Gardening Magazine

Choice Cuts

By Gardenamateur

I love the way recycling operates in our streets. Our local council does a great job. There are yellow-lidded bins (paper/glass), green-lid bins (garden clippings) and red-lid bins (everything else) for every household. 

But our street has been developing its own system: if you have something you no longer need, but you think other locals might like, just leave it out on your nature strip, preferably on a Saturday, and by Sunday night it'll probably be gone. Works most of the time, too.

Choice cuts
So that's what I did with about a dozen big frangipani cuttings. I stuck them in a plastic bucket, created the beautiful sign you see here and stuck it to our street tree, and let recycling take its course. Which it did. All of them were taken by Sunday evening ...
Choice cuts
Now, as for the frangipani cuttings themselves, they came about because our frangipani tree is growing too well. Last summer it invaded our pathway to Pammy's shed, and a few branches reached far enough that washing on the clothesline occasionally snagged on a branch. So, once the tree had lost all its leaves for winter, we cut it back here and there. And there, and over there, and up there. We ended up with quite a few cuttings ...
Choice cuts
Standing back a few feet to take this shot, you can easily see how the pathway is now clear. The job itself is a bit messy, as frangipani immediately ooze out lots of sticky white sap, so wearing gloves saves on cleaning up. 

I collected up the cuttings then put them in a dry spot and then let them dry for a few weeks, with the aim of drying off the base of each cutting (the bit you stick in the potting mix). If you don't let the cuttings dry off, you run the risk of rot developing around the oozy cut after you plant the cutting into potting mix. And that's basically all I know about striking frangipani cuttings. Our tree is grown from a cutting taken 11 years ago, so it's a good way to get started.

Choice cuts
Quick peek down memory lane. Here's the oldest photo I have of our frangipani, taken soon after I started blogging in 2008, and in that photo caption I said the cutting-grown plant was two years old then. My how it's grown!

Finally, one little footnote to our street's informal recycling system ... 

Choice cuts

This Monday morning I went outside to collect the plastic bucket in which I had placed all the cuttings, and even the bucket had gone! Fortunately, it wasn't my best bucket ...

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