Shade garden pruning

1shadedetailThe shade garden is doing its job; providing a lush and thick jungle of cool shade from the summer heat. Is it officially summer now? It’s certainly hot every day. We haven’t had a day under 30 Celsius all week.  And no rain is in sight.

I have left the shrubs to do their own thing for a year now. But it is time to prune.

And to think about the amazing narcissus Bridal Crowns which are dying back. I ought to dead head them now.

I also want to move some of them around to the terrace bank above the potting shed and further into the hedge.


Right now it is as if too many things are crammed into this tricky spot.

Where to start? I decided to wade through the jungle and pull out any obvious weeds. And to reduce the volume of self seeded honesty plants. I have enough for flower arranging now.

My little discovery were the iris foetidissima which are in flower. What a corker of a plant.

Not just upright stappy leaves on plants which can cope with dry shade. But flowers, and next up, red berries. I’m utterly captivated.

And now about these muscari bulbs that have now gone over? They will stay this green until they eventually fade to a rattly beige. That makes about six months of interest out of some autumn planted bulbs. Tick in the box for a plant that does a lot of work, without any intervention from me.

1muscari greenBut it’s all very well admiring flowers. There’s pruning to do.  I reduced the height of most of the shrubs. Out came sacks and sacks of leaves.

It’s annoying that you really can’t tell the difference from the before and after shots.  I won’t be pruning these shrubs in the tight Nicole de Vesian style. So the look is going to stay fluffy.

But very green. And that’s what I’m aiming for. Exuberant growth. All year.