Hello my garden lovers! Every year just before Spring begins and once the worst of Winter is over, I find myself looking expectantly out of the window at my garden and thinking about what I need to do and dreaming about what I want to do this year in the garden. There’s a great deal of anticipation and excitement right before Spring starts and everything starts coming back to life. With that in mind, late Winter/early Spring is also the time I tend to trim back many of my plants. So I thought today I would give you all an update on what plants I’ve been tending to recently in the honeysuckle garden. I will begin with a rose we inherited in the garden.
The rose in question is one that had been neglected and left to go leggy by previous occupants and I had dug it up last year and planted in the honeysuckle garden in a sunny spot next to the pear tree. I cut it back hard not expecting too much because its root system was very small when I dug it up (I think it simply was in the wrong position with not enough sun and I suspect it had not been fed or looked after properly for many years). I also gave it some nutritious feed and hoped for the best. Here is a photo (below) of what it used to look like. You can see it had very few roses on it in June 2016 when we moved in and it was suffering from blackspot, as well as being very woody and leggy. All in all, it wasn’t looking too great:
But looking at it today this is what I saw:
I am so delighted to have saved this and hopefully reinvigorated it! I will now be chopping back the other branches that I left slightly longer because I was afraid of completely losing it. Now that I am confident that it is coming back to life strongly, I am feel more assured chopping it back further. It is looking hopeful for the time being, so I will have to let you know how it grows. Fingers crossed for some beautiful roses this Summer!
This time of year is also the time I trim back my hardy fuchsia sarah delta. I always cut it back harshly and it comes back brilliantly every year without fail and is smothered in flowers for months on end right until the end of Autumn. This is what this reliable and pretty little shrub looks like in bloom:
This is what the fuchsia looked like before and after I chopped it back recently:
I know it looks harsh, but I have found it is best to be brave with chopping it back, otherwise this plant just ends up straggly. Chopping it this way helps keep it bushy and compact.
I also had a look at some new perennials I purchased from The Tatton Park Flower Show last year to see if they needed any attention. The first I noticed emerging was this Phlox, which I tidied up by trimming the old stems right to the ground.
This is what the Phlox looked like in flower in July 2016:
Next to the Phlox in the honeysuckle garden I also planted some Verbena which we also purchased from The Tatton Park Flower Show last year. I LOVED the way the designers in the show had used Verbena in many of their gardens. It has such a beautifully airy and delicate style and wonderfully vibrant violet colour. I planted it in front of the trellis last year, but it has now been moved in front of where we will be installing a deck outside the patio doors of the honeysuckle garden. I have placed it right in front of the edge of the deck so that as you sit on the deck my vision is that you will see the gentle spires of the Verbena bobbing in the wind. This is how beautiful the Verbena looked last year. I think it looked great with the blue trellis behind it:
Fast forward to today and this is how the Verbena looks recently:
Just as I did with the Phlox, I trimmed back the old stems of the Verbena right back to the ground too. I’m looking forward to seeing this pretty plant flowering again this year and I am planning on taking cuttings to increase my supply. So stay tuned for that blog post when I get to it!
Well that’s all the plants I trimmed back in the honeysuckle garden. Stay tuned for what plants I am due to trim back in another area of my plot: the rose garden! Happy gardening.
Written by Bethany Wright at The English Meadow