No, I’m not talking about the financial situation in the country at the moment, or talking about not buying so many plants in future! It’s the time of year to get the secateurs out and cut back lots of shrubs and coloured stems. The first plant to get the treatment is our yellow bamboo, Pleioblastus viridistriatus.
All done for this year, one year we forgot and had shoots of it coming up all over the lawn.
Next to get the chop was the willow by the pond, Salix alba Britzensis, each year I keep telling myself that I should make something out of the rods but never seem to get round to it.
We have pollarded this willow so that we can still see it from the house, if we had coppiced it, only the very top would have been visible.
I hate doing this to my red stemmed Cornus, but needs must. I have really enjoyed them since November when the leaves dropped.
Well that’s the first one done, only another 14 to go! All the Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt bushes get coppiced as they grow 8ft easily each year, especially last year with all the rain!
Next on the list were the Buddlejas, we seem to have acquired quite a number of these too, one day I will stop making work for myself!
Depending on where these bushes are, determines how ruthless I am when cutting back, this one here got off quite lightly!
All the clematis in the garden have started sprouting, some need attention , some don’t. The montanas that are up out huge trees, don’t need any thing doing to them, the same with the macropetalas and alpinas. The pergola here has a C. viticella up each post, or even two. so action is needed.
It’s best not to look up when cutting clematis back, you are bound to remove lots of new shoots sprouting all the way up to the top. At least now we can walk through the pergola to the veggie beds without getting tangled up every time!
All around the garden are lots of hydrangeas. The brown flower heads have protected the new shoots over the worst of the winter and it is now time for them to go.
I’m sure they feel as I do when I’ve had a good haircut, the flower heads can be composted, they soon rot down.
Hardy Fuchsias seem to do well on our soil, so yes, once again, I have collected quite a few. Some grow very tall like this Fuchsia magellanica alba, growing up the wall at the back, so this one doesn’t get cut back hard as it has room to grow upwards without hiding anything.
There is also Rosa Buff Beauty growing with this fuchsia so it was pruned at the same time. When in flower this fuchsia looks like a wall of little icicles.
Leaves of Epimedium need cutting back so that when the flowers are formed in a months time, they can be seen. This plant has grown so big now, the flowers would be below the level of the leaves, so it would flower unseen.
Not much left now, but new leaves will appear very soon and the dainty yellow flowers will be seen at their best.
The climbing roses on the pergola are the next to be tackled, maybe tomorrow, weather permitting. The framework is in place wound round the uprights and the horizontals, it is just the sideshoots that will need pruning. This means that once the flowers start opening, they keep coming all through the summer.
The downside to all this cutting back is the shredding that needs to be done, never mind it will be used as a mulch somewhere and eventually improve the soil. What a difference cutting back has made to the garden, along with cutting the grass for the first time, it is looking a lot tidier and is encouraging me to go out and do more!