Look Locally over the Garden Gate with Lucie Giselle Ponsford

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Passion yields rewards read on for nature’s secrets  . . .

Here we are September: ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’: Keats, over quoted, but rarely surpassed in his evocative summing up of our years worth.   Finally we are reaping the rewards of our labour but now as gardeners we start again with renewed vigour and verve, all those things that we did not achieve have promise for next year, bulb sourcing & planting, stealing the marches on seed sowing with biennial and perennials and of course cuttings both house and garden plants. 

This is the time of year for more ambitious propagation: Semi-ripe cuttings, soft wood ripened by the sun of Passion flower, Clematis, roses, Ceanothus (Californian lilac), Cistus, Erica, Hebe, Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Mahonia & Viburnum.  You see from the list these are woody shrubs & climbers you can even try your favourite trees!  So time to experiment with whatever you fancy in this vein.  The growth you need is this year’s; succulent, and rigid, not yet set hard with lignin as will be later, as we progress to winter. 

So what’s it all about, many of us try early season softwood cuttings of salvia, dahlia, fuchsia or even tomato but think the later season’s offerings are a little long termist?  The thought of growing our own Californian lilac for instance seems a slow return but really Buxus cuttings, Passionflower, Clematis, Lavender these plants can be expensive and are barely more than year old cuttings when we buy them.  Just think of the knot garden you can design and install with hundreds of your own grown box hedge & lavender or the satisfaction of clothing that wall with 10 climbing roses for free!!

The key is to keep the moisture in the cutting and keep the growing medium light and mean on nutrients.  The cutting is to be longer than those taken for softwood.  Plunge at least 2/3rds into seed & cutting compost with perlite 50/50 but you can try it with just compost too.  Any leaves are removed below the soil level and halved above.  You need several nodes beneath the soil level to root.  Do not put in direct sunlight to avoid drying out and use a cloche or plastic bag if you don’t have a greenhouse which just stops the wind whipping the moisture off and drying it out before they have roots to supply more water.   Remove the bag daily for a refresh of the air, to reduce fungal die back.  They won’t need plastic once they have ‘taken’.  These cuttings will need to stay put for a while so choose a good spot for long term baking!

Thriving to survive:

I wanted to just give a quick insight into what happens in this magical severance process.  As it is only the preserve of plants to lose a limb and grow afresh.  In fact named cultivar shrubs in the nursery world are almost exclusively the same plants!  Vegetative propagation; making another plant from a stock plant has become the preserve of the Dutch supplying our nurseries and supermarkets with the most wonderful hothouse grown, superb specimens.  But although this is a mystical science that can be perfected to the ‘enth degree it is the prerogative of the plant to just do it.  They have over millions of years of evolution dropped limbs and sprouted new in order to migrate to better conditions, colonise more areas or just because they can.  Succulents are a fantastic example.  A leaf of Echeveria elegans can fall, lie on the desert floor for weeks slowly sending out roots and then plantlets from the node point (place where they are attached to the plant) and then with the morning dew grow again and creep across planes. The triffids are coming! 

As for the cutting there is latent potential in each bud for leaf, or flower, or root – a truly inspiring lesson in being what you need to be to survive.  Should you cut to a ripening flower bud on say Wisteria you could, by a threat, force flowering and therefore seed production from a plant thinking it’s at war.  Beauty & babies comes with living for the moment!!!!!  But should you take the whole limb (approx 9 inch in the case of rose cuttings) and bruise the lower nodes which will be plunged into soil these nodes will grow roots, stored starches will liberate to keep that limb alive and maintain life.  AMAZING!!!

So give it a go!  Come on natures miracles await us and life nurtured does so much for the planet and us. Ask neighbours and friends to do a swap and share and let us know what you are trying on the Look Local Facebook page.

For a more expansive explanation into why you do the above or for gardening ideas and inspiration check out my Blog on my website www.mimosagardendesign.com or visit my Facebook Page

With love,  Lucie, Mimosa Design

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**𝐉𝐔𝐋𝐘 𝐈𝐒𝐒𝐔𝐄 𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐍𝐎𝐖**Hello Readers,Welcome to the 𝐉𝐔𝐋𝐘 issue of Look Local Magazine. Did you know its 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗕𝗕𝗤 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗸 from 4th July, so there’s no time like the present to fire up the old smoky joe and chuck on some delicious summer grub. Not that us Brits need an excuse to dine alfresco as soon as the sun shines! For those of you who haven’t joined the 8.8 million Brits set to go meat-free this year (up 22% YOY)*, turn to page 8 for a 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗧 off your first order at 𝗪𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝗽. They sell a huge variety of homegrown meats from their family farm in the Oxfordshire countryside as well as eggs, pies and eco-refill whole-foods. For those who have opted for a vegan or vegetarian diet or have BBQ guests who are and are struggling for ideas on what to cook, turn to page 9 for a delicious meat-free burger option from plant-based food brand Gourmet Garden. They have created a vast selection of vegan burgers, fillet pieces, mince and sausages and their website contains loads of recipe inspiration, so check them out.It is also time for us to get out and enjoy some foot-stomping, heart-pounding, head-bobbing, local music as festival season is well and truly upon us! 𝗦𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟵𝘁𝗵 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 sees the return of 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹, with venues across the town and a main stage next to the town hall promising to come alive with a wonderful array of live music. The much-loved and much-missed, 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘆 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 returns in August after a 2 year hiatus (due to covid) in the new location of Claydon Country Estate in Buckinghamshire. It is set to be bigger and better than ever offering a genuine community of music, creativity, friendship, and fun. Turn to our Sound of Music feature on pages 14/15 for more information on both of these festivals.And whilst on the subject of the arts and entertainment, we have another 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 for you! Courtesy of the 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗿𝗲, we have a 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗧𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆 to one of their fantastic shows. 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝟭𝟳 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿. As always, please continue to shop and support local when requiring any services or looking for places to visit, and if you are a local business looking to promote your services do get in touch and/or follow us on Social Media - I am always happy to share your news online. Love Emma xFor Advertising contact 07707 386034 orEmail: info@look-localmagazine.co.uk Online Version can be read here: https://issuu.com/looklocalmagazineoxonedition/docs/july22_issue116_32pg_final... #localmagazine #looklocalmagazine #whatsoninoxfordshire #communitymag #thame #advertiselocal #supportlocal #supportlocalbusiness #oxfordshiremagazine #smallbusinessesinoxfordshire ... See MoreSee Less

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