November 18, 2017

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 17.12.2015: Let’s Propagate!

Not a chat-up line; it’s the title of a book I’ve been reading with time on my hands in Sydney. I also visited the nursery of friend Anne in the Blue Mountains (mentioned in earlier diary) to see how things are propagated there. And golly, there’s a lot to learn. Quite a step, having for more than 60 years been growing things from seed, and for 40 years from cuttings, to find I need to branch out (ho ho).

The reason for this sudden interest is the Blooming Villages project that’s just getting going in our blooming villages. (Haven’t heard about it yet? Well, you should have been to the Saturday Social last week!) The Village Hall needs funds to keep going, and one plan is to have a plant fair where we can sell plants and also have a merry time with related events, and as a result, earn lots of money. The plants will be grown by anyone in Claxton and Sand Hutton who would like to help, and already about 15 have volunteered, offering all sorts of different possibilities they’d like to grow – climbers, shrubs, lettuce, exotic indoor plants.

On a trip that I described recently, round two botanic gardens, we were lucky enough to be shown their propagating units; the new one at RBG Edinburgh was enormous and full of the latest technology – wonderful devices for misting, temperature control, encouraging good root growth etc etc, way out of the village league. But a smaller one, at lovely Howick Hall, showed me some new techniques that I thought I’d try. Unfortunately, my attempts to use bottom heat (no, not that) with cuttings have resulted in several fried twigs; it seems that the project is not only about growing new plants but also new skills.

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