Alpine Gardens

Alpine gardens are designed with plants that grow in high mountain elevations around the world. Due to harsh growing conditions and a short growing season,  these plants are slow growing,  and have a low and compact growth habit.  Most alpine plants are suitable for rock gardens and can be planted at lower elevations.

Tips for Designing an Alpine Garden

  • Group plants in patches to create a more natural look
  • Repeat color, texture, or form throughout the garden to create unity
  • If possible, observe how plants grow in their natural habitat
  • Visit demonstration gardens in your area for ideas
low growing alpine plants in foreground frame a mountain view
An alpine garden in the mountains of Switzerland features plants from around the world. Photo credit: Brian Rosen Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
wildflowers in a mountain meadow
A native high elevation meadow blooming at about 9,000 feet in Northern Utah. Photo credit: Susan Buffler
Rocky natural looking stairsteps planted with alpine flowers
Alpine demonstration garden. Photo credit: La Cita Vitta Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Additional Resources:

Selection and Culture of Landscape Plants in Utah
Mountain Plants of Northeastern Utah
North American Rock Garden Society
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Rock Gardening Resources