The Rock Garden Plants

Welcome to Backyard Gardener

Skalničky 4/2005 – The Rock Garden Plants
Newsletter of the quarterly Bulletin of
The Rock Garden Club Prague
Klub skalničkářů Praha, Maříkova 5, 162 00 Praha 6, Czech Republic

Seed exchange: is open to all members in good standing for the year 2005. The seed list is distributed together with this Bulletin vol. 4 in December. Instructions are enclosed there. Orders for seeds are accepted by Mrs. Anna Benešová, Molákova 580/26, 186 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic. We thank all donors for their generosity to donate seeds.
Annual meeting: Saturday, 4 March, 2006, 8:45 to 15:00 o´clock. Museum of Police, Na Karlově, Prague 2.  Reports on Club activites, awards of growers for their exhibited plants. Slide shows.
Lecture:  Jaroslav Baláž – Visit to the Turkish mountains
Shows: including plant sale in the traditional show church garden on Karlovo náměstí – Moráň, Prague 1, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (dates are also shown on the RGC Calendar under „Výstavy“), past bulletins and book sale.

  1. Early Spring Show:  27 March – 1 April, 2006  (Karel Lang and Jiří Novák)
  2. Main Spring Show:  3 – 20 May, 2006 (Vojtech Holubec, Martin Hajman)
  3. Autumn Show: 11 – 23 September, 2006

Lectures: (17:00, Na Novotneho lávce, Prague 1)
14 December 2005  – Martin Hajman – Collections of Pruhonice alpinum – 120 years
11 January 2006 – Petr Hanzelka –  America
15 March.2006 – Jiří Šlégl –  Middle Africa and New Guinea
12. April 2006 – Vojtech Holubec – Kamchatka.

Membership dues reminder: 25 EUR including the seed exchange. Money transfer to the bank address: Česká spořitelna, Křenova 7, 162 00 Prague 2 Petřiny, account number: 169508379/0800, swift: GIBACZPX.  Payable to: Klub skalničkářů Praha. From: The name plus a shortened address, i.e. city and country (necessary to identify the sender).  Bank cheques, personal cheques, International Money Orders or Draft Notes are accepted and should be sent to the Club address. Cash is welcome, in a registered letter, but at your risk. Please, make your name and address readable. We always have unidentified cheques with missing address!  If you do not receive bulletins, let us know also time and way of your last payment. Skalnicky no. 2 and later is sent only to members in good standing.

Editor’s note: Contributions to the Bulletin are very welcome.  Please send a manuscript printed on paper and on a diskette as a text file or preferably in Word.  Articles will be translated to Czech. English summary is welcome.  Please enclose colour photos 9×13 cm or slides 24×36 mm, they will be returned.  Editor: Dr. Marie Lhotská. Ruská 158,  100 00 Praha 10.

Advertisements: full page for 3.000 Kč. It is possible to request 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/8 of a page.

The RGCP Board wishes all members a great Christmas time, successful New Year, good health and full measure of enthusiasm.


Excerpts from the Bulletin

Juno stenophylla and its growing – V. Lajn pg. 135
Both   subspecies   of   this   plant   the  author  grows   a rock-plant glasshouse  situated on southwestern  slope of his   garden in  central Bohemia. It  demands stony, very  permeable,   moderately alkaline  soil. The site  must be protected  against   summer rains to secure the good  ripening of bulbs, which is an   indispensable  precondition of  good growth  of the  plant. Its   demands are about the same as of e.g. Juno persica.
Juno  stenophylla is  one of  most precocious  species of   this genus  and its subspecies  allisonii blooms even  a little   earlier than the typical subspecies. It also blooms readily and   produces more seeds, which are better germinant.

Erodium acaule – L. Kodídek pg. 149
At least  since ten years  the author grows  this plant in   his rock garden, which is situated  at altitude of about 350 m.   It demands a  plot deflected from the direct  noon sunshine and   permeable stony soil with minimum content of humus and calcium.   It need not to be covered in winter.

It blooms luxuriantly and for a long time, from the end of   May  to the  coming of  frosts. About  50 per  cent of  flowers   produce  seeds, which  after ripeness  are “shot  out” into the   surroudings.  In spite  of it,   this plant  does not  show any   tendency to  turn into weed, because  the spontaneous seedlings   are  not numerous.  The seeds  are to  be sown  in autumn or in   early spring.  The propagation is  also possible in  vegetative   way by separating  of lateral rosettes in spring  or in autumn.   They must be then kept under glass.
How to manage the rock garden ? – S. Čepička pg. 168

The rock gardeners often visit  me to ask advice what they   should grow in their rock garden. I have devoted myself to this   hobby already over twenty five years. My garden lies in central   Bohemia about 200  m a.s.l. on southwestern slope,  where it is   exposed to sunshine from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The soil is formed   by disintegrated schist.

