Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

General Subjects => Wisley Alpine Log – Feedback Forum => Topic started by: Maggi Young on November 12, 2010, 05:28:41 PM

Title: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Maggi Young on November 12, 2010, 05:28:41 PM
For those of us waiting eagerly to see how ZZ and the Wisley Workers (as I have named the staff who will be helping on this project) then you will find Log 19 of 2010 online now, with Paul's report on the start of the stonework of the crevice garden.
Find Log 19 here :
http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/index.php?log=wisley


You will be amazed to see how the garden "appears" as if by magic...... though, of course, there is really a lot of very hard physical work and expert planning to make it look so good!

 While we were thrilled to get Giles'  photo from the other day (http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=6223.msg172163#msg172163) it is even better to see how the bare plot Paul showed us in the last log has been transformed.... work has been extraordinarily speedy, it seems to me, and the progress is quite remarkable..... enjoy Paul's log.......then make a date in  your diary to go visit the finished project at Wisley......
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Lesley Cox on November 13, 2010, 09:19:01 PM
ZZ and Dub Dub. I like that Maggi though I HATE shortened words like the dub dub dub instead of doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou of website addresses. The dubs are so much easier and less cumbersome so I use them. ::)
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: sippa on November 13, 2010, 10:29:03 PM

How much fun to see that garden being created.  ZZ is a master.  I wish I had those rocks.

Marianne in Vermont
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: ashley on November 14, 2010, 10:24:06 AM
... I HATE shortened words like the dub dub dub instead of doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou of website addresses. The dubs are so much easier and less cumbersome so I use them. ::)

Why not forget the dubs altogether Lesley?  Just type the address (e.g. srgc.co.uk or sometimes even a truncated version thereof) and your browser should do the rest.  
Incidentally Dubs are one of the two species we Irish come in ;D, the rest of us being Culchies (or latterly Boggers to younger Dubs).

Digression, sorry :-[
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Lesley Cox on November 14, 2010, 07:45:52 PM
I do, Ashley but sometimes one needs to write a whole address for someone or a similar situation.
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Paul Cumbleton on November 15, 2010, 06:48:07 PM
Plants needed - Can you help with the Wisley Crevice Garden?

The new Wisley crevice garden will need hundreds of plants. We would like to plant it with alpines really suited to the situation. There are crevices in all aspects – north, south, east and west and from full sun to shade, so there will be lots of differing niches for a wide range of plants. We are going to be careful to exclude anything that may be invasive, seed around too freely, get too large or be weedy or diseased.

While we will be buying some, sowing a lot of seed and taking a lot of cuttings ourselves, I thought it would be great to offer the opportunity for anyone to take part in the project by way of donating us plants, seeds or cuttings. If you have any spare material that you would like to donate we would be very grateful to have it. Remember we are looking for plants that are particularly suited to life in a crevice and not invasive things etc. If we get inundated (I hope!) I can’t guarantee to use everything sent us, but anything we can’t use on the crevice garden will be found a good home somewhere on the rock garden so nothing will be wasted. Our main planting period is planned to be in March 2011. If you want to donate something, please send it to me at the following address:

Paul Cumbleton
RHS Garden, Wisley
Woking
Surrey
GU23 6QB

Alternately, anyone visiting Wisley could pop in to the department and leave things with us. I also will be at the AGS show at Harlow on Feb 26th next year and could receive plants there. It might be worth adding that a surprising number of alpines can be propagated from cuttings taken even at this time of year – if you keep them above 5 centigrade they will often root slowly through the winter and be ready for Spring planting.

Thanks!

Paul
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: mark smyth on December 08, 2010, 11:33:06 AM
Almost finished and looking great http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/index.php?log=wisley (http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/index.php?log=wisley). Roll on springwhen we what plants are will be planted

Paul, are you growing your own from seed?
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Maggi Young on December 08, 2010, 11:37:12 AM
Mark: see Paul's post above yours.......
Posted on: November 15, 2010, 06:48:07 PM  ;)
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Paul Cumbleton on December 08, 2010, 12:43:53 PM
Hi Mark,
We are planning to sow well over 200 different packets of seed ourselves. Some of these we have bought, others will be from the various seed exchanges and more are donations we have received. Of these, over 60 packets have already been sown, the rest are yet to arrive. Some of course will that don't need chilling will wait until Spring to be sown. We will also be putting in at least 100 different alpines as ready-grown plants so there will be at least something to see right from the start. But I think the best things will be from those that we raise from seed and cuttings and plant in as very young plants that will establish in situ. This means it wil be probably a few years before the whole thing looks well established. A nice change from the fad for "instant gardening"!

Kind regards
Paul
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on December 08, 2010, 12:45:41 PM
It will most definitely be a feature to look out for Paul !  ;D
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: John85 on February 03, 2011, 10:20:26 PM
Are crevice gardens always"filled" with pure sand?What is the size used ?Is it washed sand,river sand or crushed rock?
What have members used in their own crevice garden?
Two years ago I made four different test sand beds  with different mixtures and pure sand produced the worst result.
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: mark smyth on February 03, 2011, 10:28:22 PM
My crevice bed is filled with black sand from a quarry that is now closed. They had the best sand a top  dressing grit.

