Posts Tagged ‘pruning’
October 4th, 2010
I never head out into the garden empty-handed. I always take my little 5 min. basket and in that basket is always a pair of secateurs. I seldom wander through the garden without having found something in need of a bit of a prune. It may be a broken branch, a shoot heading in the wrong direction or a dead flower wanting to be removed. Sometimes I treat myself to a bunch of flowers to enjoy when I am inside.
It is possible, of course, to have a reasonable number of shrubs without having to do any regular pruning. Providing they are given plenty of room to grow, camellias, rhodeodendrons and many other common shrubs can do without any cutting at all for years and years. But I don’t think there is any garden at all that doesn’t need the use of a good pair of secateurs quite often.
When I am pruning anything at all I always remember the three D rule: get rid of all dead, diseased and damaged branches. This makes sense. After that I always remove branches that are growing towards the centre of the plant, for these cause congestion, block light, spoil the plant shape and make future pruning difficult.
I always try to look at where I am making the cut, and prune to a bud pointing in the direction I would like a new shoot to grow; the new shoot will head that way to fill a gap or replace an old branch that has been removed. Or, at least, that is the plan.
I find, of all the garden tasks, pruning is very rewarding. When the new growth starts to shoot you feel like you are working with the plant and helping it on its way.
July 5th, 2010
A lot of people think of July as a cold and horrible month, and with the cold days of late, I might just be beginning to agree with them. But, if you rug up properly and wear sensible clothes, winter can be a wonderful time to be in the garden. One of my little jobs for this month is to take myself off to a large department store, such as KMart, and get myself a good pair of stout boots! Yes, folks, we have mud. The ducks are most pleased. We are having puddles too. I am looking forward to jumping in puddles with my boots very soon!
Overall, if your garden is sheltered form the wind, winter gardening can be an absolute joy! There is nothing quite like jumping in puddles! Not that that gets much serious gardening done , and there is plenty of serious gardening to be done this month, with at the very top of the list: Pruning!
When I first started ‘serious’ gardening, that is more than just pulling out the weeds, I used to get a bit muddled about just when to prune the various plants in my garden. But now I have simplified it down to a general rule of thumb, which is to prune after the plant has flowered. The exceptions to this rule are roses and hydrangeas. Because they have such long flowering seasons, extending from spring and summer through to autumn, the best time to prune is when they are winter dormant and that is during July.
So, having wiped down my secateurs with a little meth. spirits, I am off out into the gentle winter sunshine to prune some roses!