I  explain  them  that  the  choice  of  sortiment is most   important.  I  depict  them  my  errors  arisen  from  lack  of   experience,  when  I  tried  to  grow  various  cold-loving and   hydrophilous plants  which I liked, but  which weren`t suitable   for this type of biotope. Only  repeated failures led me to the   idea to grow first of all the tuberous and bulbous plants from the  Balkan  Peninsula,  Central  Asia  and  other warm and dry   regions.

All  gentians and  other cold-living  plants I  gave to my   brother, whose rock  garden lies in a higher  site. The results   were evident  within  a  short  time.  All  plants recovered as   sprinkled  with elixir  of life.  The change  of sortiment  has   proved to be very good in my  garden, too, so that I have grown   these plants  already for a  long time all  years round without   winter covering.
Many  rock gardeners  ascribe my  recent successful results   mainly  to the  chemical  composition  of the  schist mentioned   above, thanks  to the balanced ratio  of magnesium, calcium and   phosphorus. I know, however, that for the thriving condition of   them  in  first  place   the  permeability  of  substratum  and   intensive insolation of my garden are responsible.

Arisaema dracontium – J. Šlégl pg 150
The  Arisema  species  appear  more  frequently  in  Czech   gardens  in  the  course  of  the  last  years.  Beside Asiatic   species, also  two North American  plants are to  be seen among   them, viz. Arisaema triphyllum and A. dracontium.

The  author  obtained  four  seeds  for  A.  dracontium in   January 2003 from Canadian seed exchange. He sowed them at once   and  waited,  whether  they  would  germinate  in  spring. This   happened   at  the   beginning  of   June.  Before   winter  he   precautiously  transferred  the  small  tubers  into cellar. In   spring 2004 he was surprised by one plant which came into bloom   and even  produced fruits. At  the beginning of  hibernation he   took  out one  tuber and  planted it  into humose  earth in the   grove  part  of  my  garden,  the  other  one  he  kept  in the   container.  In  this  year  both  plants  already  bloomed  and   produced fruits, too.

Rock plants of the genus Anthyllis – D. Hetzerová pg. 147
Recently the  author grows in  her rock garden  in central   Bohemia two species of the genus Anthyllis, viz. A. montana and   A.  vulneraria  in  red  form.  She  growthe  both plants in   a insolated site in permeable soil and do not provide them with   winter covering.
A. montana she propagates both  by cuttings and by sowing,   because it sometimes produce fertile seeds in her rock garden.

 A.  vulneraria,  however,  sometimes  must  be  limited by   slipping of  some fruits to prevent  the excessive spreading of   them.

Several times she grew in  the same way also A. hermanniae.   This species,  however, never survived  three years, even  when   covered in winter.

Allium insubricum or Allium narcissiflorum ?- E. Hanslík pg. 152
The  author treats  differences between  these species and   reports his experience with the cultivation of them. The plants   demand sandy-loam soil (ratio 1:2)  in site exposed to sun. The   presence of calcium or limestone or dolomitic stones in soil is   favourable for  plants, fertilizing is to  be recommended, too.   The separating of  the bunch of bulbils in  spring must be made   carefuly to  prevent the damaging of  the rootstock below them.   The

Penstemon species in my garden – M. Mally pg. 145
The author grows Penstemon caespitosus on slope exposed to   sun  in earth  containing small  stones with  addition of  pine   litter and sand (ratio 1:1:2). This plot is partly covered with   a terrace and moreover  it is covered with foil  in winter. The   plants are popagated  by separating  the rooted  parts in early   spring. Fertile seeds are not produced.

In  a similar  plot also  P. davidsonii  is grown  without   winter covering. The seeds are produced  in sufficient amount,   but the  author propagates this species  only in vegetative way   by taking  herbaceous cuttings with woody  bases, which he then   keeps under glass.

Phisrutus var.  pygmaeus  is  a tenacious  plant, which   grows in various places of the rock garden. It keeps up by rich   spontaneous sowing.

