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Alpine Plants & Low Growing Perennials

PERENNIAL FLOWERS:  Perennials want to grow in a pocket of good soil that does not contain added fertilizer. 

Rock garden plants do not need to grow by rocks.  The flower bed ideally is an oval on level ground or on a slight downward slope.  You should be able to kneel outside the flower bed and weed it from both sides.  Try not to walk inside your bed so you do not compact the soil.  Your perennial bed should be located where snow naturally lies all winter.

Most perennials like to be covered with leaves in October after they have gone dormant.  This keeps them from drying out during the winter and protects them from temperature fluctuations.  We cover the leaves with orange plastic construction netting to hold the leaves on our plants.  Rocks or something heavy is needed to prevent the netting from blowing away.  We uncover our plants around April 15th.  Plants whose description states that they are “very hardy” need to be covered for the first winter in their bed.  Once they are established,  “very hardy” plants do not have to be covered for the winter.

With a good selection of perennials you will have flowers blooming in your yard early in spring before it is safe to put out annuals and into fall when tender annuals have frosted.  Our perennial plants are potted after they are dug.

The prices are for 1 plant of blooming size.   


For rock garden or edge of flowerbed; up to 1 foot in height.   Arranged in alphabetical order by noun; example:  Allium, Aster, Bells, Bellflower.


Dwarf Blue Chinese Allium:  This 1’ beautiful delicate ornamental onion has drooping metallic blue bells in mid-summer.  Sun or light shade.   No odor, good cut flower.  Very hardy; good on a bank.   $7.   (In the photo below the Austrian Speedwell is on the right and the red form of the Dwarf Chinese Allium is on the left.)

Blue Russian Allium:
Growing on the Russian steppes this attractive 1’ onion was first described in 1773.  The almost spherical flower head is medium blue with darker mid-veins.  It was awarded an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.  Grow it in the sun in normal to slightly dry soil.  Wants normal snow cover.  Only a few.  $8.  Sold out.

Dark Beauty Alpine Aster:
(New)  This pretty alpine aster has large dark violet daisies with yellow centers on 10” stems.  Blooming in June, it is found in the Alps and Pyreenes in meadows and stony places.  Grow it in sun with normal moisture and snow cover.  $7.

Pink Alpine Bells:
This lovely Cortusa has pink downward facing bell-shaped flowers on 9-12” stems and heart-shaped leaves.  It is related to primroses.  A native of the mountains of Europe it prefers slightly moist soil in sun or partial shade (not a hot spot).  $7.


Blue Carpathian Bellflower:
 Beautiful, showy large blue wide-open cup shaped flowers on 12” stems above neat narrow leaves. Blooms from July until freeze up.  Introduced from the Carpathian Mountains in 1774.  Wants normal snow cover; sun or partial shade.  $7.  Sold out for 2013.


Blue Fairy Thimble Bellflower:
  This 3-4” tall cushion forming campanula does look like a play thing for the wee folk.  Tiny shiny green leaves form loose rosettes with slender flower stems topped by inch long blue bells.  They bloom from June to September forming a mat 12” wide.  Native to the mountains of Europe.  Plant where they will have normal snow cover in the sun or partial shade.  $8.


A good native ground cover that does well under trees, in partial shade and full sun.  Showy white dogwood flowers in spring followed by bunches of red berries and vivid scarlet leaves in fall.  Does well on a bank once established.  Very hardy.  $7.  Sold out.

Dwarf Blue and White Columbine
  This choice columbine comes from the alpine regions of Japan, Korea and the Sakhalin and Kuriles Islands.   We have grown it for over 50 years.  It has extra-large, blue and white flowers on 10” stems.  Choice.  Very hardy, good cut flower.   Sun or shade.  $7.

Native Red Columbine:
  A beautiful native of Alaska and Canada that grows 12-18” tall.  It has large downward facing flowers of red and yellow.  Does well in sun or partial shade with normal moisture.  Very hardy.   $7.

Pink Single Dove:
   A delicate plant to 12” with ferny, columbine-type foliage whose edges are stained red.  The delicate nodding flowers are pinkish-purple & are borne in profusion in airy sprays on slender stalks.  You will be enchanted the 1st time you see it. Native to the mountains of China, growing around 3500 m.  Grow it in sun or partial shade with normal snow cover.  $7.