ZZ told me it makes the roots reach down to richer soild below the stones. Maybe he will come in and answer.

Paul will remember better because I'm relying on my aging memory to think back to about 5 years ago
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Paul Cumbleton on February 04, 2011, 09:29:49 AM
Not everyone uses sand in their crevice gardens. But for large scale ones like ours, cost is a major consideration and sand is relatively cheap to buy. We used close to 100 tonnes of sand in the crevice garden at Wisley. If we had wanted to use the equivalent of an alpine potting mix instead, the cost would have been prohibitive. We used washed, sharp sand which is just like what you might buy in a garden centre sold as "horticultural sand". One problem with sand is that it can be quite variable. Being a natural product, it varies somewhat in compostion even from area to area within the same quarry. Each time we buy a load it seems to differ somewhat, so you can never be sure exactly what you are going to get.

Having had some previous experience with sand beds, I think the key to success with sand is to get the feeding correct. I had heard people say that you should not feed plants in a sand bed, but my experience is that if you do not feed them, they simply do not grow. After all, their is pretty much nothing at all in sand as far as the major nutrients goes.

It will certainly be interesting to see how our new crevice garden grows after we plant it up in March. We are also thinking about playing with introducing mycorrhiza but that's a whole other story we are still working out!

Paul
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: John85 on February 04, 2011, 10:29:55 AM
Thank you both.   I feeded the sand beds with a slow release fertilizer and food was not a problem it was the water.Even watered regulary it was as if the roots of the plants were not able to satisfy the demand of the foliage.Erodiums did very well(most come from the Mediterranean region after all) but even a easy thing like a dwarf bearded  iris wasn't happy.The summers in my area are much hotter and dryer than at Wisley but the winters are very wet and nearly as cold.
I think I'll give this a try :a slightly richer mixture till 15cm from the surface topped with a lean mix.Have you already tried something like that Paul?
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Jiri Papousek on February 04, 2011, 09:21:51 PM
I discovered the whole mystery how to succeed with sand. You have to wear magic Wellington's from wizard ZZ, it has be be Dunlop brand only....I was convinced by ZZ to try pure sand for alpines and it is mostly success. I never fertilize plants in crevices, but it is true that below crevices is a good garden soil. I was also very surprised how quickly sand change the color and became mixed with soil by earthworms. I noticed that it is important to use higher top dressing as sand retains very high amount of water. This winter I could confirm what ZZ told me that sand doesn't freeze the same way like soil. During warmer winter period, soil was still frozen, but pile of sand was movable. It helps to decrease fine roots damages from melting and freezing cycle. See some pictures from my developing garden.
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Jiri Papousek on February 04, 2011, 09:36:28 PM
Pictures second attempt.

two wizards ZZ and Kaj Andersen
P5080457.JPG
P5250667.JPG
P5010301.JPG
P5010224.JPG
P5160568.JPG
P5010237.JPG
P5010236.JPG
erigeron Grande Ridge.JPG
arenaria purpurascens.JPG
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on February 04, 2011, 09:38:12 PM
Wonderful pictures of really well grown plants Jiri !!  :o
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Maggi Young on February 04, 2011, 10:18:04 PM
Jiri, thank you  for these pictures and  thank you for making  them.

 It is right that the world should learn the secret of the boots!  ;D

Video from RHS about making of the crevice garden with Paul Cumbleton :
https://www.rhs.org.uk/videos/Gardens/Wisley/2011/The-Crevice-Garden (https://www.rhs.org.uk/videos/Gardens/Wisley/2011/The-Crevice-Garden)
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Stone Rider on February 04, 2011, 10:52:07 PM
SAND IN THE CREVICE GARDENS (THE HOME OF SMALL SAXATILE PLANTS)
 

