With the mild autumn weather persisting for quite a bit longer than previous years, we were finding that many of the trees and shrubs at Genus HQ were very slow in liberating themselves of their leaves. This in itself isn’t a problem but when it comes to winter pruning we do like to see what we’re doing and a surfeit of foliage doesn’t help matters.
Just before Christmas the weather finally turned and within a few days all leaves had fallen and, with the new year well underway, we were at last able to tackle some essential pruning jobs. On the north side of the cottage we grow a wall trained Philadelphus. These shrubs can cope with some shade but what’s unusual about this particular specimen is that we train it tightly against the wall. Some years ago it was planted in the border but as time went on it started to dominate the space.
At the end of summer lots of new, straight growth gets thrown up so we decided to remove as much of the old wood as possible and train any new ‘whips’ onto wires fixed against the wall. In our favour is the fact that Philadelphus flower better off new growth and this is now confirmed every year when the wall gets smothered in sweetly perfumed flowers. Sometimes it pays to experiment and this is one of our great successes.