Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clip joint

I can't tell you how many times I'd wander around the gardens on some errand or other and notice that something needed to be clipped or trimmed.  I chastise myself often for not having my hand pruners with me, but I just can't carry everything with me everywhere.

So when temps cooled down to 70 last evening, I started clipping in earnest.  First off the spent daylilies had to go.  Then I crawled around a couple of crabapple trees and did the best I could with rampant suckers.  I also cleaned up brushy birch branches (lovely graceful trees but very very messy) and pulled down one really long (10') dead branch.

I was out early again this morning and I brought along a few friends for the hand pruners: loppers, reciprocating saw, circular saw and a shovel.  Oh, I was into it now!

I clipped off the mass of spent stalks from 2 Johnson Blue geraniums, a rose yarrow, lots of hosta.  Then I 'limbed up' the 11 tomato plants so nothing was touching the ground (then I top dressed them with TomatoTone and mulched heavily with grass clippings).  

Enough with the pruners.

A couple weeks ago I cut down 1 and seriously trimmed back 2 rhodies in front.  But I couldn't finish shaping one of them because a robin was sitting on eggs. Now the chicks have fledged, so between the loppers and the reciprocating saw that task is done.

Then I grabbed the shovel and headed for the golf course border and dug up a few more tree sprouts that wouldn't yield to hand pulling.

Finally,  I used the circular saw to cut the long 4" thick dead birch branch into 12" lengths for starting fires this winter.

I got done about an hour ago just as the sun was starting to really beat down on the turnaround blacktop.  *whew*  It's so hot out there now I could roast a chicken on the driveway.  (Note to self: investigate solar oven.)

Tomorrow I'll shove all this debris into my hatchback and take it to the county residential yard waste recycling center.  It's kind of a pain that the center is only open 3 days a week, but honestly, I'd rather have that than no center at all. 

Truth be told, ever since I found out I could take stuff there, I've really gone gardening into high gear. Before that I felt limited by the amount of debris I generated. Super thick stalks, woody material, noxious weeds, etc. didn't work in my compost.  And I refused to start a nasty 'brush pile' like some neighbors do (and the vermin they attract). I usually had to pay someone at least once a year to take away piles of branches, etc.  But now, thanks to my tax dollars at work, I compost as much as I can handle here at home and the rest gets made into county compost for the park system.

Win win, for sure.  Well, there is a downside.  There's usually something crawling around in the car. And it gets kinda dirty in there and every now and then I have to open the doors and the hatch and blow the thing out with the leaf blower.  Ahh, true gardening is not for the squeamish!  LOL


  1. Hah! Many's the time I've looked in the rear-view mirror, only to see some many-legged critter humping its way over the back seat toward me!

  2. Alison - as long as they don't start nagging like a backseat driver... LOL

  3. Please feel free to come work over my mess of a yard/garden! I TOTALLY trust your judgement!! ;-)

  4. Jeph - I do the heavy labor here. In other gardens the only thing I lift is my pointin' finger - usually from a lawn chair. LOL

  5. Snap - despite having several pairs of snips I never have a set to hand when I need them! Once you get the pruning bug its addictive isn't it! Hope you get a second flourish from your geraniums.

  6. Hello FRGirl! Good to see you here again. No, the Johnsons Blue does not rebloom. Once finished (over 2 months!) it just fills in with lush upright growth to replenish the roots for next Spring. Just as well, other plants demand that space for the rest of the season. Happy snipping. :-D

  7. Kris,you are so organized and tidy you put me to shame!

    I remember reading a book by an English gardener and he said he always carried his 'secateurs' in his pocket when he went into the garden. He said the time for pruning is when the plant is in front of you and the pruners are in your hand, or something to that effect.

    I have never forgotten that. I usually load up the garden cart attached to the mower with spray, pruners, garden shears, garden tie, and clippers when I plan to do some work. I hate running back and fort to get things.

  8. Glenda - Organized? LOL I'm afraid I maybe have a touch of OCD. Or maybe it's my background in designing logical computer systems. Either way, if I'm not organized, I'm just not happy. And the more organized the gardens are, the easier it is to maintain and more time left over to make new gardens.

    I don't clip/prune/cleanup until there is enough to warrant getting everything out and dragging them along. But when the daylilies are done, those stalks just gotta go and watch out anything else that's blown or shaggy. And if I'm so organized, why do I spend so much time looking for stuff??? Ha! :-/


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