Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden, Alpine House, 22A Slack Top, Heptonstall,, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7HA – Visit Now
Profiled by the RHS and Gardener’s World on the BBC, Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden is one of the UK’s top specialist growers of alpines. Around a 40 minute walk from Hebden Bridge, there’s both a nursery of plants for sale here, and a naturalistic alpine garden that’s open to visitors. The couple behind the company, Allison and Michael Mitchell, have over 35 years of growing experience, and have won the prestigious Gold Medal at the Harrogate Flower Show. Their nursery is situated at nearly 1,000ft, and boasts a collection of plants to tempt both amateur alpine growers, and experienced enthusiasts.
With the combined wisdom of many years’ experience, plus a naturalistic garden in which to see these special plants in situ, Slack Top is a fantastic introduction to growing alpines. It’s also a lovely spot to explore: the garden, which was begun in 1980, spans a quarter of an acre overlooking the Yorkshire moors. Here, you’ll find planted containers and troughs, rock and scree beds and a 100ft planted wall. There are ponds, two new crevice gardens, and woodland planting. The only thing to note is that there’s no café or toilet on site – the team here is too small to support one – and that the garden is gently sloping, with paved paths and steps, so not all easily accessible by wheelchair.
All of the plants for sale at Slack Top Nurseries are propagated from seed, cutting or division. They are very hardy, having been grown outside in the Pennine air once rooted. The Mitchells even make their own loam compost (there’s a disparaging note about mainstream multi-purpose compost on the website), and trial many sales plants in the alpine garden before putting them on sale. For a wander around a beautiful selection of alpine species, to pick up a couple for your own garden or even an entire starter set, there’s no place better.