Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pruning the Curly Willow and Passionflower Vines

Pruning time is almost every month in my garden. I have so many established plants in place from the previous owner that I spend a lot of my time pruning. The only tree that doesn't need pruning is the drooping cherry tree, for which I'm grateful.

My husband had planned to trim back the curly willow tree in the front yard. I pruned it back last fall after all the leaves had fallen off and it went nuts this year with growth. We both trimmed the curly willow, me with my hand pruner and my husband using the tall pole pruner to reach the top of the willow. The willow certainly put on a great display this year, growing taller and widening a good foot or more and a good foot taller too. It was full of leaves and corkscrew shaped branches this year, much better than last year. I don't think the willow had been pruned for a long time before I pruned it last year so we're waiting for the leaves to fall off to give it a second pruning to shape it. There are so many leaves this year you couldn't see where the branches started because of all the leaves.

The passionflower vines on the fence have been showing about seven to nine flowers a week since I began using the soaker hose at the base of the vines. It had grown so vigorously that it had a good foot or more to cut off to cut it back and at least one or two feet of growth on the back of the fence to cut back.

My husband brought out the hedge trimmer and trimmed up the vines very quickly. Now I know they are very hardy because the first winter it looked like the frost had totally killed back the vines but they came back perfectly for summer. My husband gave the vines a very close trim. A week later I came out to water the front yard and the vines though looking sparse were filled with twice as many flowers. Lesson learned, prune back the passionflower vines hard for fall and spring and keep them trimmed back for the best flowering.

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