February 9, 2009

Time for a Trim

Sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures are a welcome respite from winter. What a perfect time to get out in the garden and do a few chores!

I spent this morning cutting back buddleia. With only eleven shrubs trimmed today, I have another nine to trim tomorrow.

I had to use bypass pruners to cut through the thick wood trunks of the buddleia. The vitex (chaste tree) was also trimmed today. I took the opportunity to shape the vitex into a standard so that the plants underneath will get enough sunshine to flourish.

Since I trimmed my lavender back in October, I don't have to trim it again. However, this is the perfect time for zone 7 gardeners to trim lavender if you missed the fall trim. I use Black & Decker™ cordless "Hedgehog" trimmers and shape the lavender into a mounded, rounded meatball. This allows blooms on all sides and the top of the plant. Cut off about 1/3 of the lavender to keep it from growing a thick trunk that will keep the lavender from blooming well.

If bunnies are running rampant in your garden, you can spread your lavender clippings around. The repellant will last until the clippings no longer have that distinct lavender fragrance.

Also on my "to be trimmed" list - ornamental grasses. Again, I rely upon my trusted cordless trimmers for this chore. I use twine to tie the top of the grasses together into a bundle, then whack off the grass. The bundles make it easy to clean up after the trim. If there is any green already emerging, I cut down to the green base. If there is no green, I usually leave at least 8" on the base of tall grasses such as miscanthus.

I hope this nice weather holds for the entire week! It's good to be spending the day outdoors again.

Story and photo by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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