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I just CAN'T, even though I should!


Well, it was such a lovely weekend, at least here in Somerset, that I’ve been tidying up in the garden and noticing what is happening out there. First have a look at what’s flowering that should be. Here’s my favourite Hellebore – it hangs its head down so I have to be on hands and knees to look inside. (Good exercise)

Then near it, there’s a cream one that looks upwards.

The Anemone blanda are just poking their first leaves through the soil (Hooray!) and the first Iris reticulata have opened up.

But my Veronica pedunculata is in full bloom – it’s several weeks early, and in danger if there’s a frost. Still, it’s so pretty, it’s nice to welcome it back.

I also looked round at all my Clematis plants to check that they are all budding at the bottom so that I can cut them back in a few weeks’ time. I’ve even got a reminder next to C. Vyvyan Pennell on my GoY plants page to do this job.

Yes, there are lots of new shoots coming from the nodes and also very healthy new growth from the base. Well done, Vyvyan!

BUT Oh dear! Look up! What is going on up there on top of the trellis? I can see two fat flower buds – Vyvyan, what are you doing?

And I am an absolute softie. I know full well what I should do, and what my gardening friends on GoY will say – but I CAN’T, I just cannot cut her back! So I shall turn a blind eye to what she is doing and leave her alone this year.

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hi spritz, well it is up to you, but in the words of Alan Titchmarsh - 'what is the point of having lovey big blooms so high up that the only way you can see them is by looking down on them from your bedroom window' - there is a really good pruning article in feb issue of gardeners world mag i've been reeding, late flowering clematis should be cut back to 15 cm above ground level - just above shooting knode between now and mid feb, to get the best out of them. i know it's heartbreaking but i had very simular going on at the top of my C. tangutica, which was hanging over next doors garden, so i went out there this morning and bit the bullet and did it! while i was there i also hacked back my C. 'jackmanii' and my climbing roses. i just keep telling myself that i will benifit from it when they flower in my garden this summer rather than next doors!

27 Jan, 2008


See - I told you so! I just knew what you'd say to me... but as she has shoots at her bottom (sorry) as well as her top, I am going to let her play up high and see what happens! She flowers twice, once in late spring and then again in autumn, and last autumn, the second flowers were on top of the trellis - they were beautiful seen against the sky. C. tangutica is a thug and has to be cut back hard, I agree. I ENJOY doing that, before it goes crazy. I shall also be OK cutting back all the others that should be done, but Vyvyan, NO - I just can't.

27 Jan, 2008


ok spritz, i know what you want me to say - you leave that poor Vyvyan alone!, - but you did ask! but if it makes you feel any better, Alan also says that no plant 'has' to be pruned. at the end of the day you can always cut it back hard next year if the flowers do suffer or are too high to appreciate! you have'nt got anything to loose, either way won't damage the plant!

28 Jan, 2008


Hooray! I just checked up in my Clematis book, and Vyvyan is a group 2 plant, so she can be 'lightly pruned' and doesn't have to be cut hard back! So I shall look closely and find dead shoots from last year, and they will be neatly chopped off....I'll let you know if she manages to flower early with her new buds.

28 Jan, 2008

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