As we progress further into Spring it could be time to start thinking about your next garden project. Aprils plant of the month may be the perfect choice, Alpines are ideal for creating a rockery garden or providing some life to a gravelled area. These small but vibrant plants do particularly well in a sunny spot, with a well-drained soil.
If you have a smaller garden these could be your new best friends. By choosing a small slow growing variety you can create a garden in the most unusual places, using a container you can achieve a miniature garden on a balcony, patio or even your front doorstep. You can read more about how to create your own Alpine bowl below. If planting in a container be sure to add plenty or drainage holes as Alpines dislike being in a damp soil.
Some of our favourite varieties for April are the Saxifrage, Aubrieta, Pulsitlla, Alpine Campanula, Iberis and Lithodora. These will all provide you with an early flowering, colourful display and are featured in our plant of the month video you can watch at the bottom of this page.
We have created a step by step guide to creating your own Alpine bowl at home.
First you will need the following items;
-A pot of your choice.
-John Innes No.2 compost.
-Horticultural Coarse Grit.
-A selection of Alpines, we have chosen Arenaria to add height to the bowl, Phlox as it spreads nicely to provide coverage, Sempervivum, Saxifrage and Aubrieta which all provide a varied colour pallet and attractive spread.
If there is a large hole in the base of your pot, you can add a layer of rubble such as broken pot or large stones to make sure the grit doesn't fall through the hole while still providing adequate drainage for your alpines. Now you can then add in a layer of your coarse grit, this helps to ensure the Alpines will not be sat in damp soil.
We then added in a layer of 50% John Innes No.2 and 50% grit and mixed it together. Again this is done to aid drainage. You will want to fill your pot to just below the rim as shown in the picture.
Next you can add your plants, you may want to place them on top in their pots first to get an idea of the most attractive layout. Create a hole in your compost layer to the depth of the roots and add your plant. You can then secure the compost around it by gently pressing it down.
Once all your Alpines are planted you can then add a layer of grit over the surface of the compost, this will ensure nothing sits wet.
You now have your finished Alpine bowl. The plants will all grow and spread throughout the summer to create a lovely full mat. Water lightly over the hottest months and keep out of the heavy rain over winter, you can do this by placing them up against the wall of your house to shelter from the rain. Alpines are perennial so will return next year if cared for correctly.
We currently have offers running on our Alpine selection.
9cm pot - £2.49 each or 5 for £10
1L pot - £4.99 each or 3 for £12
All our alpines in both ranges are UK grown.