SPLIT STUFF

Central Otago Mirror - - GARDENING -

Peren­nial herbs and flow­er­ing plants are rous­ing from their win­ter slum­ber now and throw­ing up this year’s growth, sig­nalling a will­ing­ness to be di­vided and mul­ti­plied. Gold­en­rod, com­frey, French sor­rel and le­mon balm all ac­cept divi­sion at this time

of year and show no ill ef­fects from be­ing sliced, diced and re­lo­cated for the greater good. You can mul­ti­ply your stock of those peren­ni­als with the fall of a sharp blade (em­pha­sis on sharp – I use a bas­tard file and use it of­ten on the edge of my spade) and they will com­fort­ably es­tab­lish new out­posts through­out your gar­den, with the

sup­port of a lit­tle ju­di­cious wa­ter­ing in the drier parts of the coun­try. It’s sur­pris­ing just how ro­bust those peren­ni­als are and how keen they are to spread their in­flu­ence. At

present, I’m try­ing to di­vide and mul­ti­ply goat’s beard, a coarsely named but beau­ti­fully flow­er­ing peren­nial that by all re­ports doesn’t re­spond well to be­ing chopped from the par­ent plant and re­planted else­where, so if there’s a reader who has done this suc­cess­fully, I’d like to hear from you. I’ve gone ahead and make the cut and am on ten­ter hooks while the re­lo­cated clumps bed in.

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