Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Getting to the Root of Things; DIARY

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Getting to the Root of Things; DIARY

Article excerpt

RELATIVE NEWCOMERS: Root cuttings are a good way to increase many borage relatives, including comfreys and all the longifolia forms of pulmonaria.

I'm taking fleshy roots from plants in the borders and while this can be done at any time of the year, August and September are probably best.

I'm cutting them about 3cm long and inserting them around the edge of a clay pot filled with good, gritty compost, making sure the cuttings are flush with the top of the compost. They are watered well. If you have a source of bottom heat, so much the better, although they will root perfectly well without. Mine are going in a sheltered place outside, out of direct sun but with plenty of light. It's a delight to see, after a few weeks, little shoots rising.

You need to wait a few weeks after this to separate them and repot to ensure they have rooted properly.

STIR THE BORAGE: Many members of the borage family grow well from seed. Borage, whose flowers we float in our glasses of Pimms, seeds itself with gay abandon, as do forget-me-nots (pictured) and Omphalodes linifolia, a delightful whiteflowered, glaucousleaved navelwort that is exceptional in preferring a poor, sunny, well-drained situation. …

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