Wednesday, March 28

A Guide to Fairweather Gardening

I don’t know whether I’m doing it properly. I could say that about so much of my life but in this instance I’m talking of cuttings.
I have just spent half an hour in the garden pulling weeds up and cutting back last years stems from the verbena bonariensis and discovered some new shoots, so rather than bin them I’ve cut them out and have put them into water.

In my attempt to be frugal in all aspects of my life (excluding hair, make-up and shoes of course) I had this mad cap idea of growing all my plants form seeds or taking cuttings. An innocent trip to any garden centre to buy a bag of compost, or a ball of twine always ends up as £30 on a couple of plants and a pot or something else that catches my aesthetic eye. This year I will use plain old dirt and just make do and see how it goes.
Because I talk to the natives (old people) I’m sure I will be offered the odd cutting from time to time, and I will gracefully accept as long as it isn’t yellow as (here we go) I have a very narrow colour palette when it comes to things in the garden…………………well everywhere really..........


  1. Is that a Bonne Maman jam jar I see before me? (useful little blighters, aren't they?)

    Or should I ask is that a Bonne Maman confiture vessel, to suit their rather more upmarket image?

  2. Hoping to do the same this year, I bought a load of seeds from the Sarah Raven catalogue last year and never quite got round to planting them as the veggie boxes weren't built and the greenhouse hadn't been gutted, well that was my excuse anyway! So fingers crossed they will still grow this year!

  3. I rarely purchase anything for my gardens, except for certain veggies. Most of my flowers and trees have come from my parents who are quite the gardeners... they both have green thumbs, and it apparently skipped my generation! =) They use llama manure from their neighbor's llama farm, and I just use the soil from our compost heap (which really does do wonders)!

  4. Mmmm I have the same problem with yellow. Apart from primroses and some yellow roses I really don't like it. I don't grow yellow flowers apart from sunflowers - and even then favour the dark colours - so any lovers of yellow flowers don't do well at my van.
    How lucky to have shoots on your verbena - we consider ourselves lucky if it survives the wet winter.
    I always have too many plants and end up forcing them into nooks that ruin the overall design. Nothing yellow though.
    I finally got time to redo the links on the side bar so, better late than never, there you are!

  5. Hello Jo, yes it is a Bonne Maman jar - I can't resist a nice shaped jar when it comes to preserves. I do try and use them afterwards for storing buttons, or dry ingredients etc
    Hello Lisa - Sarah Raven's catalogue is gorgeous.I'm sure if the seeds are dry they will be fine. With a green house I'm sure will be wonderful:)
    Louise - how wonderful to have green fingered relations to pass on plants to you - llama compost? I have read the best animal dung is sheep - so I guess llamas are a bit sheep like!
    Jane- I'm glad it's not just me that doesn't like yellow - I love primroses because they don't gar or look gaudy, but my idea of perfection is the white garden at Sissinghurst.
    Thanks ever so much for adding me to your links, it's much appreciated:)

  6. A few years ago I started a garden from scratch, bought as many plants from garden centres, markets etc that I could afford, which I could see could be split straight away into at least 3 new plants. Grasses are good for this, as are most perennials and endless others. It's often false economy to buy the smallest plant on the shelf!

    It's easy to do - just take them out of the pot, rinse off all the soil so that you can see what you're doing, and gently pull the individual plants apart. Then plant them up individually in pots and allow them to recover before planting out in the garden.

    As far as cuttings are concerned, I grew so many all year round in my greenhouse by sticking them into tiny squares of oasis in a shallow pan of water, with a bag or cloche over the top. I was able to root cuttings that I'd never managed to do before, so that when we moved house I took over 500 plants with me. Three house-moves on I still have some of those original cuttings!

    Thyme doesn't like it's roots in the wet, so they actually grew over the surface of the oasis - within 48 hours!

    If you keep the oasis squares small you can just plant the rooted cuttings oasis-and-all.

    Sorry to waffle on, but thought you might like the tip. Happy gardening!

  7. I read that when you take cuttings you need to remove the leaves that are on the stem so that they have less to feed and can concentrate on growing.
    Having said that I've only ever been successful at taking cuttings and growing them from really hardy plants.

    I'm not stalking you - and yes, I probably do have more productive things to do.


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