• To Prune or Not to Prune … That is the Question!

  • Recently, a client wondered how to energize her overgrown and tired landscape without completing starting over.  Even when the right trees and right shrubs are planted in the right place, it can occasionally get too large for the intended purpose or just not feel right.  We regularly see  many shrubs and ornamental trees exceed their stated height and width specifications … global warming related, I’m sure.

    Fortunately, there are jazzy solutions to taming the wild and rejuvenating the tired.  For example, many deciduous (non-evergreen) shrubs respond well to a severe pruning, subsequently producing vibrant new growth.  Red twig and yellow twig dogwood shrubs are fantastic examples.  Spirea and potentilla get very woody after 3 – 4 years and shearing to 4” tall will prompt a complete re-growth.  Rose of Sharon, wigelia, burning bush and viburnums are others that will benefit by selective, heavy pruning.  Email me for details.

    Evergreens, conversely, do not respond well to heavy pruning and will often bite the dust when more than 25% of the shrub is hacked away.

    Typically, updating a tired landscape is accomplished through a series of tactics.  Minor adjustments to bed lines can promote drama and guide sight lines.  Try replacing naturalized clumps of perennials with thoughtful waves of just a few tame varieties.  Those same few varieties repeated around the house provide rhythm, offer a splash of color and help create a sense of place.  Transplanting shrubs may help, but don’t force the issue.  If it doesn’t work, recycle it.

    Now is the time to think about your landscapes renewal strategy. Nothing says fresh and new style like spectacular pots of color.  I can’t wait to show you some incredible potting solutions soon!