In September I did my practice work from school in Stavanger botaniske hage. The tasks are quite different in autumn time, so I learnt a lot of new stuff.
Seed gathering: Look for the most mature seeds, they should be dark and dry. The plant often lifts up it´s head, open their pods and offer you them! Can you see it?
This is Tinantia erecta – an south American annual. They don´t seed themselves very well, so we gather seeds to sow inside from early spring. I was told to gather as much seeds as I could, because the botanical gardens around the world are connected, and exchange seeds.
Then it was time for plant propagation by stem cutting.
We went out to gather material, mostly woody plants. When potting: Do one specie at a time, desinfecting the knife in between, with aceton or spirits.
This one here is a kind of Hebe. Remove quite a lot of the green leaves first. When it is about to develope roots, it should´nt have to use so much energy to maintain the leaves. If you have plants with big leafs, you simply cut them of ca 1/3. I did this with Buddleja globosa.
The cut on the stem should be made right under a growth point – With shots or leaves. This is where there is most of the growth hormones, and most likely to develope roots. Cut it clean. Have a pot 2/3 full of soil/sand/perlite blend. Put the cuttings near the edge, thats where it´s easiest for them to develope roots… Water well – put under a plastic sheet on a warm spot with lots of light. And don´t forget to name it!
THE BULBS ARRIVED
They had ordered thousands of bulbs, so many kinds. I learnt different ways of planting and treating..
This day I planted 1000 bulbs! Frittilaria maleagris and narcisses. To make them look growing wild, you just throw them gently over the erea you want to plant, and then plant them where they land. In a wild state they often grow many close together, a bit here and there. Both the narcisses and the maleagris will reproduce new bulbs for some years.
The common rule for planting bulbs, is to plant them 2 bulb – lenghts down. The maleagris likes to be a little bit deeper. If they are not planted deep enough, they will use some energy to pull them selves deeper with the roots. Pretty amazing!
These black funny roots are anemones. They like to be soaked in water over the night before they are planted. They are quite hardy, and can be planted just 5 cm down. Planting them now, they will appear very early in the spring, when most of the other plants will be sleeping or dead.
The Bungei – fox tail lilly, looks quite alive..
The Frittillaria imperialis are also dug down in a similar way. 2 bulb lenghts deep, (quite deep -these are big bulbs!) And on a little bed of soil, with fertilizer and some fine sand – for the new roots to be soft and don´t freeze.
Wow! I´m exited to see how they´ll turn out!
Then there was time for some trimming . This bush- a Weigela, looks lovely. But it is too densly growing. The twigs in the middel have started getting fungus – and thats not good. “Prune it 1/3 down, and then 1/3 of the branches in the middle”.. Need to get some air into that bush.
On rainy days we cleared out the greenhouse, making it ready for the winter. Scrubbing and desinfecting the tables..
And last but not least.. Enjoying the last flowers