It doesn’t take a lot of sunshine to put a spring into my step, so I was out in the garden this Sunday morning before you read this enjoying my snowdrops, hellebores, first crocus and looking for other signs of whose coming.
Seeing the garden looking a untidy from the fallen twigs and small branches from those poplar trees had me thinking about what I need to do to get the garden into shape ready for spring so that it can continue through the year without too much work.
I like to complete all my main tasks early, then the occasional weeding, pruning and training climbers onto their supports as they need it will be done.
The buddleia davidii cultivars need hard pruning down to about a foot or so above ground, this encourages more bushy growth and flowers in summer. However if you have Buddleia alternifolia this one flowers on last season’s growth and doesn’t need pruning until after flowering in summer. One buddleia hasn’t thrived well in the front garden and needs replacing with a cutting that I’ve grown on.
The bright and colourful Cornus sericea ‘Hedgerows Gold’ has red stems now but these need pruning back soon too, including the herbaceous clematis that’s planted next to it called ‘Petit Faucon’. This is a dwarf climber that doesn’t cling so I tie it up as it grows guiding the stems into the shrub. Its pretty little purple-blue flowers contrast beautifully with the golden variegated leaves of the cornus giving the shrub more interest. Its dwarf nature about three feet means it won’t grow higher than the shrub.
In the front garden I must attack the berberis shrubs, great intruder deterrents but painful when you have to put them in check so I shall treat them cautiously, one of those overdue tasks.
The ‘Iceberg’ rose and winter jasmine shall both need cutting back too. The rose is a climber, but I treat it like a tall shrub. Both shrubs grow next to each other, but the jasmine is dominant covering most of the wall and a bit beyond, so I always cut the jasmine back first, then cutting the Iceberg stems just above the jasmine.
Well that’s only the tip of the iceberg, because there’s so much more too!