Johnson’s Gardens is excited to offer these durable, relatively light-weight containers that truly look like the historic stone troughs beloved by rock gardeners of 100+ years ago. These stone-look pots are made of a material called Liconfiber, a cement-based composite material reinforced with fiberglass netting that is much lighter than traditional cast cement. It is rated as frost resistant to 0˚ F, but we still advocate bringing these planters in to a dry, protected location for the winter months.
We have Liconfiber stone-look containers in the traditional rectangular, square trough, and round “stone” bowls. Sizes range from 8” diameter to 21” length, and from 3” to 6” deep. They are ideal for low growing or trailing plants that prefer dry growing conditions (think succulents). If planted with higher water demanding plants we recommend using a water retention product such as Hydretain in your soil mix.
English Stone Trough Gardening
The British are determined gardeners. Give them a gardening challenge and they will rise to the occasion. Thus, the origins of stone trough gardening.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, British travelers began bringing home high mountain plants from their journeys to the European mountains. These petite specialty plants were adapted to fast draining soil and high-altitude weather conditions and did not fare well in the traditional English Garden. In order to provide the soil conditions that Alpine plants required, gardeners began growing them in containers in very well drained growing medium. Since these plants were found growing among rocks in their native habitat it was thought that they might thrive in stone containers. Stone containers were abundant at that time in England. In fact, they could be found on any farmstead being used as animal feed & water troughs. Carved of stone, these rustic elongated troughs planted with diminutive alpine flowers became the earliest miniature gardens.
Today’s gardeners can replicate the look of these historic stone trough gardens, thanks to the development of many small stature, easy-to-grow plants and – now – the availability of stone-look containers.
by Zannah Crowe