I admire blogs which are helpful, inspiring or just plain a joy to look at, but I think mine has a different ‘mission statement’ or raison d’être. It’s all about me, and trust me sometimes I feel like I’m all over the place so it’s not always a pretty picture. With the gardening season well on its way to the halfway point I sometimes step back and ask myself what the heck got into my head when I started this or that “project”. Thankfully the thought usually flickers away almost as quickly as it came, but someone (Chloris actually, though I doubt she remembers) said the reason I do it is because I can. It all came together with that and although I still can’t make sense out of half of it, at least I now have a legitimate answer… and of course I’m going to run with it.
All these deep thoughts came out a little more during the recent garden tour which took place here. Don’t get me wrong, it all went well and everyone was wonderful about it and I loved that someone other than myself was excited to see the garden, but I did find myself explaining (or even making excuses) a lot. What I probably could have done was just answer with “because I can”. The reason I’m a compulsive plant multiplier and divider is…. well… because I can 😉
I’m always pinching cuttings, scattering seed, or spading out little divisions of the plants which you can never have too many of. Just last week I realized the coleus pots on the deck were getting a little too big for early August and gave them all a trim. Suddenly there’s a bucket full of cuttings…
I didn’t even bother to root the latest batch of coleus cuttings, they were just stuck right into the soil wherever things looked a little sparse. No special prep, just maybe remove a leaf or two at the base and stick them in. Watering would be helpful, but you’d be surprised how long these can survive rootless, even in the hot sun for days.
Multiplying your annuals is easy enough but how about something like a hardy cyclamen? I often get self sown seedlings but this year there seemed to be even more of the curiously coiled seed pods than usual. I’ll have to collect them of course and plant them out, even though I already have a good number. And the reason for this? #becauseIcan
Maybe I can convince myself to give a few of the seeds away but lets talk about snowdrops (once again) for just one minute.
I have seedling magnolias and seedling camellias. Neither of them are likely to be hardy over the years, so why grow them? #becauseIcan
To further prove that I just don’t learn I took a few more hydrangea cuttings this weekend. Looks like I just want to be prepared in case everything else gets ripped up and I decide to plant masses of hydrangeas all over. For the record it’s very easy to do, now’s an excellent time to do it, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a few cold beverages on a Sunday afternoon. As a brief effort to keep this blog somewhat useful and mildly educational here’s how I do it.
I don’t think anyone came here today to make softwood shrub and tree cuttings, but if you do try it, make sure the sand is what you’d call a ‘sharp’ sand. It feels coarse, is freely draining, and usually easy to find as bagged playground sand (NOT masonry sand which is too fine).
So while I ponder the locations for another fifty or eighty new shrubs (#becauseIcan), have a look at some other equally cute little babies.
I’d love to bring my little babies into the house, but the boss said I can’t, and when I asked why not she said becauseIcan’t, and we will wisely drop the argument, take the eggs, and return to the garage.
In the meantime the eggs have hatched, the caterpillars grown, and I’ve now placed them outside to find their own spot to hang their chrysalis. With any luck there will be fresh new monarchs floating around the garden in another few days.
I’m afraid it may already be too late for me to quit while I’m ahead but here’s one last adventure. Somehow I’ve accumulated quite a few caladiums, and somehow I’ve been able to overwinter them, and somehow I’ve grown attached to them. I didn’t see this coming at all, but that doesn’t seem to matter. This spring (well actually early summer since apparently I was too busy doing other equally pointless things), I potted up all the roots individually because I didn’t want them mixed up anymore.
This weekend I sorted them out and potted them all up again into bigger containers with each container holding just one leaf type. The OCD amongst us will also see that rather than searching out all orange pots like last time, this time I went with all the leftover black nursery pots which litter the back of my garage… mostly because that’s all I have left. It seems so much more controlled and I was so pleased with myself that I went immediately to my favorite local nursery to look for more. Perennial Point came through and I decided I was worth not one but two new leaf types. It even got better when at checkout I was told that annuals were on sale, buy one get one, and suddenly I was paying $7.50 for the pair instead of the $15 full price… or not. I of course was already set on buying two, so did the most reasonable thing and went back to select the other two I wanted as my ‘get ones’.
And that brings me to where we’re at. I should really take up some less compulsive hobby like marathon running or fantasy football, but I’m stuck with this. Fortunately the kids are still young and don’t think anything’s wrong and my wife has a remarkably high tolerance for me. She was even out in the yard this weekend and asked what something was. I think it’s so cute when she pretends to be interested 😉
So have a great week and if anyone out there understands hashtags let me know. A friend uses them all the time and I just thought it might be time to step up my game. #youknowit #becauseIcan