Super Supports.

08 Mar

I’m just going to be honest, those right angled, green plastic hooky things I don’t like at all. They aren’t that tall, you have to store them somehow over winter when they aren’t in use. I’ll give them the factor of longevity, they for sure have that going for them, that’s the only positive thing I can really say about them though to be honest. I find a lot of single ones just laying in a bed under a thin cover of soil a lot, looking like they’ve fallen over and been forgotten about.


However, they do serve a purpose; a purpose that this post is all about: Plant Supports. Very handy things in the garden that a number of herbaceous plants can’t really live without. I’ve put supports in for Echinops, Dahlias, Aconitum, Roses, Delphiniums, Rudbeckia Goldsturm. Not all of those necessarily neeeeeed support, they could just use a little helping hand sometimes if the weather gets the better of them.


Those lovely plastic/metal ones I talked about so nicely earlier are pretty much available from all and every garden centre around the nation, so finding them shouldn’t be too hard, they’re the simpler straight forward option for people on a time and money budget, long lasting, easy to set up, suitable to any diameter because you can just add or take one away if need be, Their only real drawback is they aren’t very tall and they’re annoying to store because of their shape.


We all know that a few bamboo canes and some green string can do just as fine a job as their plastic counter parts. This option is great for any plants that gets a bit too tall, Roses are always a good one for a bamboo support. Again this has the added usefulness of being reusable over several years, the string won’t do too well in constant wet or cold conditions though, so it’ll eventually break at some point and not become very helpful to our lovely plants. Bamboo is also a lot easier to store away, just bundle it up in a corner somewhere and it’s sorted. Easy peasy.


This final option you can do is probably my favourite. It is definitely a little fiddly though, and takes some time to put together, the final end product though looks great and best of all, it’s a lot more affordable than the other two options in the long run as it stays alive. Ladies and gentlemen, your surprise choice: Cornusssss Albaaaaaaa. That’s right, Dogwood makes great plant supports. Once a year, or if you have enough, you can go for once every 2 years for longer supports. You cut down the stems of the Cornus down to about 1’ off the ground. Cornus grow back relatively quickly (40-60cm per year, you could get even more with the right care). While some people might not agree with me here, the bright vibrant colour of the Dogwood stems make for a great contract with the green of the plant you’re supporting. Once they’ve done their job, just chuck them onto the fire. No mess! Cut down a fresh batch for the next spring, rinse and repeat. Check out the following steps below to see how it’s done!


So making these cute little supports is simple! Step 1. Find the stems that are a good length, anything over 46cm is ideal. Step 2. Stick your Cornus stems into the ground, about 15cm apart, all around the plant that you want to support,  Step 3. Around 20-30cm out from the ground, gently bed over a Stem to a 90° angle, go left or right, it doesn’t matter. Step 4. Hold the stem from step 3 against it’s neighbor, bend over the neighbor to 90° again and wrap stem 1 around stem 2. Step 5. Continue to bend and wrap until all the stems are connected in a circle! (Some can be a bit fiddly, i’ll tell you now, but just persist and it’ll work! The wrapping will hold the stems in place, just look at the right hand picture for proof!) And vola!   


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Written by Stu.

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