Sunday, July 1, 2012


The dig, divide, store or replant time of year is at its peak. My turmeric, ginger, galangal and dahlia tubers have gone into tubs of river sand until late spring when they will be planted out. Chives have been separated into less congested clumps and replanted. The massive thick roots of horseradish have made their way into the kitchen for making a nice hot cream sauce and I am sure I have left enough roots in the ground for it to return with gusto when the days get warmer. Many of the herbaceous perennials such as Coreopsis and Oenothera retreat underground to a mass of wiry stems all covered in new shoots and are fairly easy to manage to divvy up. Others such as the Rudbeckia (pictured above) and Asters retain a central core of thick dried flower stems to which the tiny new plants cling. I am beginning to think that separating new plants from them might be easier in summer when the flower stems are soft and the plants are actively growing. I assume this tenacious habit is the result their originating from a fairly cold climate where a heavy frost might heave them out of the ground or a grazing animal might nibble at their core. 
All this is back breaking work of course and without wanting to become one of those bloggers who documents every ailment, misfortune or indignity which has befallen them, I do wish to gripe about the fantasy of gardening books which make a productive garden look so easy to achieve. Where is the chapter on stretching, yoga and spa treatments necessary as a follow up to gardening or landscaping on a full time basis. Fact is much of garden work is repetitive, boring and tough on the body week in week out, as those who work in the horticultural industry may well attest. Meanwhile a sponsorship deal from Voltaren Rapid 25 would be nice....

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