Proper Pruning for Petunias—Keep them compact and blooming all season.

Petunias are beautiful, quick, and fun to grow. Here’s how to keep them pretty all summer. Trude visited us the other day. She said, “John, you said you would tell me how to grow a well-shaped petunia, but you never did.” I reached for the pruning shears and led her over to a nice plant […]

Pruning Azaleas in May-June. Follow These Instructions For Better Shape and Many More Flowers.

Late May to early June is the time to work on azaleas. If you prune them, clean them up and fertilize them during this period, you will have beautiful plants with more blooms the following spring. Here’s the rationale: Proper pruning will encourage the stems to branch out Branching forms new stem tips—and lots more […]

The basics of pruning–What Happens When We Prune a Plant

  Pruning season is coming up. I wrote this article some time ago in answer to the many questions I receive about pruning. It’s really a very simple process. Growing a plant is one thing.  Shaping plants well is an art form and adds another dimension to your plant growing experience.  Here is an article that […]

Time: The Fourth Dimension in the Garden

Patsy Hubbard and I were looking around her “yard” the other day. She said, “It sure does look good this year.” I replied, “Yes, and just think, it only took thirty years.” “I hope you are taking pictures.” She remarked and the more I thought about that remark, the more I thought that it would […]

How do I trim mixed flower plantings to keep them from getting leggy and spindly?

Pruning is an art form. One of the best ways to practice your pruning techniques is by taking care of your mixed flower plantings as the summer progresses. (You may wish to look at my most popular article of all time, “Pruning as an Art Form” Click here). One of my clients loves her window […]

Prune Azaleas in May-June. Fertilize Azaleas, Avoid and Kill Poison Ivy

There is a rather old planting of George Tabor azaleas on the side of our driveway and Sweetie has been reminding me relentlessly for months that they need to be pruned and shaped. The last week in May or the first week in June is just the right time for the job. Here’s the “before” […]

Front Door Plants—Starting a Topiary Project

I’ve been working with plants professionally for 35 years or so. During that time, one of the most requested tasks has been to “find me something distinctive to go on the front porch (or by the door).”  Usually it takes a lot of time and searching to find just the right plant for the job. […]

Pruning for Betty. Japanese Maples, Topiaries and Bonsai

I got a text message the other day saying that the Japanese maples needed pruning. I had been expecting this so I shifted my schedule around, sharpened my Felco pruning shears, grabbed my camera and headed out. Betty has been a special friend and client for a number of years. She has also been a […]