I admit to not having a clue when or how to prune my shrubs. I’ve attended clinics and listened to our in-house experts talking about keeping trees and shrubs pruned and shapely. I have books on the subject with nice, easy to read diagrams. Nothing helps, though, when I’m looking at my overgrown dogwood and my hand trembles as I try to determine where to make the cuts.
Don’t we all want beautifully groomed lawns and gardens? Do we actually get beautifully groomed lawns and gardens, though? Probably not without help as we can’t rely on the weather, or fungus, or insect damage. And, in my case, we can’t rely on figuring out exactly where the cuts should be made that will produce a perfect shape next year without the “flowering” effect from cutting in the wrong place. My solution has been to chop everything back to about 6 inches every couple of years and, when it grows out, I have a lovely shrub. Kind of cowardly, but it works for me.
My point is this: no one is an expert on everything that grows unless they have an advanced degree in horticulture. Does that mean that we shouldn’t get out there and try? No it doesn’t!! Trial and (mostly) error is how we learn. The lessons we teach our children still apply to us as adults: if at first you don’t succeed, etc.
Posted by Vicki