Learn to propagate your own plants
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.
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.