Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas cuttings

It all started when my friend Jill called and suggested going to lunch at a favorite TexMex restaurant, Picante's. I said, "Great idea! It's just down the street from ------- Nursery, and I've been meaning to drop by there to see if they have any Christmas cactus."

"Ha! You don't need to do that," she said. "We've got more Christmas cactus than we know what to do with at the greenhouse. Come take some cuttings."

That's a picture of Jill up there at the top, coaxing some babies from a maternity plant. She teaches biology and botany at a local community college, where they have a greenhouse. For many years she and the other biology teachers have had students grow plants from cuttings, and now she was offering to let me do the same from their huge stock.

I felt my heart do a tiny little skip.

"Besides," she added. "Using cuttings instead of buying the plants fits in with your way of doing things."

(Hang on. My way of doing things? What the heck would that be? Cheap? Well okay, maybe I am, but what do I care? Quelle fun!)

So today we drove over there and she turned me loose. All I had to provide were the pots and tray (an excellent way to recycle all those leftovers I had lying around). Here are some pictures from my Very Fine Morning:

O! The plantmanity! Who could stop at just a Christmas cactus when faced with such bounty? So many choices...

I was really taken with all the succulents. I took a lot of photos for upcoming "garden blogger bloom days."

Here I am, looking like I know what I'm doing--which, as it turns out, I do, having been tutored by Jill only moments before. The procedure is simple: cut with a sterilized razor blade, dip the end in rooting hormone, stick it in the potting soil, add water. Easy. As. Pie.

In addition to the specimens I took, there were some already-rooted cuttings remaining from the just-ended school term, summarily abandoned by students whose interest waned once grades were posted. Naturally, I had to save them. It was my duty.

Here they all are, safely tucked away in a kitchen window. There is a Christmas cactus in there somewhere, I swear...


  1. Oh wow, like being let loose in Santa's workshop!

  2. Now, that's the kind of lunch outing to have, I'd say! :)

  3. All this, and low fat, too! And such lovely green cheer in a cold, dark season. (For two more days, anyway!)

  4. It's important to your duty and save those plants...they've been abandoned. What a fun day! Gail

  5. I'll take one of each thank you very much.☺ Looks like fun!

  6. I see your Christmas cactus, tucked way over there on the left:) Have fun with your bounty! Jan

  7. How cool! I'd love to be let loose in a green house like that!!

  8. Nancy--I agree completely!

    Sherrie--it was certainly green and cheery. Lots of blooms, too.

    Gail--I try to do my duty whenever I'm called. ;-)

    Tina--I probably didn't take one of each, but it was close.

    Jan--Good eye!

    WG--it was like a candy shop. Or better, since it won't rot my teeth. ;-)

  9. Let loose amongst plants,what a gardener's dream. Abandoned cuttings - well you just have to take them in. It's the right thing to do (lol).

  10. Wow, what wonderful starts. I would have picked the Aloe and Wandering Jew also.

  11. Oh what fun! And as you say, it would have been churlish not to save all those plants the students had abandoned!

  12. How lucky you are. Every time I pass a school's or conservatory's green house I always wonder how I can make friends with people who work there.


    I'm jealous.

  13. EzG and VP--We must all do our duty! ;-)

    MrBT--absolutely. And while you're at it, you should find a friend with horses or chickens to enhance that compost pile. ;-)

  14. apparently this is what friends are for. all m Christmas cacti came off of a friend's plant. I hope all do well for you.

  15. Nice looking garden there chickadee. Have a happy holiday, we will take Walt out for Chinese tonight.

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