adventures in gardening

Tag: Pruning

Diary of a Gardener

Today the sun was shining and I took my jacket off!

I was gardening in a lovely large garden in Edinburgh today.  I have been working in the space for 8 months and I am looking forward to seeing in another summer and the changes that have taken place.

I am working closely with another garden designer and together we have planted a lot of new plants and there are big plans still to be put in place.

Today, however I was doing some maintenance and tidying.  I cut back the dead stems from a few Hydrangeas then I tackled the Viburnum tinus, which has taken over the flower beds, swamping anything that happens to get in its way.  It has finished flowering and the berries are starting to appear, which are a  stunning shade of blue, but it really needs to get done and allow the plants and trees to get some spring sun.

I am not one of these people who can merrily hack things back.  I find it distressing and let’s be honest damn ugly. So, always make sure to cut to just above a leaf node to prevent seeing nasty dead stems.

I always stand back from the plant as I am pruning to make sure I haven’t taken too much off one side or the other and the overall shape is good.  I suppose it’s a bit like a hairdresser making sure they haven’t given you a squint fringe.

I decided to give up when I had filled all my garden waste bags and trugs and couldn’t get anything else in the car.  I will continue the pruning next time I am there.




Cut back

During the lock-down I have perfected my hair cutting skills and also expanded my clientele by over 100%.  I am now doing the dogs hair, the husbands and my very own.  Stood in front of a mirror armed with a set of very sharp scissors and a glint in my eye I ended up with not a bad “do”.

With no one else’s hair to cut, I went outside to prune some of the spring flowering shrubs. It’s an ideal time to prune these as they flower on the previous year’s growth, so any new growth that occurs after the prune should flower next spring.  The shrubs that are in this group include Forsythia, Lilac, Azalea, Camellia and Kerria Japonica, to name a few.

You don’t need to go mad chopping away at them all.  Check their shape and height and if they are growing a bit wild, then tidy them up.  It also allows you to check for any Dead, Dying, Damaged or Diseased branches and any that are Crossing or Rubbing against each other.  It will allow more air and light into the plant helping prevent pests and diseases.

While you are in the garden, it’s also good practice to cut any dead flowers back to keep things looking neat.  I cut back the dying Lupinus flowers to help encourage new growth and also the spent flowers from the Primula denticulata.

Camellia flower


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