Spring Swap 2011 - Overwinter Chatter!
Ok! Ok! I know! It's just barely fall! But I think maybe I'm going thru withdrawal since I wasn't able to make it to the Fall Swap!
The weather has been so beautiful this fall, and I've been out in the yard a lot! The (neighbor's) cottonwood leaves need to be picked up by hand around my perennials since I mulch with small bark mulch, and I keep seeing things and going, "Ooooh! I can take that to the swap!" Today I was cutting the 'Becky' shasta daisy down, and when I started cutting off some of the lateral shoots at the base I couldn't stand to throw them on the compost pile, so I now have 6 pots of 'Becky' started for the swap! If they take, they're gonna be really nice plants by spring. I put several of the shoots in each pot!
And also today, when I was cleaning up the leaves around my California poppy, I found the first tiny seedlings coming up near it. So far I only have one small plant, so there aren't all that many flowers, and all summer I've been trying to make sure the seeds scattered near it so I'd have more next year, and it looks like it may have worked. I planted mine from mixed seed, and it turned out to be a really pretty dark orange, and if I wind up with some of them coming up where I don't want them, which I'm pretty sure is gonna happen, I'll be digging up a few of them to bring too. By spring I'm expecting to have quite a few coming up. Hope I'm right!
When I was cleaning up around the Zauschneriaa week or so ago, I discovered it was starting to grow into my balloon flower, and I didn't want it to get to the point that I couldn't get them separated again, so I dug up some of the shoots that were going the "wrong way," and I have those in 2 little pots---will almost certainly be able to get more by spring!
And by August I had already realized I had something else to bring! This spring I found something coming up near my outside water faucet, and I was almost certain they were maidenhair ferns! They had wiry stems and the little leaflets looked just like a maidenhair! I didn't have a CLUE where the spores might have come from, but I was DELIGHTED! Well, by late summer I was finding more coming up here and there, and I started to wonder if possibly it was actually the Thalictrum aquilegiafolium that was growing nearby---that I had left the seedheads on all summer last year. By August some of them were growing up more, and I decided that it was for sure the Thalictrum! I already have a couple of them and don't really have room for anymore, so I'm going to leave them in the ground over winter and dig them in time for the swap next spring!
As always, of course, I'll have more of the Anemone sylvestris, and the Acanthus hungaricus--and I've left a bunch of the Aquilegia chrysantha seedlings grow so I can dig them up in spring! And in addition to the usual 'Chocolate Chip', 'Royalty', and 'Arboretum Giant' Ajugas, I'll also be able to start some more of the 'BlackScallop' Ajuga by spring--it's starting to spread well, and is turning out to be my favorite!
And when I've been cleaning up the hen & chicks, I've been finding chicks that are "mounding up" on top of others, and I'm thinking of filling a flat with soil and sticking some of the chicks so they can root over winter. But even if I don't get around to doing that, I'll be potting up some next spring, and I'll have sedum starts for anybody who wants them again too.
Yeah! You're right! I can't wait!
At this point it's looking more and more likely that I'm never gonna be able to go back to work, and I've been thinking that I might volunteer to have the Spring Swap here at my house again---assuming I'm right about work! And if that should work out, I could do a basic propagation demonstration again, and we could have a kind of general Q & A session if people are interested. When I was cutting the shasta daisy back today I was thinking that I could show you all how to make cuttings from the very tips of the new shoots again. That way you're not "diminishing" your plant by digging out rooted pieces, and you're actually causing it to "branch out" more in that year. Something I learned at Paulino's when we needed lots of cuttings to start plants in the spring! And I could show you all how to propagate Oriental poppies from the roots again---if Jennifer of somebody will volunteer to bring a couple pieces of root along again! That's a sure way of getting more of the same color since Oriental poppies can cross pollinate. There weren't that many people at the swap when I did the demo the first time, and I've been considering re-doing it ever since then, but it's a real pain to try to drag everything along that I'd need to somebody else's house!
SO---am I the only Swap Nut, or is there somebody else around here starting to think about it already too?