Alpine is a term used for plants that originate from high altitudes above the tree line. They therefore enjoy an open position with good drainage and can tolerate cold.
Alpines are at home on a rock garden, planted in crevices or in alpine troughs. Alpines are low growing and the term embraces many different genera. Choose from herbaceous or small woody perennials. Popular alpines include saxifrage, helichrysum and lewisia. The good news is that the choice is huge and plants are often very reasonable priced at the garden centre. If you plan well you could have an alpine in flower every month of the year.