Alpine Slide Design: How To Make An Alpine Slide Garden

alpine slide
alpine slide
(Image credit: yanikap)

Trying to mimic the natural beauty of alpine mountains in the garden is a bit of a challenge. First of all, you need the right site and then you need to install lots of rocks. The selection of plants that will thrive in this tumble of flora is the final key detail to an alpine slide garden. With a little pre-planning though, even a novice gardener can create a delightful alpine slide design that is both pleasing to the eye and easy to maintain.

What is an Alpine Slide?

What is an alpine slide? Imagine a rock garden but with artfully chosen plants that will cavort in and around the different sizes of stone. Once mature, the effect should be of a seamless union between the living and the inorganic. Learn some tips on how to make an alpine slide and develop this unique feature into your landscape.

Envision yourself on a mountain hike in the Alps during spring. You will find plenty of indigenous plants springing up and blooming specimens in all their glory. It's a very rugged, yet magical landscape. Now bring the concept to the home garden.

The ideal alpine slide garden will combine elements of the wild hills with plants peeking out among the rocks. It is a bold and ambitious design, but one that will add interesting dimension and a focal point to the landscape. There is no right or wrong way to make an alpine hill, but you need to have or find the rocky ingredients to start the project.

How to Make an Alpine Slide

If you already have a rocky site, you are well on your way to developing an alpine hill. Even if you are lacking stones, you can create an alpine slide design. Either acquire the rock or use items you have around.

One idea is to build the mound from pieces of concrete. The idea is to have a sloped area with different sizes of material filled in with sandy soil. You can make it tall or relatively low to the ground. Just remember, when it comes time to selecting plants, a very pitched mound will dry out quickly and the upper plants will receive a lot of sunlight unless the slide is built in a partially shady location.

Plants to Use in an Alpine Slide Design

Watch the sun positioning during the day on your alpine site. Selecting plants that will thrive in this lighting is crucial to their health. Additionally, due to the slope, water will run off. This leaves the top zone drier than the lower zone.

Choose plants for each region that will accommodate the amount of water they will receive. Some suggestions might be:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.