Powerhouse Plant For All Seasons: Cyclamen coum
New! Graham Rice @ Organic Gardening

Free online magazine for rock gardeners

The cover of the January 2013 International Rock Gardener features Galanthus 'Grake's Gold'For most readers of Transatlantic Gardener, spring is here or it’s on the way – and, in spring, a gardener’s attention turns to… rock plants. And for the serious alpine plant nut, there’s nowhere more interesting to go than the International Rock Gardener magazine.

This free – yes, free (but donations welcome) – monthly online-only magazine is published jointly by the Scottish Rock Garden Club and the Czech Prague Rock Garden Club and features authoritative yet very readable articles about rock plants and alpines of all kinds.

I was especially struck by the issue from January this year which is entirely given over to a review of Eranthis – the best known of which is the winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, an invaluable early bulb. What a revelation to see so many lovely forms! You may be surprised to see that some are white (below, click to enlarge).

Recent issues have featured the orchids of Crete, rock garden White-flowered Eranthis pinnatifida featured in the January 2014 issue of The International Rock Gardenerconstruction, plant hunting in China and in Turkey and in other intriguing locations, botanical issues are explored, and bulbs are frequently featured. And everything is presented in way that suits readers all over the world.

It’s also very important to say that the photography is outstanding – and there’s plenty of it.

It’s only realistic to say that International Rock Gardener is not for real newcomers to rock gardening; it assumes a little knowledge of the subject and some of the plants discussed are not easy to obtain - although those tempting pictures will excite even the most basic novice. But this is a valuable window on the serious world of alpines and features many fine plants that most gardeners don’t even know exist.

And all you have to do is go to the International Rock Gardener page where you can download pdfs of every monthly issue going back to January 2010. And why not make a donation while you’re there?

* The snowdrop on the cover, by the way, is ‘Grake’s Gold’, the aconite is Eranthis pinnatifida.


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Lesley Cox

Graham, it's a pleasure to read your very positive comments about the Scottish Rock Garden Club's International Rock Gardener Online magazine. Those of us who are members of SRGC look forward eagerly each month to this wonderful resource as well as to Ian Young's weekly Bulblog and of course enjoy taking part in the Forum which covers so many serious and occasionally silly subjects.

Even those of us who really DO have a life other than with plants, have made more friends among SRGC's Online facilities than in any other way so it's good to have the Club making an appearance on your own blog. As they say, what goes around comes around. I was not aware of yours until I saw a comment on the SRGC Forum that the IRG was mentioned by you. I'll be a regular reader here now too.

Graham Rice

Thanks, Lesley, I appreciate our comments. Ever since I worked on the rock garden and in the alpine house at Kew so many years ago I've enjoyed alpines. And you mention Ian Young's Bulblog (http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/index.php?log=bulb) which this month, as it happens, features Eranthis. You're right, this too is a very valuable practical resource for bulb growers.

Margaret Young

Graham, thank you for your kind words about the IRG. Your mention of donations to support the work of the SRGC in bringing such resources to the public is also much appreciated. The SRGC takes its remit to disseminate information very seriously but, of course, this all costs money in terms of internet costs so reminders of the appreciation of support is most welcome.
The next IRG, online on Friday 28th March, will have articles from Gerrit Eijkelenboom from the Netherlands and Trond Høy from Norway on their individual reactions to the same trip earlier this year to see plants in South America with an international group of plant lovers.

Margaret Young
IRG Editor

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