvironment with the perfect size, soil type, rock forms, mulch, and siting for the desired plants. Sedums and succulents, alpines and dwarf evergreens are some of the plants to showcase in trough gardens. Authors Joyce Fingerut, in demand for her trough-building workshops, and Rex Murfitt, alpine gardening authority, present information on making and planting successful troughs in a readable, thorough manner. This book includes hundreds of helpful photographs and drawings, a plant section, sample planting plans, resource lists, bibliography, subject index, and plant index. Superb worldwide reviews. B. B. Mackey Books, Publisher.

This book was updated and re-released in paperback in 2011.

Click the "Buy Now" purchase button below the book image to buy it at the introductory price of $21 USD postpaid to USA and Canadian addresses.



Viveka Neveln, in The American Gardener, September/October 2005

If you are interested in learning to grow alpines well in a small rock garden or containers, this book is for you.?


Malcolm McGregor in The Rock Garden, July 2005

...Rex is a disciple of "natural rock gardening" as is evidenced in his citing of Symons-Jeune's book as well as in his discussions about building rock gardens. His whole approach is based around the idea that there is no better way of learning about rocks and rock gardens than by looking at rocks and alpine plants in the wild. Spend timelooking at rock outcrops, observe the way in which your site functions- how and when the sun falls on particular area and so on.?

Although the experienced gardener would find interest in this it is clearly to the person starting out that this book is most likely to appeal. And they could do a whole lot worse! It's rather like having an experienced gardener showing you the ropes, pointing out things which once stated may be obvious, but which are so easily overlooked. But I think there is more pleasure in it than that, in the wealth of knowledge and the years of experience and the wry voice with which these are deployed.

Melody Clarkson in Rock Garden Quarterly, Summer 2005

Where to begin? This question applies both to building a rock garden and to reading Rex Murfitt's all-inclusive book, Creating and Planting Alpine Gardens. Just scanning the chapters suggests that the rock garden enthusuast look no further to answer that question: Begin with Murfitt's first chapter. The enthusuast who already has planted a rock garden might begin with his chapters on the nature of soils or on growing alpines under glass. I found I could jump in anywhere and peruse a topic of interest quite satisfactorily.  ...  The amount of thought and the inclusion of every possible aspect of rock gardening that has gone into Creating and Planting Alpine Gardens certainly reflect the successes and failures of the author's own alpine gardening. He shares photos in black and white to illustrate text as well as some color plates of a few tantalizing plants?none more striking to the alpine gardener than Sempervivum octopodes, stretched out in contentment on the cover, directing those wishing to grow alpine plants onto the gravelly path of success.


James Cox in Midwest Book Review's  Internet Bookwatch Vol. 15, No.

3, March 2005

Award-winning rock gardener Rex Murfitt presents Creating And Planting Alpine Gardens: How To Build Small Rock Gardens And Work With Alpine Plants, a guide to the challenges and rewards of raising alpine plants, especially in lowland climates. Alpine plants evolved on high, windy sites and do not adapt well to hot summers or moist soil. To survive, they need top-quality drainage, good light, protected rock crevices, and gritty soil. Able to thrive in limited growing space, they can be raised in rock gardens, raised beds, containers, or other variations; Creating And Planting Alpine Gardens walks the reader through the details of what preparations to make, and what pitfalls to watch out for. Black-and-white photographs with some sections of inset color photographs illustrate this hands-on, easy-to-use guide for gardeners at all levels of experience.

Madeline Caliendo in Washington Gardener, May/June 2005

...Through this 284-page guide, Murfitt walks us step-by-step through the process of building an alpine rock garden in small spaces. Rock gardening enthusiasts and alpine plant lovers will certainly enjoy this book. So too will those who garden in small spaces, those who prefer more naturalistic landscapes, and those who cannot do "traditional" gardening due to mobility limitations. Murfitt demonstrates that rock gardening with alpines particularly in small spaces can be just as satisfying as "traditional" gardening and a lot less taxing on one's back and other body parts. ... So go ahead, try lowland rock gardening with alpines. Murfitt tells you everything you need to know to succeed.

Connie Krochmal in www.Bellaonline , July 2005

?There's a delightful new guide by award winning author Rex Murfitt. It will help you create small rock gardens and grow alpines successfully. Now, Murfitt has written Creating and Planting Alpine Gardens. This was also published by B.B. Mackey Books. An alpine garden should blend into the landscape and look natural regardless of its size. This will be the result if readers use the author's time-tested tips on choosing and arranging rocks, and building rock gardens and beds. This title will be especially useful to novice gardens who are considering adding a rock garden to their landscape. More experienced rock gardeners and alpine plant enthusiasts are in for a treat as well.

CREATING AND PLANTING ALPINE GARDENS:  How to Build Small Rock Gardens and Work with Alpine Plants, by Rex Murfitt. It is a 2006 winner of an Award of Merit for book writing from the Garden Writers Creating and Planting Alpine GardensAssociation. The price is $22.50 for this 276-page illustrated paperback.
It is a
wonderful guide to making gardens using alpine plants.Chapters include information on alpine gardening: building rock gardens; making raised beds; soil and topdressing, alpine plants in containers, rock gardens under glass, plant talk, and entries describing the most suitable alpine plants. Rex Mufitt (co-author of Creating and Planting Garden Troughs) has been growing alpines and writing about them for years. In 2003 he was given the Carleton R. Worth Award by the North American Rock Garden Society for distinguished writing about rock gardening and rock plants. Having trained in England with masters of alpine gardening, he passes on classic information and technique in a most enjoyable and informative style.

To purchase Creating and Planting Alpine Gardens, the new book, from B. B. Mackey Books, click on its image. For further information, email bbmackey@prodigy.net .