Alpine Hill

While admiring the amazing harmony of designer Alpine slides, many dream of recreating their own corner of serenity and harmony on their site.

From year to year, landscape designers embody absolutely incredible ideas, creating rock gardens with fountains, streams, dwarf birches, meadow grasses and copies of lake systems. While admiring the amazing harmony of designer Alpine slides, many dream of recreating their own corner of serenity and harmony on their site.
The picturesque landscape of the Alpine Mountains inspired gardeners to create alpine slides, which traditionally consist of a combination of stone with mountain plants.

Turn-based strategy: where to start?

It is most reasonable to begin with a choice of a place for the Alpine hill. Each site has its own characteristics, and simply admiring the design projects of professionals without reference to a place is a waste of time. It is worth considering that there will be a harmonious little hill in a small area and a solid rock garden, or even an ensemble, or a cascade of slides in large areas.
Alpine hill densely planted with plants pleases the eye with its bright, rich colors.
The combination of functionality and decorative features: stone steps and rocky rock garden.
It should be noted that the slide should be positioned so that it can be seen from any point of the garden, in light, not shaded space, away from buildings and trees. At the same time, it is worth taking care of protection from the wind, so it’s more convenient to determine the best position of the rock garden on the spot - simply moving from one prospective placement point to another, checking the presence of illumination and protection from the wind, as well as roughly marking the possible dimensions of the slide. At this stage, you can roughly calculate the amount of stone, decorative elements and the possibility of placing a pond or stream to create a landscape group.

Yourself a designer

Any work of art consists of hundreds and thousands of fleeting impressions, so you can safely consider the works of famous landscape designers and borrow from the masters interesting solutions, adapting them to fit your needs. However, before being inspired, it is necessary to determine the style of the garden.

Creating a rock garden when planning a plot is much more convenient, and here the slide will set the tone for the whole garden. But more often it turns out the opposite, so it is worth looking around: the future rock garden should be in harmony with the bridges, benches, swings, flower beds and paths. You also need to carefully consider the choice of plants: the harmony of the Japanese garden will definitely be broken by the appearance of rock garden with desert plants, and the strict landscape of the English park will not tolerate excessive riot of colors.

Choose examples to follow is in the style that is close to the existing landscape, or adapts to it easily. And of course, it is always worth remembering that plants can be replaced by completely different species having the same growth, flowering time, or texture of the leaf. A single plan makes the garden a pleasant resting place, so that the compliance of the rock garden with the basic spirit of the park is simply necessary.

Preparatory work: the basis

Removed from the bushes and trees, a light and sheltered place is finally found, it remains only to determine how dry the land is. Ground water at the surface definitely worsens the condition of the alpine slide and reduces itdurability. Special drainage helps to solve the situation. And to begin its creation it is necessary from a ditch.

The drainage pit for an alpine slide can be equal to it in area or slightly exceed its dimensions, and approximately repeat the planned outlines. To set the shape of the slide, you can drive the pegs along the contour and stretch the cord or rope - you get a fairly accurate contour. Inside the delineated line it is necessary to dig a hole with a depth of at least 80 cm - the strength of the whole structure will depend on the reliability of the drainage.

The finished pit is filled with not less than 30 cm of broken brick, gravel or pebbles, shed with water for shrinkage. The next is 10 cm of a mixture of sand and gravel, which must not only be shed with water, but also well tamped. Above the drainage layers poured the soil, extracted during the digging of the pit, in parallel choosing trash, large stones, plant roots - weeds can spoil the ensemble of the hill. The soil is also compacted, shed with water and allowed to stand for 2-3 weeks before the final shrinkage. Ideally - to do drainage before winter, so that before spring the ground holds out and sits naturally.

Having passed the preparatory stages, you can start laying stones according to the plan of the future rock garden, observing the basic rules:

  • The first to install the largest stones
  • It is necessary to deepen the stone by 2/3, at least by 60% - for stability
  • Large stones outline the main contours of the hill, both outside and inside
  • Boulders of a smaller size are set to the maximum stable position
  • Decorative stones and ceramic elements are installed at the end
  • Lastly, pebbles or colored sand are poured if they are provided for in the project.
  • Between the stones should be enough space for plants.
  • Plants can be planted after the finished rock garden has been standing for 2-3 weeks - the stones will take a maximum stable position and will become a good support for vegetation


Designer slides are short-lived, and, setting up the rock garden with their own hands, it is worth familiarizing with the rules underlying the landscape works. And the first thing to remember is that the alpine slide is always a stepped structure, and it starts a little earlier than the main slope. Around the base is level 0 - the valley in which the lawn gradually gives way to low lush plants, often not flowering, but with decorative foliage.At some distance from the foot of the hill can be found mossy boulders and pebbles.

The first terrace is the most stable, it houses the first tall grasses, small trees or bushes, low-growing flowering plants, parts of decorative compositions, and small lakes. The second stage is suitable for placing coniferous dwarf plants, heather and meadow grasses, aromatic plants - rosemary, lavender, oregano. The third and subsequent tiers require careful selection of plants that are resistant to soil dryness and light, and the amount of greenery gradually decreases to the top.

