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Garden Stanislav Čepička, Praha 5-Radotín

The steep garden built above rotten schist or slate is very famous in spring time for unique collection of dwarf bulbs grown outdoors without protection. Stanislav loves are Juno Irises. This hot rock garden enjoys full sun all day. It is in a steppe part of the relatively dry limestone area called Czech Karst so the owner of the garden must water it quite often. Half of the all rock work are local limestone stones placed in vertically converted layers connected with very natural limestone grit screes or fine top dressing. Second half of the rock garden is made from local soft travertine stones (boulders), which English speaking gardeners called tufa rock. It is probably the largest travertine outcrop in Czech Republic. This local soft travertine is bizarre in shapes and Stanislav is the master of assembling smaller stones into high compact ridges. The dense system of ridges has its purpose: to get plenty of places facing to the north for growing true alpine plants which hate scorching sun. Southern aspect here is fine for plants from Turkey, Central Asia and the Balkan. Gentiana angustifolia loves heavier soil among wet bodies of travertine boulders so you can see here thousand of deep violet-blue trumpets in May. Lovers of the small cushion plants will see broad assortment of Androsaces, Phloxes, dwarf yellow Linums. Very pretty are dense cushions, mats and domes of Arenarias and Gypsophila connecting the stones and decorating ridges all the year round. Stanislav Čepička has trial garden for many new introductions (he has always fresh seed of Czech famous seed collectors and he has green fingers for dealing with seedlings). One example of successful trial is blooming new dwarf Edraianthus pilosulus from Monte Negro, Komovi Mts. Very young seedlings are planted into drilled holes only10 mm broad. We hope that plantsman Čepička will be fully healed next year. At present he must drink only non-alcoholic beers so his fan is limited.