In this month’s magazine, Billy Moore shares over forty years’ experience and enjoyment growing alpine plants and rock gardening.
I first became interested in alpines more than forty years ago and my fascination with these sparking denizens of high places has deepened over those years. My earliest thrill was to see Gentiana verna, the spring gentian, which I had grown from seed, in flower in a raised bed outside my kitchen window. I have seen its amazingly rich blue flowers previously in the Burren, wild, but was completely bowled over to be able to enjoy it in my own garden. It is easily raised from seed but in my experience declines quickly after a year or two and soon dies. The only way to have it permanently in your garden is to sow seed every year so that you always have new plants coming on. It is worth the trouble. I have had many similar joys with other plants since, but the gentian, being the first, sticks in my mind.
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