We continue our exploration of three categories of gardening activities that are suitable under social distance constraints and rewarding to the gardener.
1. Care for Your Garden
Time-honored advice in business calls for “managing by walking around.” That practice helps the manager to stay in touch with the day-to-day work of the enterprise.
The same practice applies to gardening. The gardener should walk through his or her garden often to observe how plants are growing, what they need, and what improvements would improve the landscape.
Recently, I discovered another result of “gardening by walking around:” a surprise development.
As I enjoyed the orange blossoms of the South African Bush Lilies (Clivia miniata), which I wrote about last month, I was surprised to find new, nearly white blossoms.
I had not planted such a variety! Clivia specialists noted the impressive range of blossom colors in hybrids of this plant: common orange, salmon orange, deep orange, to dark red orange, creamy pale yellows, pale pink, rich peach and pink shades, and green-tinted bronzy red.
They have not mentioned white.
My Internet search for “white clivia” revealed a Clivia relative, Cryptostephanus vansonii (no common name). This is a rare plant, also from South Africa, with both white and pink forms. Online pictures of this plant showed that it differs enough from the familiar Clivia that I suspected that my newcomer could be a “sport” with very pale yellow blossoms.
That’s my “walking around” reward for this week.
Another garden care activity that could reward your efforts is to propagate a shrub through cuttings. Roses are popular candidates for such propagation. Here’s how.
- After the first flush of bloom in the spring, cut a pencil-thick, six-inch long piece of strong, healthy stem.
- Remove all but one set of leaves from the stem, and the growing tip of the cutting.
- Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone and insert the cutting in a container of potting soil.
- Keep the cutting in warm and soil moist and watch for new leaves in six-to-eight weeks.
- At that stage of growth, you could transplant your young new plant into the ground,
Propagating several cuttings at the same time could yield a swath of your favorite plant to enhance your landscape. This real gardening process creates free plants and much enjoyment.
2. Advance Your Gardening Knowledge
You can find more detailed descriptions of these methods by searching the Internet for “propagation of [the plant of your choice].” Also, searching Youtube.com will provide brief practical demonstrations in video recordings. Keep in mind that there could be as many approaches as there are gardeners, so draw on more than one demonstration.
3. Enrich Your Gardening Days
As promised, here are more botanical gardens for virtual tours as part of your personal program of garden exploration. Botanical gardens have an educational purpose in addition to their commitment to research and preservation of selected categories of plants. This list of international gardens is drawn from recent recommendations from a British garden magazine, especially to “help beat the self-isolation blues.”
- Kew Gardens, near London: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has thirty-seven acres of woodland, 14,000 trees and 50,000 different plant species.
- The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has thirty-seven acres of woodland, 14,000 trees and 50,000 different plant species. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioG_Vfh0Kxw
- RHS Gardens, Wisley: The Royal Horticultural Society is England’s leading garden charity, and its Wisley garden is “one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration.”
- Monet’s Garden at Giverny in Normandy, France: Claude Monet, the founder of French Impressionist painting, said “My garden is my most beautiful work of art.””
For the full list, browse to tinyurl.com/vvpsn4g.
Enjoy your gardens and gardening and stay healthy.