I might be edging towards 50 years old but that doesn't in the least bit minimise my childlike excitement at the wonder of growing plants from saved seeds or cuttings. I find it actually hard to understand why anyone doesn't find it exciting too (you weirdos). Sure I admit I do buy seeds now and then. That's because we've got carried away eating too many of the growing plants and not allowed some to go to seed or I've been seduced by plant catalogues or unknown varieties on our travels. However nothing is quite as satisfying as seeing the green shoots of that seed you saved last year poking up above the earth.
I've also grown plants from seeds from shop bought fruit and veg; apples, apricots, avocados and squashes being some examples. Agave seeds have been collected from plants in Portugal and I have even successfully grown my own Moreton Bay Fig from seed collected from fallen fruits from the historically famous one in Santa Barbara, California.
Not quite as exotic but equally lovely is seeing signs of new growth from a cutting that you took from an existing plant from the garden. About twice a year I have to trim our ever growing fig (the Mediterranean one not the aforementioned Moreton Bay Fig). I actually hate having to hack it back but saving our phone line from being 'figotaged' or ensuring the postman can deliver Phil's Surfers Journal are factors that contribute to this necessity. The saving grace is that I will save as many of the cuttings as possible to try and encourage them into little fig trees; or figlets as I like to call them. I kind of feel like a plant midwife! I won't go into the history of this fig as I have covered that in a previous post. However, such has been the request from various people for a cutting of my fig that I've never managed to reach my target every year of 'growing to sell'. I end up giving the cuttings I've grown away! Not this year though as I've ensured an ample supply for free gifts for friends and neighbours and also spares for potential sales (for charity I might add).
I have no regrets at all about where my final spare from last year's cuttings went though. We recently planted it in the middle of my dad's potato patch in his garden in Kent. My dad, Robin, passed away in April and with mum unable herself to continue to grow the bare patch, we felt it was symbolic to plant something to green the area more long term. For me a cutting from my much loved fig from home seemed perfect. As we planted it a robin landed nearby to inspect our work. I took that as approval of not only the positioning of the fig but also general approval from my plant loving dad of my plant producing ways.
If you are ever in doubt of the wonder of the cycle of life, save that apple seed from the apple you just ate, save those shiny wonders inside that overgrown bean pod from this summer's harvest, save those cuttings destined for the compost bin. Stick them all in the good brown soil that Mother Earth provides. It won't cost you or the Earth a penny and might just put a big smile on your face (and perhaps many others if you pass on the plant love).