Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crepe Myrtle Clippings

Here is the mama.

I love this little Crepe Myrtle. The flowers are a soft lavender color, which lasts all summer long. It's at the old Post Office here in town. the building is a low Frank Lloyd Wright inspired 1960's horizontal glass and stone work marvel. The Post Office left this building and the landscaping has not been kept up. In fact, this little tree was backed into by a truck during a Festival when the parking lot was being used. It came back - then the neighboring funeral home next door cut it to the ground. I decided right then and there that I was going to save some of this tree and move it to my yard. I think the lavender color and some white crepe myrtle would be a nice addition to the front garden.

I have tried softwood cuttings all of which failed despite my best efforts. So now i am going to try hardwood cuttings. If that doesn't work I'll try layering and see if that gives me some results. I took several branches from the back of the tree ( not that anyone will care) and i have them in the kitchen.

Tom at Seventh Street Cottage suggested putting some in course orchid mix - so I'm trying that.

I had the tops left so i stuck them in some water in a glass. They have sprouted!

I may just be forcing the branches - but life is life! It's exciting! I really hope some take root.

p.s. Larry - here's the photo of the "Old Post office" building. Thought you might like it too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mandevillas get potted up and pinched

Here's where we started...

Today I got brave and potted and pinched the one mandevilla that had really taken off. I saved the bamboo supports that came with the plants i bought last May, and used them for supports. I looked around on the web and every site i visited told the same story - pinch the vine while they are young to encourage them to be bushier and have more than one main vine.

The plant that is in the gallon sized pot was the clipping (one of 8) that survived. It has great roots. The other pot is a layered plant that is looking better - it's definitely sending out a good, strong new shoot.

Here's a close up -

Hopefully the warmth of the window sill will inspire these ladies to put on some top growth! I'll keep you posted.

Here's what the front sunny border looked like last summer with the pink mandevilla plants climbing the walls. I hope you agree more of these plants would be an asset to that border.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rose Propagation - Baggy Method

I have wanted to get a cutting from this rose for a while but i always seem to be too busy in the Spring and don't think about it until in the heat of summer when nothing is growing around here. This rose is a dark red rose with a nice scent. It was planted next to a eucalyptus tree downtown near an antique and curiosity shop by the owner Mr. Bagwell - a local character - who has since past away.

The town has been redoing the whole street scape - with new sidewalks, landscaping, brick edging, etc. Someone decided to repave the patch next the shop and unceremoniously yanked up this rose and threw it behind the eucalyptus tree. Even though it is in the coldest part of winter here I took what i could salvage and I'm going to give these clippings my best shot.

Here's what I was able to cut from the victim...

got my bags and supplies ready...

Fixed some rooting hormone for extra insurance...

Dipped the cuttings, firmed the soil around the ends, and sealed the bags by inflating them before securing them closed.

I'll keep you posted if it works - I really hope so - I think Mr. Bagwell would be pleased if it does take.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal!

Do you see that little sprig of green coming up from the base of the Mandevilla layering? That's my Summer hope! The promise of rich lush pink and green in the gold and brown heat of a SC summer. Hope springs eternal!
The pride of the winter is the major growth on the cutting that has really done better than i ever dreamed it would. I need to get it in a pot - but i love watching the roots and tendrils come to life! You can see what this mandevilla looks like up to the left in my blog header.

It's actually snowing!

I really cannot believe that it is actually snowing - here! The last time we got snow i think my children were 7 and 4. The tree is a dogwood and behind it you see my hobby - the hedge.

The weatherman had been saying all day long that we were going to get it - but we have seen chances come and go so many times we don't really believe until we are sliding off the road.

I got the students through the morning at school - had our Valentine's Party - and sent them on home. What a lovely day. This is a beautiful - slow - piling up - snow. No ice or sleet, just quiet floaty snow powder. Ummmm.