Wisley's Alpine Diary Discussion: 04 January 2008
Started by: Mike Kintgen
Size of back up space versus display space in the Alpine HpuseGo to latest contribution by Mike Kintgen, 10 January 2008, 20:36. Go to bottom of this page.
Paul, My name is Mike Kintgen and I am the Horticulturist for the Rock Alpine Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens in the state of Colorado. We are working at the moment on a master plan that includes a possible alpine house. Our orginal alpine house proved unsuitable for alpines so it is now a cactus and succulent house. At Wisley what is your ratio of back up space versus actual planted display space in the Alpine House? Also how many support staff do you have for the alpine house? How many do you have for the rock garden? Thanks Mike Kintgen
Hi Mike, How exciting that you may get a new alpine house at Denver. I met Panayoti Kelaidis at an alpine conference in Holland a couple of years ago and know how passionate he is about alpines so I hope he will help make this a reality for you. In the display house at Wisley, about 300 plants are exhibited at any one time. This is purely a display house - all the growing is done "behind the scenes" and every day staff go through the display house removing plants which have passed their best and replacing them with fresh ones from the growing areas behind the scenes. To keep the display house looking good every day of the year we need a very much larger number of plants behind the scenes to choose from. The total number of plants in pots we grow is about 6000- which means there are 20 plants behind the scenes for every plant on display, so the ratio is 20 to 1. The department has five permanent staff and one part -timer. But we also have three or sometimes four of the Wisley trainees to help, and each day one or two volunteers also come in to help. All these staff work on both the rock garden (which is approximately a hectare) and with the potted alpines, we make no differentiation, the team covers both aspects. I hope this information helps. If you would like any more information or details I'd be happy to help. Now if you were to suggest to the RHS that it was essential they send me out to Denver to explain in person...!! Cheers Paul Cumbleton
Paul, Thanks for your quick reply. You information will be very helpful as we discuss our Alpine House. I love knowing the ration of 20 to 1 plants on display. Additionally can you give some idea of square meters of your back up spaces versus display space? Kew gave us square meters so to compare apples to apples so to say. I know that you alpine houses differ. We are very lucky to have Panayoti here at DBG, and trust me I would love to get you out here. Hopefully we can make it happen sooner than later. My e-mail by the way is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for all of your information.