Spring Chores: Pruning

After the hard freeze of last week, it feels as if Spring has arrived, which of course it hasn’t. We had temps in the low twenties late in February, last year.

Goodness knows, there’s no need to start planting out tender things and pretending cold is over. There are too many regular chores to do. I’m pruning Boxwoods. Last time I counted, there were sixty-something of them. None have disappeared, and possibly more have rooted. I used to stick pieces of the prunings in the ground everywhere and some would root. I’m trying not to do that now.

There’s a huge boxwood by the utility pole in front of the tractor shed that I want to prune into a pom-pon topiary, just because. It’s fairly loose and might work well. I’m trying not to go look at the boxwoods on the south side of the lawn behind some big Oakleaf hydrangeas, that could possible be pruned into a horse, or a cow or elephant or something. Meantime, the regular hedges and meatballs need lots of attention, because I failed to prune at the optimal time last year.

The meter reader warned me about watching for wasps. After the hard freezes, I hope they’ve not come out and started making nests yet. He-who-mows is hauling away the debris everytime I have two tarps full of trimmings, but the cutting is my territory.

When I tire of boxwood, I cut on other things for a while, like the Vitex trees. I vow not to cut them to the ground again as suggested by TAMU, but to keep them limbed up and the tips just snipped.

I’ve cut down half the Vetiver grass; some clumps will be divided and moved where I think a tall grass would make a good accent. New shoots are already putting out on the vetiver, so the cutting down is slower, trying to save little green shoots.

Lantana needs cutting back. Lantana can become a real thug, but it’s a butterfly magnet and tolerates a lot of drought while blooming all summer.

Later I’ll think about what to do to the Crape Myrtles and Loropetalums. Roses must be pruned soon, I whacked a branch off a Knockout rose today that always grabs He-who-mows as he rides past, mowing the paths. More roses later. I already hand-picked all the blackspot leaves off two bushes that got infected during the winter. At least the azaleas and camellias can wait until after blooming season is over.

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  1. Sue

     /  March 2, 2009

    Hi Nell,It sounds like your busy gardening time has arrived. I wish lantana was a perennial here, but I don’t mind buying small plants in the spring, because they still bloom all summer and draw butterflies.By the way, I’m never able to subscribe to the comments through email. I usually get a message in my email about an error of some kind, but just now, there is a message on this form, saying an error occurred while contacting the server.

  2. janie

     /  February 14, 2009

    What happened to those vitex you cut to the ground? I remember you cutting some severly, but I don’t remember the results. I have never cut mine so. I always just limb them up. I can’t imagine TAMU counseling such a thing, but I know they do. I am planting lantana today. A one gallon plant purple trailing with one gallon white trailing, planted in the same hole. I add some nice compost when I plant them. When they grow up, it will be a lovely purple and white bush that will cheer me on cool and dreary days. They are blooming right now.Lantanas are favorites here.Janie

  3. Jon

     /  February 13, 2009

    Thanks for dropping by my blog today and leaving your kind words regarding my sister. It is a pleasure to discover your blog(s), and I will return again to check all of them out. It always makes me happy to find another kindred spirt into gardening.BTW, I like your sense of humor in your writing!Jon at Mississippi Garden

  4. OhioMom

     /  February 12, 2009

    All our snow has melted with the recent warm temps and rain … but it is definitely not Spring here šŸ™‚

  5. Chandramouli S

     /  February 12, 2009

    Oh I love the Lantana too! Their lil’ blooms brings a smile to my face…

  6. The Vetiver Network (International)

     /  February 10, 2009

    I am glad that you are using vetiver, its a lovely plant. Perhaps you could post some photos as to ho you use it.Its funny how we see plants so differently. In southern Africa, where I grew up, lantana was a scheduled weed!!Dickji

  7. Polubing

     /  February 10, 2009

    Lol I’ve just started reading your blog today, and I like how you say “He-who-mows” lol. I’m assuming that “He-who-mows” is your significant other, or am I incorrect?

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