The Q&A Archives: Alpine Landscaping

Question: Our land is in an ancient glacial/flood plain. Our soil is either (depending on where you dig) gravel, bentonite or beach sand - little top soil. Rocks abound. The USDA Zone map says we're in zone 3, but temperatures reach as low as -30 to -40 in winter. We have a 28 to 60 (maybe 90) day growing season. Frost is possible on any day of the year. I need some recommendations regarding flowers and shrubs that will grow here.

Answer: My first question has to be - why do you live there?? Seriously, though, there is a certain beauty to the pristine alpine landscape that is beyond compare. For perennials, look to native plants - alpines or rock garden plants and drought-tolerant shrubs. Quick-blooming hardy annuals can grow in containers around the house (alyssum, pansies, nasturtium, bachelor buttons, flowering cabbage & kale, snapdragons, coreopsis, etc.), and you can cover them easily when frost is predicted. Portulaca thrive in dry, sunny conditions. Check out these suppliers and societies for your best options with perennials and landscape possibilities:

Colorado Alpines, PO Box 2708, Avon CO 81620; ph# 303/949-6464

<a href="">Wyoming Native Plant Society</a>, 1604 Grand Ave., Laramie WY 82070

Alplains, P.O. Box 489, Kiowa CO 80117-0489; ph# 303/621-2247

<a href="">Wind River Seed</a>, 3075 Lane 51-1/2, Manderson, WY 82432; ph# 307-568-3361

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by mcash70 and is called "Moss on a log"