Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pruning Mania!

Now that the sun is no longer so hot, and the shade no longer so important to my house and plants, I've pruned the plants along my front yard's western boundary. The Parramatta Wattle has lost some of its more awkward lower limbs, and the 'Moonlight' grevilleas have been cut back to half their size. Does this sound extreme?

In general, Australian natives from dry sclerophyll areas cope well with hard pruning, because they are used to losing their leaves and twigs every year to bushfire. When left unpruned, they tend to become gangling and graceless. It's like having a garden full of sulky teenagers.

My 'Moonlights' form a loose hedge, and the pruning will encourage them to bush out more near the ground. It also brings the creamy flowers down to viewing height. I'm looking forward to the next flush, though I will have to wait a while!

I've also tried an experiment on a gnarled and senescent rosemary. It's never looked very well, probably not helped by my hesitance to cut it back. The difficulty is that rosemary, like lavender, doesn't like being cut back to old wood, but this plant has only sparse foliage. I've cut each branch back to the lowest growing branchlet, as well as removing the dead wood. If it dies, you'll all know not to try this at home!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Chookie, it's fun to think of your sun as being not so hot...while i'm waiting for mine to get hot. No pruning here yet though I could cut some twigs for indoor forcing...just haven't done so. Love the description of the unpruned plants looking like sulky teenagers--that's perfect!
By the way, the link to your Geog. post IS up; it's about 3/4 way down the list at the upper lefthand column, under "Who has done their homework?" I just checked to make sure it was working, too.