Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Haircut

I went to get my hair cut and somehow the conversation gravitated towards landscaping and cleaning up the garden.  She has no idea what I do in regard to writing a blog or just being obsessed with gardening.

Panicum Ruby Ribbons
This is a smaller Panicum which will layer in front of my Lythrum Morden's Pink, especially when it is cut down.  I am very pleased to see this color early in the summer without it being an annual grass.  This is a grass that can be left up for the winter.

Penstemon Hamelin
This is a totally carefree grass and can be left up over the winter.

Miscanthus Udine
I have a difficult time cutting this down when it is so beautiful.  It does flop, so I may neaten it up a bit and leave it up.  I know it will be extra work in the spring!

Miscanthus Little Kitten
It is recommended that this grass not be cut down in the fall.

Panicum Northwind
This is the flagship grass in my garden, left up over the winter and pops back up after the snow melts.

Being a working mother of three she said she just doesn't have the time to cut down everything before the snow flies.  So, she is hiring a landscaping company to cut down all the perennials, trim all of the boxwood, shrubs and some limbs off the trees!

Boxwood Green Velvet
I trimmed my boxwood in July and you can see that the growth since then is a lighter green.  In my zone five area it is not recommended that you prune boxwood after August 1st.  I did last year and had a lot of burn on the newer growth. 

I almost jumped out of the chair saying don't trim the boxwood, evergreens or trees now.  Also, be careful which shrubs you prune now or you won't have flowers next spring.

Viburnum Carlesi Compactum
As you can see the buds are fully formed to bloom next spring.  Prune right after flowering.

PJM Rhododendron
The Rhodies all have their buds for bloom next spring.  They should be pruned right after flowering.

Azalea Karen
Prune after flowering in late spring, keeps leaves all winter

The Lilies should not be cut down until they yellow or the bulbs will not have enough stored food to bloom the following year.

I am sure my landscaper knows what to do!  This is a very common reaction, we assume that people who cut grass know what to do with everything on our property.

My neighbor has a landscaper that trims everything in late July. thus the Viburnum does not bloom the following spring, or the Amelanchier (which is cropped down to hedge size) or the Rhodies which are topped off.  This is not an unusual occurrence if you do not know the timeline of the various flowering shrubs.

Neighbor's Viburnum
Not a bud in sight

Amelanchier (Serviceberry)
Cut into a ball, no flowers this year, no berries

All spring flowering shrubs need to be pruned immediately after flowering, early summer flowering shrubs before the end of July and fall flowering shrubs in the spring.  Certain hydrangeas grow on old and new wood so it doesn't matter when you prune them, but some only grow on old wood. 

Forsythia Greenstem
Low growing, blooms in spring, prune right after flowering

Weigela Dark Horse
Blooms late spring, prune right after blooming

Ninebark Summer Wine
This is a summer blooming shrub and can be pruned and trimmed back until August 1st.  Beyond that you take a chance that there will not be any flowers the next year.

Limelight Hydrangea
This hydrangea grows on old or new wood, can be pruned in spring or fall, but why would I prune it now?  The flowers will slowly turn to a pleasing tan and stay on all winter.

Hydrangea Unique
Blooms on old and new wood, can be pruned in spring and fall, however the blooms do not age well past the rosy pink stage.

I am going to experiment with Endless Summer Hydrangeas this year and not cut them back at all along with my Starlight Hydrangeas, no cut back for either.  We will see if this makes any difference in regard to the amount of blooms.  I am also going to feed all of my acid loving plants before the end of the month (I read this on the Internet last year and it seemed to work with tons of blooms, except for Endless Summer because they are very nitrogen reactive).

Hydrangea Let's Dance Starlight

Certain plants benefit from being left standing for the winter, like Agastache, Centranthus and Lavender need to have the stems left up in the colder climates.

Aster Monte Casino in the middle will be transplanted into the raised bed on the south side where I pulled out Purple Dome Aster.  Monte Casino is a florist aster used in arrangements but it is also hardy in my area and if pinched back to keep it full is a beautiful plant and not attractive to rabbits.

I had great success with cutting down my Autumn Clematis in the fall because I don't want it sitting up on the wood pergola all winter with the snow and ice.  It bloomed just great this year not caring at all, in fact I believe most type 3's could be cut down in the fall if late enough with no problem.

Autumn Clematis

February is a recommended time of year to prune most tree limbs (in the colder zones) because the sap is not running.  The time of trimming is also dependent upon the species of tree.  Of course if a limb is dead or diseased it needs to be cut off.  Tree trimming is a year round occurence but winter or early spring is the ideal.  Check out your local university extension recommendations for specific zones.

I can't believe that a haircut prompted a blog on pruning!