Pots set into the ground give the plants more protection from fluctuating temperatures. Plants from these pots will be set into an exhibition bed which, for some reason, hasn’t yet been constructed. I’ll have to talk to the staff about that.
This pot holds my rare mustard collection. Leavenworthia uniflora, Draba cuneifolia, and Draba reptans all thrive here. Three-fourths of the pot was filled with clay subsoil to mimic the typical soil in the shallow bedrock areas. Two inches of pulverized limestone went on top of the clay. The limestone came from my excavation for the water garden and is a close match for the gravely surface deposits in the barrens. Several years ago, I collected ripened seed and scattered it into the pot. The population has been self supporting since and produces loads of extra seed to scatter around different places.
The Potato Dandelions, Krigia dandelion, have again filled their pot. They grow in three inches of a sand-loam mix over a clay base. This pot was planted with seven tubers collected from the wild and now produces many hundreds of new tubers each year. I’ve had little success in creating a self sustaining population outside of the pot, primarily because everything with a mouth seems to enjoy eating Krigias.
One disadvantage of pot culture is the tendency of plants to grow to proportions that you would never find in the wild. This False Aloe, Agave virginica, is a single plant that has a dozen different tops. It’s a great seed producer, but it’s not a good example of what would be happening in more natural conditions.
Some Nodding Wild Onions, Allium cernuum, have sprung up in this pot of compost-sand mix. I had a few seeds last year, and stuck five or six into several different pots to see what would happen. These are the only plants that developed. Maybe they’ll do well enough to give me more seed to experiment with.