Chive a good idea ... (with update)

Well it doesn't happen too often, however when it does, it's a good one ...

After completing my arch over the front gate a while ago, I set about edging the path up to it with box hedging. 

Lovely, I thought.

The only problem, two years down the road, is that the plants aren't great, and the soil needs some work to encourage growth and for them to knit in. And this will take at least a couple of more years. So, what can I do in the meantime?

Well, I had this thought. What about inter-planting the box plants with some colour. And what immediately sprang to mind was Chives. These versatile members of the onion family have proved very useful in many a summer salad sandwich. For those that grow them though, there is further appreciation of them when they flower, producing masses of lilac purple flower heads in early summer. 


Now all I need are the plants. I require about 18 to 20 of them. Pricing them in local nursery's or garden centre's, I'll pay between €2 and €4 per (small) plant, between €40 and €80 in total. 

Hmmm ... by the time I purchase some good quality soil conditioner, that'll wipe out my April garden budget. 

Luckily, I had one plant growing in the garden for the past three years. So, last weekend, I went to have a look for it,  and saw it was just beginning to sprout. Perfect timing for splitting and dividing it. 

So out with my trusty trowel, and out it popped. 

To my surprise, it wasn't difficult to divide. In fact looking at the old worn out centre of the plant, I think it was quite ready for this. 

I took small bunches of fresh growth, with as much roots as I could tease out and removed old dead remnants.  

The next step was to pot these new little plants into small pots, using my home-made compost (sieved topsoil, compost and a little fertilizer) and water them in.

It worked out very well. Out of the 3-4 year old plant, I got approximately 25 plants, more than enough for what I was planning. 

They are now resting in a sheltered area, where I'll leave them to establish in their pots for at least a couple of months. 

Once they're established and look ready for planting out, I'll revamp the soil around the box hedging and plant them out. Soon, not only will we be enjoying our summer salad sandwiches again, we'll also be enjoying a super display of flowers lining the front garden path.

Watch this space ...

Mid April update, and the new plants are looking great! They've been in the greenhouse which has been nice and cosy for them, and there is some fresh growth appearing and evidence of new roots too. There is a good possibility they'll be ready to plant out next month at this rate!

Happy gardening.