April 2018 Meeting of the Ashdon Gardening Club
Roger Harvey talked about "The Propagation of Perennials"
Roger Harvey is from Harveys Garden Plants, a family run nursery in Suffolk, specializing in perennials not commonly found in garden centres, such as a wide range of woodland plants including anemones and snowdrops. They have been awarded RHS Gold Medals for their display of rare and unusual shade and woodland plants at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Roger gained appreciation in his first words to the meeting. He was not using slides and would be providing a hands on session.
Hardwood cutting and layering
Firstly dig up the whole plant and use a sharp kitchen knife to divide - not a spade or a fork. April is a good time to do this when plants are dormant. Dogwood and Ribes are ideal plants to work on. Nip just above the bud and make a slanting cut. Push about 5 cuttings into compost in a pot, placing them around the edge up to about 4 inches. Put sand on the top. Water well, label and date. They probably won't root until Autumn.
Layering is where plants grow along the ground and root by themselves. This can be done by weighting down branches. Viburnum and Wisteria respond well to this. One there is a root, cut just below and make a slanted cut just above the next but up and place in compost in a small pot.
Firstly check which plants this will work on. Cut 2 inches of the root, slanting the bottom and making the top straight. Place in compost to about an inch down. Sprinkle sand on top. Water and store in a cool area until Autumn. The root and the top growth should be in proportion.
Dig up and slice with knife. Pull apart and put in small pots. Add fertilizer to new plants.
It was an entertaining evening apart from members' gasps of horror when Roger cut through roots and snips off top growth to ensure that the root was in proportion to the growth.