Now is a good time for alpines, probably coming up to their peak flowering time in spring and early summer.
I have a ‘scree’ area, where I’ve dug in masses of pea shingle to give a well-drained soil, and it seems reasonably successful for the fairly easy alpines that I grow (I’m just a beginner with alpines, but I do adore them!) This area is just outside the lounge window, so when it’s cold and wet, I can enjoy them from indoors! Our tame blackbird, Mrs B, is never far away when I’m in the garden (I think SHE thinks she’s a Robin!) She’s been around for the last 3 years, so really has got quite bold, even popping in to see what’s on telly – if I forget to shut the door!
Veronica cinerea is a fantastic bright blue, with silvery foliage. A bit scruffy really, and looks awful in a pot, but it’s happy and easy here, as is Geranium Pink Delight, which will have a long season of flower ahead!
Aethionema Warley Rose is smothered in flower at this time, as is Iberis sempervirens Snowflake and Androsace sarmentosa watkinsii.
Elsewhere there’s a small area of double wall filled with a very gritty mix, and very well drained, (wish I had more walls like that, things grow well in there!), and there’s a rather embarrassing rockery-type arrangement, which I have to live with(!) but some things grow very well in it, like this Dryas suendermannii and Androsace studiosorum Salmon’s Variety.
Arabis alpina subsp caucasica Flore Pleno also enjoys tumbling over the ‘rock’. It often flowers again later in the summer, but it flowers for quite a while anyway, being double.
Well, there’s some of the things I grow in my ‘well-drained, sunny areas’, all of them easy once you make the soil really gritty and free-draining – even though I start off with quite a sticky clay. I’m in the throes of making another area for plants like this – more next time!