Preparing for the big garden awakening
The biggest part of garden work is concentrated during this time of year, generally between mid- January and mid- February, to prepare it for the new season.
It is, in fact, during this time that most of the flowering plants are pruned. In particular, plants that flower on new wood, that is to say a plant that does not create flower buds until after growth begins in spring, need intense pruning. Generally, this means all those plants that flower later in the growing season, from June on. Some examples of plants that flower on new wood include roses, lavender, santolina, hydrangeas, buddleia, St. John’s wort.
We need to be careful not to prune plants that flower on old wood, that is to say a plant that formed the flower buds for this year’s blooms during the last year. The buds are carried through winter on last year’s growth – the old wood. In this case we are talking about plants that typically flower early during the growing season such as the English dogwood (Philadelphus), the kerria, the forsythia that, if pruned now, will lose most of its bloom. Selected genuses deserve special attention such as the spiraea that include species of the first group such as spiraea japonica which should now be intensely pruned, and species of the second group such as spirea arguta which produces an abundant white bloom in April and should not be pruned during this time so as not to compromise its bloom.
Overall, the plants on which you should intervene are to be drastically pruned near the base for the exception of: lavender and aromatic plants that must be pruned a lot but never to the point of eliminating the green of the vegetation otherwise they will surely die; the hydrangeas should not be pruned or cut too short otherwise we will compromise the year’s bloom; the roses should be distinguished among them. The modern roses need to be pruned low while the antique roses, for the most part, need to be pruned by a third to a half of the length of the branches, according to the groups.