An alpine garden (or alpinarium, alpinum) is a domestic or botanical garden specialising in the collection and cultivation of alpine plants growing naturally at high altitudes around the world, such as in the Caucasus, Pyrenees, Rocky Mountains, Alps, Himalayas and Andes.
An alpine garden tries to imitate the conditions of the plants' place of origin. One example of this is using large stones and gravel beds, rather than the soil that naturally grows there. Though the plants can often cope with low temperatures, they dislike standing in damp soil during the winter months. The soil used is typically poor (sandy) but extremely well-drained. One of the main obstacles in developing an alpine garden is the unnatural conditions which exist in some areas, particularly mild or severe winters and heavy rainfall, such as those present in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This can be avoided by growing the plants in an alpine house or unheated greenhouse, which tries to reproduce the ideal conditions. The first true alpine garden was created by Anton Kerner von Marilaun in 1875 on the Blaser Mountain, in Tyrol, Austria, at an altitude of 2,190 m (7,190 ft).
Typical plants found in an alpine garden include:
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