Tips and Steps to Have an Alpine Garden in Your Home

If you love gardening, alpine landscaping is a trend you can take advantage of. To highlight these spaces, you must give free rein to your imagination.
Tips and Steps to Have an Alpine Garden in Your Home

Last update: 24 September, 2022

Having an alpine garden in your home can brings a touch of beauty, elegance, and relaxation. These are spaces that convey the sense of peace that the mountains offer. This kind of landscaping is also a great hobby because you allow your imagination to unfold in order to design spectacular natural sceneries.

Alpine gardens include the cultivation of high mountain plants. The technique relies on the implementation of ornamental rocks and the use of uneven soils.

To build such an Eden, you just need planning and creativity. We’ll show you how to do it in this article.

What is an alpine garden?

An alpine garden involves the cultivation and arrangement of plants in a natural way that imitates their placement and growth on mountains. It’s a workmanship that involves cultivating flowers, shrubs, and trees and decorating with stones, wood, and other organic materials.

These types of gardens are also known as alpinum or alpinarium. The concept is provided by the type of vegetation and not on the physical location of the plantation. This means that you don’t strictly need a hilly climate to develop alpine planting and enjoy this type of garden.

Although the composition is, for the most part, of species native to mountainous environments, alpine gardens also allow for the addition of other types of plants. The alpine aspect is achieved by opting for specimens with small leaves and tiny flowers.

You can create this look in different terrains, even in those that are uneven or hilly. In fact, if you have acidic and rocky soils, then you have an ideal plot for the project. The style fits in wonderfully with areas with abrupt temperature changes.

Mountain plants for alpine gardens
You have to think of plants that are typical of mountainous regions. They will give a sense of the alpine style.

Types of plants that you can plant in an alpine garden

The usual plants in this gardening demand humid soils to thrive and withstand the dry seasons. It’s advisable to choose those that thrive in sunlight.

It’s most common to see mountain daisies, orchids, periwinkle, and fruit trees. Some of the preferred species are the following:

  • Wild roses: This flower, which belongs to the family Rosacea, is one of the most popular types in the world. There are hundreds of types with different looks, sizes, scents, and benefits.
  • Watercress: In addition to its decorative peculiarity, this plant is advantageous for human health. In fact, a publication of the Government of Mendoza states that watercress is rich in iron, iodine, and vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Spruce: This is the variation of an old term to refer to the Pinacea or Abies plant family. It includes more than 50 species that can reach a great height, from which cylindrical pine cones sprout as fruits.
  • Shrubs: These can be with berries or other fruits. They belong to the woody type and are distinguished by their ability to branch from the base. The height is determined by the type. Some reach up to three meters.
  • Ferns: These are ornamental and vascular seedless specimens which don’t require flowers to show off their beauty. Some of the preferred ones for exteriors are the culantrillos of Canada, the saw palmetto, and the female fern.

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Tips and steps to grow a home alpine garden

To perfect the look of alpine gardens, try to get pieces of concrete to frame the path of the plants. These should vary in size.

If you design a hillside, keep in mind that the steeper the slope, the faster the species at the top will dry out due to sunlight. If you create a waterfall or a stream, use low plants and let the water flow between them.

The decorative tone is related to the models of rocks incorporated into your alpinarium. You can place flat rocks, angle them like stairs, and even play with different colors.

The key is to place geotextile before the gravel and sand so as not to give rise to weeds and so that the stones don’t slip. There are multiple options for alpine landscaping, and all of them are very eye-catching:

  1. Work the soil beforehand. However, it’s not essential that it’s extremely rich in nutrients.
  2. Take advantage of the unevenness of the terrain, as it’s a common misconception that alpinariums require conventional types of soil.
  3. Integrate the plant composition with other elements, such as rocks that simulate a grotto. You can also create a hanging alpine garden.
  4. Visit nurseries or slopes to select plants. Consult a gardening expert for advice on both the choice of specimens and the design itself.

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How to care for alpine gardens

The maintenance of these gardens isn’t very different from the care required for traditional gardens. Even if you use a mesh to protect it from weeds, it’s essential to tend to the plants regularly to prevent the emergence of weeds. Gravel and crushed stone can also serve as a shield.

To water the flowers, use a hose that sprinkles the spray. If the line is thick, you could damage your plants. Similarly, make sure to bathe the vegetation in sections to give the water a chance to penetrate the soil without draining.

As for feeding alpine plants, it’s advisable to nourish them with fertilizers diluted in irrigation water. Consult a gardening expert regarding the ideal doses as well as the type of fertilizer, according to the flora planted.

watercress for an alpine garden
Watercress is a typical mountain plant that also has other uses. Its leaves can be used in gastronomy and even to make infusions.

Alpine gardens that can inspire you

If you’re interested in alpine landscaping, consider as sources of inspiration the proposals of famous gardens. The Royal Garden of Edinburgh recreates the style using a small river and several waterfalls. Also, the Jardin des Plantes in Paris houses more than 2000 plants from the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Himalayas, and North America.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.