The idea of Propagation

So, we’ve just sealed the deal on our new place, and let me tell you, the budget for our garden is tighter than ever. My goal is to have the whole vibe of those charming English country gardens but unfortunately it wasn’t a priority compared to other move-in needs (like closets!). So thank you Pinterest, off I went to research what my options would be.  I stumbled onto something called plant propagation where I could cultivate my cottage garden for free. Nothing I love more then a budget gardening hack! The general idea is taking off cuts from existing plants and repotting them to make new plants. Eager to get stuck in, Kneepal in hand and a budget-friendly attitude, I found (or borrowed :)) 5 idyllic cottage garden plants to start the process. 

As I share my personal journey of turning a tight budget into a divine and quaint family garden, I want to emphasize that gardening is not just about the end result but the joy found in every step. It takes time and patience but wow, what a feeling seeing it grow year after year. Cultivating a cottage garden from cuttings falls within this category, its going to take time. 

 Anyway, let’s dive back into my story and see how these plants brought life to my garden on a shoestring. I am only on year 1 so the seedlings are still propagating, but will post updates when they mature.

My plant list and guide

Elegant Lavender:
  • Growing Dreams: You know, starting with lavender was a no-brainer. Its soothing aroma and delicate blooms had me hooked. Using my Kneepal I carefully snipped a few 6-inch stems from a communal walkway near my home to start the process with.
  • Planting: Fast forward 8 weeks, and those lavender cuttings were itching for a change. I would pay attention to time of year here, rather keep the cuttings in a protected well watered environment until the threat of frost is gone.
  • TLC Routine: Keeping an eye on those cuttings, ensuring they were comfortably moist, became a ritual. Lavender is a hardy perennial but I would suggest watering frequently until they seem settled.


Roses in Abundance:
  • Romance on a Budget: Roses, a timeless symbol of romance, felt like a must for our garden. Here I bought 2 varieties I wanted in my garden and went to it like Edward Scissorhands.  Opt for a few 8-10 inch mature stem, cutting just below a leaf node and removing most of the leaves. 
  • Waiting for Love: The weeks have rolled by, and after a good 8 weeks my cuttings were ready to be planted outdoors. I made sure the soild was well watered and drained and added my young rose bushes along our boundary wall. I used my Kneepal and a small hand trowel for this job and finally finished off with some bark mulch to supress weeds and encourage moisture retention around the stem of the plant.
Dazzling Dahlias (the old dames of the garden):
  • Adding Color on a Dime: Dahlias, with their vibrant hues, brought a burst of energy to my budget garden. My mother has always grown them and very kindly shared a few tubers for my garden. 
  • Bulbs and Tubers: Dahliahs can be propagated using their tubers, which is very handy and can multiply every year. I spent a whole afternoon scattering the tubers along the mapped out flower beds, luckily with kneepal and great gardening gloves like these the time went quickly. 
  • Variety: Watch out dahlias can become a bit of addiction with the size and colour offering becoming a habitual hunt.


Shasta Daisies Delight (who doesnt love a daisy!):
  • A Summer Fiesta on a Budget: Shasta daisies, the cheerful souls of the garden, were next on my list. I went for 6-inch cuttings from a plant bought at a local nursery.
  • Using rooting hormone: Eager to test my gardening experience, I tried this rooting powder here. I made sure I had a neat cut and dipped the end of the cutting into some rooting powder and then directly into some fine compost. 
  • Joy in Simplicity: Simple, budget-friendly, and delightful to propagate – that’s the beauty of Shasta daisies. Such a great cut flower too, filling the home with joy. 


Hydrangea the finisher:
  • Elegance on a Budget: Finally, the majestic hydrangeas. With their magnificent blooms, they added an elegant touch to our budget-friendly cottage garden. So after 2 bought plants, 1 borrorowed and 1 offered, my hydrangea was the only plant gifted to me by a friend. 
  • The Plan: Wanting about 7 bushes, I took a sample of 20 cuttings each about 8-inches. Make sure you cut at an angle and remove most of the leaves. I would remove the flower buds as from what I understand the plant sends its energy to this source as opposed to setting roots down. 
  • Patience:  Waiting for a good 10-12 weeks for the hydrangea cuttings to root was a lesson in patience. When the time came to transplant, I used my kneepal to plant them in an afternoon-sun spot in my garden. I focused on rhythm and repetition – focusing on the same pattern of plants (and also planting in a v shape) in the main flower bed. 
  • Care with Ease: Moist soil, routine checks – these are fussy plants and need regular watering. I would also spring for some hydrangea food to ensure big blooms.
  • Timeline Tips: Hydrangeas take their time, around 10-12 weeks, but the payoff is pure elegance in the cottage garden. I cant wait to see these in bloom, it may take 2 years to get to full glory but its the finishing touch my cottage garden needs. 

Tools Needed

In my budget-friendly journey of propagating plants, a few handy tools have become my green-thumb companions.

  • Transparent pots have been a game-changer, allowing me to peek into the intricate world of root development and ensuring my cuttings are thriving.
  • Rooting hormone or a touch of honey helps but is not always required. It can give those stems an extra nudge to establish roots more effectively.
  • A Kneepal of course, plenty of time on your knees ahead!
  • A good pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands
  • Sharp shears, a garden essential, make clean and precise cuts, ensuring the health of both parent plants and cuttings.
  • And let’s not forget perlite – a lightweight, porous medium that enhances soil aeration and drainage, creating an optimal environment for successful propagation.

These tools, though simple, have played a crucial role in making my plant propagation endeavors a success without breaking the bank.


So there you have it – my journey from a tight budget to a blooming cottage garden, all thanks to propagating plants with my Kneepal garden kneeler. Gardening on a budget isn’t just about pinching pennies; it’s about creating a space that brings joy and tranquility. Each plant tells a story, and every blossom is a chapter in our little garden tale.

Happy gardening!