Selection of plants for an alpine slide: examples of varieties + decor rules
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A rocky garden decorated with a flower garden is a fairly common element of many garden plots. The decorative appeal and ease of caring for the rock garden are the reason for the popularity of this element of landscape design. Rock plants for an alpine slide always visually enliven the stone composition, but at the same time retain the effect of a natural mountain landscape.
Basic rules for the selection of plants
It is not difficult to create a stone composition that will become a spectacular decoration of a suburban area. To do this, when choosing plants for a rocky garden, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
- When creating a composition, preference should be given to compact and stunted forms of plants that correspond to the proportional dimensions of the slide itself.
- The choice of plants should be carried out taking into account their resistance to local conditions: soil, climate.
- When choosing a place for rooting, it is important to take into account the plant's attitude to sunlight: sunny areas are for light-loving representatives of the plant world, shaded areas are for shade-tolerant ones.
- The intensity of the growth and tillering of certain species is an important point, the lack of which can lead to the death of neighbors of a plant that is rapidly increasing in mass.
- When creating compositions, it is important to take into account the characteristics of each of the plant inhabitants of the rock garden in order to avoid an unfavorable neighborhood. For example: very attractive and unpretentious to care for, yaskolka, soapwort, rezuha and aubrietta have a bad effect on their neighbors.
- It is advisable to plant a plant taking into account their common interests: they should be combined with each other not only in appearance, but in the similarity of growing conditions, growth and development rates, and flowering rhythm.
The material on choosing suitable stones for an alpine slide will also be useful: https://diz-cafe.com/dekor/kamni-dlya-alpijskoj-gorki.html
When choosing perennial flowers for landscaping an alpine slide, you should focus not only on the location of the rock garden on the site, but also on the general style of the composition
The most effective combination is given by combinations of herbaceous perennials with shrub and tree-like forms, decorated with variegated rugs of flowering creeping species and juicy green strokes of evergreen and decorative leafy species
Examples of decorative varieties
The ideal plants for a rocky garden are slow-growing woody and stunted plants. Conifers for an alpine slide provide a high decorative composition throughout the year.
In miniature stone compositions, creeping and dwarf forms of conifers look great: miniature Canadian spruce Conica, black pine Nana, scaly juniper Blue Carpet, thuja western Danica
Combining conifers with different crown shapes and needles in one composition, you can significantly enhance the picturesque effect.
You can learn how to properly arrange a composition of decorative conifers from the material: https://diz-cafe.com/ozelenenie/dekorativnye-xvojniki.html
Among the deciduous shrubs for the alpine slide, the clear favorites are the decorative forms of barberry, cotoneaster, chaenomeles, spirea
It is difficult to imagine a rock garden without flowers. Beautifully flowering perennials for an alpine slide allow you to give any garden a unique style and uniqueness. When creating compositions, the choice is not limited only to plants characteristic of the alpine terrain. In a rocky garden, representatives of the flora will also look appropriate, the main habitat of which is forests and the sea coast.
A bright decoration of a rock garden can be: Arends's saxifrage, subulate phlox, herbaceous edelweiss, alpine edelweiss, balearic gerbil, evergreen Iberis, Carpathian bell and many others.
We decorate the rock garden, taking into account the layering of the composition
The top of the alpine slide
The upper tier of a rocky garden is planted, as a rule, with drought-resistant and sun-loving plant species, since this area is most open to sunlight, but moisture in the soil layer is practically not retained. When decorating the top of the composition, ground cover plants are used.
You can learn more about the best ground cover perennial plants for the garden from the material: https://diz-cafe.com/ozelenenie/pochvopokrovnye-rasteniya-dlya-sada.html
Perennial carnation and eternally green Iberis can become a bright decoration of the top.
A fluffy carpet of Iberis will cover the top with snow-white flowers in May-June, pillow-like carnation bushes will delight with abundant flowering and a pleasant aroma throughout the summer
The sun-loving edelweiss growing on the slopes of inaccessible mountains can become the main decoration of the rock garden, and the lush purple rugs of creeping thyme will attract many bees and butterflies with the honey scent of flowers
Middle tier of a stone composition
Plants that prefer sunny areas, but at the same time easily tolerate light shading, can decorate the middle part of the rocky hill. At the middle level, the soil moisture is higher. This makes it possible to expand the range of plants for decoration with moisture-loving beauties.
