The University Gardens

The Alpine Garden in full bloom

The season in the Alpine Garden is long and varied, from the first spring bulbs in late winter to the last flowering in late autumn. But especially now, in the early part of the summer, there is always something worth seeing, particularly when the new perennials have been planted out and the collections are complete.

Valmuesøster øvers i Fjellhagen.
Bjørn Moe

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We can now recommend a trip to the Alpine Garden in the Botanical Garden, where many of the perennials are in full bloom at the beginning of June. Tall plants like the poppies (Meconopsis) are the first you notice at the top of the Asian area. The plants have large flowers in many different colours. Close by, various species of primulas and asters are growing.

The poppies and the primulas tower above the other creepers that are covering the rocks. Rock jasmines (Androsace) and alpine balsam (Erinus) are superb rock-garden plants with beautiful colours, and they thrive particularly well on limestone. Here, we also find alpine dryads and the orchid Cypripedium reginae which is a relative of our own lady’s slipper. This American lady’s slipper has pink flowers and is easy to grow as a garden plant.

The pyramidal saxifrage grows close to a waterfall as it is often found growing in the wild. Sprays of water keep the leaf rosettes, which grows attached to the rock, from drying out. Both the pyramidal saxifrage and its close relative, the White Mountain saxifrage, are in full bloom right now.

The pasque flowers have now shed their blossoms, but they are still decorative with pretty fruits in dense, fluffy tassels on top of the stems. The stem continues to grow after flowering, a natural adaptation to help the wind get a better hold on the seeds to disperse them to new areas.