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Conference Time
Raz Trough Esther Daphne Propagation Chris Trough Mtns Esther Castilleja
Razvan Chisu Esther Benedict Chris Dixon Chris Slate Mtn

The Garden in a Teacup

Growing Rock Garden Plants

Moveable Mountains

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Razvan Chisu

Esther Benedict

Chris Dixon


Some would say traditional rock gardens are a thing of the past. These days, not many of us have the space and means to create large rockeries, where thousands of species of alpines nestle in among huge boulders and in gravel beds resembling mountain screes. If you love alpines and your garden is small, growing these amazing plants in containers is the answer. To add drama and interest why not create miniature crevice gardens in a variety of containers, from broken recycled pots to repurposed frying pans, using materials like slate and roof tiles.

Razvan Chisu is not only the editor of the Saxifrage Magazine, but social media director for the Alpine Garden Society. Join us as he illustrates new container ideas.

Ever been to a plant sale where Esther Benedict was vending? If so you have seen how she propagates all manner of small rare alpines as well as dwarf woody plants with seemingly little effort to produce such success. If not, then you are in for a treat. On her benches one might see Physoplexis comosa, Ramonda myconi, as well as castillejas and daphnes to name but a few. A self-taught gardener, she was introduced to alpines by Dorothy Parker. Lucky for all of us, she supports her seed starting and propagation hobby by turning it into a business. 

This talk will encompass ways of growing and propagating plants that have worked for her.  It will also cover sandbed, crevice bed, and bog garden construction techniques.

The talk will include sections on sourcing specific rock for planters, the best medium mixes for specific plants, how to select plants for appropriate exposure and watering requirements, as well as how to design and build small crevice containers. We will also look at how nature has inspired the crevice gardens he builds and where the future of crevice gardens could take us.

Chris has always loved gardening as a hobby, and so decided to move to Victoria 12 years ago to pursue his interest in horticulture. After completing his horticultural technician program at Camosun College, he worked for various private landscape companies as well as Royal Roads University. Chris specializes in alpine crevice gardens after discovering his passion and talent for creating these unique miniature worlds.

Cup Trough Esther's Trough Collection Sax Troughs Bog Bed