When I planted up the larger alpine bed last Summer, I optimistically anticipated the majority of plants would spread. That has not been the case and, quite a number did not last the Winter; as you can see from the picture, the bed was disappointingly sparse once I’d weeded, with Sedum makinoi and Sempervivum being two of the few alpines that are thriving, along with the silver-blue grass Festuca glauca. Some plants I added too late in the year; perhaps they were more vulnerable to the change and, then to frost. At least the Mares Tails (Equisetum arvense) are not as prolific as they once were which, I am delighted about. Removing them was a back-breaking and time-consuming task. With the bed tidied, I headed to the garden centre to buy more alpines (right photo). I am hopeful these ones do better as I selected only those marked as hardy. At the moment they look very pretty, contrasting against gold-coloured gravel.