I have been wondering for a while what to write in an article about pruning, it’s a vast subject.
For a start there’s a huge cultural difference regarding pruning here in France. English people don’t prune so hard or feel the need to prune. Most being rather nervous about pruning the right way at the right time. French people seem to prune enthusiastically with enormous confidence.
So just to simplify things I think today I will offer my most basic advice of all.
For most shrubs this holds true.
1 Prune after flowering
2 Start with the D’s Dead, diseased or dying wood.
3 Remove any spindly sprouts and any facing inwards towards the centre of the shrub to avoid crossing (rubbing) branches developing in the inner part of the plant/shrub
4 The structure remaining should then have each branch reduced to an outward facing bud with a sloping cut facing away from the bud. (this is where you use your judgement on how big you want your shrub to be)
5 Surround your shrub with a generous layer of organic mulch and wait for it to do its thing next year
Obviously this is general advice and suits roses and summer flowering shrubs, Beware if you get a sudden urge to prune that you are not going to chop off next spring’s flower buds. (hint: don’t prune viburnum tinus just now, it’s going to flower in January)
PS I’m itching to get out there and do some clearing up in my garden but this crazy weather means that my roses are still in full bloom and I can’t bring myself to cut them at all.