Pruning Today, Blooming Tomorrow

Some people are timid when it comes to pruning; I’m not. I love nothing better than shaping an overgrown shrub into a beauty. I get lost in the clip, clip, clip of it. I daydream about how the shrub will look when I’m done (the Wayside Gardens catalog photos play a prominent role in my daydreams!). And I know that most plants are better for the pruning. Are you timid or are you like me, jump in and start clipping?

If you didn't prune in July, rose buds are few and far between in August.

My shrub and climbing rose blooms peaked a while ago but I was busy, too busy, watching softballs games to get outside and prune them back in July; now the lovely scented flowers that typically grace my home from May through October are few and far between. Today, on this perfect weather day (low humidity and ‘reasonable’ temps) in Northern NJ, I took pruners in hand (Felco #5s for me) and got to work: My job? Prune the roses to force them to bloom again!

The climbers across the old iron fence had set a few hips already, but I clipped those stems off (just above a five-leaf cluster) and pruned back dead wood. A few buds are on the climbers, but the pruning should scare the ladies into producing even more! With a bit of patience I should have roses well into September and maybe even October.

Since I was standing near the overgrown variegated willow I gave it a haircut too.Willows love wet and damp (they just suck it up, which is why you see willows thriving along stream banks) and mine is no different.

This willow is happy. . .too happy!

Now at least it won’t attack our cars as we pull into the driveway!

The willow is much more refined, but no less happy.

Have you ever thought about how some chores in the garden reference actions you might need to take in your own life?

Dead branches need to be pruned out for the health of the overall shrub.


The shrub is healthier and looks better after a good pruning.

Pruning: What could you cut out of your life to make way for better health and more beauty? 

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2 Responses to Pruning Today, Blooming Tomorrow

  1. Kristin says:

    You are an inspiration. I absolutely need to prune, but the last time I got lost in it, a neighbor came by with my kids – who had been playing in the driveway very close to the road. Now I only find short segments of time (30 minutes) to prune.

    Last winter, I didn’t prune nearly enough and we almost lost our wonderful butterfly bush to heavy ice. I won’t make the same mistake this year. AND I will find time to prune and clear out this weekend. I promise.

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