Peter Dieckmann was born on November 15, 1962 in Hamburg, Germany, where he lived with his two older sisters.
In his youth he was fascinated by the plants of the Alps when he met them on hikes with his father in the Swiss mountains. At the time he didn't know the special role Sempervivum would play later in his life.
Peter enjoyed all that had to do with nature and he knew much about the local and worldwide fauna. He had a good heart for animals too, whether they were wild or part of what would later become his estate and the home of his Sempervivum collection.
He bought his first unnamed sempervivums in 2002 at the Rennsteig-Garten in Oberhof, a botanical garden for mountain plants. In 2002 he began to build up his Sempervivum collection steadily. It grew little by little. He wasn't discouraged when his plants fell victim to the harsh winters in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a federated state in northern Germany, where he tended his Sempervivum.
He owned 1,500 different varieties of semps until his death. His goal had been to own all Sempervivum cultivars.
Soon Peter found the Sempervivum-Forum and there he found like-minded plant friends. With his friendly and helpful nature he quickly became an important partner for contact and swapping. Many semp friends were glad about his famous “banker-rolls,” semp offsets lovingly wrapped up like coin-rolls.
Peter Dieckmann was co-founder of the Sempervivum-Liste that started in the summer of 2008. At that time, still in the Sempervivum-Forum, some enthusiastic fans of these wonderful plants began to list names of species and cultivars and extensive information about them, as well as pictures that demonstrate the seasonal changes. Initially Peter collected and archived documents that served as a basis for this work.
Soon the flood of data went beyond the limits of a forum and the group around Peter decided to register its own website, the Sempervivum-Liste. It was a matter close to Peter’s heart to clear up the numerous uncertainties regarding Sempervivum. He wanted to create a reference book, as a knowledge-database and encyclopedia, accessible to all who are interested. At this homepage he took on a very important role as chief administrator and he devoted all of his free time to this project.
Peter was in active contact with those at home, and with foreign Sempervivum friends and collectors. He exchanged knowledge and experience with many breeders. He held active discussions about the authenticity and source of various plants and took care of all corresponding documentation of the new insights.
On June 2, 2014, the “Hamburger Jung” (Boy from Hamburg) passed away much too early. His dream of a Sempervivum place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where he wanted to give a home to all cultivars ever cultivated remained unfulfilled. His shared internet work, the Sempervivum-Liste, still exists. His team members continue the project according his wishes.
Peter Dieckmann has enriched the Sempervivum world with his tireless work regarding these plants. With that and with his immensely helpful and friendly behavior, he will remain in memory.
This bio is written by the Sempervivum-Liste-Team in August 2014 and published here at All Things Plants with their gracious permission.
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