Well I was going to bring you a picture of all my little cuttings, carefully taken at the end of last year and now hunkered down over winter to (hopefully) root and produce oodles of new plants for me to take with me when (if?) I move house this year.
But this is all I’ve seen of them for the last month: they’re in my coldframe and of course that means covered by a good few inches of snow. So I have no idea how they’re doing, whether my root cuttings have rotted off into hopeless mush or my carefully-trimmed hardwood cuttings have shrivelled into wizened sticks. At the moment I’m choosing the optimistic view as both root cuttings and hardwood cuttings are tough as nails (that’s why you can get away with taking them at this time of year) and survive just about anything.
I’m trying to avoid stripping the garden bare when/if the new occupants move in and leaving them with a crater-pocked landscape of bare earth to look at. It seems a bit curmudgeonly somehow to take everything I can get my hands on, a bit like removing the light switches.
Cuttings, of course, are the best possible way of taking it all with you without… well… taking it all with you. So I’ve got root cuttings of my beloved ‘Goliath’ poppies (twelve of them… where I’m going to put twelve Goliath poppies, new garden or no new garden, I have no idea) and hardwood cuttings of my ‘Ben Lomond’ blackcurrants and my louche-flowered and deliciously scented apothecary’s rose (Rosa gallica var. officinalis). All of which take reliably from cuttings so I don’t have to worry too much about failures (though that, of course, is without factoring in a thirty-year record snowfall).
I’m eyeing up my little one-year-old box hedge in the front garden, thinking I might take a hundred or so cuttings from them just to avoid having to buy another pile of box hedging when/if I arrive at my palatial new pad; and I shall sweep through the garden taking as many softwood cuttings as I can in April, assuming as I think I safely can that we’re still here and haven’t found someone to fall in love with our house and simultaneously a new house to fall in love with by then. There are a few plants I can’t leave behind – like my growing Hemerocallis collection, most of it kept in trust for the NCCPG, or Plant Heritage as I should call it these days, via its plant exchange. And perhaps one or two things which a less-than-horticulturally-minded buyer might not fully appreciate, like my Euphorbia mellifera and my loquat tree. But I’m aiming to keep the garden more-or-less presentable at least: after all, what kind of gardener would I be if I wasn’t willing to share the love and give away a few plants here and there?