Sunday, 8 December 2013
Last week's garden club speaker bought a touch of winter warmth and magic with him as well as providing me with some unexpected but welcome propagation material. The subject was gardening for winter interest and our guest came complete not only with slides but with a wealth of neatly labelled plant material from his garden. If the talk had been in January or February there would have been a wider range for us to see close hand but the examples of trees, shrubs and perennials on display were still considerable.
At the end of the evening our speaker left all the plant material behind and we were invited to take anything we would like home. I left with three samples which I hope to propagate. At the top of this post is the a stem of the multi-coloured cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'. This throws out attractive stems of red, orange and yellow in the winter border. Now is the time to take hardwood cuttings of cornuses. I also have a red stemmed cornus (name long gone) which I intend to take cuttings off, which hopefully will make their way to the allotment, where we are planting up the area around the composting toilet building. Any surplus prunings will come in handy as plant supports on my own plot.
Also returning with me along with my seasonal mince pie were berries from sorbus 'Joseph Rock'. I've been reading a lot about sorbuses recently in blogland and am tempted to plant one. I've been slightly put off though by mention in one book that the flowers of sorbus trees often smell like rotting meat - uuuuugh! Further investigation is required and feedback from anybody who grows sorbus would be welcome. In the meantime I thought that I would just have some fun to see what might transpire from the seed.
Last but not least a solitary cutting from the attractive evergreen pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Paterson'. She is evergreen and forms a shimmering mound about three feet high. I see snowdrops and hellebores at her feet. I'm not really convinced that the snipping I have will root so have decided that I will be on the lookout for a ready made Irene in the near future.
Our speaker also came with a list of all the plants of winter interest in his garden plus his collection of books on the subject, which included some familiar friends from my bookshelf. I will share these books in a future post.