I'm always taking cuttings and putting them straight in the ground but rarely pot things (I have a habit of killing house plants, that's why I usually avoid potting). I've gone for plants that are easy to propagate from cuttings and can stay outside: two types of euonymous, griselinia, laurel, buddleia and rosemary and I've also done some bay and cotoneaster. I saved and sowed chrysanthemum and lupin seeds too. I have previously not had much success with seeds in pots, so fingers crossed. I sowed some directly into the ground too, just in case. I'm fairly lucky with seeds or cuttings that I plant in the ground but then I end up really liking where they're growing and don't want to dig them up to give away.
We collected the lupin seeds in August and I kept them in the fridge until sowing in September, the chrysanthemum ones I just collected and sowed straight away. Lately, I've noticed a few self-seeded lupins popping up in the yard, they're the ones that got away, Sadie and Holly preferred the pods and threw away some of the seeds!
|Lupin pod collection and seed saving.....a lot of pods made it into those envelopes without their seeds!|
|Martin's bay cuttings in September and December|
We are basking in the aroma of the hazel sticks we're burning in the fire these days. Martin cut them for our neighbour in her garden and came away with a few bags and a lovely little tree. Hopefully, we'll be burning our own hazel blocks in the future.
We didn't light the fire yesterday until after 4pm, we were outside for most of it, the sun was dazzling. Martin had promised Sadie and Holly he'd make a Christmas wreath with them. We hadn't got any base or proper wire yet but the girls pushed for it to be then and there so we looked around and found this old metal lampshade frame that I've had for years (the shade fell apart, it was an uplighter). I kept it thinking I'd be able to use it for something but never did. Martin, Sadie and Holly went and collected moss, holly and ivy from the garden and got to work. The usual disgruntlement was present when Sadie said she wanted a sadie plant in the wreath...sometimes I really wish I'd called her Laurel or Ivy or Fern or anything that we could have growing!
Moss, wire, moss, wire, patience, patience, patience, holly, wire, patience, ivy, wire, patience, children fighting over who helps next, patience, children insisting they handle the holly then screaming when a serrated leaf pierces their skin, patience....I was glad this was Martin's craft and
not mine! He is very patient.
Our Christmas tree baubles were up half a day when they were, apparently, taken by nobody and spirited away to where I can't find them, and yet the girls dashed into the house and brought out some of the smaller ones for the wreath. We were all delighted with the finished product even if Sadie was worried that callers wouldn't be able to see the door-knocker....She must think people call here all the time without giving any prior notice, that never happens.
Martin insists each year on getting a little box of chocolates for each of my siblings at Christmas but I'm starting to think I should suggest to him he make them wreaths instead, I think he did a super job. Between us we may have a lot of homegrown and homemade gifts to offer....and if my plants come to nothing everyone will be getting wreaths!