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March is for Pruning

A Gardening Life – March 17

In the northeast March isn’t the month that beckons us out into the garden. In some states the snow cover remains while in other areas we almost wish that the white stuff was still hiding the brown, dead landscape. On close examination there are signs of spring: buds swell […]

15 Things I Hate About Your Yard – #12

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 24

Hacked Plants

This pruning style makes shearing (see 15 Things #1) look artful. In fact, you can’t really call this pruning at all. This isn’t even renovation cutting…hacking or butchering is more accurate.

A renovation pruning is when a shrub gets cut down near the ground. On some […]

15 Things I Hate About Your Yard – #1

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 12

I heard a nice interview of James Swan on WGBH radio today. James is the author of 101 Things I Hate About Your House: A Premier Designer Takes You on a Room-by-Room Tour to Transform Your Home from Faux Pas to Fabulous.

Yes, it’s one of the […]

Recipe For Pruning, Continued

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – September 29

Now for the photos that go with the pruning recipe posted yesterday. This post was in response to a talk I gave at the North Shore Horticultural Society in Manchester, MA on Tuesday. Although people said that they loved my talk, I came away wishing that I’d started […]

A Recipe For Pruning

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – September 28

Approach most plants with by-pass pruners only. Cut out all dead wood first. Do this at any time. Remove it all. Repeat to yourself, “If it’s dead, it’s gone!” Look for any stems that are weak, misshapen, obviously diseased or otherwise funky. Cut these out by following them […]

The Hard Cuts

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – January 19

I’m loving how my red twig dogwood shrubs look this winter. They’re three years old so have grown enough so that they are a bright presence in the rain garden, catching the afternoon sun and providing a roosting place for small birds. If I’m smart, however, I’ll […]

Bad Pruning

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 12

I spoke to two delightful garden clubs today, and touched on pruning practices in both talks. Truth be told, pruning is a topic that could fill two or three meetings and at least one on-site demonstration if you want to do it right. Or make it clear. […]

The Price of Being In Control

Report From PIA – July 11

So often my consultation clients describe a shrub as being “totally out of control.” This doesn’t mean that the landscaping is rioting, being hysterical or smashing the windows, of course… most often they are just saying that the plants are getting larger.

There are some who prefer all of […]

Out of Control

Report From PIA – October 7

I’ve done a number of consultations this season where the homeowner is worried that their plants have gotten “out of control.” Usually they’re talking about shrubs and trees that are growing to be their normal, genetically determined size and shape. In order to be most helpful for these clients, […]