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Buy alpines

Container planted with alpines in June

The attraction of buying alpines for your garden:

Alpines take up only a small space in your garden and that means you can have a quite a number of plants in:

  • a really small city courtyard,
  • window boxes,
  • containers,
  • a small bed by the front door,
  • a raised bed on the patio,
  • your pathways, (yes you can get ones that don’t mind being trodden on!), or
  • the front of your borders.
Container planted with alpines in June
Container planted with alpines in June

 

Guidelines for buying alpines regarding looking good all the year:

In your small space you need to buy alpines that together have interest the whole year round.

The first challenge is getting a few plants that look great through the winter time.
A good place to start is by looking at our evergreen plants – which means they won’t look totally dead in the winter!
So the first tip is to buy alpine plants that look good in the winter.

The second most difficult season is the autumn, so buy some alpines that look good then – our list of autumn flowering plants has a surprising number of alpines.

As far as alpines are concerned it is easy to find many that will flower in the spring, so buy the alpines that are on our spring flowering list.

That now only leaves the summer time, and again there are many alpines, so choose from our summer flowering list.

Guidelines for what alpines to buy regarding sizes:

If your planting space is really small, then consider buying alpines from our really compact 5cm wide to 20cm wide range.
It gets frustrating when you’ve planted your compact alpines and then you buy one that turns out to be a real thug and completely smothers the other alpines!

You may have a little more space and you could buy the alpines from our fairly compact 25cm wide to 30cm wide range.

Wooden raised bed with alpines and gravel
Wooden raised bed with alpines and gravel

 

When buying alpines remember to think about how much sunshine your area has:

Basically there are three different sites:

Guidelines for buying alpines regarding soil:

If you are planting alpines in a container, then you will need to buy a compost to fill it.
Avoid the compost that is full of very fine particles, or that is based on sedge peat, because the drainage will not be good and it can cause the roots to rot.
If you go for a peat based or other non-soil based compost it will dry out quickly, so buy some soil based compost to mix in with it.

If you are planting alpines in your garden, it is always good to incorporate some soil improver so that it improves the drainage and gives the soil some more organic matter.
If you have a clay soil then you will need to buy alpines from our plants for clay soils list.

So if you haven’t got massive plans for your entire garden, then you could concentrate on the little spaces nearest to your doorways, or pathways, or patio.
It’s amazing how much pleasure a few plants can bring to your life!

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Wide border in clay soil with a small wildlife pond

Deep flower border with pond

Here’s a colourful border in early summer with a small wildlife pond (in the centre of the photo).

The soil had a fair amount of clay in it and things like Thymes would not survive over winter, but as you can see from the list below, there are quite a number of alpines that cope with these conditions.

For a bigger picture see it at our Facebook page.

Deep flower border with pond

Why not have a go at creating a new flower border, or revamp an old one, in a similar style to this one?

So here is the list of the most obvious plants that make up this flower bed.
Firstly the foreground:

Next line back and the middle:

Background plants:

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How to make an alpine raised bed – VIDEO

Making a raised alpine bed

This short video (2 mins 20 secs) shows you how to create a raised rockery bed from scratch.

This video shows:

  • Nailing together some thick planks to make the raised bed.
  • Filling with soil.
  • Shaping the soil surface.
  • Splitting a rock and placing it to make the rockery.
  • Planting the alpines (rock plants).
  • Finishing with gravel.

If you want raised bed kits, please see the bottom of this page.

What plants to use in a small raised alpine rockery bed:

These plants would be suitable and wouldn’t take over:

Making a raised alpine bed
Making a raised alpine bed

Here are some kits for making raised beds:

Botanico Let’s Grow Wooden Raised Bed  [1]

Spear & Jackson 1250 x 185mm Raised Bed [1]

Wooden Raised Border For Flower Bed Or Vegetable & Herb Growing 1 Metre Square [1]

Wooden Raised Bed [1]

Selections GF9435 Veg Trough Large Wooden Raised Vegetable Bed Planter [1]

[1] These are Amazon affiliate links.
This means I will get a fraction of the cost if you purchase it.