Why Won’t My Forsythia Bloom?

– Posted in: Forsythia
forsythia close up

The forsythias bloomed later than usual this year, sometimes overlapping with the earliest lilacs--but they did bloom. If yours didn't bloom, here are some things to consider: The flowers for forsythia are set the year before they bloom. That means if you prune your shrub too late in the season, you will cut off the [...]

Mud Season Chores: Pruning

– Posted in: Garden chores, Mud Season

Mud season, despite its fickle weather, not only has color, but its own set of gardening chores. For those of us living in cold climates, these chores anticipate the growth that will soon come as so many plants emerge from dormancy. Growth is so slow at the beginning of mud season that it is easy [...]

Forsythia Pruning: Before and After

– Posted in: Forsythia

Forsythia before pruning beganBack in April, I discussed my upcoming plans to prune my forsythia bush. It wasn't flowering very much, and my commenters agreed with me that it needed a heavy pruning. Some even suggested cutting the whole thing down to the ground. But I felt a little too nervous to do that. On [...]

Pruning strategy for forsythia

– Posted in: Forsythia, How-to, Plant info

Remember the forsythia I pruned so that I could force some branches? It doesn't look so floriferous out in the open, does it? (For comparison, check out the forsythias here.) When I'm faced with a plant that's not doing as well as expected, I try to analyze the situation before taking action. In the case [...]

Pruning forsythia in mud season

– Posted in: Forsythia, Mud Season, Plant info
Forced forsythia in vase

The standard advice for pruning spring-blooming shrubs is to prune them no later than two weeks after they're done blooming. This is because most spring-flowering shrubs, at least, all those commonly grown, develop their flower buds on the previous year's wood. So if you prune them in high summer, or autumn, you are cutting off [...]

Early Pruning

– Posted in: Garden chores

Pruning the apple trees is a rite of spring. In past years I had a tendency to get started late and finish in a somewhat hurried splurge of activity—tinged with a bit of panic that perhaps I wouldn't get it done in time. This year I had to take a different approach. Since I'm no [...]

Signs of Spring

– Posted in: Garden chores, What's up/blooming

The Gardener in her Garden Here I am this past Sunday transplanting Lemon Lilies (Hemerocallis flava) from the back of the Birthday Garden to the front of it. They are a very old-fashioned daylily, but not as vigorous as the Tawny Daylily (H. fulva). Although they bloom early for a daylily, they are shorter than [...]

Gardening in February

– Posted in: Garden chores, Weather

Forget the weeding. That was an anomaly. Back, sort of, to the real February. I say "sort of" because yesterday and today the temperature is hovering a bit above freezing, which is on the warm side for February around here. (Average high for the month is 30F, and my outdoor thermometer registers 35F right now.) [...]

Tending the Apple Trees

– Posted in: Garden chores

On Friday the apple tree I bought from St. Lawrence Nurseries arrived. It came while I was out, and I didn't get back until late in the day, exhausted from working. The tree was supposed to be planted as soon as possible, and since it wasn't a cheap plant, I didn't feel at leisure to [...]