Hen and Chick Garden

slr8May 13, 2010

I have decided that with small children, I don't have a lot of time to garden. I built a very small rock garden in my front yard and have planted all sorts of things in it. But I don't have a chance to water so these plants would die. So this year, I plan to put solely hen and chicks in there as they are basically drought tolerant. I can water them as often as they need. So I was wondering if any of you have tried to do this...hen and chicks only garden. Does it look good when there are clumps of varying types of Hen and Chicks, or does it look silly? Do you have pictures of successful gardens so I can see how to do it properly? I have a few varieties, but to make it look good, how many types should a garden hold? Is there a plant that is often paired with Hen and Chicks?

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nutmeg4061(5b)

I came across your post purely by accident and it just so happens I was recently drooling over this awesome website. The pictures at the bottom of this page in the link look to be exactly what you are wanting to do. And these pictures are SO cool! They have an excellent reputation and looks like a two for one deal going on. Has anyone ever ordered from them? I`m seriously thinking about it myself!

Here is a link that might be useful: Display gardens at North Hills Nursery

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 6:41AM
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slr8

Was I ever excited when I saw someone had responded to my questions. Those gardens are just amazing, aren't they? I have been looking online for pictures and just couldn't really find any. So I am going to try to attach my pictures so you can see my little garden started. They have not had a chance to spread really yet at all. Only the ones on the right side of the garden were planted last year. All the others I have planted this year so whatever the container gave me, is what I have. I expect that in years to come, it will look as nice as the ones at the North Hills nursery. But the North Hill nursery have their gardens lifted with rocks and looks so nice! Maybe I can revamp it in a few years when I gather rocks from here and there. I might even start adding some of these kinds of ideas to my backyard so that before the perennials take over for the summer, there is something to look at. Thanks so much for sharing those pics. Ok, let's see if I can remember how to attach pics.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 1:23PM
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slr8

Here are some close-ups

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 1:27PM
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slr8

So now that you can see the pictures, does anyone have suggestions to make it even better. I did consider putting gravel in to make the burgundy ones pop, but I have a pesky cat that wants to use this garden (and many many areas of my backyard agh!) as his personal toilet so would gravel encourage him? I would think so. And then he would move the gravel around...agh! I also think as I find more varieties and as they multiply, I may want to make the garden bigger. But any other suggestions would be so appreciated as this is in my front yard and all the neighbours see it!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 1:34PM
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maggie_berry(z6CT)

Wow, I like your garden! I don't think it needs improvement!I would just let it grow. I like your combination of plants and stones and the differnet colors. Great!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:12PM
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nutmeg4061(5b)

Wow. You`ve collected a wonderful assortment of plants. Gorgeous. Wait until they fill in! (And please send pics then!)
I wouldn`t change a thing you`ve done.
I would however, make the bed larger!
Maybe add some dwarf conifers?
Great job!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:37AM
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slr8

Adding dwarf conifers? Good idea. I wonder how that would work. Where would I plant those when I get the chance to make the garden bigger? On the edges or stuck in a little? Does anyone have pics of there alpine/succulent gardens?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:46AM
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nutmeg4061(5b)

I`m afraid all I can give you is the IDEA of conifers, lol. I don`t have much knowledge on them, just thought it would be a wonderful, and beautiful low maintenance addition to your succulents.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:13PM
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Fleur(z5)

I'm doing a hen and chick garden this year too. I'm also using creeping sedums as fillers.

I bought a number of chicken-shaped planters and chicken-shaped wire baskets (ebay mostly) to place there. I've planted them and named them...Little Red Hen, Chicken Little, Mother Hen, Funky Chicken, Chicken in a Basket,etc. I'm still working on Chicken Pot Pie, in a pie tin...and Nest Egg, a living wreath-type wire chicken nesting in a white cement "eggshell". I'll also have H&C filled strawberry planters to put in the chicken yard. I'm having fun.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 9:55AM
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haxuan(Vietnam)

Hi, your succulent garden looks great, I really like it.

I started a succulent garden last year and planted different kinds of plants. But I think the idea of only "hens and chicks" is wonderful.

