Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trimming Butterfly Bushes

This past weekend was spent beginning to trim the butterfly bushes near the back yard fence. I tackled the biggest two bushes, both of which had new growth on them and had reached about 14 feet tall. The plants have gotten bigger over these past 3 years, with more to trim down every year. Usually my husband trims the butterfly bushes back, so this year I offered to help and did the cutting of the large limbs while he pruned them down to fit into the yard waste can. By the time we were done with 2 of the 6 bushes, the trimmings from two biggest plants filled the yard waste can. Luckily the rest of the butterfly bushes have less branches so they should be easier to cut back. It will take a number of weeks to cut all the butterfly bushes back since the yard waste holds only so much. My husband spent time pulling down the unripe kiwi fruit from the kiwi vines near the butterfly bushes. This is the second year the kiwi fruit did not ripen correctly, I'm not sure what the problem is unless the vines are old and can't produce well anymore. Even then the branches and leaves look very healthy and the leaves are starting to grow rapidly on the vines.

After another mowing of the front and back yards this week our garden looks much better. There's plenty to do, the curly willow is sprouting small leaves but needs to be trimmed at the top and bottom from last year's growth. The climbing roses are starting to bud out and send a few rogue branches up skyward. Every year I spend time cutting back some of the rambunctious roses, some of the branches stay even to the top of the plants while there are a few here and there that grow six to twelve inches above the line of the roses. Its not easy to maintain them during this kind of growth and the roses can be cut back only so far in winter since they are old climbing stems that have been in place for years. A few of the roses have opened their pale pink flowers with many new buds just waiting to bloom.

The hosta I planted in a container on the deck a few weeks ago is growing rapidly and doing well. There is only a few inches of the base of the plant above dirt but it is exciting to see it do well so soon after planting. The nearby violets in a pottery pot are blooming and have recovered from their winter die-back. The dutch iris are producing their sturdy stems with leaves and getting ready to flower. Now if only the continuous rain would subside, the forecast says rain this coming weekend, we'll see if there is a break in the rain to run out and trim up the roses.

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