Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Clear Result of Poor Pruning
7:59 am edt
Sometimes the best gardening plan just doesn't seem to
work out. A case in point: a homeowner liked the hydrangea in front of her house but didn't want it to block the
view. This was conveyed to the gardener who said it would be no problem to cut it back so that the view wouldn't be obstructed.
It was, in fact, an easy job. In a matter of minutes the offending stems were removed. Alas, it didn't solve the problem.
Why? Because it was done at the wrong time of year.
Mophead hydrangeas should be pruned immediately after
flowering or in early spring of the following year. Late summer is the time when buds are set for the flowers that will bloom
the next year. The shrub in question was drastically pruned back in September and all that accomplished was to remove the
possibility of flowers from the upper part of the plant. The stems themselves grew back in the spring, again blocking the
view, but with the odd effect of no flowers on the top half of the plant. To see a picture of this plant go to the page on
caring for hydrangeas, click on pruning macrophyllas, and scroll down until you find this example.
gardening mistakes are not so much about what is done but when it is done. Pruning is not hard but, clearly, it has
to be done at the right time of year.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Don't Fence Me In
7:48 am edt
Hydrangeas are bursting into bloom everywhere. I love to see fences try to
contain them. Most of the time they have no luck with that as the vibrant flowers do their best to burst out of confinement. I
love it when I see the big cheerful flowers peeking through the rails, their exuberance unbounded. I took a picture of one
yesterday to show exactly what I mean and posted it on this page. I've seen many more like this and at every location I have
to stop and enjoy the display. You would too, wouldn't you?