We have just got back from a few days walking in the mountains of Austria. Fantastic alpine flowers everywhere on the mountain tops- difficult not to walk on them when leaving the path to photograph them. Having just cut back loads of Alchemilla mollis before we came away it was the last plant I expected to find at the top of a mountain- ok it was its cousin, Alchemilla alpina – but it was spreading with the same enthusiasm as the one back home!
One flower that I was very impressed with was Dryas octopetela, beautiful shiny green leaves which set off the pristine white petals (8 naturally), this was spreading just as enthusiastically but looked absolutely gorgeous.
Seeing the conditions that they obviously love to grow in, alpine scree with virtually no soil and with exceptional drainage, it was obvious why they didn’t last long in my garden. The only place that I can grow them is in troughs or in a special raised bed with loads of drainage added.
Even so, they look much happier in the Alps!