In the days of May, the subulate phlox will sparkle with a riotous color of pink, blue and snow-white shades. An effective background for phlox can be a woolly chisel with pleasant to the touch silvery pubescent leaves
Noble silver shades also have three-veined anaphalis and Schmidt's wormwood.
Aubrietta is a versatile plant for landscaping, because in addition to gorgeous flowering in the summer months, it has decorative foliage, the richness of color and attractiveness of which remains throughout the year.
At the end of May, the blooming beauty will be taken over by the cultural beauty, pleasing the eye with lush streams of pale pink, rich crimson and dark purple flowers
Well suited for the middle tier and unpretentious in the care of the sunflower monotonous dwarf shrub. In sunny areas of the tier, you can place all kinds of stonecrops, which are formed into pretty pillow-like bushes, decorated with miniature flower stars in the summer months
If you choose among the names of flowers for an alpine slide, which feel comfortable in our latitudes, then the slopes of the slide can be decorated with all kinds of bulbous, various heucheras, dense armeria bushes, delicate alpine aster, primroses, primrose flowers, beautiful autumn flowering crocus.
Rock garden foot
At the foot, plants are planted that like to grow in rich, moisture-saturated soil and are not afraid of shading.
Color accents at the foot of the composition can be set using compact saxifrage bushes and spike-shaped Liatris flowers
The lower tier is also allocated for the placement of tree and shrub plants. Often on this part of the hill, group plantings of miniature dwarf conifers, rhododendrons are placed.
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Plants for an alpine slide
An alpine slide on a garden plot, created with your own hands, is a very bold and original solution, which not every amateur florist can do. Only a purposeful and persistent lover of nature and his personal plot will be able to put his plan into practice. This will require some knowledge of the plants growing in alpine meadows and their requirements for soil, moisture, lighting and air temperature. For example, at the very top of a slope, the soil will dry out very quickly and must be planted with drought tolerant plants. In a lowland, quite the opposite, the soil will remain moistened for a long time, and the plants on such a site need appropriate ones.
Before planting various vegetation on an alpine hill, experienced florists recommend drawing a sketch of the expected result. It is necessary to reflect not only the number and types of plants, but also to plan a natural beautiful view, taking into account the height of the plants, their color palette and flowering time.
Representatives of shade-tolerant plants
A plant that forms a dense and long-lived cover of white flowers. Another name for the variety is shoot-bearing. Almost the only representative of stonecrops, who loves shady areas, its development on the Sun slows down significantly due to thermal burns.
The height of the cover is relatively small - up to 15 cm. The flowers are white, five-leafed, appearing on the shoots not simultaneously, but with slight delays. The leaves are dense and fleshy with a rich green hue.
Prefers to grow on rocky or sandy soils. Does not need fertilizers.
An evergreen creeping perennial that loves shaded areas under large trees. In the axils of the leaves, there are five-leafed flowers with a diameter of up to 20 mm of a blue or light purple hue. Blooms almost all summer.
The culture is unpretentious and does not require maintenance at all, in fact, being a weed. Watering periwinkle is used exclusively to make the planting decorative: sprinkling washes the dirt from the dust from the leaves, making the plant more attractive.
A group of varieties with a common origin. Typical patrons of a temperate climate. The main decorative element of the plant is glossy leaves. The name of these ground cover perennials is associated with the shape of the leaves: they look like goat's hooves. The flowers are reduced and hidden under them.
The diameter of the leaves in all varieties is almost the same, but the length of the petiole, on which the height of the cover depends, can vary over a wide range (from 5 to 15 cm). Many varieties of hoofed animals (European, tailed, etc.) retain their foliage even under a layer of snow.
Clefthoof grows best on slightly acidic loose soils. The plant needs moderate watering every 1-2 weeks.
