Gardening · General · Problems

My Pruning Shame

“If a person cannot love a plant after he has pruned it, then
he has either done a poor job or is devoid of emotion.”
–  Liberty Hyde Bailey  

I am one of the first people to admit that I have several problems when it comes to gardening. One is that sometimes I forget to do jobs and then I flip the other way and then go and do them at the wrong time of year. One of them is pruning. *sigh*

As you may know certain plants need to be pruned at different times of the year. You simply can’t whip round the garden with a set of loppers in January and expect a wonderful garden come summertime. It just doesn’t work that way, although I wish it would!


Say hello to exhibit A. It’s an Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald n Gold’, rather a nice evergreen shrub. I like… No… I *love* the colours on it. It’s a shrub that can brighten up darker corners and acts as a great companion to darker plants so you get a wonderful contrast… And I, for the bloody life of me, can NEVER sodding well remember when you are supposed to bloody well prune it.

*Insert heavy sigh here*

Yesterday, while out and about doing jobs, I remembered that I had forgotten to prune it AGAIN last year and promptly forgot again 20 seconds later when a bee whipped past me. Come round to this morning, I remembered it, Yay me! So, to the interwebs I went. According to this site and this one they suggest mid spring to early summer.

Some shrubs can be severely pruned just as growth begins in mid-spring. Spotted laurel (Aucuba), box (Buxus), camellias, Choisya, Euonymus, hollies, Pieris, laurels (Prunus laurocerasus and P. lusitanica), Viburnum tinus and yew all tolerate severe pruning to near ground level.

I didn’t want to butcher it, but it did need a heavy prune after so long of NOT giving it a trim.


In the end I brought down it to this… It had to be done. It was just simply a haven for snails and was turning into almost solid wood with an open core. With luck the heavy prune will open it up a little and rejuvenate it some. I also had to prune out the reverted stems.

Now to my other shame…


Exhibit B is an Euonymus fortunei ‘Sunspot’. It gets pruned every year and so is a breeze to keep neat and tidy. Why? Because I’m an idiot…. That’s why. >.>

I will prune this one first (WHne I remember), fill my bin and have to wait 2 weeks for the green bin to be emptied by the council before I can go do the other one or any other things that need taking clippings away. By then I will have forgotten about the other one and then will have missed the right time to get it pruned up. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

I tell you, this gardening lark ain’t easy!

With that I am going to leave with something from the ‘Good news‘ section… After the heavy prune in early spring (You can see a trend here?)….Rose buds!



2 thoughts on “My Pruning Shame

    1. I know what you mean, but it still scares me to take such drastic action. I’d prefer to stay on top of it and just do light pruning every year.
      But to do that I would probably need a memory upgrade! >.>

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