Gardening: Be ruthless with your buddleiaBy Linda Fort
March 09, 2012
With a day off creating a long weekend ahead of me, I decided to make a list of the jobs that needed to be done.
It very soon became a disconcertingly long list and I could see a lot of pruning jobs on it which had been put off until the weather started to warm.
First will be the buddleia in the front garden which must be kept very neat or I won’t be able to get out of my front door.
That will be cut to about a foot from the ground and then pruned again in spring every year to keep it under control.
Then there is an enormous elaeagnus which must be constantly tamed to keep it in check.
I find I am beginning to clip it as often as a hedge, but I do my utmost to let it have a natural shape.
The result is meant to create a centrepiece for the border – it is certainly in the middle but whether it deserves the name of centrepiece I am not so sure.
The Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ in the back garden is badly in need of a judicious lopping.
It grows outside the kitchen window and obscures it if it is allowed free rein.
This weekend, misplaced branches will be removed or pruned back to keep it neatly in the corner where it belongs.
New growth can then gracefully frame the window rather than blot out the light.
There are some evergreens in front of another window which need to be cut back, but I might hold back on one of them.
The Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen’ can, I think, be pruned now because it is pretty hardy, but the myrtle (Myrtus communis) will have to wait a little longer.
If pruned too early all the new growth will be browned off in a frost.
The last jobs involve checking all the wires around the fences and ensuring everything that should be tied up is secure.
Some new fencing requires new wiring and those plants which have survived the workmen’s boots need to be tied in again.
Finally there is an area of the border which would benefit from some lifting and dividing.
It has some rogue Michaelmas daisies and violets running though it and I am sure it would benefit from planning something more interesting.
A quick trip to a garden centre at the weekend should help me to decide what to add to the space to give it a lift.
But I shall have to be careful where I dig because there are some tulips in the bed whose glory days are just around the corner.