The mad pruner is missing


Through the spring my wife has been occupied with her studies so that she seldom ventures out into the garden. This is both good and bad. She is the one obstacle I have to an unfettered planting budget. Now, I’ve been able to plant without interference, though I suspect that her opinion (that there are too many plants already) is well reasoned.

In prior years she has prowled about the garden with a pair of flimsy pruners (that she paid far too much for) chopping back foliage and branches that have strayed over the stone paths. I cringe when I see her coming around the corner, pruners in hand, knowing that a gracefully arching hosta stem or nandina branch has been hacked and mutilated with only a stub left behind. But, her obsession with clearing the paths has some benefit. The ivies that border several paths are kept neatly trimmed, and well, I suppose that’s the only benefit that I can see.

Without her “assistance” the paths are getting a bit tight. I was forced to prune the ivy recently to prevent one path from disappearing completely, and one branch of a sharply spined mahonia that threatened to draw blood when you squeezed past had to be removed . Otherwise, I’m quite happy with my unmanicured garden.

As I wander about the garden the hydrangeas are most notable for their blooms late in June, but there are too many to include in today’s brief update, so I’ll follow at the start of the week featuring only these summer bloomers. Today, many of the buddleias (above) are blooming, except for the compact growing Blue Chip that is later to begin, but then flowers for a few months. I have not seen butterflies visiting yet, but when there are blooming buddleias, butterflies are certain to arrive quickly.

The recently planted chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’, above) is in flower, and I expect that butterflies and hummingbirds will be along to visit shortly. I have run short of spots that are fully in the sun, but I’m fairly confident that I have given this large sturdy shrub enough room to spread without requiring a call to my pruning assistant.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Trish says:

    I planted a Mahonia several years ago and it has grown and bloomed well every year. I have always snipped a leaf or portion of a branch here and there that has turned yellow usually with occasional brown spots. I’ve noticed the yellowing of leaves has really increased this year. Most of the plant looks terrific and has grown to about 5′ tall. I’m worried that I might loose this beauty if I keep snipping at it. Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. Dave says:

      i have four or five each of several mahonia varieties, and occasionally a branch tip will be troubled by a bug or minor disease. Most often I don’t do anything and it grows out of it, but I’ve pruned the tips and they rebound more quickly than if I did nothing. I don’t see any harm in pruning the tips.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s