Yesterday I sorted out my cuttings bed. I planted out those rooted cuttings for which I could find a niche- there is always space for the special plants, but some are not quite so special. The extras were potted up and I will offer them to friends and relatives with empty gardens or, in June, donate them to the Otmoor Challenge plant stall. I added more grit and compost to the empty bed which is sited in a shady spot next to a handy tap, as recommended by Christopher Lloyd. Then I had the fun of wandering round the garden deciding which plants I would attempt to propagate. The purple penstemon is a must. I may lose it this winter so I would like to have some established cuttings as back up.
A pale lavender (probably ‘Munstead’) is old and leggy and so is the Rosemary ‘Benenden Blue’, so I have taken cuttings from both. I have also taken bits of Hebe ‘Marjorie Fish’, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, Santolina neapolitana, some helianthemums and thymes and both my purple and tricolor salvias. Hopefully, some will take.
To-day I netted the pond. It has an excess of blanket weed which may reflect a shortage of the ramshorn snails that usually keep the weed under control. They seem to be far and few between this year. Not sure why. The net always falls down into the water so this time I have draped the net over my exercise ball, which is floating in the middle of the pond – a novel sculptural installation. I never did like exercising. This is probably only a temporary solution, but I will let you know how long it lasts.