Iris verna ? – M. Lhotská pg. 161
The  author points  to the  characters by  which the species   Iris  lacustris and  I. cristata  are different  from I. verna,   which they are often confused with.

As  regarded their  cultivation, they  are undemanding and   longlived plants. I. cristata grows  on the top of the author`s   limestone rock garden in central Bohemia. I. lacustris has been   planted  in  garden  earth  in  a  place  protected  from  noon   sunshine. They don`t produce any seeds in the culture, they are   propagated by  dividing of rootstock  in early spring  or after   blooming.

Helianthemum for small rock garden – A. and O. Beneš pg.158         
Of  the  low-growing  Helianthemum  species,  the  authors   cultivate  in their  rock garden  in central  Bohemia (altitude   300 m) Helianthemeum canum and H. oelandicum ssp.alpestre.
Both species have been cultivated in a sun-exposed site in   permeable and not very  nutritive substratum. The production of   seeds has not bee observed in  them as yet. They are propagated   in sowing of seeds from  natural localities in a sowing mixture   in January or by herbaceous cuttings taken at beginning of June   and kept in  a substratum mixed of coarse  sand and peat (ratio   1:1).

New plants in my rock garden – Z. Řeháček pg. 138
The autor reports on the  cultivation of new plants in his   rock garden in northeastern Bohemia (500 m s.s.l.).

Aethionema caespitosum.  He planted this  species twice in   his rock garden, but his pleasure in both cases was short. Even   when he planted it in the  second case in a site protected from   noon  sunshine, it  did not  help, and  the plant  died away in   summer,
Alyssum caepitosum.  The author grows  it on the  southern   slope exposed to sunshine in  well permeable earth, no cover is   used for winter. As it produces no seeds, the author propagates   it by cuttings from June to  August. The plant pictured here is   already 8 years old.
Androsace rigida. After several years of growing the author   has stated that  this plant can be grown  rather easily in pots   with  permeable  substratum,  providing  that  it hibernates in   glasshouse. The planting in his rock garden, however, never was   successful. It  produces only few seeds.  The author propagates   it by cuttings and partly by sowing.
Brachycome  aculeata. The  plant  was  grown on  the steep   northwestern slope  in acid part  of the rock  garden. It lived   for  several  years  there  and  bloomed  twice or three times.   However, it  did not produce  any seeds, and  during one rather   hard winter it got lost without replacement.
Corydalis buschii is grown in  a heath plot exposed to sun   from  10 a.m.  The winter  it survived  uncovered, its bunch is   permanently growing, so that the author intends to divide it.
Dianthus versicolor. This plant comes from drier habitats,   so that  the conditions of author`s  garden were not favourable   to it. Once  it bloomed, but then it did  not survive the moist   autumn and winter. It produced no seeds.
Erigeron  elegantulus  demands  drier  sites especially in   summer. It does  not tolerate the presence of  calcium in soil.   In a sunny, well-drained site it kept up for 4 years.
Minuartia  circassica.  In   the  author`s  opinion,  this   species  can be  grown without  any problems.  It demands  only   sunny site and otherwise normal conditions.
Primula minutissima is a plant  which the author has grown   already  for  12  years,  but  it  has  not  bloomed as yet. He   replaced  it twice  by new   cuttings, planted  it in  pot with   permeable  soil placed  in a  possibly cool  site and  still is   hoping to see it come in bloom.
Ranunculus  brevifolius  grows  reliably  on  the northern   slope of author`s rock garden  in permable earth. Every year it   regularly comes into bloom and produces several fruits.
Veronica grandiflora was grown  by author three times, but   only in the third attempt it bloomed. However, its flowers were   not so big  as given in the literature. In  no case it survived  the summer heat.
Viola alpina. This viola species is cultivated exclusively   in  crevices  of  a  travertine  rock  situated on the northern   slope. This year it produced first seeds, which were sown.

Veronica armena – M. Blažková pg. 159
The  author  grows  this  plant  in  several  sites of the   eastern  and western  slope  of  her  limestonne rock garden in   central  Bohemia  (altitude  200  m).  It  has  been planted in   permeable  earth, in  winter it  is not  covered and during the   sultry  weather is  watered in  the common  way, mostly in late   evening.
It produces  only few seeds, the  spontaneous sowing occurs   rarely.  The  author  propagates   it  successfully  by  making   cuttings  (about 8  cm in  lenght) from  not-blooming stems  in   spring or at beginning of autumn.



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