Geraniums are the easiest plant to take cuttings from. Willow shows you how in this extract from The Wild Journal.
Charlie and I compete for space in the small greenhouse we fill with tomatoes and pelargoniums. By the end of the summer I usually win and my geraniums overflow onto the terrace and windowsills of our house.
The scented leaf perlagoniums are the best. Even the boys learn to pinch the leaves for a quick fix of lemon, apple or chocolate scent as they brush past them. The variated citrus-leaved ones are my favourite and I love how easy it is to clone them to give away as presents for friends.
A crispum variegatum, a scented-leaved pelargonium with a lemony aroma grown by Carole Bamford. © Michael Vince Kim for The New York Times Style Magazine.
My friend Carole Bamford is just as obsessed as I am. She has an entire greenhouse dedicated to pelargoniums with over 120 different species. Their scent has become the signature of her divine Bamford beauty products.
Carole Bamford's pelargornium greenhouse. © Michael Vince Kim for The New York Times Style Magazine.Growing from cuttings is basically growing for free. In 'garden-speak', it's called propagation. If you're new to taking cuttings, in a nutshell, it's when you snip off a small shoot from a plant, poke it into its own pot of compost and, after a while, it starts growing you a whole new plant.
This year I've gone geranium crazy; as well as filling my garden, every surface of my kitchen, sitting room and even the bathroom, are covered with different types of geraniums. There are so many that I love, I find it hard to be selective.
Pelargoniums in Carole Bamford's potting shed © Michael Vince Kim for The New York Times Style Magazine.
I often enjoy them more for the leaves - which I use in arrangements - than the flowers, and I am drawn to the scented and variegated leaf varieties first and foremost. The ones bringing me the most joy are 'Mrs Pollock', 'Attar of Roses', 'Horizon Appleblossom', 'Wilhelm Langguth' and 'Tomentosum'.
My mother always has her secateurs in her back pocket and whips them out at any given moment, like some sort of garden ninja, discreetly snipping snippets of geraniums she likes the look of and multiplying her favourites to give away as presents. I'm coming to realise gardeners have an inbuilt urge to do this.
3. Lay it flat and gently nip off the side shoots and any little buds that might be forming. You should end up with a. long, green pencil-like shoot.
This is an edited extract taken from Willow Crossley's The Wild Journal: A Year of Nurturing Yourself Through Nature