It’s true. Every year in May, our local Council have a Green Verge Collection. Meaning cuttings and prunings from trees, NOT grass cuttings. In July, there is a White Goods Collection, which includes any junk lying in sheds, such as old TVs, bicycles, microwaves, etc.
Last year, I collected a cast-off pruning from my neighbour Ray’s Frangipani (Plumeria) tree. (Ray passed away from skin cancer this January, he was a very nice old guy and we used to chat outside his house whenever our paths coincided). I read that Frangipani could be propagated from cuttings, so I simply stuck Ray’s cutting into a pot and hoped for the best.
For many months, Stick, as I called it, remained true to its name. Then the Australian Summer came in October and with it the swimming season. Hurrah! Each day, the Kid and I would plunge into the deliciously warm water of our swimming pool. My 11-year-old son taught his Mum how to dive, how cool is that! I’m blessed to have such a smart, well-behaved kid.
Anyway, the pot that Stick lived in was by the swimming pool. And I noticed one day that Stick was sporting two little nubbins of tender young shoots. Over the Summer months, as we swam, we observed Stick put out more leaves and start to turn into a proper Frangipani youngster. Whenever we watered the plants by the pool or topped the pool water up, we made sure that Stick got a good watering too.
Old Man Ray may be gone, may he rest in peace, but his legacy lives on everytime I look at Stick flourishing in its pot.
This year, I decided I would be braver and try and get more cuttings or prunings. My idea of gardening is simple: stick it in the ground/pot and water it. If it grows, good-oh. If it dies, oh dear.
It worked for Stick. So this year I went cycling around my area looking for potential candidates. I found 4 plants that fit my “Stick” criteria: Poinsettia, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus and Frangipani. And I found some nice examples from my neighbourhood. The poinsettia I asked nicely for, as the owners of the house were pottering around their garden when I fetched up on my bike. The purple bougainvillea I only got 1 cutting of as the thorns proved too much for my bare hands. I got 2 different colours of hibiscus – a pink one and a frilly red one. And I got frangipani prunings from 3 different houses just the next street over. I’m hoping they aren’t all going to be the same colour. Now all I have to do is find somewhere to stick them all in, and then wait.
Who says nothing can be gotten for free?
My bike laden with the spoils of my verge cuttings conquest.
Actually, upon looking at the plants around our swimming pool, I noticed too the Jade tree or money plant cuttings that I’d taken from Ray’s verge. And the Purple Aeoniums I’d salvaged from someone’s garden 3 years ago when we lived in Ascot near Perth. And the Aloe Vera that I’d rescued from somewhere else. Hmmm…maybe my gardening skills aren’t so bad after all?
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