Some Early Pruning

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Some Early Pruning

Some plants like my deciduous clematis and buddleias haven’t gone fully dormant this winter, in fact they are actively growing now and its time for me to go out on this mild weathered Sunday morning and give some of them a hard prune.

I intend to use these first prunings for the first layer of a newly started compost bin that I’ve just made from some pallets. They should form a good base and allow some air through at the bottom of the pile.

I don’t intend to prune all my clematis just mainly the pruning group threes, which are the late flowering varieties such as ‘Huldine’, ‘Ville de Lyon’ and ‘Bill MacKenzie’ and a semi-herbaceous perennial variety called Clematis integrifolia ‘Petite Faucon’ that I planted next to a Cornus sericea ‘Hedgerows Gold’ thinking that the pretty deep purple flowers would contrast beautifully with the golden variegated foliage of the cornus.

If I don’t prune the bigger clematis the flowers will start higher up the plants than I want; they’d become difficult for me to train along the fence and soon grow beyond their supports falling over themselves creating a tangled mess making them prone to wind damage.

A pruning group one evergreen Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ that has recently finished flowering also has to be pruned simply because its growing vigorously through an ivy that has run out of fence height and is growing over and out into the border, creating some unwanted shade. Time to pull the reins in and sort it out, but the clippings of these two will to be bagged up allowing the ivy to die off.

All the buddleias were half pruned in autumn, they need pruning hard to about a foot or so. One of my favourites in the back garden is Buddleja davidii ‘Harlequin’, its a tall upright arching cultivar with variegated leaves of mid-green and cream, followed by wonderful long fragrant purple-red flowers in summer, the same flowers as Buddleja ‘Royal Red’ and these are visited constantly by butterflies and bees making member of my wildlife garden.