KEEP an eye on dead flowers now, as the time to prune a bush
is generally after flowered. Shrubs like, Deutiza, Exochorda,
and some Spirea do well when cut back lightly after
flowering, to mange the scrub to produce good flowers next
year and keep a good shape.
Cut away old wood that has already flowered to the first
strong new shoot.
Forsythia and Kerria ('Batchelor's Buttons') can have a
quarter of their old shoots cut right back to ground level
to maintain vigour.
Hedges may be trimmed now, but watch out for those little
birds' nests! It's kinder and environmentally better to wait
until the little birds have flown the nest. A hedge can look
good with the tops tapered in very slightly, and this looks
good with a small leafed plant like Privet or Loniceera
nitida. However if your hedge is only 4-5 years old don't
bother pruning the top.
If you are looking to take cuttings and have a go at
reducing your expenditure at the Garden Centre, here's some
crash saving ideas.
From softwood cuttings you can make your own hedge
from Buxus (Box), Cornus (Dogwood), Ligustrum
(Privet), Ribes (Flowering currant), Viburnum, and Euonymus.
Other relatively easy plants to propagate include Weigela
Cotoneaster, and Lavandula - (Lavender). To do this, choose
a shoot about 4 inches long; just below a leaf node. Remove
the bottom leaves & dip into hormone rooting powder.
The powder contains fungicide, which is useful. Choose some
biodegradable pots, i.e. Erin, and fill with peat. Form a
hole in this, and plant the cutting 1 1/2 inch deep. The
good thing about using Erin pots is the roots don't get
disturbed when being transplanted. Wait until the cutting
has 'taken' something you can see from emerging new leaves.
Then plant out in position, taking care to water and feed
the emerging plant well all Summer..... and bingo, a new
plant for nothing.
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