Taking cuttings

The winter just gone took its toll on several plants in the garden.  One particular casualty was a rosemary bush which was dead apart from the end of one branch.  Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs to cook with and so a month or two ago I took a cutting.  This evening I planted it back in the herb bed.  It doesn’t look great but it has taken root and will hopefully like its new pot-free conditions and fresh soil.  Time will tell.

As I firmed down the soil I found myself comparing my cutting-taking exercise to that of salvaging something useful from a failing project.  There may be times when something useful can be taken from the ailing project and used as the starting point of another project.  There might be times when there is nothing workable to salvage, but it’s still worth documenting what happened.  This might lead to an unexpected use of the work in the future or might at least save somebody else the pain of making the same mistakes again.

Having had more experience (some -v- none) of taking cuttings than of salvaging useful work from failing projects I thought it might be worth analysing the experience.  My starting question was that I could have just dumped the whole thing and so why didn’t I?

  • An interest in saving something from it.
  • Recognising that it could still have something to offer if used in the right way.
  • Being able to identify the one small usable section of a large dead plant.
  • Having the skills to give it the best chance to grow into something new.
  • Being prepared to invest the time, effort and the right resources to make it work.
  • Accepting that there was no guarantee of success but still having a go.



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