Saturday, 10 October 2015

it lives: the 2015 cuttings

I've had some success with my cuttings this year. The geraniums propagated nicely from their trimmings (I now have too many geraniums, and will probably have to give them to people). I started a flowering currant from a twig snaffled from my local park, though it's coughed and complained through most of the year. About twenty softwood forsythia cuttings yielded two healthy plants, of which but one remains, but it's doing well.

Failures included a pink blueberry, a mysterious purple Batchelor's Button type plant which I still haven't identified, and as always, the trimmings from the grape vines. As usual, one or two rooted, sprouted, then died. Something about summer kills them, though I don't know if it's the dry spells or the wet spells. We get both.

Cuttings from two, three, four years ago (mostly decorative shrubs of the fence clinging variety; cotoneaster, jasmine, lonerica, etc.) are now starting to contribute flowers, fruits and leaves in earnest. I like cuttings. I may even try taking some from the crazy green chrysanthemum this year (mine is Green Mist) as it's grown to the full height of the greenhouse, which will necessitate trimming.

As every, I find my hapsadaisical approach to the jam-jar stage of starting the cuttings produced manky, algaed water. I really need some sort of addition to the jars to keep the stems steady, and help keep the water clean.  The floating forest series from Michael Anastassiades imagines such a thing; cones, plates and clips to help hold plant or stem steady, all made from friendly shiny brass. These are things of extraordinary beauty (and doubtless expense) but perhaps something similar might be created, with a little time and effort.

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