A New Year with New Beginnings
We’ve been having a warm spell this February, and I am encouraged by the new sprouts emerging from the garden cloche cuttings I stuck in the ground last fall. I buried some stems of my favorite shrubs as deeply as possible into moist soil and covered them with large upside-down jars for the winter. To hedge my bets, I surrounded the glass jars with bubble wrap to keep the stems extra warm and toasty. Then I pulled pine straw around the bottom to keep out cold winds. When the weather warms in the spring, I pull off the jars and, voila! New plants.
It’s easy to build a collection of garden cloche jars. The traditional bell jars are quite expensive, but I visit thrift stores and yards sales for fifty-cent versions. Old floral containers work just fine. The handy handle topper is missing, but I can manage without it. The bigger the jars, the better.
The jars act like tiny greenhouses, holding in moisture and sunlight and warmth. Some shrub species accept this propagation method very willingly—Hydrangeas and Roses, especially. Can you have too many Hydrangeas and Roses? I don’t think so!