Thursday, February 25, 2010


It seems like we've done nothing but prune at the Big House and in the Stepchild Garden for the past few weeks.  Even with weather being colder and wetter than normal, we're finally seeing some signs of spring, and it's time to cut back in anticipation of that growth spurt.  The Medusa-like growth on the Eleagnus has been pulled back into a somewhat contained form (if that's possible), the roses have been cut back and glued, and it feels like I've taken 35 truckloads of Sasanqua camellia trimmings to the green waste site.

February is also the annual time of "Crape Murder" in the South, when we gardeners look on in horror as so many landscape crews come out with the chain saws and "straighten up" the Crape Myrtles. Perhaps the only thing more funky looking in my mind are the hollies cut into lollipops in the supermarket parking lots!

At the Big House, the two ends of the circular front drive are marked with ENORMOUS Crape Myrtles, and in front of the house itself there is a cluster of exquisite "Natchez" Crapes, with that beautiful bark and white flowers in summer.  Since it's a pretty formal setting in front of the house, we do clean them up somewhat each year, and try to add a little balance to the overall scheme of things.

Once upon a time we used pruning shears and loppers.  Then it progressed to hand saws.  Now even the tallest ladders don't work!  Oh, well, it gives the neighbors something to talk about......."Can you believe what they're doing in that garden now?......"


  1. now thats some major equipment;)

  2. It's a shame I'm no good with Photoshop....I could have painted it red and said it was a Felco.....

  3. Hi Tim,
    Just discovered your blog, excellent!
    The NGS here in the UK is a must to follow. Some gardens are tiny, some are huge, some great and some not so great..but thats half the fun. I dont know where you are going to stay when you are over here, but if you are in the Dorset area then Bournemouth gardens are a must, and also Exbury Gardens at the Rothschild Estate. Keep it up!

  4. Dear Tim, I discovered your weblog having seen your comment on 'Life in the English Cotswolds' and have now enjoyed reading through your most recent postings. The Yellow Book is, indeed, a splendid way of planning a garden tour and I am sure that when you come to the UK in September there will still be much to see. I note you include Hidcote in your website list. This is, in my opinion, a garden which deserves not to be missed.

    I have added myself as a 'Follower' so that I do not miss any future postings.

  5. Ha! I love the expression "Medusa-like growth" and am probably going to steal it for my next post (crediting you, of course), where I'll be talking about pruning wisteria. So apt!