Use flowering time to guide any snipping

Delphiniums can be raised from seed. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Delphiniums can be raised from seed. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
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Shrub pruning was on the agenda again last week.

Wouldn’t life be simple if we could prune all the different types in one go, but no, we need to take flowering time as our guide.

Generally, deciduous varieties that bloom from June to autumn are pruned between January and March. Those flowering before the end of May should be trimmed immediately after blooms fade.

Last month I removed spent flowering stems from the forsythia and already the young replacement shoots promise a good display in 2018.

As soon as time permits, a Viburnum tinus will be drastically reduced. This should have been done in late May so will delay autumn flowering, but that’s a small price to pay.

There’s a little more to growing apples than watching from afar.

Pests ranging from aphid to wasps and birds are ever ready to muscle in.

There’s also pruning to consider. Shortening the growth of laterals (side shoots) now encourages ripening of the remaining wood, then follow up in winter with a definitive cut.