Tips For Creating an Alpine Garden

Alpine gardens are all the rage, and can look wonderful and perform well even in areas far from the mountainous Alps. Here are some tips to help you create a beautiful and healthy alpine garden where you live:

Sunny alpinesChoose a Sunny & Sheltered Spot To Grow Alpines

Though alpine plants can cope with a lot, it is best to choose a sunny and sheltered spot in which to grow them. Though alpine plants grow high in the mountains and can cope with the cold, they will often tend to tuck themselves away out of the worst of the wind, so a sheltered spot is ideal if you want to see these plants at their best.

Alpine raised bedCreate Raised Beds/ Rockeries With Good Drainage

Once you have identified a good location for your alpine garden, it is time to think about creating your growing area or areas. Whether you go for a traditional rockery, or a more modern raised bed, good drainage is key. A base of rubble can help to create a substrate that allows water to flow away from plant roots, and will help to prevent waterlogging.

SaxifragePlant Up Your Alpine Garden in Early Spring

The best time of year to plant up an alpine garden is in the early spring. But it can be a good idea to choose and source plants before then, and make sure your growing areas are ready, so you will be able to get a good head start on the planting and begin as soon as spring weather arrives.

Plant Ideas for an Alpine Garden

IrisIn order to create a good alpine garden with year-round interest it is a good idea to include a few evergreens such as saxifrages and sempervivums. You should aim to include plenty of plants which create good ground cover, such as Raoulia australis and lewisia, but also plants which give some height. Dwarf shrubs such as salix boydii and forsythia viridissima can be good for giving structure to your alpine garden. But you should also include some delicate looking plants to break things up – consider spring bulbs such as dwarf iris, ipheion and dwarf frittilaria species. These are often sold flowering in pots in the spring, if you want an immediate effect.

Alpine gardenSpread Pea Gravel, Shale or Slate Around Alpine Plants

Once you have laid out your alpine plants, and planted them in their growing positions, you should surround the plants with pea gravel, shale or slate. This will further help with drainage but will also keep weeds under control and help deter slugs and snails from munching your plants.

These tips should help you find your way as you begin to create a beautiful alpine garden wherever you live.