Partying with a Propagator: How It All Began

Posted by on August 16, 2014

Wildlife direct sow

Wildlife direct sowThe 2014 Garden Writers Association meeting in Pittsburgh had me traveling and rooming with rare woodies propagator, Brie Arthur. You better believe I took advantage of that! Eleven hours down and 9 hours home, I picked her brain, and she convinced me that I could do this. The only propagating of plants that I like to do is direct sowing. My motto use to be, “Direct sow is how I grow.” But my garden, Helen’s Haven, is at the point that I want BIG sweeps of expensive plants and none of what I wanted would do well from seed, divisions, and leaf cuttings.)

I took a propagation class at the JC Raulston Arboretum and walked away thinking that I do not have the time or place to grow out plants.

Then I had a reality check on the cost of plants and thought with the wealth of good plants’ people around me, I should be tapping in on this, not wasting money on that. @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!

Making plants from existing ones for Helen’s Haven is my charge for my 2014/2015 growing year. Starting now (except for the couple of established plants I plan to buy from Architectural Trees this fall to complete my tapestry hedgerow in the back of the property,) I plan to only add plants that I’ve propagated (or that growers have sent me to trial and friends pass-along.) Don’t worry, I don’t plan to get too technical; I’ll employ techniques that anyone can do. I want this to be an, “If I can do it, so can you.”

You can reproduce (propagate) most plants by several methods. There are two major types of propagation: sexual and asexual. More on that later.

The Propagation Party House


The first step in my journey is to measure the panels Love Shack to fit with plexiglass. Yes, the Love Shack will be converted into a Propagation Party House! New journeys into the world of gardening.

Life doesn’t get any better than that!

#LivingTheLifeOfRaleigh Helen Yoest



Helen Yoest is a curious gardener – curious about plants, soil, design, and how others use these to create their gardens at home. She is also curious about what plants do for us today in the here and now, but also about their history and lore. Plants have a colorful past.

As an award winning freelance writer and garden stylist, Helen has traveled the world visiting public and private gardens so she can step into the dream that was once just an imagination. Her work has appeared in Country Gardens, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Carolina Gardener, and many others, including her work as the national gardening expert for Helen is also the author of Plants With Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, & Veggies in Your Garden (2014, St. Lynn’s Press) and Gardening with Confidence, 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity (2012, GWC Press).

Helen curates garden art, serves on the board of the JC Raulston Arboretum, is past Regional Representative of the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour and opens her garden annually, and is an honorary member of Pi Alpha Xi, the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture.

Helen lives in Raleigh, N.C., tending to her half-acre wildlife habitat, her husband, and their three beautiful children. Visit Helen at her popular blog, Gardening With Confidence and at Plants with Benefits. Find Helen on Facebook, too.

5 responses to “Partying with a Propagator: How It All Began”

  1. Teri speight says:

    I am in awe of you and your fantabulous garden. I hope to visit there one day. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  2. HelenYoest says:

    That is such a nice thing to say, Teri…Thank you! H.

  3. HelenYoest says:

    P.S. you are welcome to visit anytime.

  4. I was privileged to have Miss Billie as a mentor. She would break off a good sized piece of something and say, “Here, stick this in the ground. It will root.” It usually worked. I’m still sticking pieces of anything into soil.

  5. HelenYoest says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jean. Sounds like everyone needs a Miss Billie. H.

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