Monday, April 12, 2010

Okay the Forsythia is Blooming!

Okay, it's time to prune.  I kept urging you to wait, but the forsythia is out so it's time to get out and prune.  Look for deadwood first and prune that out.  Prune your roses, hydrangea, annabelle hydranges, clematis.  Shape evergreens.  The best way to keep the shape of an evergreen which is growing well,  is to watch for the new bright green growth and pinch out 2/3 of the growth to keep your plant contained.  Once evergreens are crowding each other out it is time for drastic measures.  Call in the professionals or fearlessly attack branches which are destroying the aesthetics of the bush.  Remember, when working with evergreens, removing dead branches affects the shape, so prune with that in mind.
My favourite spring bulb has to be scillia siberica.  It is rated to zone 4, so will grow almost anywhere. In terms of pulling its weight and spreading cheer in the garden, it just spreads and spreads, pops up early and covers the lawn and garden in thousands of bell shaped blue flowers. My gardening book says it "should be planted in the hundreds or thousands beneath spring flowering deciduous shrubs and trees, at the edge of a woodland or in rock gardens".

The only drawback is cleaning up the leaves when the plant dies back.  If your bulbs are naturalized in the lawn, the first pass with the lawnmower does it for you.  In the garden I just grab handfuls of leaves and throw them in the compost.  They will self seed. So if you want to spread them around just throw the seed pods in a new spot and next year you will be bless with more little blue flowers.
The trilliums are just about ready to open.  Don't you think everyone in Ontario should have at least one in their garden?