Alpines/Succulents

If you are looking for a hardy, low maintenance and drought tolerant scheme, it’s worth mentioning these plants. Succulents have fleshy leaves since they’re cabable of storing their own water. Alpines can often survive in poor, sandy, free draining soil with no humus matter. A downfall of both these plants is to overwater them. They will not tolerate being doused and root rot can follow.

These plants can often be incorporated in rockeries and require almost no support or very little attention.

Aubretia a good ground cover plant. Grows often in cracks of walls with little soil. It has a trailing habit and needs to be in full sun. It can cope in very dry conditions. It flowers in spring, attracting beneficial insects and encouraging bio diversity.

Aurinia saxatilis a clump forming perennial which provides golden flowers from spring to early summer. It is very hardy and can cope well in an exposed position. It does require full sun, not a fan of shade. The soil, however, needs to have a little substance and not be totally barren.

Saxifraga flowers in early to mid summer and requires a sunny aspect. The plant can tolerate most types of soil, although well drained and moist. This ideally on the chalky side too. It welcomes some shade in the height of summer. The consistency needs some substance.

Antirrhinum sempervirens (snapdragon) an evergreen suited to a rocky, poor environment. It flowers in mid to late summer. It needs sun but a little shelter too.

Arabis, a succulent that provides foliage all year round. It flowers in spring to summer. A versatile evergreen, it needs well drained soil with sun. However, the aspect can be sheltered or exposed.

Sempervivum (Houseleeks) offer flowers in summer and attractive leaves all year round. A fleshy, hardy succulent needing light but very tolerant of sandy, free draining soil.

Aizoaceae, a general term for the whole family, but carpet weed / ice plants are its common names. Aptenia cordifolia (Heart leaf ice plant – there is a variegated one too) or Lampranthus coccineus (hardy) / spectabilis (trailing), Delosperma is another. The trailing variety can be quite invasive. It can offer effective ground cover with its mat forming, spreading habit.

Sedums (Stonecrop) are particularly suited to poor soil and can withstand prolonged periods with little moisture. They do need sun however, so not a plant for a shady corner. The species can flower pink, white and yellow flora. The commonest is pink but there are many. The plant acts as an effective pollinator and attracts beneficial insects.

Posted by

I'm Craft Gardener with several years experience. Due to the massive impact the internet has had on advice, forums and consultancy services - it seems knowledge and experience is everchanging and we should therefore share techniques and offer others alternative routes in pests, diseases and weed treatments. The very smallest alterations in aspect, soil conditioning and pruning can determine a plants vigour, health and lifespan hugely. My blogs and online assistance should motivate and interest even the most amateur of green fingered people. As my ex partner used to say "it's green isn't it"?