A Spring Tidy Up before Starting a New Project

Although my garden looks unusually tidy after the winter I still need to spend some time giving it a bit of a spring tidy up before I can start a new garden project that I’m itching to get on with.

The ivy hasn’t stopped growing during winter and needs a trim. I don’t want to cut away too much because no doubt some birds are eyeing it up for a nesting site, just enough that it won’t invade another plant’s space or start rooting on the ground. I usually do this twice a year filling up several sacks both times.

A few shrubs need hard pruning such as my buddleias, cornus and spiraeas. These produce flowers at the end of their stems so pruning them now will encourage bushy growth and more flowers.

The climbing hydrangea known as Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris has some shoots growing away from the wall, the new growth needs to be touching the wall otherwise the little aerial roots can’t attach themselves to give the plant the support it needs.

The perennials are leafing up but there are still some dead flower stems to remove, I prefer to leave them over winter to give the birds something to hang onto.

The flower stems of my epimediums are a few inches tall so to enjoy their unusual little flowers I will carefully remove the leaf stems and new foliage will come later.

I don’t annually prune my clematis because I like them to grow tall and straggly through other plants, but this spring I’m pruning all my late flowering clematis, again encouraging more stems and flowers.

It’s a snip and tuck for the honeysuckles that are going mad, I love the way that they tangle themselves up at the top of the fence and give the garden boundary an extra foot or so of height, also giving a flock of chit-chatting sparrows a place to congregate whilst waiting their turn for the hanging bird tables and feeders.