Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Long Live Alpines

Last year I overwintered all of my perlagoniums and plants subject to frost in the greenhouse.  I didn't venture into the greenhouse all over the winter and subsequently all of the plants (bar one) died.  Had I left them out to face the weather conditions they may have survived.  They probably died of thirst rather than the cold.

This year I have decided that I am not going to grow plants that need lots of TLC and I am not going to grow plants from seeds (apart from wildflower seeds that I will grow in pots).  Last year I spent so much time sowing seeds, pricking out and potting on that I don't want that kind of commitment for 2015.

Many years ago I successfully grew alpines in containers.  Unfortunately I left them behind when we moved house 18 years ago.   I never had any trouble with them with regards to pests and diseases and they really just looked after themselves.  With fond memories of those resilient plants at the forefront of my thoughts,  I went to the garden centre and picked out 3 alpine plants to pot up in a container.  I chose sedum cauticola lidakense which will have pink/red flowers in late summer, delosperma jewel of desert moonstone which will have white flowers with yellow centres in early to late summer and the hardy and reliable sempervivum otherwise known as houseleek.  I have planted them in multipurpose compost and mixed in some grit.  About a third of the way up I added a granular plant feed so hopefully apart from watering when the weather is exceptionally dry, they will take care of themselves. 

I really think that alpines are underrated and I am so pleased that I have renewed my interest in them.


  1. That's exactly the way to garden Simone, grow what suits you and your needs!
    V x

  2. They should survive all sorts of conditions, Simone:)

  3. My late father in law loved Alpines - he even joined the Alpine Society and went walking in Switzerland to see them in their natural habitat. He had some really tender ones that required a sheet of glass placed over them in the winter - the flowers were beautiful. Sadly my mum in law couldn't comit the same amount of time after he died and the ordinary plants choked them all after a while. I often wish now I had tried to save some of them. I hope they do well for you.

  4. I have alpines in an old sink. I put them under a perspex cover over winter to keep the worst of the rain off and hardly needed to water them at all. You couldn't want for a more trouble free set of plants.

  5. Lovely idea, Simone! Alpines are such lovely and easy plants to grow and enjoy. I have spent a lot of time in the past sowing seeds that didn't thrive...now I prefer to buy plug plants so they have a head start! Enjoy your garden, whatever you plant.....your photos of it are always a delight!
    Helen xox

  6. The cluster of plants in the top of the photo we call hens and chicks in America. I just bought a grouping of them last week. I couldn't resist. Yours look great in the pebbles.

  7. I like alpines look lovely in posts, I bet the splashes of colour will look wonderful.
    Lisa x

  8. Hope your garden brings you lots of joy this spring and summer, Simone. It's smart to make the right choices about what you will and won't grow instead of feeling like you SHOULD do this or that for whatever reason.

    Your succulent alpines look so sweet in their container.


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