  Today is practically impossible to buy good garden soil in Central Europe: you can get expensive peaty bark rubbish with some sand and partly composted poop (sewage sediments) packet in plastic bags. Who will plant saxatile plants in it? Acceptable substrate as John Innes no.2 (with true loam) is not in Czech Republic available and even Botanic Gardens are not able to buy 60 cubic meters of it. Sand is cheap and cheerful and Paul Cumblenton is right in the explanation why we used it in Wisley. In winter-wet countries like England sharp sand is a good insurance for alpines in this kind of killing lowland weather.
 I must give thanks to the friendly bird, Alpine parrot, who spoke today to the defence of sand in the crevice gardens and inspired all pessimistic forumists with lovely photos from his artificial black well cracked volcanic outcrop. He reminded us of the fact, that frost is not breaking roots of seedlings (like young gentians) in sand. This damage is common in frozen soil. So another support for sand...
 Plants are slowly growing in this diet life and their bodies are smaller, healthier and firmer (quick growth full of fat food is producing shorter life span; it is similar with obesity of people). There is a need to be patient in maturing our alpines! Sand is quite sterile and good for establishment of the new, small and tender colonies of symbiotic microbes, which will later help to dissolve underground walls of crevices to get food for plants. I believe in feeding plants with help of mycorrhiza in the future of rock gardening.
  In this construction the vertical fissures has the deepest known Long Toms – the narrow pots with no bottom to stop the growth. What a freedom for the root run!
 Sand under crevices is a base and everybody can take sand from the crevice and fill it with his special mixture (with reactive limestone, vermiculite, expanded clay balls etc.). We will do it during planting in March for some plants with special needs. Of course, the best substrate is Spanish River Carbonatite, which is natural alkaline volcanic substrate with all the best food for rock garden plants. Problem is to get it from Ontario in Canada. We prepared for February International Rock Gardener very good article about filling and planting narrow crevices in troughs. The author is Canadian nurseryman Harvey Wrightman, who is brave in experiments and successful with fussy plants like Eritrichium aretioides. His new ideas are ripe to try them. Well friends, rock gardening is the highest discipline in the gardening and we are all doing experiments and learning from them the craft. I wish you happy play in sand, sincerely yours     ZZ
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: ranunculus on February 05, 2011, 04:33:55 AM
Absolutely stunning results, Jiri ... such magnificent flowering!
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Kristl Walek on February 05, 2011, 05:58:02 PM
thank you for brightening this february day, jiri.
fantastic.
i too always used sand to fill in crevices (better soil underneath) and the plants seemed quite happy.
important to top-dress, or i found that the sand washed away very easily the first season.

Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: ruweiss on February 05, 2011, 09:19:54 PM
Jiri, your beautiful pictures bring us back memories of our visit to your
rockgardener's paradise in last may. We were flattended about these healthy,
vigorous and free-flowering plants. Thanks for the time you took for us.
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Lesley Cox on February 05, 2011, 11:24:17 PM
Wonderful plants Jiri in a beautifully constructed habitat. I can imagine that all those will be happy in either cold weather or hot, whereas today I am struggling with 35C, to keep my troughs cool.

For those who have hot summer days or have young plants in a prop house which can get over-heated in such weather as today's, I learned recently from an alpine-growing friend (Louise at Hokonui Alpines) that placing polystyrene boxes over the trays will give an atmosphere 12degC LOWER than the air on the outside of the polystyrene. It works, I've been covering my newly planted troughs through this summer, as soon as the sun hits them, about lunchtime and the plants in the troughs have stayed cool, moist and turgid, green and fresh-looking, while those in the garden behind them have become shrivelled and miserable. Even with the rainy summer we've had, still it hasn't been nearly enough to keep alpines happy in the sun.

The poly boxes don't look pretty of course, but are truly life-savers so worth the unaesthetic appearance for a few hours on the very hot days. All six of these troughs have crevice-type rock work so the shades are up and down, perched on the rocks. Since it's also windy, they need holding down.

Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: astragalus on February 06, 2011, 01:31:18 AM
Beautiful pictures, Jiri.  The plants look like they have settled in completely.  Can't wait to see this in April.
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Paul Cumbleton on February 09, 2011, 09:35:03 AM
I had some more thoughts about feeding. Looking at the pictures of crevice gardens from various places, it is striking how varied they are in how tall (deep) they are built. I suspect that where they are not too deep (like for example the one at Pershore) and have good soil underneath that the roots can easily get down and benefit from the soil. So in these crevice gardens it may be that you don not need to feed. Jiri also mentioned how worms can mix this soil into the sand with further obvious effects on nutrition.

The new crevice garden at Wisley has been built quite tall - there are some points where the sand is more than 1.5 metres deep. That is a long way for roots to go before they get to the soil underneath. So this is why I think they will need a little food, especially while they are establishing. The two sand beds we have had for a while now at Wisley are about 80cm deep and I found in these that the plants simply did not grow until I gave them some food. So I guess different situations will need differing approaches

Paul
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: John85 on February 16, 2011, 12:54:57 PM
How important is the orientation of the stones ?Is there one that gives more opportunities?
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Paul Cumbleton on February 16, 2011, 05:27:42 PM
Hi John,
Our stones are orientated east -west which means there will be a variety of niches created from hot and sunny to cool and shady. This is especially so with the very varied heights we have put in places.

Cheers

Paul
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Maggi Young on July 25, 2015, 10:51:13 PM
  I couldn't resist re-opening this page  to give this ink to a short video from Paddy Parmee taken today of the  Wisley Crevice Garden  https://www.facebook.com/sonygirl717/videos/vb.652323340/10153009874203341/?type=2&theater (https://www.facebook.com/sonygirl717/videos/vb.652323340/10153009874203341/?type=2&theater)
Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: Maggi Young on May 13, 2018, 08:36:51 PM
Michael Baron posted this  photo on FB of the crevice garden at Wisley from yesterday - the planting is looking rather good, I think.

[attachimg=1]

Title: Re: Wisley Crevice Garden project with Zdenek Zvolanek
Post by: FiestaRed on August 23, 2018, 11:14:30 AM
WOW, I really like the look of those. Never visited Wisley but seeing this has really made me want to see more.