Learn to prop­a­gate your own plants

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT - BY SHARON STEVENS, RE­CAP

Myr­tus ugnus: Known var­i­ously as a cran­berry or a chilean guava, this myr­tle is one of my favourite shrubs.

Its sweet red au­tumn berries re­mind me ever-so-slightly of blue­ber­ries, and I’d love a hun­dred plants to feast on with my chil­dren. The shrub can be left to grow into a wild chest-high ball of en­thu­si­as­tic green­ery, or pruned into a tidy hedge.

In Ash­hurst, RE­CAP (the So­ci­ety for the Re­silience and En­gage­ment of the Com­mu­nity of Ash­hurst and Po­hang­ina) is copy­ing one of our smart neigh­bours on Mul­grave St, and grow­ing M. ugnus as a bound­ary hedge to re­place a cor­ru­gated iron fence at the Ash­hurst Com­mu­nity Li­brary Gar­den. The berries will be much more wel­com­ing.

Thy­mus vul­garis: Com­mon thyme is another favourite. There’s noth­ing quite like a cup of thyme tea to make me feel bet­ter when I’m con­gested. Re­cently I tried grow­ing a hand­ful of thyme plants from seed. They ger­mi­nated sur­pris­ingly rapidly, and their true leaves started show­ing only a few days af­ter their seed leaves. I was de­lighted. Then they started damp­ing off. For­tu­nately, I have gen­er­ous friends with lots of seedlings to share. It’s great to be­long to a net­work of other gar­den­ers.

Still, I’m ea­ger to get bet­ter at prop­a­gat­ing. This a nat­u­ral out­growth of fall­ing in love with par­tic­u­lar plants. To me, learn­ing to prop­a­gate is both the most joy­ful and the least ex­pen­sive way to help my favourites spread through the gar­den.

If you’re sim­i­larly in­clined, then join RE­CAP to learn more about plant prop­a­ga­tion. We’re pleased to be able to of­fer a work­shop taught by He­len John­son, owner of the whole­sale nurs­ery Tree and Shrub Prop­a­ga­tion, lo­cated just out­side the Ash­hurst town­ship. He­len will be teach­ing a range of skills for plant­ing seed, prick­ing out seedlings, prop­a­gat­ing from cut­tings, and (if time per­mits) di­vid­ing plants.

The work­shop will be held Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 10, from 1:30 – 3:30pm. Cost is $10. Please see http://re­cap.org.nz for more in­for­ma­tion and to register. Space is lim­ited.

PHOTO: HE­LEN KING/SUPPLIED

Young prop­a­ga­tors Lewis (4) and An­gel­ica King (7) grow snow peas and other fam­ily favourites from seed. It’s a skill any­one can learn with a prop­a­ga­tion work­shop be­ing held in Ash­hurst next week.

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