Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring beauties

First time I've grown a double tulip. I could get addicted!

Species Tulips

Form a nice clump

Pulmonaria - spotted lungwort

I love the outer  blue and inner pink combination of colour on the tiny bell flowers. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Flowers

Grey furled leaves of the sanguinaria papaveraceae - bloodroot

The flowers appear before the leaves
Bloodroot is a wonderful secret plant of Spring.  Not many people seem to know about it, or have it in their garden.  It does not like summer drought or full sun. In the forest, where is it at home, it is one of the first plants to appear on the bare April soil. In my shady, humus rich garden it seems to have found a home.  I bought it last year at the Cloverleaf Garden Club plant sale.  Only one lonely plant arrived on the day of the sale and I snapped it up (it pays to volunteer!).  When you cut the leaves or rhizome, it oozes red juice, hence the name.
Propagated by division, but I won't be dividing mine for a long time!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hedge Pruning

After. The idea is that new grow will be forced along the branches and fill in the bush.

Hedge at the side also in need of rejuvenation.  It had only three main stocks on each bush, but they had grown  5 meters, so I could only take them down to about 1 meter. 
Here is a honeysuckle hedge that has been neglected for years.  The rule of thumb in remedial pruning is to only take out 1/3 of the old growth each year.  So long lanky limbs remain even after you have done your best to get a shrub back on track.  It is a three year process. It looks drastic, but because it is early Spring there is lots of time for new growth to sprout and form an effective screen to give privacy from  the neighbours.  What is desired is that new shoots will be forced along the branches and provide a denser mass of branches. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Garden Tidy up

Sedum "Autumn Joy" wiith seed heads from last year.

Clip at base of the stem.

New growth looks so compact and green in the Spring garden.
Certain chores in the garden make your beds looks so fresh and jewel like.  Clipping the stocks off last year's sedums is one chore you need to make time for. I chose to leave the stems on all winter for interest in the garden, so that means I have to make time to attend to it in the Spring.  It is amazing how little things can make a bed look great.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Witch Hazel with green shoots reverting to type. 

See the difference in the purple  leaves of the curly witch  hazel and the green shoots which have to be removed. 

Clip out at the base of the plant.
This time of year it is necessary to prune your trees and shrubs to maintain their shape.  One area of neglect is to prune out the green shoots on varigated plants such as witch hazel and euonymous so that they don't revert to the parent plant.