Saving Seeds

Today has been really sunny but the trees can’t be fooled and have started to gently let go of a few leaves. After the awful Summer I’m surprised the trees aren’t hurling their leaves in disgust! The flowers in the Kitchen Garden are still plentiful but do need to be deadheaded more often and I’ve noticed that the vibrant colours are slowly becoming sepia tinted. I’ve started to collect some of the seed heads in paper bags and really hope that I can enjoy these plants again next year… it would be fab to have enough to share with others too.
I’ve been reading Carol Klein’s Grow Your Own Garden book in hope that it will make me more successful with propagation (don’t worry Carol, I won’t blame you if things go horribly wrong!). I really enjoy her easy going, chatty style of writing which mixes common sense advice and with realistic expectations. I plan to collect much more seed next week.

This weekend I collected seeds from (left to right) Scabiosa, Geum and Allium Atropurpureum. The main photo at the beginning of the post is Allium Sphaerocephalon. There is so much seed around the garden and, unfortunately, so many plants that I don’t know the names of yet. For now I’m happy collecting seeds from the “Furry Leaved Magenta Flower” or the “Looks Like an Orange Geum But Isn’t“. I have a feeling that I may be brushing up on some plant identification and learning Latin over the winter… or posting the John Doe’s for virtual identification!

I’m Rooting For You!

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking cuttings for a little while now but, being such a newbie, I thought I’d do some research first. Wow! There are so many different ways and times to propagate… my brain started to whirr and I felt trepidation (not good) so I decided to keep it simple.

For hundreds (if not thousands) of years people have been taking cuttings, saving seeds and dividing plants to make more. They didn’t have fancy equipment, hormone rooting powder or the internet to help them so… deep breath… I decided to give it a go!

Various of prunings from around the garden

The selection of plants above all grow easily in my garden and have, so far, survived my attempts to prune them.

Experienced Gardeners – Look away now!

All I did was cut the stems with clean secateurs just below a leaf node and removed most of the lower leaves and top growth.

Prepared for potting in compost

The prepared (very loosely used term) stems were then planted into a mixture of fresh compost and fine grit, put in a sheltered, bright location, watered and misted with water. They were then all given a little chat about “you may feel worse before you feel better” and I guiltily left them to it! I hope that they won’t die but the Smoke Bush cuttings are already looking sick.

The Usual Suspects: Hydrangea, Viburnum, Smoke Bush, Rosemary & Thornless BlackberryT

Dana from Mom in the Garden recently recieved some cut hydrangeas from her friend and noticed that roots had appeared at the base of one of the blooms. She successfully potted this on and she gave me an idea to do the same. Her garden blog in Ireland is well worth a visit :-)

Cuttings of hydrangeas in the kitchen window

So, I now have 3 small hydrangea cuttings in the kitchen by the sink and I’m impatiently waiting for the first little signs of roots.

Come on!! It’s been 12 hours already!!