Monday, 24 October 2011

The Battle of the Tansy

Over the past few weeks I have been dividing perennial herbs and plants. The first herb I tackled was the tansy growing near my shed at my plot. It had been in the ground for three years and had grown large. The Tansy grows to over a metre high and screens my sitting area from the path that goes across the top of the plot. But this year buffeted by strong winds it flopped over the path despite the being supported by a wood tripod.

On the Friday before I took on the Tansy I had been watching Carol Klein on Gardeners' World lift and divide perennials effortlessly.  So I took my fork and dug deep under the plant but it did not budge, a friend came along and started helping, then Mick came and offered to help.  Mick is a giant of a man, he was able to lift it slightly but it still stubbornly refused to shift.  An hour later and with enormous effort the plant lifted from the ground. The tansy came up so suddenly Mick fell backwards onto a black current bush.  I now have lots of cuttings!

As seen on TV I used two forks to try prise the tansy apart. The forks got wedged in the plant and would not come out .  My friend, Jenny managed to get  the forks out and break off two small pieces off the Tansy.  I then resorted to a saw but it was not strong enough for the job. So another friend, John brought a tree saw over and we managed to divide it at last into six pieces.  I kept two, Jenny had two, John has one  and I gave the last piece to  a person on a neighbouring plot. It had taken about fours hours all told to lift and divide the Tansy.

After this epic struggle I decided to  not to tackle anymore plants for a few days.  However they did needed lifting and dividing, so eventually, I decided to divided the Comfrey. I was not sure if I had  the strength to tackle this huge plant.  Armed with a fork I started to work underneath it immediately a  huge clump came out so quickly I nearly fell over.   I was expecting a lot of resistance from the roots!  The next plant was the golden marjoram which I always divide and put in the cold frame for winter. I gave it a gentle tug and it came out. So did the garlic chives,thyme and eau cologne mint.  These  I split  potted up and watered and put into the cold frame. The fennel has already been cut down so I left it in place. The last plant I wanted to move was a michlmas daisy which was put in at the bottom of the plot as a tiny cutting and now had grown to a fine plant.  It was easy to move to another place where it could be seen better when it was flowering  next the autumn. I still have some plants and herbs to pot up  for winter. But the majority are moved into new places or safe stowed in the cold frame.

The borage and purple Cosmos are still flowering and compliment each other.  Tthere are   large clumps of pot marigolds and  there are many plants of feverfew, which  has white flowers and lovely fresh green leaves.  One of the lemon balm plants is also flowering.  All these plants will continue to flower until the first hard frost.   They will be a wonderful support for the bees to help them survive the harsh weather of the winter ahead.   Except for the cosmos these plants have seeded themselves and will  be up and flowering in early Spring. Hopefully the Yarrow (achillia) will also set seeds.

My plot is a wonderfully peaceful place to be and at this time of the year because a large  number of plot holders disappear from late Summer until they pop up again in Spring.  Pops and I enjoy being there in Autumn and Winter.  The winter sun gives me a wonderful boast and I enjoy meditating on the plot in Winter. I  also like to dig and feed my  soil, trees and plants during these months.  I will  be pruning some of the fruit trees, and fruit bushes,  I will be donning gauntetse to cut back the blackberries as my plants are not thornless.  The raspberries are autumn fruiting and will not be pruned until February.   I hope  to get my plot looking neat and tidy before next Spring when my herbs and flowers will grow where they want.   The vegetables have to grow around them because flowers and herbs rule on my plot!

With Reiki Blessings and light

Merry Rambler

I give information about how to grow and use  herb here