Alpines are some of the most charming plants you can grow, and they're currently enjoying renewed popularity.
Many alpines are hardy, so can cope with cold winters. However they don't like standing in cold, wet soil, so the main thing to consider when growing them is drainage. They can cope with some rain, and do need some watering, but they must be planted in well-drained soil or compost. If you're growing them in a container, ensure that the container has adequate holes for drainage. Most alpines like a neutral or slightly alkaline soil.
Plant alpines in containers such as a trough, or an old Belfast sink, for best effect. It ensures that you can give them the conditions they need, and appreciate their delicate foliage and flowers at close range. If you can, move the container to an area that's in a 'rain shadow' (for example, beneath house eaves) in winter.
A mix of 70 per cent John Innes No.3 and 30 per cent horticultural grit is ideal. If you're planting in a Belfast sink, tilt it slightly so that any excess water drains out of the hole. Top the display with gravel and a few stones to show off the plants.
View our image gallery of alpine plants
Read on for our pick of 10 pretty varieties to grow from The Great Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014.
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