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Alpines are a pretty, almost delicate range of plants, which are suitable for growing in the rock garden or do wonderfuly well in containers that can be placed in a sunny spot and provide added interest in your garden. They have a diverse range of flowers and foliage from Aubretia, Saxifrage and Phlox to the very attractive rosettes of the Sempervivum coming in shades of green, red and bronze.

Create a mini Alpine Garden

Alpines are slow-growing and extremely adaptable which enables them to be grown in different kinds of containers, such as stone or terracotta troughs or sinks. As long as these are to a minimum depth of 15cm (6") they can be used to create a mini alpine garden that's suitable for displaying in any sized plot. The one thing that alpines hate is being excessively wet around the roots in autumn and winter so adequate drainage is essential. As the container will get quite heavy it is sometimes advisable to put it near its permanent position straight away. Place a layer of broken crocks in the trough's base and add plenty of horticultural grit when planting or use John Innes no.3 instead. Then it's just a case of planting up the alpines in the trough and then adding a layer of grit or pebbles around each plant. This will stop slugs from attacking the plants and prevent moss & algae growing. Position your alpine container where it can be enjoyed in the garden such as on a patio or by your back door.