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Monday, March 17, 2008

Pruning


On Saturday I attended a pruning workshop at the Van Vleck Garden. I had no idea that I was going to have to apply my newly-acquired skills IMMEDIATELY! For certain things (broadleaf evergreens and conifers, for example), it's almost too late. They need to be pruned when they're dormant.
Mainly it's the roses that have to be cut back now. It was gray and rainy yesterday, so I had a reprieve. But today it was gorgeous - so out I went with my Felcos, and the special rose gloves H provided at Christmas. Mission accomplished, more or less.
The general rule about pruning is that you prune flowering shrubs right AFTER they bloom, so as not to sacrifice any blossoms. But the exception to that is when you can see that there are branches that are shooting off in odd directions, or rubbing against their brethren. It's easy to see these offenders now, as compared to later when the leaves are in the way.
But here's the trick: bring the clipped branches inside and put them in water to enjoy "forced" blossoms in the house. I'd always known about this, but had never thought about it in exactly this context. So I am trying this with my serviceberry (amelanchier); we'll see what happens!

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