The scatter of heights in the range from 1 to 3 meters allows you to harmoniously fit the slide in any landscape, and beyond recognition change both a small area and a landscape garden. For slides with a height of more than a meter, as well as for slides with rivulets and mills, a core device is recommended - a hard base. For maximum naturalness, the top divides the hill in a 2: 1 ratio, except when a rigid geometry or an elongated silhouette is required.

In summary, for the device slides need to prepare:

  • Stones
  • Pebbles and sand
  • Moss, better sphagnum
  • Plants, grasses and dwarf trees, in harmony with the garden and with each other

Right choice: stones

Far from any stone is suitable for the device of an alpine slide: shell rock, dolomite, tuff and other porous rocks are not suitable for the base, and although they are rather decorative at first glance, they quickly lose their appearance. You should not choose sculptures and decor of porous stone - for the same reasons. The best choice is rock: basalts, granite, marble, limestone, sandstone. Rare types of stones with a dense, non-porous texture will do.
Granite is a heavy, dense stone. Almost does not absorb moisture.
Limestone absorbs moisture well, in dry periods it gives it to the roots of plants.
Sandstone can be combined with different plants. This is the most popular option.
The shape of the stone is also very important for rock garden - too angular or round boulders will not fit well, they will be difficult to group and fix. It is better to give preference to asymmetrical stones, a fairly natural form. It is worth looking at the real mountain slopes in the photo - it clearly shows the outlines of rocky protrusions, trimmed by rains and winds.It is better to choose stones in a single scale, ideally - one breed. The diversity and diversity are good only in rare cases, and the alpine slide is quite conservative in style. An exception can be made only for pebbles, which can be quite variegated within the gamma.
The composition should look natural, so as not to create the feeling that you have a piece of nature created by human hands.
You need to have stones as naturally as possible, without creating heaps. Outward it is worthwhile to draw the most aesthetic sides of the boulders, it is advisable to keep the rhythm from the terrace to the terrace, developing it by alternating large and medium stones, commensurate with the landing pockets. Stone defects should be masked, and boulders manufactured by industrial means should be replaced with natural rock fragments.
Different types of stones are recommended to use without the use of cement. This will greatly facilitate the work to create a slide.
It is necessary to choose the right amount of stones. If they are not enough, smoothing of the slopes or slipping of the soil in the rain may occur.

Continuous flowering: selection of plants

When choosing plants for future rockeries, it is important to follow three basic rules:

  • Plants should be decorative, not only during the flowering period
  • Periods of flowering of different plants on a hill should smoothly pass into one another.
  • Slide plants should be combined with garden styling.

An example of design of an alpine slide with plants
The rhythm set by the stones must be maintained using plants of different heights - from dwarf pines, cypresses, thujs to very tiny stonecrop, miniature scills and sphagnum. The best option for any slides - perennials that do not require special care.
In order to achieve year-round decorative flower garden, it is necessary to plant crops with different flowering periods.
It is important to choose plants adapted to the climatic conditions of the garden for rock arias - in arid areas, to give preference to steppe and desert species, and in cold and wet areas - to swamp and mountain. On the upper terraces should plant plants that love the light.
An example of design of an alpine slide with plants
The classic rockeries are small bulbous: Muscari, crocus, Scylla, hyacinths, tulips and daffodils of miniature varieties.Bulbs start to bloom very early, in April, and gradually replace each other, reviving a rather poor spring landscape. It is better to plant them in small curtains, 3-7 plants each. This group will be a bright spot during flowering, and the greens will not clutter up the landscape in the summer months.

Another classic party rock garden - conifers. Thuja, creeping pines and junipers, dwarf pine stylized as bonsai, barberry and cotoneaster bushes will create the illusion of forest on the mountain slopes. Low-growing deciduous trees, such as dwarf birch, are also very good, but are only suitable for rockeries in temperate and cool climates. But blueberries and cowberries create an amazing green cover, and even are decorated with berries. Flowering shrubs, such as Erica and Rhododendron, will look great on a large hill, and if rock arias are part of a large composition, then the felt cherry on the first tier will look quite organic.
Alpine slide is designed for close visual inspection, so usually it is positioned so that it can be approached closer and consider the smallest details.
Summer flowering rock garden begin violets and primroses, continue undersized irises and various medicinal herbs: oregano, St. John's wort, carnation, grass, cat's foot. Different textures and shades of green will also add beauty, especially if you choose silver-colored plants such as yaskolki, and brightly colored, such as, for example, Badan.

Planting plants on a hill should be based on compatibility, so that the large ones do not prune dwarfs. If the flowers require different degrees of watering, this also needs to be taken into account. Moisture-loving astilbe, daylilies and drooping reed is best planted at the foot of the rock garden, or at the reservoir.

Plants for the top of the alpine slide

The top of the rock garden is most open to daylight. Therefore, there should be planted sun-diving and drought-resistant species.

Plants for the middle tier of rock garden

The middle tier of the rock garden differs somewhat in other conditions for plants. There is a little more humidity and less light, respectively, plants need to plant others.