A creeping perennial that forms a lush canopy due to its growth rate and a large number of large leaves. Already in the first months after the snow melts, the growth rate of young shoots reaches 30-40 cm per month.
The fragrant Miha flowers are also decorative... They appear in late June, forming panicle-like inflorescences, which include up to 20 individual, white-purple, bell-shaped flowers. Flowering lasts about two months.
What to plant?
The list of plants is quite extensive. It is only necessary to consider that stone gardens located in warm climates require some plants, and in colder climates - others.
It is best to choose low-growing, long-flowering garden plants. Fortunately, there is a huge selection of these colors.
A natural choice for any rocky garden. Its gray-green foliage contrasts beautifully with its own flowers, as well as dark green grasses and other rock garden plants. Plants are placed at a distance of 30 to 45 cm from each other in an open, sunny place with well-drained, slightly alkaline soil (pH 6.7 to 7.3). Sand must be added to the soil before planting, which is vital as lavender does not tolerate excessive soil moisture.
Lavender blooms almost all summer to maintain continuous flowering during the warm season, it is necessary to remove the faded flowers. In the spring, when the plants begin to grow, the lavender can be pinched slightly for better branching.
Remember lavender needs good drainage and good air circulation. Do not overflow, let the soil dry before watering. In warm and humid conditions, fungal diseases can develop and the leaves turn brown. To minimize this problem, cover the base of the plant with pebbles or sand to speed up evaporation. For better air circulation, keep the plant sparse.
Hardy and unpretentious, with bright colors, has been used in stone gardens for many years. By choosing from a variety of varieties and varieties of iris, you can extend their flowering season from spring to early summer, sometimes with re-flowering.
In northern climates, there are two main types of irises that thrive: bearded and Siberian. However, there are less common names worth growing too, such as Iris reticulata (dwarf iris), Iris pallida (sweet iris), Iris pumila (rainbow nut), Iris cristata (crested iris), and shade tolerant Iris tectorum (Japanese iris).
Bearded irises planted in full sun with plenty of air. Crowding or shading by other plants can negatively affect iris bloom and also contribute to iris disease. Irises grow best in rich soil that has been supplemented with organic matter such as compost, manure or peat. Well-drained soil is important to avoid root rot of the fleshy rhizome.
The soil under the bearded irises should be kept constantly moist, but only from spring until the end of flowering. After flowering, the plant goes into a dormant period, excessive watering at this time can cause rot. Fertilize bearded iris in early spring. Use nitrogen fertilizer, then water the plant well. The fertilization is repeated when the stem of the flower appears.
Irises should be carefully trimmed, leaving as much green, healthy leaf tissue as possible. Do not be afraid to damage or deplete the plant, its development in the next year is determined by the ability to produce and store food during the current season, the more yellowed leaves leave, the better. After a real frost, it is necessary to cut off all the foliage.
Siberian irises come in different shades: blue, lavender, white or yellow. After flowering (late spring to early summer), the foliage remains attractive throughout the season. Siberian irises grow in much the same way as ground cover plants, displacing weeds. The best place to place them is in the sun. Siberian irises need constant moisture throughout the season with periodic deep watering.
Removing the faded flowers stops seed pod formation, but the seed pods of Siberian irises are attractive on their own. They can be left on individual plants for additional autumn and winter decoration.
(Aethionemas or Persian Candytufts) is an excellent plant for a rock garden. It will grow in any soil other than heavy, moist clay. These small plants with tiny blue-green leaves are extremely attractive even if they haven't bloomed yet. Aethionema caespitosa forms a dense carpet only 5 cm tall A. grandiflora taller, up to 20 cm, with caps of beautiful pink, very fragrant flowers that retain their decorative effect for a long time Aethionema cordifolium is the only representative of this group that reproduces by self-seeding. All krylotychinniks bloom from mid-spring to late summer.
Not all rock garden lovers know that some types of onions, for example, Allium senescens glaumum, can be an excellent decoration. This onion has flat, bluish leaves that twirl in one direction, making it very decorative. It blooms in summer with lavender pink flowers. Other bows: A. cyaneum with purple-blue flowers, A. moly with golden-yellow flowers and A. flavum, which blooms in summer with charming straw inflorescences.
