Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Let the Spring Garden Trimming Begin

This last weekend was spent with trimming back the garden in mind. I am late trimming back the heathers that already bloomed this winter, usually I get to them a little sooner than this. What with too many hours at work, the recent storm that helped push our already weakened front window out of its frame onto the lawn and part of the back gate falling down during the same storm, we've had our hands full. There is more than enough to do on a regular basis in our garden and so I've put on my patience hat and decided I'll get done what I get done. The good thing about gardens is they generally take care of themselves for the most part, it's the cleaning up around the edges that is needed from our end.

I started with trimming up the heaths and heathers. It's going to be a fairly long job, my handy little curved hand trimmers I got from my husband are the perfect tool for this job. The curved edge of the trimmers is small and fits in easily between the delicate branches of the heaths and heathers. The heathers closest to the porch were first, the orange/bronze winter heathers really had very few old flowers on them so that sped things up. I have an old heather I brought up from Petaluma that adjusted very well once planted here. The shrub has got to be eight to ten years old now since we hit the five year mark of living on the north coast recently. This particular heather flowers quite a bit but it is getting a little woody in the center of the plant and not standing up as well. I did a fairly hard trim back a few years ago of this plant to help re-generate it and it seemed to work, but there is still some sparse area in the center of the shrub. I don't mind so much because it still looks good all year long in its evergreen leaves and has pretty pink flowers. I trimmed up a newer heather that was nearby the older plant, it had a small amount of old flowers on it and has been in the ground probably two years now. I also trimmed a little bit of the burgundy flowering heather but there is still more to do on this one because the stems are long and floppy. As I was part-through with the burgundy flowering heather it started to rain a bit which made me shift gears quickly.

The final item of the day for a trim was my large garnet pestemon. It is really gorgeous in the summer months and is covered with long garnet red tubular flowers. Since it started to rain I knew I wanted to cut this shrub back quickly before I had to fold up and head inside. I managed to trim up the garnet pestemon well so it can bloom better this coming summer. A few days later I can see some new growth starting up on the pestemon already. I have another garnet pestemon growing under the pink roses, it is a piece of the original pestemon I grew in water to establish some roots then potted it up for a year so it would get bigger. It was planted last year and is already getting tall and full. I'm hoping it fills out quickly once the weather starts warming up in spring and flowers this summer.

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