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By Ukparky

Carinthia, Austria At

What bushes and perennials will grow around my Austrian ski chalet? I have a house at 1500m altitude in the province of Kaernten ( aka Carinthia). It has a steeply sloping garden facing southeast, with quite stony and thin top soil. There are various pine trees and in summer lots of Lupins (the blueish wild ones) and other wild flowers amongst the grass.

I would like to add some interest and variety to the garden without involving a lot of maintenance. I am open to suggestions as to what might grow there.





Rockeries or alpine beds with low clump forming plants would seem to be your best bet. Anything taller will get beaten down by wind or broken by weight of snow in winter. Have a look around locally to see what survives in other gardens? That usually throws up a few ideas.

27 Sep, 2011


Visit some of the local ski resorts in summer, and take note of what's in their gardens. You might also want to contact the Durango Mountain Ski Resort in Durango, Colorado, USA. They have been doing extensive research into gardening under those conditions.

29 Sep, 2011


Thanks guys

I will research the Durango project online.

I was looking for something a bit taller than the classic low clumps we see advertised as "alpines". They'd just get lost amongst the metre high grass. As I am only there a few weeks in the year, it's hard to keep the grass cut. Given that wild lupins seem to thrive I was hoping for something similarly tall and prominent.

I tried scattering some thousands of poppy seeds last Spring, just as the snow was melting, expecting at least something later that summer and beyond.....nothing!

How about azalea or rhododendron - aren't they native to high altitude alpine type environments?

On a related point - is there a perfect time to cut the grass to encourage and allow the wild flowers to show through, alpine pasture style? If I leave it too late I will just lop their heads off.

Thanks for your input so far.

29 Sep, 2011


To some extent alpine pastures look as they do because they are grazed by cattle in summer, allowing the flowers to show through?
I see what you mean about something taller and more prominent that alpines, but I'm not sure what to suggest. Tugbretil's idea sounds a good place to start.
Are you above the tree line? There are some very hardy junipers which might survive.

29 Sep, 2011


Thanks again

I am not above the tree line.

As well as looking into the Durango project, I might try asking Kew Gardens


29 Sep, 2011

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