For an alpine slide, mainly creeping shrubs are planted.
As the name suggests, this shrub grows horizontally.The plants have small, rounded leaves that range in color from reddish orange to burgundy in autumn. The flowers are light pink, after flowering they give later shiny red berries. The arrangement of the branches is such that the whole plant looks like a "herringbone". It reaches 90 cm in height and 2.5 m in width.
These shrubs offer a perfect example of the year-round decorativeness of the plant. In spring they bloom with light pink flowers, in summer their glossy green leaves create an unusual pattern. But the cotoneaster is especially attractive in autumn due to foliage and berries. Red berries remain on the branches for a long time and look attractive even in winter. True, by mid-winter they can show signs of fading and discoloration.
Hardy and tender shrub, evergreen or deciduous. Some species are famous for their beautiful and fragrant flowers, while others are more attractive when covered with brightly colored fruits at the end of the year.
These shrubs are capable of growing in a wide range of soils, from sandy to loamy. They naturally take on a beautiful shape without the need for regular pruning. Although some species tolerate moderate shade, the best results are obtained in sunny locations. Some species create very good hedges, in particular B. Darwini, B. Stenofill, B. Thunberg, so they can be used in the country. B. Thunberg's dwarf forms (Box Barberryu Red Pygmy) can be planted in a flower garden
Those barberries that retain their leaves during the winter are among the most beautiful evergreen shrubs. Barberry Darwini, a straight, beautiful shrub, has small, shiny, dark evergreen leaves and orange fragrant flowers in late April and May, the fruits are dark purple in color with a gray-blue flower. A relatively new Chilean barberry is B. linearifolia, which resembles B. Darwinia, but has larger flowers of richer color. There is a hybrid of B. Darwinii and B. linearifolia, it has orange flowers and is very showy.
Red barberries are especially attractive in autumn and winter. B. Wilsonae is a dense shrub 90 cm high with thorny branches and small leaves, flowers are yellow, and coral-red fruits in autumn are its main attraction. Its Stapfiana variety is also very beautiful in autumn and winter thanks to its red berries. The Thunberg barberry is especially beautiful because of the rich scarlet and orange color of the leaves in autumn. The atropurpurea variety has purple foliage and is a good dwarf shrub for rockeries.
In this capacity, various types of saxifragaceae are very popular. These are creeping perennials with round green leaves, on the back the leaves are pink with white veins. S. umbrosa has tiny pink flowers on red stems, while S. stolonifera has white flowers.
Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)
A low-growing perennial, which is also often used as a ground cover in mountain gardens, forms a mass of leathery leaves with heart-shaped leaves. The tiny waxy flowers of Epimedium range in color from shades of white and yellow to pink and red.
(Asarum caudatum) - has heart-shaped leaves and grows well in foggy areas. Fills gardens with a scent reminiscent of ginger.
Creeping sedum (Sedum)
It is one of the most versatile, drought tolerant and easily growing perennials that can be used as a ground cover. Known for their ability to spread quickly, these low plants completely drown out weeds. If they are not waterlogged, then they rarely suffer from any diseases or pests. They are an ideal choice for gardens in hot and arid climates, but they also work well almost everywhere - as long as they are well drained.
Most creeping sedums prefer full sun but tolerate partial shade.
A fragrant, fast-growing ground cover 5-7 cm in height with small leaves. In early summer, it bears small, delicate, whitish flowers. It can grow between the steps of the garden path. Grows in full sun and well-drained soil. It can be used to quickly fill in gaps between stepped stones or rocks.
Golden Oregano (Origanum vulgare 'Aureum')
Another hardy and undemanding groundcover that retains its golden color best in cold weather. Golden oregano has tiny, rounded leaves that are 1 to 2 cm wide. Its small lavender or purple flowers appear in early summer and last all summer. Combine it with other oreganos, or plant it next to lavender (Lavendula spp.), Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) or Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' for a variety of shades of gold.
