Tis the season of Plant sales, an ever popular way for local Horticultural societies and other organisations to raise money and a great way to get different plants for your garden, - normally varieties that are likely to do well as they come from gardens locally and obviously multiplied so that they could be given away.
So if you want to provide plants for a sale, what should you look for.
1) Have you sown any seeds this year that are surplus to requirements?, - this year as every year i've managed to germinate enough tomato and pepper plants to feed West Horsley, and I managed to get the cucumber seed packet wet and soggy, - so I had to plant all the seeds, - these have been nurtured, watered every day and turned towards the light a half turn every couple of days so that they are upright and not bent at an angle. - This is a great time to look at what you really need and give away all the others.
2) Didn't get round to sowing seeds? - did your garden plants do it for you? - over the last few weeks i've planted up seeds in clients gardens of Acer palmatum, Hellebores, Astrantia, Lychnis, Aqueligia, Verbena bonariensis and Erigeron karvinskianus, - have a look round your borders and see if any plants have done the propagation for you.
3) Have you got anything that can easily be split? - although May is later than the traditional border splitting season, a lot of plants can still be easily divided without harming them and you often won't be able to see that anything has been taken within a couple of weeks, - easy splitters include some Geraniums, Hostas, Mint, plus late flowering perennials such as Asters, Schizostylus and Heleniums.
When you've decided what to pot up, don't forget to wash your pots (so as not to pass on any fungal diseases), use a potting or multipurpose compst rather than garden soil and take as much plant and as little soil as you can to keep the roots intact, - this will ensure that there are no pieces of weed root clinging to your plants to pass on to another gardener.
When you've planted up your treasures to pass on, - don't forget to labels them, - even if you don't know the full latin name, any idea of when it flowers/ is in full foliage and what colour will help to ensure someone else take your plant away to treasure.
i've got to find 3 plants each for us as entry for the West Horsley Horticultural Society Show on Saturday, so i'm off to make sure my tomatoes are labelled.