Here's some photos of my garden to share with you.

Xuan

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

Stunning garden, Xuan! Very beautiful!
Mike

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 8:32PM
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haxuan(Vietnam)

Thanks, Mike.

Xuan

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 10:49AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Here's one of mine.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 2:05AM
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melikesthepeculiar(7)

botann, that looks great. I really like those rocks.

Here are a few closeup pics of some succulents in my garden



    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:58AM
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haxuan(Vietnam)

Beautiful garden and plants. Really gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

Xuan

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:45AM
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miniquilts

Wow I love the idea of a garden with only hens and chicks :) I have a pretty red/cream variety if you would like a few babies just drop me a e-mail.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 6:22AM
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dizadncr

My friend and I just ordered the 36 sempervivum collection from North Hills Nursery! I'm so excited! Can't wait until Saturday to plant them all! Thanks for mentioning the N.H. Nursery website on here.

Do most of you use Al's Gritty Mix for your semps? I don't have all the ingredients but I do have Turface,sand,gypsum,perlite,bark,etc....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 12:55AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

You might also want to check out Squaw Mountain.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squaw Mountain Gardens

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:01AM
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dizadncr

Thanks Brandon. We did check out Squaw Mountain before we ordered (and we're in Oregon, so it was almost "local"!), but we're very happy with our purchase from North Hills Nursery (have you check them out?). And now they're all planted in Al's Gritty Mix and looking very happy indeed!

P.S. I wish this forum was more active!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:16AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Using Hen and Chicks and Sedums together works because they are, for the most part, the same size or scale. Most don't 'eat up' the rocks so you can't see them.
I plant a lot of Sedums, Echeverias, and moss in old Hibachis. The sedums color up real well when they are allowed to dry out before watering.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:37PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

dizadncr, I'm doing my best to help this Forum to be active.
lol
Another plant I like to use with Sedums and rocks is dwarf Armeria.
The white Sedums turn red when experiencing water stress and in the sun. It has to be gradual, rather than sudden.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:54PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

haxuan, I love your succulent garden. Very well done.

Here's a Hen and Chick variety of Echeveria called 'Arachnoides', because it looks like a spiderweb.
Note the little tree frog.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:44AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I put some sedums and saxifrages on this little bridge. I put a liner down and then nothing but wood chips on top of that.
Seems to work well in partial shade.

Mike

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 11:45PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

What a great idea, Mike. And that Echeveria 'Arachnoides' is awesome.

tj

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Fleur(z5)

All those pictures are indeed awesome. My planted area is still sparce but I managed to fix that.

I'm a believer in the theory that gardening should be fun. To that belief, when I started my hen and chicken garden last year, I endeavored to create something that would be unique. Hence, I created small displays to depict various chicken associated expressions. So far, the plants haven't filled out much. It's a big area. You can see some pictures of it at the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fun with hens and chicks

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 6:31AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

You can always go to a larger scale like I did here and plant sedums and Echeverias between the rocks. Paying attention to scale is the important part. Positioning the rocks so they appear to 'belong' is also important.
I call this area my giant bonsai, miniature old growth, sub-alpine forest on a windy, rocky ridge.

A friend and I put all these rocks in place by hand just using a couple of steel bars a two shovels. I haven't added small plants yet. When I do, they will be of the smallest variety. I don't want them covering up the rocks too much.
The moss was started by putting soil on the rocks and then firmly placing moss on the soil. Our Fall and Winter rains did the rest.


Not done yet. Some tweaking is in order. Isn't that just about always the case?
Mike

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 7:41AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Impressive !!!

Rick

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:49PM
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oregonplantnut(8a)

Hi Everyone, if you all are looking for a top dressing for your rock garden try the unmedicated chicken grit. It is very inexpensive to use and makes a great rocky covering. I use it all the time and love it. You can get it at most feed stores since it is used for chicken. Remember not to get the medicated kind as it is pink in color.
Enjoy.
Also! a great site to check out is www.wildgingerfarm.com

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:56PM
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