I am a recent, but enthusiastic, convert to hardwood cuttings. When you prune your shrub at the end of the growing season you can take your prunings and put them on the compost heap, or, if you like, you can stick them in the ground. If you choose the latter, then as long as you take the precaution of sticking them in the right way up, they have a fighting chance of taking root over the following Winter and Spring, and you then have a new plant.
These baby rose plants are the result of exactly that. The blue ones on the left are climbers from my friend Leo who has them all over one side of his house. I have earmarked a space behind my shed for them. The white ones are from my own, sweetly-scented old-fashioned bush rose. I intend to plant these next to a sitting-out area I have in mind, so that as you sit and enjoy a cream tea or whatever, their scent will waft over you from time to time. The pink roses are similarly scented, and I will take cuttings of these this year, to plant alongside the white ones.
These gooseberries have similarly been "cloned", as have the blackcurrants. Soon I'll have a fruit farm, if I'm not careful.
By the way, the comment about planting the cuttings the right way up wasn't entirely flippant. Once you have taken your prunings, cut the stems and cleaned off the dead leaves and side branches, you are faced with a pile of cylindrical twigs. If you haven't made note of which end is "up", you could be in trouble. My recommended solution is to cut one end diagonally and the other end square. Just remember which cut is which end :) (And remember, if you make two cuttings from one length of twig, and separate them with an appropriate cut, one of them will be wrong.) You are listening to the voice of experience.
Monday, 21 June 2010
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