How to...plant an alpine container for bees and bugs

Homes for Wildlife

Homes for Wildlife
If you love the creatures in your garden, you'll love our Homes for Wildlife project. This is the place to ask and answer questions about making your backyard wildlife-friendly.

How to...plant an alpine container for bees and bugs

  • You may or may not have seen the wildlife enquiries blog from last week about gardening in drought conditions. I suggested opting for species that were not quite as thirsty as traditional bedding plants. Well, at the weekend I decided to put this into practice in my haphazard approach to gardening and take some snaps along the way to show you what I mean. So here goes.

    You need a bag of (peat free) compost, some grit, some larger bits of rock or rubble, a selection of wildlife friendly alpine plants, a large pot with drainage holes and maybe a trowel if you don't want to get mud under your fingernails!

    Next up is to mix the grit with the compost, i went for a 50/50 split. Before you pop the substrate into the pot place the larger rocks in the bottom of the pot.

    Next up is the planting, I picked a selection that will hopefully flower through the spring and summer giving a varity of colour and some nice foliage, the arabis and saxifrage were already in flower. The others were a scabious, two varities of sedum and another saxifrage (will add the full names if I get round to it!).

    The last couple of things were to water them in, finish the gaps with a bit of grit and then place it in a sunny spot near to the strawberries to hopefully attract in a few more bees to help with pollination. We'll see how it goes!


  • Excellent! Looks great! Look forward to hearing about its progress!

  • That's a great idea!  Especially since I never water my container plants lol  Though my apple trees have done fine, but then I am up in Scotland!

  • It absolutely tipped it down the minute after I had put it in place so it got a good watering to set it on its way! Theres me talking about droughts!

  • Wow, that looks great!

  • Just revisiting this thread now we're at the end of summer (did it ever arrive?). I've been checking on the planters progress through the summer, with minimal intervention and little watering. Apparently slugs really like Arabis, a couple of stonking slugs by-passed all the other alpines and devoured this plant in double quick time! I doubt if it will recover unfortunately but the others survived and flowered!

    The best of the bunch for wildlife seemed to be the scabious, bees and hoverflies were checking it out regularly and it's still in flower. It will be interesting to see how long into the autumn it lasts!