Alpine plants grow in hostile environments, where they may be covered by snow for much of the year. They also have to contend with high levels of ultraviolet light, and poor soils. In response to these harsh conditions they produce a mass of small flowers to attract pollinators, and will also produce seed during a very short growing season, which creates a spectacular floral display in spring. The familiar European edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) and pasque flower, Pulsatilla vulgaris, grow alongside Gilia aggregata from North America, Asian Aethionema grandiflorum, and Fuchsia procumbens from New Zealand.
A small Sandstone Rock Garden sits alongside the Limestone Rock Garden, and this allows us to grow shade and moisture loving alpine plants. Here in spring the native dog’s tooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) blooms alongside Trillium grandiflorum and the ericaceous Rhododendron ‘Cilpinense’. Prunus serrulata ‘Alboplena’ creates an impressive backdrop in spring, while the adjacent stepping stones add further interest.