Jeff Minnich Garden Design, Inc
Late Spring 2012

Hydrangea Time

Dear Clients and Friends,

I’m backwards this year—writing to you all at the tail end of the Spring season as opposed to the very beginning. What a gorgeous Spring it’s been. After the mild Winter, the bloom was prolific on everything and it continues. A Winter and Spring to remember.

Since I mark the seasons more often by what’s in bloom, rather than the date, let’s just say it’s now Hydrangea Time, one of my favorite times of the year. In my garden, I have Helleborus Time, Camellia Time, Azalea Time, Daylily Time—and on it goes. There is interest here throughout the year. We are in that lull between the end of the Azaleas and the height of the Hydrangea bloom, so there’s been less color here these last couple of weeks. That is about to change as the Hydrangeas and other Summer beauties come into bloom.

Late Spring/Early Summer Garden Chores

Whether you get the yardman, or me, or you do it yourself, make sure you keep up with your garden chores. It’s a busy time out there.

Jeff Minnich Garden Design does provide a seasonal maintenance service. This entails clean-up, fertilizing, trimming/pruning, spade edging, mulching, planting annuals, and pre-emergent weed control. We do not provide lawn care, or weekly garden care services. We’re just not set up for those services. At this point in the season, we have completed all of our regular Spring seasonal maintenance jobs. We can still do seasonal maintenance anytime. We often do spruce-ups in the Summer, and Fall clean-ups for many clients. If you are a gardener and choose to do it yourself, I will go over some of the things you should address, assuming your Spring clean-up/edging/mulching is complete:

  • Trimming/pruning—First of all, trim all the dead wood out of everything. At this point in the season, new growth should be emerging on even the latest things, so prune out all the wood that is dead. You should also have a good tree care person take care of your trees. Keep them on retainer—it’s worth it! Here are some general guidelines for pruning shrubs: things that bloom in the Spring—for example, Forsythia, Lilac, Azaleas, Dogwoods, Camellias—can be pruned now, or after if they haven’t finished blooming yet, as severely as you’d like. Be sure to finish this Spring pruning by the 4th of July or so since all these things will set their buds this Summer for next year’s bloom on the new growth produced this year. Things that bloom in the Summer—for example, Crapemyrtle, Summer Spireas, Rose of Sharon— should have been pruned earlier. These bloom off the new growth produced this Spring, so many have set their buds on their new growth or are blooming already—be careful about pruning these now. Things like Clematis, Hydrangeas, Roses—these particular plants can vary on their pruning rules even by variety or type, so best to look up online or give me a call before you cut and sacrifice the bloom. Often, the reason plants don’t bloom is because they were pruned at the wrong time. Non-blooming plants, deciduous or evergreen—you have a lot more leeway here and you can prune almost anytime. But remember, with all pruning (like anything else) there are exceptions to the general rules. When in doubt, check before you cut.

Next story > Late Spring/Early Summer Garden Chores (continued)