Pruning therapy

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.



6 responses to “Pruning therapy

  1. There certainly is a sense of satisfaction, when the pruning is done, and all the trees and shrubs look neat and tidy.

  2. The mahonia looks so much better for being pruned. It must be quite old, the trunk (I guess you can call it a trunk) has a really nice shape to it.

  3. That looks really good now. I can feel a visit to my mahonia coming on! I agree about the therapeutic effects of a good prune – both for the plant and for me. I’m a new visitor to your blog – enjoyed it very much. I’ll be back. (And no that wasn’t a threat)

  4. themoderngardener

    Thanks Maggi, lovely to hear you’ll be back, that’s motivation to keep going. Rob, it is indeed a super old Mahonia. We were lucky to inherit a mature garden with the purchase of our house. A bit too mature in some areas!

  5. I don’t mind pruning,too very much.Everything does look so neat and clean.Wish we could grow mahonias here in Florida.

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