We’re going wild for alpines this year at Greenland! Ruggedly hardy, alpines are dwarf and miniature perennials that grow in high elevation mountain areas. Because they have adapted to such a harsh climate, they are among the toughest choices for our own harsh gardening conditions. Their stunning early spring color, interesting and varied textures, extreme winter hardiness, and ability to withstand summer drought combine to make alpines a no-brainer for any garden.
Alpine gardening has sparked the interest of many a passionate gardener, and alpine gardening societies all over the world have formed to encourage the evolution and growth of the hobby. Alpine gardeners create stunning landscapes formed out of rock and gravel that imitate the mountain habitat the plants come from. Anyone that becomes involved in this branch of gardening quickly finds it exceedingly addictive!
If you are interested in learning more about alpines, be sure to phone 780-467-7557 to register for our All about Alpines class, instructed by 630 CHED Garden Show host and seasoned alpine expert Bob Stadnyk! The class will be held on Tuesday, May 13th at 7pm.
Here are a few of our top picks for alpines, available now at Greenland:
Pheasant’s Eye (Adonis vernalis)
Clumps of feathery, bright green foliage are topped with large yellow, buttercup-like blooms in early spring. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun; extremely hardy. Ht: 8-12 inches Sp: 12 inches Zone 3
Rock Jasmine (Androsace sempervivoides)
Forms a neat mat of succulent leaves in tight clusters that resemble hens and chicks. Bright pink flowers appear on short stems in spring. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Ht: 2 inches Sp: 12 inches Zone 3
Ice Plant (Delosperma basuticum)
The hardiest of the ice plants, this is a lovely succulent with clusters of green foliage and masses of bright yellow flowers with a white eye in spring. Must have sharply drained soil in full sun. Ht: 2 inches Sp: 6-8 inches Zone 3
Cushion Pinks (Dianthus simulans)
Tight cushions of blue-green foliage are covered in bright pink flowers in late spring. A must-have! Requires well-drained soil and full sun.
Ht: 2 inches Sp: 6-12 inches Zone 2
Trumpet Gentian (Gentiana acaulis)
The quintessential alpine plant. Mats of glossy green foliage are hidden by very large, sky-blue flowers with a yellow, green-spotted throat in late spring. Our plants prefer moist, well-drained soil and appreciate lime. Sun to part shade.
Ht: 4-6 inches Sp: 12 inches Zone 3
‘Crackerjack’ Douglas’ Phlox (Phlox douglasii ‘Crackerjack’)
There are many excellent varieties of Douglas’ phlox; this is just one of them. It forms a mat of needle-like foliage that is completely covered with deep reddish-pink flowers in spring. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
Ht: 2 inches Sp: 12 inches Zone 2
‘Dianna’ Alpine Primrose (Primula hirsuta ‘Dianna’)
A choice plant with tightly clustered rosettes of toothed leaves and umbels of red flowers in spring. Prefers cool, moist, well-drained soil in part shade.
Ht: 6 inches Sp: 6 inches Zone 3
Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga x arendsii cultivars)
There are several different varieties available, which have pink, white, or red flowers on short stems, and dense, bright green, mossy foliage. Likes moist, well-drained soil and sun to part shade.
Ht: 3-4 inches Sp: 8-12 inches Zone 3