How to Create an Alpine Garden

When it comes to low-maintenance plants, you can't beat alpines. These plants have adapted to the extremely harsh conditions of mountainous regions and include small shrubs, dwarf conifers, grasses, perennials and annuals. 

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

California Poppies

Blooming in a wide variety of colors, they grow low to the ground like most alpine plants.


The cheerful blooms of this plant are offset by its bluish-green foliage.

Sweet Alyssum

It may look delicate, but sweet alyssum is a tough low-maintenance plant.


Native to Southern Africa, Gazanias have daisy-like flowers that bloom in a variety of colors.


Dianthus are tough, low-growing perennials that bloom in pink, lavender, purple, white and red.


A succulent, sedum includes a wide array of varieties, many of which bloom. They make great ground covers.


Agaves, like most succulents, have become extremely popular in recent years as drought tolerant plants. Some varieties sport attractive variegated leaves.


This low-growing herb is great for container gardens as well as a ground cover.

Creeping Phlox

One of the earliest perennials to bloom in spring, creeping phlox is an attractive ground cover—great for hillsides and rock gardens.


With their sword-like foliage, yuccas create garden focal points. This green and chartreuse variety is called 'Color Guard'.


This succulent blooms in a variety of colors and is prized as a ground cover.

Creeping Thyme

This scented herb is perfect for covering a hillside and blooms in a variety of colors, such as purple and lavender.


The name says it all! This perennial grows like a blanket and blooms profusely in white for long periods in spring and summer.


Ajuga, with its glossy dark greenish purple leaves, forms a matted groundcover that loves to nestle between rocks. A perennial, some varieties produce small white, pink or purple flowers.


Best known for its scent, lavender makes a great border plant and also does well in container gardens.