A garden is a love song, a duet betweena human being and Mother Nature.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Propagation with cuttings and water

My Magic Window

I am constantly seeing what I can propagate in water, and surprisingly...more than you would think possible. And in some cases an excellent success rate, more than 80%.  Besides the Ivy, I have Gardenias and bat wing begonias.  Both are from plants that I had propagated last year off of cuttings. 

Here is what I have learned:

First: Clean water is a must, I constantly change out the water in my cutting bottles.  So its a good idea...if you can...to have your Magic Window above your kitchen sink or in the bathroom.  Makes it easier.

one year old gardenias from cuttings

 Timing is everything with gardenias, after the bush has flowered and new bright green growth has appeared take your cuttings.  I go down and make a cut right above a leaf node, my cutting are usually between 4-5inches long. 

Pinch off about two inches of leaf so you have a nice stem to go down in the water.

Be patient, keep the water clean and before you know it you will see tiny bumps where the leaves were that you pinched off.  These are the roots forming.

Once your Gardenias have a good root system established you can plant them in a small growing container.  As they grow be sure to transfer them to larger pots.

one year old begonia from cutting
These are allot of fun because they root up so quickly.

Make cuttings that give you a long stem with two leaves.  Remove any flower and extra leaves, my stems are about 1-2 inches long.

These will push out roots rather quickly...almost too quickly.  I have actually taken cutting from my cuttings while they are still in water.

After a good bit of roots have developed pot them in starter pots. 

I propagate these year round I bring my potted ones inside to take cutting from keeping them in a sunny location and watered.   

Before the first frost in the fall, I will take cutting from those that remain in the ground.  Giving me a yard full of there bright green leaves and red blooms year round.

The Front of the House

First off lets start at where we enter...Not a bad looking home, but very dated,  with the hedge going across the front...ick.  But baby steps first, my goal is to landscape without spending much money.  In other words use what I have.  And I can do this in several ways, cuttings, separating and collecting seeds.


Underneath this giant window is a built in planter box...at first glance you would think...OH so many choices, what to do with this.  But...see the over hang?  Yep...dry shade. Well, I could put a rain barrel under the drain pipe right next to it and run some drip line from it to keep that area watered...this would take care of more than one issue. But that would be costly.  Any suggestions?
And here is the other issue that could be resolved with a rain barrel as well.  Isn't this special, the drain pipe go's right across the path in front of where you would step up onto the porch.  Who thought this would be a good idea? And the drain pipe directs the water to the side of the house where there is an erosion issue! UGH!  really people?  This leads me to the water fall and the delta.
I am standing in the back yard looking towards the front at the street.  CRAZY!  When it rains this turns into a water fall and becomes a swampy delta at the bottom.  Second problem, I know you say throw some trees, bushes and plants in...cant do it.  The home is on a septic system and it is in the back yard.  This is the only accessible rout to the septic.  But I have an idea to make it a long curve, wide enough to get a truck down but curvy.  Also I have started a plan to slow down the erosion. What is this amazing plan Carrie, you ask?
MONDO GRASS...and lots of it.  This place is covered in this Stuff.  And it is one tough plant, you can plant it anytime of the year...no matter the condition and it thrives.  This bed is in the front yard at the top of the waterfall slope, we just planted it.  I will be moving some shrubs and separating some hostas to put in this bed.
This bed is an established bed of mondo that has helped slow down some of the erosion.  I have a few azaleas that were moved from another part of the yard in this bed.
And here is the top of the hill where it all starts at.  At one point Crape Mertals were planted, good idea, wrong spot.  But they will stay, and I will transplant and move Mondo Grass, Lilies and Irises up along the road.  I would like to get some Hydrangea as they have an incredible root system...but the cost.  What is a girl to do?  Any suggestion or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I know my dears, its been awhile...but the truth is...I have been living in a house that I don't know how long I will be here, or if it will ever become a permanent home.  So I struggled with doing any permanent garden. Putting money, sweat and time into something I would have to walk away from.

My garden heart couldn't take it anymore...and I have come to a decision.

"leave it better than you found it"

 Makeing the world a more beautiful place is what we gardeners do...one more tree to fill the world with oxigen, one more scoopful of organic matter and another flower to make someone smile.

So I shall be posting on this sorely neglected yard and its redemption.