22 September 2020

Delphinium Crown Bud Cuttings Update.

 This is the final update for a while of the Delphinium crown bud cuttings. Yesterday I potted them on into slightly bigger pots where they will stay for the winter.

All the cuttings have taken, the one in the picture below being one of the weakest but as you can see even that has a nice root system and should eventually produce a good plant.

Below are the plants all potted on in to bigger pots where they will stay until next spring when they will probably be potted on again. They could be planted out in the garden but I prefer to baby them until they are big and strong before planting out.

13 August 2020

Delphinium Crown Bud Cuttings Update.

This is just a quick update on the Delphinium crown bud cuttings from the previous post. Some appear to be stronger than others but so far none appear to have died off. I knocked the best and one of the not so good ones out of their pots and found roots on the best one but none on the lesser one although that is not to say there were no roots  forming. I will keep an eye on them over the coming weeks because I think that if they are going to take okay they should start showing signs soon. Most of them have certainly put on some leaf recently if that is anything to go by.  


23 July 2020

Crown Bud Cuttings of Delphiniums.

I have this nice white Delphinium that I want more of  and while I believe they can be increased by cuttings in spring I have decided to try something that I have never tried before which is to propagate by way of crown bud cuttings.

Below is the plant that I am taking them from and I hope it works okay because to get the cuttings I had to destroy the plant.

Once the plant you have selected for the cuttings as finished flowering cut down the flower stalks and leave the plant alone for a couple of weeks before lifting and washing clean with water. When all the dirt is cleaned of the root you will be able to see all the white buds that are to be the new shoots and these buds are what will hopefully become your new plants. I was a bit later doing these so some of the buds have already sent up leaves.

Each bud has the potential to make a plant. You really have to get in to the plant so that you can cut away the bud with a small piece of the old plant attached to it. You don't have to worry about getting it with a bit of root but if you do managed to get root already attached then that's fine. Below you can see how many potential plants I was able to get just from that one plant.

When you have all the buds removed just pot them up in to small pots and water in. Put them outdoors away from the sun and don't let them dry out. I'm not sure how long it will take for them to root but we will keep an eye on them and let you know.

21 July 2020

Resting Place.

A few posts back I did some piece on what can be done to make conifers a bit more interesting. Well here is another example of what can be done.

A branch on one of the trees died off last year and when I removed it there was a big hole left behind so I've take advantage of the situation and constructed this little arrangement.

The chairs were two that I found in an out building and were covered in dirt and grime so cleaned them up and oiled them. The wood came up really nice and even though they are quite safe to sit on they are there mainly for show.

25 May 2020

Young Mulberry

The young fruit of the mulberry tree enjoying the early morning sunshine.

16 May 2020

Wild woodland border.

The wild woodland Border in the wedding garden is looking very good at the moment. There are bluebells in there but you can't see them very well in the pictures.
Before these all took over there were lots of daffodils so it changes a bit with time. Eventually when these have gone over and set seed they will be cut down and everything will look different again.

14 May 2020

A bit of a set back

We've had a bit of a set back with the runner beans last night on account of the frost even though they were covered with fleece. I'm not too upset as it's something to be expected if you plant things to soon. It's a gamble which on occasion didn't pay off. We will have beans this summer though.

9 May 2020

White bryony (Bryonia dioica)

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on what can be done with conifers to add a bit of interest to them. Well in this post I'm going to show you something we have that likes to lurk around in the bottoms of conifers, or at least in the ones that we have anyway.

This is called White Byrony. Here in the UK its usually found as a climbing hedgerow plant and is actually the only native member of the cucumber family, although you wouldn't want to treat it in the same way as you would a cucumber as it is actually deadly poisonous. The roots being especially so. If left unchecked the plant will climb to half the height of these conifer trees through the summer and then die back for the winter. It was actually used in the past to remove wrinkles. You needed to pound the roots together with a plump fig and apply, presumably to the wrinkles but only if a walk of a quarter of a mile was taken immediately afterwards. They have some growing in the poison garden at Alnwick Castle. Click [HERE]. Apparently if consumed to great extent you die like Elvis - on the toilet, but not of a heart attack.

Below is a picture of a young plant, already the root would be the size of  small parsnip so it's always best to dig them up as soon as possible.

This is a picture of a more mature plant, and that is not a miniature hoe by it's side. On this plant the root alone is around four feet long. It's not often I can get them out complete like this one.

7 May 2020

Tomato Planting.

Today the head gardener and I have been planting the first lot of Tomato plants. We will be planting another lot later outside.

The ones planted below are in the greenhouse border and will obviously stay there for the rest of their time.
I have moved away from having the greenhouse full of Tomato plants all summer mainly because of whitefly problems. Instead I now plant most of them in containers and sit them outside in the potting shed yard which catches lots of sunshine and are protected by high walls. In the picture below are some I have planted in potato growing bags. I will keep adding more compost to the bags through the summer as the plants progress.
Below is the same as above except here I am using pots. I do prefer the bags actually but I only have three of those. The plants in the containers are being put out during the day and brought back in to the greenhouse at night as we are still getting a few cold nights ate the moment.
We finished up with a couple of plants left over so not wanting to throw them away and with nothing to lose I planted them in the open garden and covered them with these two cloches that I am restoring. I have another lot of plants coming on behind these which I will be planting in the open garden which will be for later in the year.

3 May 2020

A Tip For Cuttings.

The other day I had need to pot up some Geranium cuttings and it reminded me to share with you a little tip that seems to work well for me. Geraniums are not a difficult plant to increase by cuttings but they can rot off quite easily if you aren't careful so I've devised this method to prevent this to some extent. As you can see from the picture below there is sand in the pot and things can actually be rooted in to sand alone although I have never tried that myself. Instead I do a mix of compost in the bottom and sand on the top.
I part fill the pot with compost and then add a thin layer of sand, this just gives me something stop the cutting falling over while i arrange them in the pot. When adding the cuttings try not to push them through the sand into the compost. As you can see in the picture below I pushed this one in a bit further than I should but there is still sand around the stem so it wasn't too bad. When you have the cuttings arranged around the outside of the pot then back fill around the cuttings with more sand to just below the level of the pot and then water in, this settles everything down around the cutting and also adds water to the compost below. I add the compost in the bottom as this stays moist but isn't actually causing the stem to sit in a lot of moisture. I also hope that it encourages the cutting to send out roots to reach for the moisture just below it.
The picture below is a good example of how it works. The idea being that the moisture is where it's needed in the base of the pot and the stem remains as dry as possible to prevent rot. Also if there is a need to water again before rooted water from the bottom by standing the pot in a saucer of water. By the way, when I talk of sand it's actually horticultural grit that I'm talking about.