Friday, March 26, 2010

A stick in the mud.

Last year, I cut back my butterfly bushes near the end of February. Because I'd been told before to just "stick that there where you want it to grow", I pushed the cuttings deep into the soil in the perennial bed. Those sticks rooted and turned into nice sized plants that were dug and given to Carla a couple months ago. Successfully rooting a few plants outdoors, in the native soil, I decided to give it a shot again this year. Over the past week, I've been sticking all sorts of things around the backyard. The soil is very moist this year thanks to all the winter rain.

Saucer Magnolia

Sweet Shrub


Mock Orange

Double pink althea




Burning Bush


I don't expect all of these sticks to turn into plants. However, even after two sunny days in the mid 70s, all of the ones with leaves are still looking healthy and not wilting. Some are easier to root than others using more traditional methods. It's an experiment, like a lot of what I do. If it's successful, it means no transplanting later, nice colorful spring blooming shrubs all around the edge of the backyard, and nothing but a couple hours of time spent outside on warm days.

It's 59 degrees this morning. The high today should reach the mid 60s. We had a little rain last night. When the clouds roll out this afternoon, the temperature will drop. Tonight, we might have a chance of frost. The predicted low is 34. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that so much warm weather this past week has warmed the soil enough to keep the frost at bay.

12:47pm - It's 64 degrees. At the store, we've been busy as usual. I've put out nearly 20 carts of shrubs and flowers with others left that I won't get to today. It's kind of hectic.

Two customers came in this morning. The first had a clump of blooming twigs in her hand. She wanted to know what they were. She'd lived in her house for 5 years and had never seen these trees bloom. They are flowering crabapples. She lives on Montgomery Avenue. These are hers.

The next customer had a piece of a red camellia with yellow center. She wanted to know what it was. She had never seen it bloom before. I asked where she got them. She said from the woods off Brown Avenue. These are the blooms she brought in.

So I've met two "neighbors" in the past 4 hours. They all know my house and the yard. Both were full of compliments. It's good to put faces to houses.

On the front slope, the daffodils have filled in. In the years to come, there will be lots more.

The tulips have opened.

And the Morris Plum is blooming in the orchard.

I've got three more hours to work. It's starting to look like rain. Easter liles have arrived. The price dropped $2 this morning. Get them while you can. Boston ferns are $7 each. We've sold more than 400 in the past 2 days. I have 7 carts of 48 coming in the morning. We're out.


FlowerLady said...

My goodness Tom, is there anything that won't grow for you? You have an amazing green thumb.

Hope your don't get frost and that your weather really warms up for you soon.

We had a little rain during the night.

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.


Darla said...

You have more than green thumbs Tom!! Hope you do not get frost...argh. I have a couple more Ranunuculs colors opened now.

sweet bay said...

I think I might try to layer my Sweet Betsy this year, if any of the low branches are long enough. I should try just sticking some cuttings of various plants in the shade too like you're doing.

The Bluebirds have probably already built their nests and the females may even be incubating. I haven't checked our nestboxes. Sometimes the Bluebirds use them and sometimes they don't -- there are so many natural cavities around here that they don't really need to, although they have been piling into the nestboxes to sleep all winter.

Love the new header photo!

NellJean said...

"Just stick this in the ground, it will grow." You have to believe that it will. Obviously you do. I could never get weigela to root. Don't know where I'd have put it if it did.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

FlowerLady, it's all about timing. Do it just before they leaf or flower and it should work. Like Nell says, you got to believe. I do.

Darla, it's windy today too, so hopefully that will stave off the frost.

Sweet Bay, just stick them in soil. Sweetshrub is a suckering plant. And it should root easily. If not, you can always root new growth in May/June in the shade under plastic to hold in humidity.

Nell, I got three weigelas to root last year in the plastic box under the side porch. Janie showed us on the propagation forum how to do that. It's so simple. I rooted new growth. I now have a variegated weigela that's leafing out and grew about 18" tall last year from a cutting.

Alison said...

How funny that your neighbors showed up at your work with cuttings for you! LOL Did you keep them? Did you ask for permission to take more?

Darla said...

It is nice to put faces to neighbors..I'm sure you get tons of compliments on your's looking so green!!