Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pruning: It Was a Bloodbath

As the summer heat comes on, containers with succulents take their turn in the sun.

(AP) -
Somewhere in Central Wisconsin

As the corn grows high and dogs get fat in central Wisconsin, gardeners everywhere are battling weeds and rampant foliage growth on hedges and vines.

Last week's high temperatures followed by rain these last few days have plants that have been stuck in neutral pushing it into high gear.  Not only are The Plants making up for lost time, but so are The Weeds.
"It was a bloodbath!" The Gardener replied when asked about pruning on the shrub and alley border.
One gardener was quoted, " I don't usually use a hedge trimmers on my dappled willow, but it was so out of control.  I needed to do something quickly to get it in check.  The neighboring wine grapes had scampered across it and up my 'Beauty of Moscow' lilac and my fruit trees.  The hedger made short work of returning the border hedge to some semblance of order."

Some of the plants in The Border were given a bit of latitude this spring due to the protracted winter following last year's heat and drought.  Cloudy overcast days in the beginning of the growing year also made for fast growth of foliage trying to grab any available sunlight for photosynthesis to supply exhausted root systems with the sugars they so desperately need.

"I have a few invasive species and others that can be Garden Thugs," The Gardener said. "The only thing that allows this large a plant collection to co-habitate successfully in such a small space is vigilant pruning."

The Gardener went on to mutter something in low, guttural tones about climate change, and then muttered something like a zealous religious mantra.

"Pruning is The Way.  Pruning brings The Light.  Pruning bring shape and form.  Pruning is The Way..."  The Gardener was heard to say as her eyes grew wide and fixed.

At this time, order has been returned to The Garden and The Border.
Clipping from the dappled willow, lighter in color lying across the ground and the newly pruned privet hedge.

I didn't expect much from this elephant ear colocsia.  It was a half-eaten by raccoon bulb, from my mother, which I wintered over.  Bought Thai Giant this spring and although pre-started, it has not grown.
Peppermint portulaca in a hot dry spot, just hasn't performed as advertised.  Additionally, I did not realize portulaca bloom in the morning and close up during the heat of the day!

Petunia on alley border, a hot, dry spot

Petunias in hanging baskets have fulfilled their promise with this last week's heat.
Planted in the moister, more hospitable long border, the earwigs are keeping the flowering and plant size to a bare minimum.  I am loathe to spray, though with all the bees, dragonflies, and hummers, living there.

Western spiderwort (that pink one), in a plant prison need to be cut back to the ground.  I have this potted in a 5-gallon plastic container eith the bottom removed.  This garden thug is pretty, and will rebloom, if cut back.

1 comment:

  1. How true. We all had much the same experience. Here at the lake it is a continuous battle with the Canadian thistle. The finches love it - but I do not. Those pesky plants have done very well this year. Must be the same conditions that cause you so much work in your garden. Nice to visit today. Jack