Alpine plants might appear like a niche club that requires specialized composts and horticultural expertise. Certainly, you’ll find a few specimens at botanical gardens, displayed as scaled-down versions of alpine landscapes in dedicated glasshouses.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy alpine plants in your garden. These small beauties are often tiny jewel-like blooms and have shiny, sometimes succulent, leaves. But don’t go thinking they are fragile – many are tough and hardy, originating in rocky and mountainous conditions, often at high altitudes and exposed sites with extreme temperatures and little water.
It’s these challenging growing conditions that make alpine plants a great choice for the garden. Alpines can be used to create unusual containers, soften edges or fill gaps in a raised bed or path, or to provide drought tolerance.
Not only are alpines considered to be some of the best plants for rockeries, many of them are also particularly good at growing in cracks in walls and paving and might even appear uninvited, if you’re lucky. You should also consider adding them to your wildlife area.
Once they are established, these small and sturdy stunners need little work to maintain – and will reward you with years of uplifting flowers and foliage.
By Camilla Phelps