Prague Conference 5/13

Submitted by Shepard on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 09:57

Does anyone have knowledge on how to bring plants back into USA from Europe (Czech Republic)? I just got notice that they will arrange shipping, and I just assumed it was NOT allowed. Any help is appreciated, ie permit-how to declare, bare-root etc, which plants would hold up better (I was hoping to bring saxes)? Thank you.


Submitted by IMYoung on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 10:20

There are some updates to the Czech Conference Website :

1) Program
2) Transportation
3) There were also added new lecture from Josef Jurasek

Phyto inspection will available in the hotel at the end of Post Conference Tour. There will be also available facility for plants preparation before journey and special arrangement for sending by parcel if wished.
Basically, as I understand it:  you need to arrange a plant import permit, which is available from the same dept. as the APHIS Small Lots of Seed Permits.  -this will act as a starting point for you.

In the SRGC Froum there has been lots of talk of this event-which includes notes  about USA members obtaining Plant Import Permits-

Some comments from there : 

If you are thinking of getting a permit, act now as it takes some time for them to issue it.  Also ask for labels as they do not automatically include them.  You have to specify your port of entry for the labels.  Go on line and you will find the appropriate form, you will have to state what plants you are going to import, like alpines, saxifraga and so on.

Any airport should be fine for bringing in 12 plants with a phyto, the problem is that most airports do not have agricultural staff and you are in the hands of people who do not know plants.  But it should work.  Good luck.  I would get a permit and have them shipped.

For all going to transport plants I have some good news. We have agreed already with hotel Academic, that there will be one place for participants equipped for plants preparation before journey. Also I can arrange transport for you with TNT Express on special rate I will negotiate for Conference, as I am employed there for last 17 years..... So you would just leave the boxes in the hotel and I would arrange the rest. There is transit time guarantee and shipments can be tracked on internet. you can see that there is every chance for the successful return of plants to the USA.

Submitted by Shepard on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 23:24

Ian, thanks.  I have already sent off the applications for the permits (I also wanted a seed permit).  I appreciate you telling me about asking for labels, I just assumed they were being sent with the permit.  I am so excited about conference, I tried to go five years ago, and was sold out.  See you there.  By the way, we met when you spoke in Portland, Oregon a few years ago.  It was amazing, I find a palm called, Brahea Moorei, than Sean (Shawn) had, that I had been looking for close to five years.

We are going to Turkey prior to conference, any suggestions for gardens or plants to see.  I noticed there is a talk on this at the Conference.   

Submitted by RickR on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 10:57

Many of us already have small lots seed permits, and we would be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

You can't ask for labels until you have a permit (obviously). If you ask for labels online as I did, be sure you have fill out your online account information.  Even though your permit is accessible online and has your address, it does not transfer to your online account.  If you order labels without filling out your address (again) in your online account, your labels won't be sent, even though it says "labels sent".

I'm sure you've surmised that I speak from experience, here. ;D
  When you create an online account, you're not prompted to to fill out the particulars.  You will need to go back in and modify your account info.

Submitted by IMYoung on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 12:31

Shepard wrote:

We are going to Turkey prior to conference, any suggestions for gardens or plants to see.  I noticed there is a talk on this at the Conference.   

It's Maggi, here,  but I am sure Ian will look forward to meeting you again!

There may be some "Turkish" ideas in the International Rock Gardener :  for the index for all issues

SRGC Jornals up to No. 125 are online and have articles which may be of use - here is the index link

some Turkish Botanic Gardens
Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanical Garden, Istambul, Turkey
The Çukurova University Botanical Garden, Turkey for a list  of  more gardens

Hope this helps!


Submitted by IMYoung on Mon, 05/20/2013 - 03:37

It was a real pleasure to meet North Amercian friends old and new at the Czech event. Thanks to the terrific organisation of the Czech Team, I believe plant parcels from the post have already been delivered to some delegates.

It really is vital for phyto certification to be arranged for such an international event and the Czechs grasped that and went above and beyond excellence to make sure that everyone who could possibly ship plants home was able so to do.
Knowing the disappointment felt by delegates at Nottingham in 2011, when such assistance was not provided, I felt that the Czech attention to detail was exemplary.
Not only that, but the whole event and garden visits were superb!

It was good to meet you, Cecile, I hope you are safely arrived home now, too!


I've just been preparing a talk on the Czech gardens we visited back in May and also written about them for the gardening media in the UK. The gardens are very inspiring, especially since the traditions of alpine 'gardening' have become rather less in the UK. These are a couple of pictures to begin with - quite hard to choose!

These are both in Václav Vostřák's garden in Chyšky - just one of fifteen gardens visited, and organised so well by the CZRGS. A memorable experience.

A few more pictures - this time from Milan Odvárka's garden at Nova Včelnice. This is an extensive garden with a high water table which allows a very wide range of plants to be grown. Many  alpines requiring good drainage are grown in raised areas with rocks and gravel, and the garden contains a wide variety of conifers (mostly dwarf  and slow growing) including some very unusual forms. Woodland species like trilliums grow well; hepaticas self-sowing almost like weeds!

The initial picture shows Milan and our guide and interpreter Zdeněk Zvolánek (whose own garden we visited later). The final picture just one plant amongst many, Arnebia pulchra.