If you are looking for some early spring colour after the snow and frosts subside, an assortment of Alpine plants make a great addition to any border, rockery or window box. They are resilient hardy plants and come back year after year. Some will spread like a carpet and make great ground cover.
Alpines are low maintenance plants and are easy to grow, they like the sun and well-drained soil, which makes them perfect for rockeries, rock gardens and raised wall borders. Once established you can pretty much forget about them. When planting use a soil-based compost like John Innes No.3 and add grit to help with drainage.
Popular varieties that grow well in Hertfordshire and the south-east include-
- Aubretia which come in more than 20 varieties and colours (blue/ purple & white)
- Dianthus- Carnation like stems and flowers, come in many different varieties and colours (pink & purple)
- Sempervivium- Are semi-arid plants, tolerating extreme temperatures and drought, they are also hardy. They have triangular shaped leaves which grow in a circle creating rosette looking clusters. They send out a long antennae looking flower, usually once they are over a year old.