Harblin's Herb & Farm Gardens

hypertufa sign

Hypertufa is false rock. Tufa is a naturally-formed porous rock found around mineral springs. Tufa was carved and used in England for water troughs, and then in the mid-19th Century, for alpine plant containers. The tufa containers grew scarce, leading to the development of hypertufa. Hypertufa is a semiporous rock-like material that we form into pots and other shapes. Compared with natural rock it is lightweight but strong enough to withstand the freeze/thaw cycle of most northern climates. We use several recipes or blends suggested by the American Rock Garden Society.


Home and Landscape

Hypertufa is decorative and usable both in the garden and inside the house. Because it offers design flexibility, hypertufa can fit into your decor whether it features antiques or contemporary pieces.

tufa container/pothead

Herbs    Bonsai    Alpine

These natural looking containers are strikingly effective outside for everything from birdbaths to miniature garden to alpine plants like Erica or Calluna. Use inside for succulent plants and bonsai or as a hearth decoration or table centerpiece to hold colorful gourds.



by hand--no molds used

Arists Becky Harblin and Shirley Tramontana work individually and collaboratively to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are hand sculpted and carved into people, animals, fish, celestials, and shapes that stand alone or are worked into lanterns, containers, or statuary.



Because of its porous construction moss and lichen will grow on the hypertfa pieces as they will on any similar naturally-formed rock. This characteristic adds to its attractiveness and is part of each piece's design and destiny.

hypertufa bears


Care and Planting

Hypertufa containers have remained outside during Zone2-3 winters. However, for longest life, we recommend that you store your garden containers inside during the frigid months. If you chose to let them winter-over outside you may elevate them on bricks or rocks to permit better drainage.


soil mix for alpine plants

  • 30 parts peat moss
  • 2 parts lime
  • 1 part well-rounded fertizer
  • 1 part sand
  • 2 parts perlite

soil mix for rock plants

  • 6 parts of the alpine mix
  • 2 parts sand
  • 2 parts crushed pumise or perlite

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