Blue Star (Laurentia fluviatilis)
Originating from Australia, it boasts delicate blue, star-shaped flowers that appear during the spring and summer among small, bright green leaves. The blue star forms an attractive cover under the trees and between the stepped stones.
A plant for the impatient gardener, It grows very quickly, forming a dense carpet. In spring, tiny flowers resembling shards give the effect of a miniature flower garden. Blue or white flowers with a yellow spot rise 5-7 cm above the foliage. Use this hardy perennial where aggressive qualities are required, such as between steps or to cover large areas.
In terms of their visual impact, rare plants can be compared to ornamental grasses. Do not confuse ornamental plants with lawn grasses.
Ornamental grasses are intended to be grown, not mowed, and most are not used as ground covers.
It is widely distributed in gardens and is very useful in many ways. Designers use these herbs because of their shape, color scheme, and also due to the long decorative period, from early summer to mid-winter. Most feather grass varieties are perennial, and they all prefer full sun and are rarely found in the shade in their natural habitats. Steppe feather grass (Stipa) is a thin, ash-colored grass. Mexican feather grass (S. tenuissima) is a bright green tender grass that grows up to 90 cm in height.
Reed Grass (Calamagrostis)
Another ornamental grass for the alpine slide, which has a leaf-like shape similar to feathers, grows to the same height as S. tenuissima. C. acutiflora "Karl Foerster" differs in that there are small pink flowers at the top of the stems.
This reed grass looks like a work of art and provides an excellent contrast to low shrubs and perennials. In addition, C. "Karl Foerster" is one of the first grasses to grow in spring. Flowers change color during the season, remain on the plant until the snow itself. The plant sways gracefully in a light breeze. Mass planting C. "Karl Foerster" on a windy day looks very impressive!
Blue Oat Grass (Heliptotrichon sempervirens)
It looks like a miniature fountain with tightly packed leaves that gently unfold upward and bend downward at the tips. This herb adds a wonderful decorative element to rocky gardens. Its homeland is central and southern Europe, where it is found in rocky pastures on calcareous soils. It works best in light, well-drained soil and prefers a sunny location. Helperotrichon sempervirens can be used as a stand alone plant or as a kind of "river" in pebble gardens. This herb looks amazing in any gray leafy scheme, among lavender, artemisia and the like. It also associates well with other ornamental grasses.
In rock gardens, coniferous evergreens are often used.
Mountain pine Pinus mugo
An extremely attractive dwarf plant. It should be clarified here that dwarf conifers are not necessarily small, they often just grow slowly, only a few centimeters per year. Pinus mugo has good strong branches, green shoots that gradually turn brown, and a scaly gray bark that is especially attractive in winter light or in the glow of the sunset.
This plant is of interest all year round.: both in winter, when it looks like snow dust, and on hot sunny days, when its resinous buds exude a wonderful aroma. The Pinus mugo shape looks more like a shrub than a tree. It is this feature that makes P. mugo ideal for the modern garden.
Juniper "Mint Julep"
The juniper family offers a wide variety of hardy, low-growing evergreen shrubs for landscaping your garden. It is an evergreen shrub with dense, upright branches clad in sharp-pointed bright green needles. Flowers are not decorative. Blue berries are formed from spring to late winter. Prized for its lustrous green foliage and original fountain shape.
What other ground cover ornamental plants are suitable for rockeries
Perennial ground cover plants ideal for rockeries and rocky gardens also include rejuvenation, sedum, rezuha and thyme.
Wintering rosettes form dense clumps. In the spring, the rosettes turn into flowering shoots. Species and varieties differ in leaf color (green, purple, brown or gray). The flowers are pink, white or light yellow. It is reconciled with any soil, but it develops well only on rich garden loams. Sun-loving.
Drought-resistant. It is frost-resistant, but it is better to cover modern varieties and hybrids in frosty, snowless winters with spruce branches.
Succulents. Flowers are small, collected in inflorescences. They are extremely unpretentious and hardy, most of the species come from mountainous regions, where stonecrops sometimes grow directly on stones. Sun-loving, only a few put up with partial shade. Drought tolerant.
As shown in the photo, these perennial ground cover plants often form dense bryophytes: