How to create a beautiful alpine garden

Spring is the ideal season to plant alpines, as there are many varieties available, and they have plenty of time to establish themselves before autumn and winter arrive.

Creating a rockery, or alpine garden can bring structure and added interest to your garden. Prepare an area of your garden with natural stones or slate to fully display these small but striking plants, or use a stone planter or trough if space is limited.

Choose your plants

Choose a mix of plants for your new alpine garden, to create year-round colour, selecting evergreen varieties with contrasting foliage for interest all year. Come and browse through our vast range of alpine plants, where you’ll find a wide range of colours and textures. These plants are perfect for filling gaps in your existing rockery, or for creating a new feature in your garden.

Choose a location

It is important to choose a suitable location to create your rock garden, in order for your new plants to thrive, as alpines enjoy a site with plenty of light and good drainage. Position your alpine garden away from overhanging trees and shrubs, and in a place where they will enjoy sun for the greater part of the day.

Decide on materials

A rockery can be a great way to use up unwanted rocks in your garden, especially as they will fit in well with the natural environment. If you need to source rocks and stones to provide structure to your alpine garden, then we do stock a wide variety of materials suitable for use. Choose a range of sizes for a more natural effect.

Prepare the site

Prepare your site carefully, clearing the area and removing all weeds. Lay a base of rubble which will help to stabilise your structure, provide support for any rocks, and provide good drainage for your alpine garden. Cover with landscape fabric to prevent the base layer from mixing with the compost and to keep future weeds under control.

Plan your design

Decide on the shape of your alpine garden before you start, and plan it out, starting with the largest rocks first. Position them so that they build to a peak, stabilising with smaller rocks, and layering with weed-free topsoil. Build up the shape using smaller rocks, and create spaces between them to fill with compost which will encourage your alpine plants to establish.

Plant your alpines

Prepare a mix of weed-free topsoil and horticultural grit, adding leaf mould if available. Fill up all the pockets you have created between the stones, ready for positioning your chosen selection of alpines. Place your plants around your alpine garden in their pots, so that you can easily alter their positions as you decide on your design. Then plant into place, firming each plant down.

Your alpine garden

Taking the care to prepare a rockery properly will enable your plants to thrive, and your alpine garden to establish successfully. Your plants will grow, and your alpine garden will change as time goes on, looking more and more natural as the years pass. Creating a naturalistic look for your alpine garden will help this attractive feature to fit in with the rest of your garden design.

Create a container alpine garden

If space is limited in your garden, then a beautiful alpine garden can be created simply in a stone feature trough. Take a look through our great range of outdoor planters which are ideal for this purpose. Ensure your trough has plenty of holes for drainage, and add a layer of gravel to allow water to seep away. Place a fabric layer on top of the gravel, and fill with the compost mix.

Complete your garden

Create a rocky landscape in your trough with small rocks, and add gravel or grit to complement your stones. This top-dressing will help to keep compost moist in summer and suppress any weeds. Plant your chosen alpines in place carefully, allowing each sufficient room to grow, and firming down. Position in a sunny spot in your garden for best results, and enjoy!

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