Members were treated to a very informative and interesting talk by Richard Cripps, his topic was soft and hardwood cuttings. Grafting and budding has been around since ancient times, but we were given an insight to the everyman’s way to do things! All cuttings keep the likeness of the parent plant, unlike seed planting. One simple way for soft cuttings, taken in the growing season, is to cut off the top of the stem leaving four major leaf branches, pinch out the top, especially if flowering, and put in a jar of water. Roots should form after 3-4 weeks. Another way is to put these cuttings into a mixture 50/50 of good general compost and sharp (fine) sand, not builders sand! Place a polythene bag over the top, acting as a mini greenhouse. Several different cuttings can be put in together, for both these systems. Richard also told us about layering and cutting up rhizomes. For hard wood cuttings, usually done in November/ December, longer cuttings can be taken, 2/3rds of the cutting is put in the soil or pot, and it can take up to 2 seasons to root. Hormone rooting powder is only needed on the more difficult plants to root.