Zdeněk Zvolánek

Zdeněk Zvolánek (Czech Republic) -
"The Crevice Garden and its Plants"

Different designs of crevice beds in Czechia and the gardens of Western Europe. New happy saxatile plants for this technique of cultivation.

The speaker is retired architect rock gardening at Beauty Slope in Czech Karst, village Karlík near Prague. He is internationally recognized lecturer, horticultural writer, Prague Show Arranger and the editor of two journals. He is known as an apostle preaching crevice gardening.

Crevice gardens are not a new way of growing alpine plants; William Robinson mentioned them as early as 1870. But there is a renewed interest in them, particularly among Western European and North American gardeners, stemming largely, we think, from the greater access in recent years to the expertise of Czech gardeners who have been practicing and refining the art of their construction for more than 40 years. None has had a greater influence in this regard than Zdeněk Zvolánek, who has designed and built crevice beds varying in size from those in small troughs to the 3 acre crevice garden at the Montreal Botanic Garden, and in a wide range of climates on a varying range of soil types in N. America and Europe. He is, quite simply, a master of the craft who has studied both the aesthetics and practicalities of crevice garden construction very thoroughly. He has distilled his knowledge for the booklet of the Alpine Garden Society called “ The Crevice Garden and its Plants”. But Zdeněk is not just an excellent craftsman in rock work; he is also a very knowledgeable and well travelled plantsman who has introduced many exciting new plants to cultivation. He cares deeply about the plants and gives considerable thought to ensuring that in their placement in the crevice garden he is taking account of their ecological requirements, as gleaned from information about the habitats in which they grow. He will show various styles in crevice garden construction including soft travertine (tufa) beds and the end result, crevices full of happy and healthy plants.