Is it just me, or is pruning not just the most satisfying ‘task’? I love the sight of a tidy tree or bush that then bursts into life with gratitude from the haircut. I am also particularly fanatical about keeping trees free of straggly branches up to about 5 feet, so that you get views through them, like you seen in parks. It creates depth in the garden, particularly important if you have a lot of trees that might otherwise form a wall. This weekend RB and I spent a good chunk of time thinning out under rhododendrons and cutting branches off trees that blocked views or obstructed paths. This mahonia had been particularly bugging me, ever since my mother pointed out that it was the only thing we enjoyed from the kitchen window and that we could benefit from seeing through it (thanks Muki!). Here it is in its jungle state in the autumn:
And here it is after its spring pruning – oh there’s the lawn! Mahonia is spiky so wear gloves. If you have a mahonia near the house like we do, I would wait until the birds have eaten every last berry off the tree before pruning. It’s such a lovely sight to see.