Altai Blue Dragonhead:
  This very cute alpine has large intensely dark blue snapdragon-like flowers on 10” stems.  It is native to the alpine grass lands of the Tien Shan and Altai Mts of China and Kazakhstan and grows north into Siberia.  It prefers normal moisture; full sun or partial shade and normal snow cover.    $7.


Not a colorful or showy plant but the clustered heads of grayish felt are enchanting.  Made famous by the movie, “Sound of Music”.  It is native to the mountains of Central Europe growing in pastures and screes.   A perennial for sun or partial shade in well drained, but not dry soil.  Grows 8” tall, 6” wide.   Give it normal snow cover.  $7.

Royalty Iris:
We have had this very hardy bearded iris for over 50 years.  Very large deep purple blooms appear in July on 10” stems.  Wants sun, good soil, good drainage & normal snow cover.  Very choice.  $10.


Sunset Strain Lewisia :
  A beautiful plant with leaves in a rosette.  Each flower is like a single rose in shades of pink, red or orange.  It blooms from May into July & wants normal moisture in the sun or partial shade.  It is an evergreen so must be covered each winter with leaves.  It would love to overwinter  at the bottom of a big snowdrift.  It is native to northwestern North America and is named after Merriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame.  It is an Award of Garden Merit winner by the Royal Horticultural Society of England.  $7.


This old favorite with its white fragrant blooms is an excellent ground cover and a good cut flower.   Does well in full sun or partial shade with adequate moisture.  A northeast alcove is ideal.  $7.

Alpine Pink
Extremely fragrant pink blooms 1” wide with contrasting silvery green leaves.  Good cut flower; grows to one foot.  It is a native of alpine meadows.  Needs snow cover; south or west exposure.    $7.  Sold out.

Alpine Primrose
  Thick evergreen leaves with clusters of very fragrant blooms early in May.  Very choice; this plant was in cultivation in Vienna before 1570.  It grows naturally in rock crevices up to 7,000 feet in the Alps, the Apennines and Carpathian mountains.  It does well in a south or east exposure and must have snow cover.  Colors: dark burgundy red with yellow eye, pure yellow; pinkish-violet with white eye, cream, lilac   $7.

IMG_0806Burgundy  IMG_0250Yellow

Devon Primrose:
  This is the first non-bulb perennial to bloom on our farm, often flowering in April.  Fragrant soft yellow flowers rise from a rosette of deeply veined leaves.  Good cut flower for sun or shade.  8-12” tall; very hardy; but we always mulch it.    $7.


English Primrose (Cowslip
  Many nodding fragrant blooms rise from a rosette of large leaves on 8-12” stems early in spring.  Should be in every yard.  They range in color from yellow to orange to red.  Good cut flower.  Sun or shade.    $7.


Scandinavian Primrose:
  The flowers of this lovely plant form a circle of pure pink blossoms each with a yellow eye.  They sit atop a 8-12” stem covered in meal to protect it from the sun.  The leaves covered with the same meal on their underside form a rosette.  This native of northern Norway and Sweden is rare in cultivation.  Does well in sun (not a hot spot) or partial shade with normal snow cover.  $7.

Scottish Primrose:
 Abundant in the Orkney Islands and northern Scotland; this gem is rarely found in cultivation.  The 2” long leaves are heavily mealed underneath and form a rosette from which a short flower stem arises (4-6”).  The flower is bright purple with a hint of red and a striking yellow eye.  Plant in sun (not a hot spot) or partial shade where it will receive normal snow cover.  $7. Only a few.  Sold out.

Rocky Mt Primrose:
  (NEW) This rare American primrose is found in eastern Alaska southwards to Colorado in the Rocky Mts.  It grows in moist locations from sea level to 3000 meters.  Its leaves are in a rosette with farinose or meal on the underside and on the flower stem.  Flowers are atop a 6 to 8” stem and are pale lilac with a yellow eye.  Grow it in sun (not a hot spot) or partial shade with normal snow cover.  $7.


Von Haller’ Primrose:
Discovered in the Swiss Alps by Albrecht von Haller, an 18th century physician, botanist and poet.  Beautiful pink outward facing flowers on a 6” stem rise from a rosette of green leaves.  Full sun or partial shade, normal moisture and normal snow cover.   $7.

