How to create a rock or alpine garden


ALTHOUGH ALPINE OR ROCK PLANTS - are defined as  plants that grow in an alpine climate which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line; as we know them an alpine is a reasonably hardy perennial which has a compact habit but does not necessarily have to come from high altitudes. They are colourful, versatile and adaptable and although many people seem to think they are quite difficult to grow they are in fact quite easy.

Here at Larch Cottage we have a  wide selection as well as many dwarf conifers and shrubs which lend themselves to the type of planting.  Back in style in a big way, rock gardens fit those with limited time for gardening but want a year round focal point in their garden.

TO CREATE YOUR ROCK GARDEN: Clear and level your site, adding a layer of rubble or bricks to provide good drainage and to give shape. A good idea is to cover the bricks with a layer of old upturned turf which will prevent any planting soil from falling down the cracks.

Cover with a good layer (about 9 inches of garden soil) whichever rocks you choose make sure you lay them with care, always referring to your proposed planting layout Make sure that each stone/rock is firmly placed and infill between as well as packing soil underneath to help with stability. Alpines or rock plants need a free draining soil so use equal parts compost mixed with sharp sand or grit. Spread the compost over the area levelling with a rake as you go along.

Keep the plants in the pots and place onto the rockery taking into account eventual height and spread, when you are satisfied with the layout remove each plant from  the pot, loosening the  roots and plant level with the surface, gently firming in. At this stage apply a top dressing of  good quality fertiliser and brush off any loose soil from the rocks. Water plants in well

To see the full list of all rock/alpine plants that we have available please click here or to find out more visit the website of The Alpine Garden Society
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