We are fortunate to have Leslie Gover teaching our workshop this Sunday, April 17, entitled “The Well-Maintained Garden: Dividing, Downsizing & Transplanting.” If you take this class you will basically never have to buy another plant ever again because you will be so good at making your own. What she has planned is a very hands-on class where you will walk through the garden digging up plants and seeing the reasons why certain plants can be divided and others cannot. I caught up with her as she was taking salvia cuttings in the greenhouse and asked her a few questions:
In the class title there are the terms division and downsizing. Is there a difference between the two?
The process is the same but the end result is different. You use division to make more plants, but downsizing is done to keep a particular plant the right size for its area. In the end, the goal of downsizing is to have a better looking plant than what you started with.
As far as dividing goes, what are you going to focus on?
I am going to look at tools, techniques, timing, and underground plant structure and how all of these work together to get you new, healthy plants.
Is there any particular type of plant you are going to look at?
I will focus on crown based perennials but we are going to be wandering through the garden so any plant could be in play. I will try to show which plants are easiest to do divisions and also which plants are better left for other propagation means.
Do you have any final thoughts you would like to add?
You will never know it all but you should always be learning. I will go out into the garden expecting one thing and come back either knowing more or having changed my mind completely. There are no absolutes in the garden so keep experimenting and keep learning.
While basic plant maintenance is not a flashy topic, this is a great class for both beginners and seasoned gardeners alike. Leslie is a great speaker and you will get your hands dirty. So dress for the weather and bring lots of questions.