Plants for the foot of the alpine slide

For the base of the rock garden, plants should be chosen that need fertile soil.Light preferences they may be different.

Low-growing and ground cover plants for alpine slides

  • Azen Buchanan;
  • Young;
  • Hairy borodnik;
  • Mines;
  • Zhivuchka;
  • Kostenets hairy;
  • Fern;
  • Sedum short;
  • Decorative cabbage;
  • Fat woman;
  • Sagebrush;
  • Geicher;
  • Spurge;
  • Stakhis.

Tip: Ground cover plants with a strong root system are placed on the slopes of an alpine slide to prevent erosion.

Flowering alpine plants

  • Barberry;
  • Autumn crocus;
  • Veronica;
  • Carnation;
  • Gentian;
  • Gypsophila, Wulfenia;
  • Delphinium;
  • Dryad;
  • Gorse lancet;
  • Bell of Poskharsky;
  • Primula Allione;
  • Saxifrage;
  • Bloodroot;
  • Burachok;
  • Buttercup is cereal;
  • Edelweiss;
  • Swing creeping;
  • Enotera Missouri;
  • Catchment Pyrenean;
  • Thyme;
  • Gargan bell;
  • Phlox is short;
  • Mylnyanka basilicolist;
  • The pirate;
  • Evergreen dwarf;
  • Mertensia seaside;
  • Fuopsis long column;
  • Krylotychinnik round-leaved;
  • Decorative strawberries;
  • Pink Rhodiola;
  • Chiastophyllum;
  • Himalayan geranium;
  • Mountain knapweed;
  • Hellebore;
  • Liverworm;
  • Anemone;
  • Cat's paw;
  • Rezuha;
  • Violets and daisies.

Tip: Each of the flowering individuals in the rock garden composition plays a role, so the flowers should not overshadow and interfere with each other. It is important to achieve a smooth change of shades of the slide. This can easily be achieved by combining alpine plants in terms of flowering.

Long-flowering plants for alpine slides

Onions and Bulbs of Bulbs

  • Decorative karatav;
  • Cornflower and island bow;
  • Onions Tubergena and Bezianum;
  • Scylla;
  • Springman;
  • Sternbergia;
  • Cyclamen;
  • Snowdrop;
  • Ranunculus;
  • Pushkin;
  • Clivia;
  • Rhodohypoxis;
  • Branka;
  • Hyacocytes;
  • Lily of the valley;
  • Babiana;
  • Khokhlatki;
  • Meenderra;
  • Sizirinhium;
  • Theophilia;
  • Poultry houses;
  • Moricia;
  • Muscari;
  • Garden buttercup;
  • Dwarf varieties of irises, daffodils, dahlias and tulips.

Tip: Rocky constructions of rock garden will look as decorative as possible if you know the exact timing of bulbous flowering. And still, planting onions in a rock garden with good drainage (stones and gravel prevent rotting of the bulbs) leave enough space between them for growth. Temporarily vacant places should be covered with wood bark or pebbles.

Grass for alpine slides

  • Quaking grass;
  • Lagurus;
  • Highlander;
  • Cuff;
  • Alyssum;
  • Oregano;
  • Veinik is an acutely flowered;
  • Feather grass;
  • Eastern pennisetum;
  • Gray and red fescue;
  • Liriope;
  • Evergreen evergreen;
  • Barley barberry;
  • Esholz;
  • Heathers;
  • Erica.

Tip: Herb plants remain attractive until late fall, while others are already wilted or not yet flowering. Playing the role of the background, decorative herbs serve as a juicy decoration in the creation of an alpine slide.

Compact Alpine Shrubs

  • Mountain pine;
  • Wolfberry;
  • Blue spruce;
  • Barberry;
  • Cotoneaster horizontal;
  • Juniper;
  • Larch;
  • Thuja is western;
  • Miniature pine;
  • Korean fir;
  • Euonymus;
  • Spirea;
  • Dryad;
  • Rhododendron;
  • Daphne.

Tip: Plant dwarf trees and bushes first, highlighting the most spacious areas of the hill for them. Do not drop them on the sole or on the top of the earth. The optimal place for upright dwarf forms in rock gardens - with large stones at the edges of the hill, at a great distance from each other. With proper planting, deciduous and coniferous shrubs will not require any special care from you. But some of them, for the winter period, you will have to cover, tying the plant with a sacking cloth or a special cover.

Maintenance of the order: proper care for the stone wall

After all the plants have been planted, rockeries begin to perform their decorative functions, but the work on its arrangement has not yet been completed. During the first year, several times you will need to fill up the ground and strengthen boulders, complement the composition with plants and decor. The ground spilled needs to be compacted to reduce leaching.

Plants in the rock garden should be watered, cut dry flower stalks and leaves. Diseased plants require treatment, or are removed from the slide along with the soil on which they grew. Fertilizer is carried out 2-3 times a season, you should not use compounds that are rich in nitrogen - they stimulate the growth of green mass, which reduces the decorativeness of rockeries. When transplanting and planting new plants, it is better to use epin - an anti-stress compound, as needed, it is worth spraying a pile with pest control products. Watering is done as needed, through a watering can with a spray so as not to erode the soil.

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