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Friday, December 28, 2012
I moved into my house in 2005. Since then we have removed SEVENTEEN trees and shrubs, and still the yard is full of plants. I took out all the: arbor vitae, weed junipers, box yews, mulberries, Alberta spruce, diseased forsythia….
I still have 2 yews to go, a very nasty blue spruce, another forsythia and some euonymus. What was with this man? This house was built in the late 50’s so it wasn’t a mushroom like the tin-snip mansions they build today. Maybe he was a planter too… maybe he kept digging holes, and his wife made him put ugly things in them.
I don’t dislike all the above plants all the time, but it looked like a nuclear nursery here! And digging out yew taproots is something out of a Jules Verne novel.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I know, I know, it’s not the really fun part. And you got busy with the impending holiday season and there are the dead lily tops, scraggly roses, spent chrysanthemums, dead tomato vines…. Frozen deck planters… it’s no wonder people quickly find something else to do!
Well, pick a section at a time, and just work for an hour. Listen to music, and always force loved ones to help. General rule: if it’s still green, leave it alone; if it’s yellow or gray, cut/lop it short. If it’s an annual, as my landscaper partner used to trill: KILL IT! Pull it up and hopefully compost it, or give it to your township to compost.
Most things prefer to be pruned after the first big frost. Pruning actually encourages growth, so make sure the plants are sleeping before you prune down for the winter. More on techniques later…. There are a thousand references for specific methods available on line, or in your library. Picture books are great anyway!
photo: Amanda Bennett, www.bennettmassage.com