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Posts Tagged ‘propagation’

spice3

This man has smelt Sporobolus heterolepsis- have you ?

Diary note for September: propagate more of the wondrously aromatic grass Sporobolis heterolepsis.

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What is it then ? a fabulous grass with attitude and scent !

other common name – Prairie dropseed

Height : 80cm (at least) Spread : 35cm (and some)

Flowering : meant to be July and august , but still flowering now well into September.

spicemarket1Scent : musky and aromatic like a trip into a indian spice market. Just catching on the slightest breeze you get a hint of the cumin laden armpit of a street trader in Jaipur. It is the sort of grass you could make a curry with , the sort of grass that would be impregnating an old jute camel bag, the scent of a sandal kicked off under a rickshaw drivers charpoi, the tendril taint of an “old “print dug out from beneath a dozen such prints in old Mapusa market. It is the siren call of the exotic and the whisper of the orient.

spice4

I smelt Sporobolus and my nose fell off …..

Grown en masse (of course) why would anyone do any less,it is a wonder of the prairie plain.Not only do you get scent but a fine and fickle movement in the breeze reminds you of a lapping warm sea. Must be nearly holiday time methinks ………..

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This week Paul and I are very honoured to have been asked to help The Sussex Beacon gardening team with supplying Sussex Prairie plants for a mini prairie  bed in the wonderful Beacon garden .Located high up on what must have been a former fire beacon position the unit snuggly nestles into the hillside and curves around its slopes . The garden is set at its heart.

Having met with the volunteers we worked out our plan of action  ! Firstly Paul and I will design a simple planting scheme using some of our signature prairie plants that would fit the garden perfectly and then the plan is that the team will come out to us and help propagate the plants that will go into the border . Propagating from our immense plant stock here in our garden we will have a choice of  super varieties. Having set them going in our polytunnel we will then plant up the space in early spring hopefully in time for a bit of colour to be emerging in readiness for this years Garden Gadabout in June and July.

The Sussex Beacon is a dedicated HIV centre , which has been at the forefront of specialist HIV service delivery since 1992. The ten bedded unit cares for people recovering from serious HIV related illness and supports those initiating new drug therapies or struggling with the extreme side effects of antiretroviral medication. And at the heart of the unit is a calm restful haven : the garden. Green space and the peaceful courtyard will be the perfect place for the plants we love to encourage bird and insect life into the garden. The gentle noise of grasses moving and the soft colours will be beautiful there.Paul and I are really looking forward to this project and getting to know further the wonderful volunteers who are working to make the whole place such a success.

 

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