Anyone else going stir crazy?

Another week has gone by and I’ve hardly managed to get any gardening done. Everywhere is sodden. and squelchy. Weeds and grass are growing like crazy. Everything is coming into leaf. But I can’t get at it. Yesterday we filled the remorque with buddleia prunings and went to the dechetterie in the rain. We were the only people there - not surprisingly. Another three “trees” to take - I’d hoped to work outside today but we’ve had bitter showers all afternoon - some of them hail. Next week doesn’t look much better.
In town the small front garden potagers are already looking immaculate - weed free, beautifully tilled, ready for planting. Why did I ever think 2 hectares was a good idea!


I could do with some Buddleia cuttings ! Probably a bit much to send through the post though :slight_smile:

Alex do you have any neighbours who could give you some? If not, send me a private message with your address and I’ll send you some short cuttings in a jiffy bag to plant. You may regret it! They are useful, but such thugs! I’ve got standard mauve ones and a very dark one. A friend has told me that cinnamon spice makes a good rooting powder (now that hormone rooting powder is off the market). I’m trying it with everything for the first time this year as I don’t like the liquid rooting products.

Sue, thanks for offering, but I’ll probably just wander onto some wasteland and catch a falling twig or two as I happen to be walking by. The ground cinnamon trick sounds like a good one, we’ve been wondering for a while where the rooting powder had gone from the local garden store !

Absolutely stir crazy. Six months of rain here. It’s march and I am unable to start on the new veg patch that someone has kindly lent me, and as a professional gardener, I am struggling to work on the gardens that I have. Thank goodness I am not still a full time self-employed gardener. The grass is growing and is too boggy to cut. Working such wet soil is bad for it, and it’s generally miserable even trying to work in these conditions, and today it is icy cold as well as raining.

Depending on rainfall, soil condition here goes from heavy clinging mud to concrete. Somewhere between the two extremes it becomes light and crumbly and beautifully easy to dig - just gotta catch the moment!

At this moment, if they haven’t already done so, you should find gardeners cutting Buddleia back to knee height. I think you will find that they will be happy to give you a branch.
Just stick it in the ground and, as fireworks manufacturers used to warn, retire immediately!


Been there, got the T-shirt. Usually that “moment” lasts for about half an hour some time round the last Thursday in March.


You can do the same with your willow trees.
The depth of soil here is quite shallow and then we come to terre dur.
We are looking forward to our asparagus crop in April though.

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Willows and Buddleia are among the easiest, but a great many plants can be grown from cuttings. Most of the plants in my garden are from cuttings.
I have recently started taking cuttings from tomato plants in the autumn. I over winter them in beer bottles on the kitchen windowsill, changing the water every couple of weeks. when it is time to plant out they have a well developed root growth. Less trouble than growing from seed.

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Talking of digging reminds me of one of Bernard Miles’ “Hertfordshire” stories.
The new vicar isn’t much liked in the village because he is an outsider and totally ignorant of local life and customs. One day he sees an old boy working in his garden. “Isn’t it wonderful what God can do in a garden with a little help?” he says. The old fellow stops working and rests on the handle of his spade. “Should 'ave seen it when 'e 'ad it to himself!” he replies.


Stir crazy? I’ve just mowed the lawn for the 3rd time in a month. It’s quite warm in the sun today! Exception rather than the rule though…

I so agree Mike. The only plants I grow from “seed” these days are yellow French beans**. Otherwise everything’s cuttings. I’m out there now (at last!) pruning the roses - hate it because they are so advanced this year. I’m potting up the cuttings of my favourites. We must have well over a hundred roses in our garden now and I would say a good half are grown from cuttings. It’s the one advantage of our heavy clay soil. The roses love it. I’ve also got a mass of cuttings from the pots and troughs - leggy geraniums, begonias and so on that I’ve cut back, some of which have never stopped flowering this winter- love the fact that I don’t have to buy them any more, just carry them over from year to year.
** mind you, I do love the fact that the field poppies and daisies and the nigella self-seed every year - yet more free plants!

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You’re lucky Chris. Would that we could mow! We had hopes for today, the day started sunny with a bit of wind, so thought we might get the mowers out (one each!) this afternoon but it’s now trying to rain again. Our ground is saturated - standing water in most places, so too wet to mow,

Yes we are lucky as our ground is very free draining. The downside is everything dies quickly without water in summer…just have to grow drought tolerant plants. Actually some of them really struggle in summer too!

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We managed to do two grass cuts for clients and then our own garden today.

Roses respond to harsh treatment. Some people I know bought a renovated house where the builders had built a bonfire of old wood on top of the rose bed. The following year they flowered profusely!
We grow old fashioned runner beans. The roots can survive a mild winter. I bring some in (usually about now) and put them in pots in the greenhouse. Each one produces as much new growth as four grown from seeds and around 3 to 4 weeks in advance. Maybe that will also work with French beans?

@Mike_Kearney Interesting thought Mike. I’ll give it a try - though my experience with French beans is that they really give up the ghost at the end of the season, so I’m not sure there will be anything to bring in.

too wet to do anything here… although we are on rock there is just enough sodden earth to be a dratted nuisance…our rugged lawn is more weed than grass, but who cares.

can’t wait for a decent spell so I can get some containers on the go…

Let me know if it works for you.