The children from my school have been asked to provide some alpines for a raised bed of gravel in the local community garden. Can you recommend bee-friendly alpines which will require little watering?
We have been advised that we can pierce the membrane below the gravel (about 4” deep) where we place the plants - any advice on this?
Aubretia, Ajuga, Campanula, Alpine strawberries and Thyme/Marjoram would be my first thoughts.
I’m sorry, I don’t have any experience growing alpines so can’t help you with the other bit I’m afraid
Do try Sedums. They are excellent for drought resistance. Different species have a range of foliage and flower colours and they have flat flower heads that bumblebees (and other bees) work freely.
Thymes would do well too !
Gravel 4 inches deep would be rather too deep for some alpines. Gravel is an excellent idea to keep rain from splashing soil up onto the alpines which they hate. If you are unable to change the depth of the gravel I would suggest making a depression in the gravel when planting. When you have the roots in the soil below the membrane, through the appropriate size hole in the membrane, keep the level of the gravel no higher than the “neck” of the plant.
You could also grow sedums planted in the gravel and not into the soil, a 4 inch depth of gravel would be ideal for them.
Hope that helps
Sue - Sparrow