Posted: 11/06/2013 at 20:01
Hello - just needing some reassurance I am doing the right thing.
I am 2 years into 'making' a new garden. It is a large site & I decided from the outset that the only way I could afford to stock it full to busting with my beloved herbaceous perennials was to propagate a lot of them myself.
I am growing a lot from seed & cuttings but also brought some prized specimens from my previous garden and purchased quite a few 'stock' plants last year. I have loved & nurtured (aaah!) these last 2 groups of plants for the past 12 months & am pleasantly suprised that several are now definitely large enough for me to divide (primarily brunneras, hardy geraniums, dicentra, astrantias and thalictrums). They are all in the ground (ie not in pots).
I know that it would have been best to lift & divide them earlier (eg April) but I was a bit (ie VERY) busy planting shrubs and hedges at that time & the plants were also very late & giving no indication then of just how much they had grown in one year.
I am reluctant to divide them right now as they are all either in or about to come into flower and lifting them now means they will wilt and probably need cutting back - and they are currently doing a good job cheering up my rather bare garden no end!
I could wait until autumn but I garden on heavy clay and I know that small plant divisions are likely to sulk and rot if we have another cold wet winter.
I was thinking of waiting until flowering was over (when I would normally cut the plants right back to get a fresh flush of leaves) and dividing them then. I think the soil will be a bit too hard and dry for small divisions (not much rain in Suffolk again this year!) so I thought I could put the divisions in pots and maybe plant them out late summer if they've made enough root growth. If not I can sink the pots in the soil (saves watering) and plant out next spring.
I'd be grateful for some moral support if you think I'm doing the right thing or even more grateful if somebody could point out the error of my plans & prevent me making a big mistake and maybe losing a lot of plants.
Thanks in advance.