Watson’s Primrose:
  A curious-looking Himalayan alpine with a rosette of shaggy foliage that sends up a powdered 10” stem.  On top is a deep indigo purple downward facing grape hyacinth-shaped flower.   Does well in sun (not a hot spot) or partial shade and with normal moisture and snow cover.   $7.

Primrose Collection:
  One each: Alpine, Pink Siberian, English, Tall Tibetan and Von Haller’s:  With these plants you will have primroses blooming from May into August.   $30; a savings.

Pink Pussy Toes
  Forms a flat mat 8” or more across.  Silver leaves.  Likes full sun and prefers to grow in poor soil.  Could be used between stepping-stones.  Flowers look like a cat’s toes.  Very hardy and tough.    An excellent ground cover.  $7 or  2 for $12.


Siberian Sedum:  The best herbaceous ground cover for full sun.  Sends out branches in all directions that root where they touch the ground.  Soon makes a dense mat that few weeds grow through.  Bright golden blooms on 5” stems.  Prefers to grow on a bank that is slightly dry.   Extremely hardy and tough.  $7 or 2 for $12.

Carpathian Snowbell:
(new) This native of the Carpathian and Tatra Mountains of Europe has beautiful deeply fringed purple-blue drooping bells.  The coin-shaped leaves are dark green.  It blooms in early May on 6-8 inch stems.  It prefers partial shade and a normal to slightly moist locale with good drainage.  It wants to overwinter at the bottom of a snow drift so must be covered with leaves after it has gone dormant in October. $8.

Deep Lavender Snowbell:
  This native of the European Alps has beautiful nodding bell shaped flowers of deep lavender.  The edge of each flower is deeply fringed.  8” tall.  It has round evergreen leaves so must be planted where it will have normal snow cover.  Grow it in partial shade in a slightly moist location with good drainage.  It wants to overwinter at the bottom of a snowdrift so must be covered with leaves after it has gone dormant.   $8.


Mountain Snowbell:
(new)  Widely distributed  in the Pyreenes, Alps and Carpathian Mountains, this snowbell has deeply fringed reddish-violet to purple drooping bells.  Blooms early in May on 8” stems.  It prefers partial shade and a normal to slightly moist locale with good drainage.  It is an evergreen so be sure to cover it with leaves for the winter after it has gone dormant in October. $8.


Aleutian Speedwell:
This ground cover can be seen from the air blanketing the Aleutian Islands in July with 2” bluish-purple flowers.  Does well partial shade or shade and a slightly moist location with normal snow cover.  6 “ tall.  This lovely plant was given to us many years ago by Lenore Hedla.  $7.


Austrian Speedwell
  A mass of fragrant deep blue flowers on 8-12” spikes over a long period.  A wonderful edge for a flower bed and good cut flower.   A must for every alpine rock garden; very hardy.  One of our favorites.    South or west exposure; with normal snow cover.    We always cover it in the fall.  $8.  (In the photo below the Austrian Speedwell is on the right and the red form of the Dwarf Chinese Allium is on the left.)


Blue Carpet Speedwell:
  8-10” spikes of bright blue flowers in July and August.  Slowly spreads to be 8” across.  Prefers normal moisture,  full sun and normal snow cover.  $7.


Alpine Sunrose:
  This beauty from the Alps is the 2nd non-bulb to bloom here.  Almost stemless large white daisies appear before the ferny foliage develops.  Everyone who sees it in bloom wants one.  Very rare.  Grow it in sun in good soil and  normal snow cover.  $12.  Sold out.

Alpine Trollius:
  This dwarf trollius covers the alpine meadows of the Chinese-Tibetan border with single upright bright yellow buttercups on 8- 12” stems.  It does well with normal to damp moisture, sun or partial shade and normal snow cover.  Very hardy $7.  Sold out.


Dwarf Trollius
  Cup shaped yellow blooms on 12” stems in May.  Blooms earlier than the tall varieties.  Makes a nice show.  Good cut flower for the sun or partial shade.  Very hardy.  $8.


Horned Violet:
A lovely fragrant large flowered violet for sun or partial shade; native to the Pyrenees.    Pale purple flowers from June into August; 6-8” tall. Wants good well-drained soil and normal snow cover.    $7.

Yellow Mongolian Violet
A true violet 3” tall.  Soon forms a clump.  Must be watered or rained on before will come up in spring.  Likes full sun.  Very hardy & tough.  $7