Plant of the Month: May


Plant alpines for hardy, low-maintenance appeal all year round. Most alpines are compact and ideal for ground cover, planted in rockeries or containers. They add colour to the garden and some will attract pollinators to their flowers.

Aubretia and saxifrage are coming in to flower. Aubretia looks lovely from April to June when displaying a mass of purple flowers that can cascade over a rock or wall. If you cut it back soon after flowering, it may give a second flush later in the summer.

Saxifrage is a more compact plant with masses of dainty star-shaped flowers on stems from its neatly shaped foliage. It prefers a shady aspect, and flowers from late April to July.

Nemesia is a flowering alpine that provides lovely ground cover right through the summer. It looks stunning in containers too. Plant it in a sunny position and it can flower profusely. Campanula is another popular alpine, which gives a burst of late spring pastel colour.

Alpines are originally from mountainous regions and can thrive in minimal, stony soil and little care. Well-draining soil is essential, so add generous handfuls of horticultural grit to the planting hole for improved drainage. Mulch around them with gravel to control weeds. They don’t need much care; simply prune dead growth and deadhead flowers. Although they’re drought tolerant, keep them watered during their first season until they become established.

Cardholders benefit from 20% off our plants of the month, so stock up on an alpines in May to add charming colour and interest to your garden.

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