Alpines naturally originate from mountainous regions in an alpine climate at high elevation, above the tree line. These areas are associated with exposed conditions, lots of direct sunlight and poor, stony soil, sometimes with rocky outcrops. These conditions foster plants that are extremely hardy, tolerant of dry winters, cold weather, often covered by snow for long periods of time, and able to cope with unabating direct sunlight on hot summer days. It is common to find many different species of alpines growing together, completely in harmony creating an interesting and diverse tapestry of foliage and flowers. A rock garden or small rockery is an ideal location to plant alpines however they are equally content in containers or pots and can be used to create stunning low maintenance blocks of colour in gardens of any size. Popular alpines include Arabis for its shape and delicate flowers on stems, Aubrieta which trails and spreads quickly and creates a sea of colour when in flower, Saxifrage which is able to grow almost anywhere including amongst rocks and Sedums with their interesting succulent foliage.