Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Trimming In The Coastal Garden

In the midst of the holiday season the garden tends to get pushed to the sidelines. After the unusual freezing cold weather snap in the mid twenties we had a few weeks ago the usual fall and winter coastal weather patterns were back in place. The coastal weather in Eureka this time of year is usually a forecast of rain for weeks on end. It is rare you get a day on the weekend that doesn't feature rain. This past weekend we had a clear Saturday and decided in the midst of Christmas wrapping to get out and trim up the yard while we could.

The lawns were both in need of mowing and looking pretty overgrown. We set the level of the mower up a bit to leave the grass a little higher during the winter months. My husband took on the mowing tasks while I concentrated on trimming things up in the front yard.

I left the passionflower vine long on the fence to give it more coverage for the vines during the colder winter months. This seemed to work well last winter so I left the vine coverage full from its summer growth. I did cut back part of the vines near the rhododendron since they were growing too far over near the plant. A good four or five inches of cutting with my hand pruners and the rhododendron was given some breathing room. By spring I'll cut the passionflower vines far back so they have plenty of room to grow in by summer. I found it also helps the vines grow better during the season.

The pink jasmine is as usual out of control. At least it slows down a bit in fall and winter growth. I cleaned up the porch area so the mail carrier isn't accosted by the winding long vines of the pink jasmine. As long as the vine is kept trimmed back a bit it works well for the porch area. I usually have to trim the pink jasmine many times during the year, and last Saturday was no exception. The pink jasmine has grown farther over on the porch railing since this photo was taken and is twice as big now. It is hard to control the shaping of the vine but so far with many trims during the year it looks very pretty and is flowering well.

The hedge had stopped its growth in late fall but there were still a few inches of excess growth left from the last month. I manually trimmed up the top of the hedges. I thought getting in one more entire trim of the hedge might work but between the rain and the holidays hedge trimming had to wait until this weekend. A manual trim works just fine for winter since it requires so little tidying. I find if you give the hedge at minimum a good trim in spring and fall it should look fairly trimmed up through winter. Some manual trimming has been done here and there in summer when needed beyond the hedge trimmer pruning I gave the hedges. It felt good to clean up the front yard as much as we could. The roses already had a good trim in late summer so now the garden should be in good shape through the holiday season.

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